Pfsense on old laptop
Need advise on what hardware to use for pfsense. I actually have 2 old laptops. A macbook late 2008 aluminum unibody (core 2 duo, 4gb ram, 80gb hdd) and a dell n4050 (core i3 2nd gen, 4gb ram, 80gb hdd). Prefer not to spend more than 30 usd for this project which is why I'm thinking of just using which ever is better off the two.
I prefer to use the mac for pfsense but i will need to use an Ethernet usb adapter order to add one more ethernet port. Which, based on my research, is not recommended.
For the dell, I did some research and found out that it has a pci express slot that is currently used by the wireless card. I don't need this so I can take it off and was hoping that I can get a pcie riser and a cheap pcie dual/quad nic adapter for this instead. I'll probably put the whole motherboard on another case though.
Appreciate any advise.
Yeah, don't use USB NICs.
No idea about your laptops and which one would be better to run pfSense...but depending on your bandwidth needs you could run it as a router-on-a-stick to get around your NIC problem: https://docs.netgate.com/platforms/minnowboard/pfsense.html
Yeah, spend the $30 on a switch and use VLANs. It will be much more reliable.
It has to be something managed, capable of VLANs.
What sort of routers?
If they are soho all in one style devices it's unlikely you can run pfSense on them directly but you may be able to turn them into a managed switch using OpenWRT/DD-WRT.