PfSense hardware

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    After some advice please…

    I am planning to set up a pfSense box for home use. The intended internet traffic would be the usual range of laptops, tablets, phones, HTPC, NAS, Chromecast etc. All up, a maximum of say 30 devices using the internet, although obviously not all at the same time. Some of them may be through a VPN (AirVPN at present). I am on Telstra 115/2 cable and will be for as long as I can before nbn HFC comes along. I have the cable modem bridged and use an Asus RT-AC68U for routing and wireless. The RT-AC68U runs Merlin and is pretty good but I'm keen to take a step up in performance and security.

    I want a fanless box, so building something from the parts box is not an option. I suppose I should also be ready for pfSense v2.5 and AES-NI hardware encryption.

    With the above requirements, is something like the Netgate SG-2220 an overkill? Would the Netgate SG-1000 be up to the job?
    Are there any recommendations for (cheaper) non-Netgate boxes that would do the job?


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  • @poppom:

    I want a fanless box, so building something from the parts box is not an option.

    Those two things are not mutually exclusive. You can definitely build your own and have a fanless box too.

    Parts list :

    • AsRock J3355B – $56.70 NEW

    • 4GB RAM – $29 NEW ~$17 USED. You can choose to double that if you want 8GB, but I think 4GB is plenty for your use case

    • 80W PicoPSU – $25 NEW. $9 USED(if you have an old laptop adapter)

    • Intel i340-t4  – $18.95 USED -- I'd go used/server-pulls here to avoid Chinese fake cards

    • M350 Mini ITX enclosure - $39.95 NEW.

    Add it all up and it comes to $169.60 if you buy everything NEW except the Intel NIC card. You can save another $5 if you choose to combine the enclosure and picopsu as well since they sell a combo. Buy used and it could save you more money.

    Compare that to SG-2220 – which is no longer available but was sold for $299.00. Saves you a lot of money
    Compare that to SG-1000 – which is at $149.00. So for about $20 more, you'd have a much more powerful system

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