Hardware Advice for a churche pfsense

  • Hi i need advice for pfsense Hardware for a churche/community center Network configuration.

    What is has to handle:

    • 5 Wifi Access Point

    • 16 MBit/s DSL Speed (future 50MBit/s)

    • Captiva Portal

    • Audio Streaming for Translation of a TV Channel (will handel a separate Server) but Clients will logon via Wifi

    • 4 Vlan (Guest Wifi / Staff Wifi / Maintenance Wifi / LAN Hardware (like TV, raspberry etc.)

    • normal max. 10 Clients same time ( at bigger events up to 40 clients via Captiva Portal)

    • 1 VPN Client for administration

    • Cheap because it all financed by donations (max. 50-100€ used staff  would be Ok)

    • Low power consumption

    I don´t know if for example a  Futro S400 with 1024MB Ram and a second Gagbit Lan would be enough (about 50€) ?
    Other Option a Intel Essential Series D945GSEJT with 2GB Ram and 4GB CF-Card (about 60€ used) .
    Or Asus C8HM70 with 2 GB RAM and a Intel Nic (about 65€ used)
    Or last Option Cheap 1150 Board with Intel Celeron an 2 GB Ram (110€)

    I own already a PSU Harddisk and Case.

    I'd be very grateful for any advice

  • Are you expecting pfSense to manage your access points?  That is not something that is possible.

    Otherwise, all that stuff is possible with pfSense and some modest hardware.  I'm not sure what the first system you mentioned actually is, looks like a thin client, but the rest should be fine.  I'd suggest one of the last two as they'd have more headroom than the Atom.

  • First i want to thank you for the fast respond.

    Are you expecting pfSense to manage your access points?

    I planning with 5x TP-Link TL-WA801N with Openwrt, so i only need pfsense for the Captiva Portal and Vlan.

    I'm not sure what the first system you mentioned actually is, looks like a thin client

    Yes u are right the Futro S400 is a thin Client with AMD Geode 1GHz CPU and one Realtek RTL8169 Gigabit Lan. It has also one PCI Slot where i would ad a second Gigabit Nic

    Ok so i will prefer the  Asus C8HM70 the last option (Haswell Hardware) is little bit to expansive. But how many NIC i need? One extra is enough or would it be better to use for example a Intel Pro 1000 PT Dual Port PCIe x4 (23€) ?

  • Netgate Administrator

    A 1GHz Geode will probably be able to push 16Mbps of VPN traffic but it will be loading it quite heavily. If you then need to do other stuff on top of that you may run out of cpu cycles. If you get a 50Mbps WAN I doubt you'll be able to fill that with VPN traffic with that CPU.
    A new Haswell box is the other end of the scale. It will be sitting idle most of the time. Choose something in between those two like, say, a core2duo box.
    If you can get Intel NICs then do so. Since you are using VLANs you can have as many interfaces as you need with just one NIC but often it's nice to have more than one internal NIC. If only so you can get back into the box if you mis-configure the VLANs.  ;)


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