Intel Compute Stick and managed switch vs. SG-1000



  • Howdy all,

    I have an unused/spare Intel Compute Stick STK1AW32SC (https://ark.intel.com/products/91065/Intel-Compute-Stick-STK1AW32SC) that I was thinking about using with pfSense. The USB3 NIC that I have is on FreeBSD's supported list.  I know I need a smart switch - some thing like the Cisco SG200-08, available on AMZN for $65 or so.  I'm also pretty clear on the fact that an ICS is just not optimal hardware.  I'm looking to get a pfSense up and running for as little out of pocket as possible and eventually either build or buy something that meets all my requirements (once I know what those requirements actually are).

    So my decision is to buy a smart switch ($65) and make do with my existing computing hardware - OR - buy the SG-1000 ($150).

    I don't know enough about what I'm doing (yet), to make an informed decision. I am reading, researching, and learning - but I'm a software dev by trade, not a network admin or network security guy.  I would like easy, but learning the proper basics of securing my home network is more important than plug-and-play-it-just-works ease.

    Any advice?

    TIA.


  • Netgate Administrator

    What sort of throughput do you need? What's your WAN connection speed?

    Do you need to run packages? VPNs?

    Can you use that switch anyway if you end up not using it in a 'router on a stick' style setup?

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    What sort of throughput do you need? What's your WAN connection speed?

    Do you need to run packages? VPNs?

    Can you use that switch anyway if you end up not using it in a 'router on a stick' style setup?

    Steve

    My WAN is supposed to be AT&T 100Mb (it's not measured that fast by any of the test sites yet), so I assume that's my desired throughput.

    The only package that I know of is one that functions like pi-hole.

    No VPN's right now. I don't think this hardware is a good choice for that at all.

    Yes, I can definitely use the switch. Worst case I can push my IOT devices onto their own vlan (part of my long term goal to make my network generally more secure anyway).


  • Netgate Administrator

    Since you already have the compute stick you might as well try it. You will have to buy the switch but if you'll use that anyway it's not money lost.

    You will be limited by the USB NIC however. They are notoriously bad in FreeBSD. Though some users report no problems I wouldn't count on that. I'd test that first thing.

    The actual hardware specs on the compute stick are more than adequate for your connection and running pfBlocker with DNS blacklist.

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    Since you already have the compute stick you might as well try it. You will have to buy the switch but if you'll use that anyway it's not money lost.

    You will be limited by the USB NIC however. They are notoriously bad in FreeBSD. Though some users report no problems I wouldn't count on that. I'd test that first thing.

    The actual hardware specs on the compute stick are more than adequate for your connection and running pfBlocker with DNS blacklist.

    Steve

    I did try to install on the stick.  It just freezes about halfway through the initialization (before pfSense setup even starts).  Based on everything I researched, I think it's a no-go.  Looks like I'll be saving up for appropriate hardware, instead.

    Thanks for the advice.



  • For startup, don't exactly now what u need, an old plain-vanilla PC sitting on the shelf ready to be scrapped is the best choice to me, some quarters automatically assume anything new must requires lots of horsepower, not pfsense. Just add another NIC if u have to, the old box costs u near nothing.  Then you will find out what final box, if any, you want to move to permanently.



  • No need to spend $65 on a cisco switch. If you wanna save go for this $18 switch, I own it and have it working as a router on a stick like a charm on a 20dl/5up wan.

    Tp-link TL-SG105E


  • Rebel Alliance Global Moderator

    @areynot said in Intel Compute Stick and managed switch vs. SG-1000:

    Tp-link TL-SG105E

    Unless that is v3 and with the latest firmware it does not do vlans correctly. You can not remove ports from vlan 1..

    I would not suggest that line of switches to anyone wanting to do vlans.



  • @johnpoz good to know... I just checked mine and it is v3 with the latest fw.

    For a home use and with means of saving money mine delivers... I prob wouldnt use it a for mission critical setup.



  • A home setup for wife and kids IS mission critical, believe me.


 

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