Anyone have a better multi-nic card with mini-pci like this?

  • I am using a mini-itx case running dual-wans so there is only 1 pci slot for network cards. I wanted it to be a wireless router as well so i need a mini-pci slot.

    I found this which fits my needs:

    Is there anything better cause i know the ethernet is not the most ideal. Thanks!

  • Could use this NIC and an external wifi Access Point.

  • The quad NIC that are selling is Realtek based, which I wouldn't regard as in the same league as the Intel card cybrsrfr mentions. That Intel card is excellent, but somewhat pricey, particularly in Europe.

    Assuming that one of the network interfaces you already have is VLAN capable, I would suggest getting hold of a switch that's capable of 802.1q VLANs, then use tagging to run multiple networks to your pfSense box over one port. Unless you need multiple interfaces for the bandwidth, or are paranoid about misconfiguring your switch, the availability of inexpensive switches that can use 802.1q VLANs means that there's not the need for multi port NICs that there once was. Similarly, using tagging means you need fewer switch ports.

    There's something of an argument to connect WAN links to dedicated NICs, but I am quite comfortable putting multiple local networks over one NIC using tagging.

    802.1q is easy to set up. There are a few simple rules when configuring. You can only run tagged to a network interface that's capable of tagged operation and is configured to expect tagged packets. You must remember to set the Primary VID to the correct VID (VLAN ID) for ports that run untagged (on many switches this isn't done automatically when you place the port in a particular VLAN for untagged operation).

    If you're happy with a 24 port 10/100 plus 2 port 10/100/1000 switch, a suitable Layer 2 managed switch is inexpensive these days. 24 port Layer 2 managed Gigabit switches aren't as frightfully expensive as they once were, but you can't exactly call them cheap. I've got a ZyXEL GS-2024 24 port L2 managed Gigabit switch which is a fairly similar spec to a HP Procurve 2810-24, but at almost half the price.

    If you can get away with using the network cards you already have, you can then use the PCI slot for wireless - or use an external wireless access point, which is my preferred solution. I have a 3Com 8760, which is a good unit (dual radio 802.11a and 802.11b/g, 802.3af Power over Ethernet powered, capable of tagged VLAN operation with the RADIUS server determining which VLAN you're connected to in WPA2-Enterprise mode, virtual APs so that you can offer different strength encryption for different devices). However, this carries a reasonably hefty price tag.


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