Best Hardware for home use?



  • Just looking for some ideas for the best hardware for home use.  I have been doing a lot of research on this forum and elsewhere and it seems like getting a watchguard x unit or an alix or acpu1c board might be the way to go.

    I am interested in using squid and possibly snort (I'm just too curious) and I have been looking into hardware that wouldn't break the bank and would be fairly easy to setup.  It seems that one could acquire  those watchguard boxes fairly reasonably on ebay but the configuration pitfalls and the struggling to get those things to function properly and the low ram limit is kind of setting me off from them.  Does anyone know if they can take more than 512 megs?


  • Banned

    For snort, definitely forget about the legacy Alix boards.



  • What speed is your connection? What is your budget for pfsense?

    More importantly aside from snort, what do you want to run?



  • 12" laptops work great…


  • Netgate Administrator

    @dolomite792:

    It seems that one could acquire  those watchguard boxes fairly reasonably on ebay but the configuration pitfalls and the struggling to get those things to function properly and the low ram limit is kind of setting me off from them.  Does anyone know if they can take more than 512 megs?

    If you're talking about the older X-Core model (X500, X700, X1000) then no, 512MB is the limit and it's fussy about what RAM you put in there. Perhaps more importantly they use Realtek NICs which do misbehave in certain setups.
    The X-Core-e models are much better specced and can often be had for not much more though they do require some further tweaking to get running.

    However, as others have said, what's your WAN bandwidth?

    Steve



  • This is working very well for me (with 4gb ram)  http://www.mitxpc.com/proddetail.asp?prod=EKIAD2500DL

    It's silent and has Intel nics.



  • HP ELITEBOOK 2530P …. Very compact and stylish ..... Consumes about 17 watts

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/Laptops-Netbooks-/175672/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=HP+EliteBook+2530p



  • I'm currently in the process of spinning up one of these to replace my DN2800MT.  I upgraded my FiOS and with pushing all traffic through an OpenVPN tunnel and Snort the Atom is really struggling (100% on both cores @ ~45Mbit/s of OpenVPN & Snort, running at around 63C at that point).

    http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Atom/X10/A1SRi-2758F.cfm

    Fair warning, 2.1.1-PRERELEASE is required if you want any working NICs and there will only be (2) working USB ports because USB 3.0 doesn't work yet…

    My suggestion would be one of the APU boards if you're looking for something small and router-like.



  • @Jason:

    http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Atom/X10/A1SRi-2758F.cfm

    Fair warning, 2.1.1-PRERELEASE is required if you want any working NICs and there will only be (2) working USB ports because USB 3.0 doesn't work yet…

    I just built my new system with that board.  Really nice!!  Excellent firewall platform.

    IPMI make it soooo easy to install the OS.




  • @priller:

    @Jason:

    http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Atom/X10/A1SRi-2758F.cfm

    Fair warning, 2.1.1-PRERELEASE is required if you want any working NICs and there will only be (2) working USB ports because USB 3.0 doesn't work yet…

    I just built my new system with that board.  Really nice!!  Excellent firewall platform.

    IPMI make it soooo easy to install the OS.

    I had to hook up a USB optical drive to install. Mounting the ISO through the IPMI kept failing when trying to mount during the boot process.

    How hot is yours running?  Are there any fans in your case?



  • My home internet speed since its a WISP is rather slow at times (varies from 4-12mbits) which is why I am interested in the squid setup.  My budget is around $200 and I want to keep the power consumption low.  Which is why the apuc1 board is really appealing to me.  I'm not worried about the fastest gigabit ethernet speeds, more for security, experimentation, and observation as well as something that's better than a regular soho router with terrible security.  I have played with DDWRT and openwrt, mikrotik.  I've used pfsense in the past but its come to my attention again at how powerful and useful it is and so I am really interested in investing in a good router.  I love the idea of building something myself and being able to interchange parts and pieces to suit whatever I need in my home setup.



  • @dolomite792:

    My home internet speed since its a WISP is rather slow at times (varies from 4-12mbits) which is why I am interested in the squid setup.  My budget is around $200 and I want to keep the power consumption low.

    Do you have any parts you can put in the box (or even a case/power supply) that you have lying around?

    It's very cheap to put together a basic haswell celeron/pentium box with 2-4 gig of ram, dual intel pt/1000 nic with a cheap ssd (you don't need a screaming fast one for a home connection).



