Advise on an inexpensive switch for small home network
I've got pfSense installed on a Dell PC with a 2.6GHz P4, 1.2GB RAM, and a 13.6GB HD that I'm wanting to turn into a dedicated firewall, more to experiment with and gain experience from than anything, not to mention utilizing that monster HD for something constructive.
I would appreciate it if I could get some advise on what to look for in a switch with a max of 3 ports without having to invest a lot of money in it, and will I just be needing regular Ethernet cables to connect? I've got 2 Ethernet cards and 1 wifi card in it already and am comfortable working with firewall rules but beyond setting up a basic wifi router have never had any experience with setting up a home network. I'm wanting to keep the router I've got now, run the firewall through it and the computers behind that.
Thanks in advance for any advise you can provide, including a good tutorial on home networking. :)
I've never seen a switch with less than 5 ports so I think you're probably asking for minimum 3 ports.
It deppends what you want to do with it. Just to connect more devices to your LAN? Adding VLANs?
Either way I recommend a Netgear switch, GS105 or GS105E for VLANs.
For home use just about any 5 port gigabit switch is good enough. Maybe:
Though I have no experience with that personally.
What router do you have?
Thanks a lot, that looks just like what I need. I've got 3 other computers to network for my own use and don't need anything fancy.
My router is a 2WIRE Home Portal 1000SW and can only use WEP encryption. I live in a building with about 70 other apartments in it so I'd like to be able to shut the radio link off completely and go with Ethernet just to be safe. I''ve got the pfSense box connected to it now, it's assigned it an addy on the subnet and I'm able to connect to it through the web interface from another machine on the LAN, so I'm hoping things will go relatively smoothly. It's working correctly up to this point and blocking scans from the other machine like it should.
I'm familiar with FreeBSD and the OpenBSD pf firewall so I'm hoping once I get over the initial hump of seeing what I've got to work with and start setting things up they will all fall into place. I was going to buy a bigger HD to put in it but 3 machines is about all I can run at once anyway, and I got the idea of turning it into hardware firewall. Setting up pfSense was easy and I wanted to stay with something I was comfortable with in the FreeBSD OS and pf firewall
I realize I sounded like a babe in the woods but home networking is just something I've never had much experience with and I really do appreciate your advise. :)
I got a Netgear GS105E like you recommended and am sure glad I did. :) I looked at some cheaper switches before I found a store that carried it (Staples), but it's hard to put a price on a headache and didn't want to end up with some rinkydink operation that would be nothing but.
I already had the pfSense box set up and it was as simple as hooking up the cables, powering up the switch, and booting up the computers. Subnet addresses were assigned automagically by the pfSense box and by the time I had the last one booted up the first one was already online. It couldn't have been easier.
Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction, I really appreciate it.