HP T610 as a home router?

  • This is my first ever post here and also I am not familiar with PFsense and any other software of setting up a PC as router but I do not mind learning how to use it. I am looking to getting a crap PC, used, for really cheap to use a router with PFsense loaded and while I was looking for a PC I found a seller selling two HP T610s for a very good price of $20NZD (not USD) and I thought that the T610 would make really good, maybe a bit overkill, home router and an AP too (with OpenWRT). Specs for the Thin Clients found below this paragraph.

    The specs of the Thin Clients that matter and are in this list (these are the specs listed from the seller in the exact wording):
    AMD G-T56N @ 1.6GHz
    4GB DDR3
    NETWORK: ETHERNET 10/100/1000

    Where I live, there are three people that very frequently use the internet and one of the devices to point out that frequently uses the internet is the 4k Samsung Smart TV, for watching Netflix and YouTube, in the lounge. And also one of the other people here sometimes but as a habit does Skype video calls at any time in the day. Also I do not plan to use any security or encryption software into the Thin Clients and I'd rather do that on my own devices than to setup on router. But I would really like to setup anti-bufferbloat on the Thin Clients and is that possible?

  • @TheRealestLad said in HP T610 as a home router?:

    HP T610s


    There is only one network adapter (NIC) in this "iron HP T610", and an optional Wifi, but I wouldn't recommend this (Wifi) for major interfaces.

    pfSense requires a minimum of two interfaces - WAN / LAN
    and if possible avoid Realtek PHYs, use Intel based devices (NIC) with 2 or 4 ports

    USB-based NICs can also cause a lot of headaches, if you thought about it

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    @DaddyGo said in HP T610 as a home router?:

    pfSense requires a minimum of two interfaces - WAN / LAN

    Which could be via vlans - you can if traffic requirements are less than what your physical interface can do via hairpin traffic flow, and you have the switch infrastructure to support vlans.. Just create either you wan or lan as a vlan on the physical interface.

    Also a T610 surely has slot where they could add nic, which can be head for really cheap.

  • @johnpoz said in HP T610 as a home router?:

    Which could be via vlans

    The VLAN may be a solution, but honestly would you do that? (on NGFW)

    @johnpoz Also a T610 surely has slot where they could add nic, which can be head for really cheap.

    I don’t really see expansion slot here it has already become a $ 20 toy box...😉


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    @TheRealestLad said in HP T610 as a home router?:


    Oh maybe Im looking at the wrong thing ;)

    hahaha - yeah that makes more sense for the price he paid ;)

    Well if its a gig interface, and he only has 100mbps internet then sure vlans would be quite up to the task.. Now if he had gig/gig and wanted to get full wire speed then no not really ;)

  • @johnpoz said in HP T610 as a home router?:

    Oh maybe Im looking at the wrong thing ;)

    Uhh, yeah Dell is a more serious "iron" indeed, we used in the past, but already EOL
    Now we have a couple of pfSense instances on R210II.... cheap and perfect and more powerfull (maybe a lot)

    It seems to me the OP is very beginner, I am afraid the VLAN at first exceeds his knowledge...
    but it really is a solution and let’s not forget about it, if we want to be accurate

  • @DaddyGo

    I will be looking at some other used PCs then. Also for a nic what do you recommend? I know a nic cannot be added on the Thin Client but I will look at something else. |-left aligned paragraph

  • @DaddyGo

    Also for setting up a PC as router does using SSD as the storage benefit anything or is it just a waste of money over a HDD as storage for the router? Is it also a good idea to use a bootable USB flash drive?

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    A ssd doesn't really make all that much sense for a firewall - other than you could get say a small ssd for very cheap.. small 2.5 quick and cheap - so yeah that would make more sense then throwing in some 1TB disk..

    What are your requirements - what sort of budget do you have... I really don't get why people don't look more to the appliances from netgate.. For many users with 100mbps type connections the sg1100 is perfect solution.. And if you have more needs than the 2100 or the 3100, etc..

    So you save a few bucks on diy.. Its also going to be some used thrown together thing, or something you put together from parts you had laying around? And sure those projects can be fun.. But its also slick as shit using some kick little box, that you know is going to work, and supports the company providing the software you want to use, etc.

  • @DaddyGo

    Found online a seller selling two HP Compaqs for 20NZD each and both are the same model. Both use a Duo Core E7400, 2x1 ddr3 1033mhz RAM. Both have every other part besides a storage device. I got three laptops that I no longer use but kept it for some reason. The three each have a HDD that still work and despite that the laptops are really slow which is why I do not use them anymore. I also found a random "Asus Desktop", assuming it is an ASUS prebuilt, and the owner has not replied back to me yet on what is the model of the PC (assuming it is prebuilt). The Asus has "Pentium Dual Core CPU E6500, 2GB 1x1 Ram, Motherboard Asus P5G41T-M LX" as from the description of the seller's listing. I assume the PC is a Compaq 6000 Pro SFF (there is the MT version and the SFF version but the Compaq from the listing is definitely a SFF version) and also the mother board has one PCI slot and other PCI-E slots and a Intel 82567LM "(integrated on board)" >https://support.hp.com/us-en/product/hp-compaq-6000-pro-small-form-factor-pc/4024462/document/c01869820< Also can you use a NIC as a switch? So like for example a PC has a NIC or has 4 ethernet ports are you able to use that as a switch or is a separate switch required? I am not sure if I have the right idea about switches but basically I think it allows for multiple devices to connect to the same router? If that idea is wrong or what can you pleas tell me? Thanks.

