Help for a new user and feature questions.

  • I am looking to take a few of my old computers and build them into my own router/firewall/nas/torrent/home automation server/webserver/DVR/sling/media server/cloud drives machine(yeah tall order i know)

    i am not necessarily looking for this all in one machine but i would like to combine a few of these features into a few logical groups. for my firewall/router i would like to include the following features if possible
    1: web server
    2: torrent appliance
    3: nas
    4: cloud

    My current network equipment
    WNDR37AV (no different then the WNDR3700 just branded for home AV)
    WD Sharespace NAS

    i also own a 3com 3CR858-91 (now replaced by the Netgear router)

    here are my scenarios of things i want to "fix" and get features working that i do not have now, or problems that i am trying to adress
    1: first off both my wife and i travel a lot she has a PC with work and a mac for personal as well as i travel with my Mac. Currently we have a WD sharespace (that is horrifically slow and and is a terrible media server). it is set up with network shares in which we store our large files on. currently the only way to access them from outside the home is with Mionet software (its slow and it sucks  and is not mac friendly) i am wanting to be able to access those drives as cloud drives just like my idisks or webdav.

    2: itunes… Currently my itunes library is stored on my nas, this is for both performance and accessibility issues as well as computer storage limitation. Ok i see you rolling your eyes already but i work in live event production and carrying around all my media is tiresome. All my music is stored in full quality uncompressed and i take up a gig for every 2 Cds i own, not to mention all my client videos that i store and access as well, so you can see its more complicated then carrying around a small portable drive, i would need a traveling server farm and with air travel and bag restrictions being what they are these days, it is just best if and leave all that data at home. i want to have my itunes files at home on my nas and and then as long as i have internet anywhere in the world be able to play that library from my computer. I really do not want to deal with 3rd party itunes programs either.

    3: We like to play games and the reason for the new Netgear router was to get QOS for our network traffic. the issue was when i was downloading a torrent or a large file for work, the latency for my wife playing Warcraft or me playing call of duty or watching netflix would make game play or movie watching unacceptable. honestly the new netgear router really has not solved that issue. i am looking to solve my bottle neck issues and to maintain performance on gaming and video streaming but let downloads have available bandwidth when nothing else is going on

    4: Torrents on top of the shared traffic issue with downloading, i was hoping to centralize torrents in one place on the network and access them remotely. both my wife and I use them for sharing with people we work with so instead of each computer running vuze, have vuze running on the network (on its own machine could be shared with other network services like router nas home automation ect) and then we can use 'vuze remote' to access it from anywhere in the world.

    5: We want to be able to print to our printers at home when we are on the road.

    6: VPN maybe? i am not sure if that i what is needed for the issues above and if so that is great. really i want all our machines to function on the road just like they are at home on the network (access to network resources).

    7: Connect with My Mom's network... Like any good son, i am constantly dealing and helping my mom with her computer. She owns a Mac as well and uses an Airport Extreme with a hard drive (time capsule) as her router. The router has a neat feature which allows us to put our mobile Me account info into the router and then it supports back to my mac through mobile me. currently i can see her computer and her nas and log in when i need to screen share. but i cannot see her printers and other network devices. ideally i would like to connect the 2 networks together fully.

    8: DVR/Slingbox/Media server and i want to access it when i am on the road (i suspect this can be done in 1 box)

    9: web server i am not looking to host or support a lot of stuff, maybe a website and a free teamspeak/vent server. only consideration for a website would be streaming video content and maybe a picture gallery.

    10: i want to host an address book/ical server for mac (LDAP). i would like to share a family address book and one for my work friends

    11: i want to set up a home automation computer i does not have to be stand alone machine, just accessable outside my home network. i am likely to add security to it at some point.

    12: even with my new router purchase my cable internet is dog slow i am paying for 15mg and only getting @ 5mg they blame my router (it was why i ditched the 3com office connect router mainly). i am wanting the fastest through put possible for when we are gaming or watching movies.

    and finally here are my other considerations i had questions about
    1: is bonjour access possible (we are primarily a Mac environment)
    2: is WDS mode available since we have multiple access points around the house
    3: is it compatible with BTMM (back to my Mac from Mobile Me).
    4: is it QOS capable
    5: what is the speed compared to my WNDR3700 (AV) (keep in mind wireless performance is not an issue as all games and media is hardwire gigabit)
    6: i would like to run as much of it off compact flash and am looking to try and get as energy efficient as possible (more things i can combine on 1 machine the better) although i will be repurposing some drives and power supplies, i am likly to buy some greener ones where it makes sense.

    thank you in advance for taking the time to help me and answer my questions

  • Firewalls/routers should not also be web servers, NAS servers or anything other than security devices.  As has been discussed exhaustively in this forum, running insecure, non security related services on a firewall is an invitation to have your system hacked.

  • The things pfSense will help you with:

    1. VPN (which would give you access to your LAN things (iTunes, torrent, printer…))
    2. QoS
    3. "Connect with My Mom's network" could be site-2-site VPN?

    All the other things should be on a different machine.

  • Netgate Administrator

    If you must run other services on your box (not a good idea as detailed above!  ::)) then you should run virtual machines with pfsense as one of them. Then at least you'll have a standard pfSense install that can be updated in the usual way and hasn't been modified.


  • WDS is not currently available in any form.  I've done some experiments with it because I wanted to get it into 2.0, but I haven't really been able to get anything working.