Suggestions for buying a router for home use.



  • I went down the diy path and failed. here is the link with the problems,
    It was a valuable experience and I learned a lot. The parts I used were out of the trash bin and 10 years old so I cant be mad that the router works 99% of the time (it goes down for 2 miniatures once a day or so).

    So I am on google search for a pfsense retail box to buy. I see stuff as cheap as $150-200 and wanted to know if this is going to give me a better experience then the diy box does.

    Hope to get some guidance from the community before I just throw money at something.



  • DON'T throw money at anything that has Realtek network interfaces. Lots of inexpensive computer boxes have that stuff.

    If you still want to DIY, at a minimum, look at the QOTOM or Protectli boxes on Amazon. Make sure they specifically list Intel network ports in their specs.

    Keep in mind, many of these boxes quickly approach or pass the price of the Netgate SG-1100. That starter firewall appliance is PERFECT for a home network.

    https://www.netgate.com/solutions/pfsense/sg-1100.html

    How many physical network ports are you looking for? What is your ISP offering you for upload/download speeds?

    Are you planning on doing any VLAN's? Do you have a managed network switch that supports VLAN's?

    Jeff



  • @badfrogg Dude ... you have not failed ... you successfully identify issues with Realtek RTL8111E and your computer/pfSense, This computer is still good and you have two mini PCLe slots ... get an Intel 82575-T2 NIC or pro1000 T2 on say eBay ... used ones go cheaply. I even have a pulled working Intel 82575-T2 for your PCIe x1 I can sail via eBay.



  • @badfrogg That computer looks to be something that would work well provided it was in good working order. As others have already mentioned, Realdrek isn't what you want to use. There are good deals on Amazon as well as Ebay on Intel NICs. I've bought several 2 and 4 port Intel NICs on Amazon for very little money and they work great. Other than that, I also suggest an SSD. I don't know what you are installing on, but if it is as old as the motherboard grab a new SSD, I just got a 120gig for $22.00 and it works fine for PFSense. Install ZFS and it will support TRIM which will randomize writes all over the drive, extending its life. Should be much more reliable than a memory stick or an old drive.



  • I dont want to take the router down to mess with it. That is why I just want to buy something that works out of the box. I just need a router/firewall. I have the whole house already connected to a larger managed switch with PoE and a few WAPs.

    Netgate SG-1100 should be fine, right? My ISP speed is 400mbps.

    I will pickup an intel NIC card and mess around with my diy box as a hobby project later.



  • @badfrogg
    Well, someone with experience with the Netgate stuff will hopefully answer that, or a quick search around here would provide insight. I rolled my own, on my second one actually.
    5 minutes puts a new NIC in your current setup. 5 more to put an SSD (if needed). Installing PFSense, another 5. Then restore your config and assign the two new NICs (WAN and LAN) directly on the interface (another what, 2 minutes + 2 more for the reboot after restore of config). Around 20 minutes. VS the cost of a shiny new box. I guess if the cost is worth it to you for a new box then awesome, I think there is a forum here on the Netgate hardware where you can learn about it before diving in.



  • @badfrogg said in Suggestions for buying a router for home use.:

    Netgate SG-1100 should be fine, right? My ISP speed is 400mbps

    see https://www.netgate.com/blog/choosing-the-right-netgate-appliance.html, use case #1. The 1100 shares a 1 Gbps bus for its NICs, per the graphics but I would think 400 would be OK.



  • Hello!

    For my customers I prefer to have something that is more in line with a typical home/small office router form factor and look/feel. I have been replacing sonicwall TZs with sg-1100's and sg-3100's, and have been very happy with them.

    I have lots of older computers lying around that make great pfsense routers, and I have put a few together to play with, but for personal production systems I prefer to have something that is not home rolled and that I wont have to futz with. Once again, the negate devices have fit the bill.

    I have also played with some protectli devices, but the end cost of those once you add in parts and time is close to that of netgate devices. The support for netgate devices is also head and shoulders above other support, which can be priceless.

    I am not trying to be a netgate fanboy. At the end of the day it is in my own business & personal, selfish, best interests, that netgate continue to produce and support pfsense, and I feel that one of the best ways to help that happen is to buy their devices. Their hardware appears to be well spec'ed, engineered, packaged, and supported, so I dont feel like I am compromising anything by purchasing it over other options. For my time and money, I come out ahead with netgate hardware. YMMV.

    John


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