  • @DaddyGo I cannot edit my last reply until this reply but the HP Compaqs that are being sold and I mentioned in the last reply are 6000 Pro SFF.

  • @TheRealestLad said in HP T610 as a home router?:

    Found online a seller selling two HP Compaqs for 20NZD each and both are the same model.

    I'll be honest with you.....😉

    Well, my opinion on your goals, which you outlined...
    -for a very general purpose, you want the security which is provided by an NGFW..... in your home...

    Do I understand correctly?

    You don’t want to run resource-intensive things on your firewall, you just want routing + security.

    In this case, energy saving is the main goal and compact and/or small size.
    I wouldn’t recommend old very cheap PCs, I’ll tell you why:

    Modern environments (NGFW) or OP systems are sensitive to device drivers and BIOS type settings, I mean here, UEFI, MBR, GPT, AHCI stuff.

    True, pfSense handles low-performance (old) hardwares well and can be installed on almost anything, say almost...

    Most of these old PCs don't have any support due to their EOL status, the BIOS is outdated for example and comes with a headache when switching to a new pfSense version (+FreeBSD version).

    I should also mention that older thin clients also consume a minimum of 60-90W of power. (old laptops too)
    Old PCs can consume up to 200 - 300W.

    Logically, if you buy such "dying" hardware for $ 20 now, and your electricity bill will be consistently high, you will lose the advantage of cheap purchasing in a year.

    As your intention to use is simple, I suggest the following:

    • f.e. the smallest category Netgate device SG-1100 recommended by @johnpoz (worth the investment (179 USD), as it also comes with factory support, for beginners it is very good)

    -I like to keep under control of all hardware dependency and we use these, and we put one together, very good little pfSense box and there are a lot of topics about it in the forum, so it is well supported by the community.
    Link: https://www.pcengines.ch/apu4d4.htm

    if you put together all your needs in the webshop, you get about the same price or a little less than the SG-1100, but with much more knowledge and performance.

    I made you a sample order, .....


    Other questions:

    • SSD? - not necessary, but who wants a loudly rotating stuff in the router - in the living room - (rotating stuff is more mechanically sensitive), routing is not a brain surgery thing, it doesn't require a lot of resources in a SOHO environment, but I would also run pfBlockerNG-develt at home, for example the advantage of SSD is good for pfBlockerNG

    -The NIC? - on this theme, I am ruthless always, .... many people disagree with me (especially those who bought Realtek PHY stuff and are now suc....ing, hihihihhi 😉 ). The NIC is the soul of the NGFW... -these types can be used in SOHO, at a reasonable price / value ratio:
    Intel (always :-)) I340, I350, I210, I211

    I know there are others: Broadcom, Chelsio, etc,. but these are not for beginners and not in SOHO.
    Suggested target devices for pfSense, include either Marvell or Intel i211 PHY.

    SG-1100 3 pcs. 1Gig Marvell ports
    pcEngines APU4d4 4 pcs. Intel i211 ports

  • @TheRealestLad said in HP T610 as a home router?:

    HP Compaqs that are being sold and I mentioned in the last reply are 6000 Pro SFF

    HP Compaqs that are being sold...

    Sorry, maybe the time zone, I'm in Europe...
    In the meantime, you are planning more serious expansions instead of what is described in the introduction...

    then our discussion of hardware should start all over again... 😉

  • Netgate Administrator

    What bandwidth is your WAN connection? Is that likely to increase any time soon?

    Do you want to run a VPN from the firewall at all?


  • @DaddyGo

    When you mentioned about wanting to have the security provided by NGFW, you meant to have the security on the router? I am not very familiar with NGFW to be honest. If that is that as I interpreted what you said then I meant that I rather have the security features setup on the device being connected and not on the router/pc. So about the old PC thing. Pfsense can still work on an old HP 6000 Pro but with the added risks of EOL-related problems? Also thanks for that build too! Also speaking of laptops I do have a HP laptop manufactered from 2016 and it uses an AMD A6 CPU and it still functions but the laptop is falling apart and the battery clip holders broke.

  • @TheRealestLad said in HP T610 as a home router?:

    I am not very familiar with NGFW to be honest.

    For pfSense, this means the same, since both firewall and router

    NGFW = next generation fire wall


    Development is progressing, old stuff is not supported, but this HP might be good.
    I would forget the laptop for that purpose, yes.

    -what to pay attention to 240W consumption of HP

    -PS2 peripheral connection....
    this must be turned off in the BIOS for continuous boot, do not pay attention to the presence of the mouse and keyboard, because on reboot, if the peripheral is not connected, the BIOS will not proceed

    you see, this is also an old stuff possible source of error and/or mistake point

  • @TheRealestLad said in HP T610 as a home router?:

    AMD A6 CPU

    As for your bible when it comes to hardware selection...

    note: the content of this page important, if you are going to use the current version of pfSense.
    (since pfSense "2.4.5-p1" is based on this FreeBSD)
    Which hardware component is supported here will be trouble-free under pfSense.


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