Totally Lost What/Where To Buy In The UK

  • Hello all,

    Some apologies in advance as I'm another person looking for recommendations but I promise I have been looking around to try and filter info but in my quest I have made myself more unsure or confused of what to get.

    At the moment I am running latest PF as a VM running Suricata.  My current ISP is VirginMedia on 350/20 I also host my own email and ftp server (private access)

    I am perfectly happy and capable to build up a box myself but am worried about the components, mainly about the motherboard, CPU and wan/lan throughput.

    So what would I like to get out of my own rig?  I would naturally like to future proof myself for higher wan speeds in the future (possibly to the 1 Gbps range), minimum 2 nic ports (am ok to add in a nic card), running my own VPN server could be a consideration for the future with higher wan upload speeds, am good to use a rack mount chasis and of course the holy grail of low (or no) noise and low power.

    Budget would have to be in the £200 range (am I dreaming? :) ).  Am ok to buy a used CPU and have spare SD HDs laying about so that can help keep some costs down.

    Anyone in the UK care to share their setup and source of purchase?

    Thanks and cheers

  • Not in the U.K. but here are some guidelines…

    Gigabit Internet i3-class CPU with breathing room. Intel NIC (everybody knows that!). A 1U box will  almost forces you to use those whinny little fans, 'cuz can't fit a good sized passive heatsink into a 1U. With a standard ITX-type, expect 35 watt @ idle.

    Then there is the infamous Qotom (suspect QA, perceived low bang-4r-buck as compared to other generics), usd$210 incl shipping, bared u supply ram and storage which pFsense doesn't require much. AlliExpress direct.  1.5u though, completely fanless/noiseless case IS the heatsink, says to run on 18 watt.  If u can find one local.

  • Thanks SammyWoo,

    Those Qotom boxes look quite interesting and from my early investigations the price range will most likely fit as well as I already have the ram and sd hd spare.

    So far am looking at the Q355G4 which comes in at £201, AES-NI, OK for VPN, silent and very low power.  Need to do some more digging and review checks though.


  • Hi,
    I bought this motherboard: Asrock J3455M NA, it has an embedded Apollo Lake Celeron, 4 cores, 1.5/2.3Ghz, 10WTDP, supports AES-NI

    • 4GB of DDR3 RAM
    • 4 port  Intel I350-T4 PCI Express PCI-E

    already had the case, the hd and the power supply,
    ended up spending around 150GBP for a <10W 4 core (albeit celeron) processor and a quad port intel nic.

    My Internet connections are slow, one wifi at 30Mbps/3Mbps and an ADSL at 10Mbps/512Kbps, multiple IPSEC and OPenVPN tunnels terminated on it, cpu never goes over 10%, coming from an old celeron@600Mhz with storage on a CF card the system is pretty fast.

    The only issue I had is that it would not boot 2.4.x due to a bug, solved by applying this fix:


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