PfSense right for me? (re: bandwidth management, etc)

  • I'm currently using a Linksys WRT54G router with Tomato firmware (similar to DD-WRT) but I'm upgrading my internet to business class (22/5, with five static ip addresses) so I'd like something a little more powerful.

    This will be used strictly in a home environment but I'm an enthusiast who likes to fool around, etc.

    The most important thing to me is bandwidth/traffic management.  I'd like to be able to see which clients (ip addresses) are using the most amount of bandwidth and even drill-down into what connections are open and how much bandwidth is connection is using.

    I'd also like to be able to use QoS but after doing a lot of research it seems like this is basically impossible for incoming (eg. downloading) bandwidth… (that makes sense but I guess certain QoS systems can use tricks like dropping packets and "hope" to throttle connections, etc)

    Is pfSense a good choice for me?

    I'm also looking at the ALIX boards but they only have 256 MB of RAM and I've read that ntop requires around 512 MB and they are also only 500 MHz which seems to be the tipping point for a 22 MB connection espicially if it's doing QoS and other stuff.

    Thanks for any advice!

  • I always recommend newcomers to pfSense to use any spare hardware they may already have before buying.
    Maybe you can fit enough nic's in one pc so you have one for each client (or use vlan or exsi if your running servers). RRD Graphs would the provide a nice overview
    To get the most out of traffic management you should use pfSense 2.0 beta

  • Thanks for the advice and the reply!

    How much RAM/CPU do RRD graphs (and/or ntop) require?

    If I did want to go the ALIX route it seems like they aren't powerful enough…

    I might fool around with ESXi but I found a good deal on an alix2c10 that I might also get depending on the RRD/ntop support.