Educate Me Please: Why Pfsense vs. basic $40 router?

  • I am interested in creating a Pfsense router from an older machine I have, a P2 Celeron 333 Mhz, 192 mb ram.  This seems to meet the requirements for a home DSL connection.

    Why would I do this project vs. using the basic plastic box router from the store? 
    Is it more secure, how?
    Is wireless more secure, how?
    Will it allow rdp/nat without an external static ip?

    On a side note, I seem to be getting frozen connections every few hours on the $30 Belkin router I have.  Has anyone else had this issue?  Yes, this is one of the reasons I am reading about Pfsense before buying a similar product.

  • In a SOHO setup there are many reasons to prefer pfSense over a cheap router:

    • More secure, because it's much better maintained. Firmware support on home grade routers is usually pretty horrible.

    • It's usually more powerful hardware-wise, or at least you can scale the hardware up to your needs.

    • You can better control the amount of concurrent connections supported by the device.

    • Yes, you can easily RDP in if you want, even with a dynamic IP through the use of dynamic DNS services - many routers support this though.

    • It is much more powerful software-wise, so it will allow much more advanced setups than home grade routers.

    • It is extensible through packages, so it facilitates a high level of customization.

    And the list goes on… In the end it's all about what you want of course.

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    I'm not sure what you mean "rdp/nat without an external static IP" but as for the others, it is more secure, if only because you have a lot more control over what is allowed and not allowed on every interface. You can block or pass traffic however you like.

    However, that hardware might work but it would be on the low end of capabilities in terms of throughput. Not to mention it may draw quite a lot of power, the cost of running that PC for a whole year might be significant.

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