  • @Jason:

    I had to hook up a USB optical drive to install. Mounting the ISO through the IPMI kept failing when trying to mount during the boot process.

    How hot is yours running?  Are there any fans in your case?

    If you were failing to a mountroot>  prompt,  then you need to set "set kern.cam.boot_delay=10000" as noted here: 
    https://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Boot_Troubleshooting#Booting_from_USB

    It's just a timing issue mounting the remote ISO via IPMI.

    Once I did that, it mounted the ISO file on my desktop just fine.

    My board is in a M350 case with a single 40mm fan in the front panel position.  Usually runs in the 41 - 43C range.



  • @priller:

    @Jason:

    I had to hook up a USB optical drive to install. Mounting the ISO through the IPMI kept failing when trying to mount during the boot process.

    How hot is yours running?  Are there any fans in your case?

    If you were failing to a mountroot>  prompt,  then you need to set "set kern.cam.boot_delay=10000" as noted here: 
    https://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Boot_Troubleshooting#Booting_from_USB

    It just a timing issue mounting the remote ISO via IPMI.

    Once I did that, it mounted the ISO file on my desktop just fine.

    My board is in a M350 case with a single 40mm fan in the front panel position.  Usually runs in the 41 - 43C range.

    Good info, I'll keep that setting in mind.

    I'm using a M350 as well but no fan.  Temps are at 46C while idle.  Based on your numbers I don't know that the front fan actually does much.  That's kind of what I expected since it doesn't blow at the CPU.  I briefly set a 40mm fan on top of the heat sink and the temp dropped to 26C within a minute or two so I might try and figure out how to attach it there.



  • Jason ….

    I ordered another top plate (fan mounting bracket)  for the M350 and a second fan.  Assuming that a fan in the front position will fit over the CPU,  and I move the existing one to the back position .... Should the front one over the CPU blow down and the rear one up (exhaust)?  Or both as exhaust?

    Thoughts?



  • @Jason:

    I'm using a M350 as well but no fan.  Temps are at 46C while idle.  Based on your numbers I don't know that the front fan actually does much.  That's kind of what I expected since it doesn't blow at the CPU.  I briefly set a 40mm fan on top of the heat sink and the temp dropped to 26C within a minute or two so I might try and figure out how to attach it there.

    An update on this.  As expected, when I added a 40mm fan to the front of the case as an intake, it dropped idle from 46C to ~41C.  Once I made a little duct with cardboard to angle the air towards the heatsink the idle temp dropped to 33C.

    EDIT 1: I made a few adjustments to the duct and now I'm down to 30C.  That's only 4C off from the fan directly on the heatsink, and it's much quieter, so I'm going with this.

    EDIT 2: Pictures of my quick fan duct.  I was originally going to whip something up on a 3D printer but then I figured, "manila folder"! http://imgur.com/a/RTRD9

    @priller:

    Jason ….

    I ordered another top plate (fan mounting bracket)  for the M350 and a second fan.  Assuming that a fan in the front position will fit over the CPU,  and I move the existing one to the back position .... Should the front one over the CPU blow down and the rear one up (exhaust)?  Or both as exhaust?

    Thoughts?

    If you're going to use two fans I'd suggest the front spot as an inlet and the rear-left (furthest from the CPU) as an exhaust.  I don't think this case and board really needs two fans though.  The one I've got installed and rigged as above seems to have done the trick, and to be honest, the temp without a fan is still way lower than my DN2800MT (idle @ 57-58C).



  • What case options are there for this board.

    Thanks



  • My first pick for Mini-ITX boards is the M350.

    http://www.mini-box.com/M350-universal-mini-itx-enclosure



  • Ya, the M350 is what I went with.

    The SuperMicro case looks pretty decent, too:  http://www.supermicro.com/products/chassis/Mini-ITX/101/SC101i.cfm



  • @priller:

    Ya, the M350 is what I went with.

    The SuperMicro case looks pretty decent, too:  http://www.supermicro.com/products/chassis/Mini-ITX/101/SC101i.cfm

    The reason I didn't go with that one is that the memory blocks the airflow from the 60mm fan when used with the Rangeley board (and even if it didn't, it would blow the wrong direction across the heat sink).  I wasn't sure if I was going to use a fan, but if I needed one, I wanted to make sure it would actually work.

    EDIT: Pics added in my previous post.




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