Cheap Hardware for PfSense (Home)

  • Hi all,

    i am considering to replace my current router and i would love to get something pfsense based.
    I am aware of several options i have for buliding a pfsense firewall based on afforable consumer hardware (like Baytrail-D Atom J1800/J1900, Celeron 1037U or even one of the new Alix APUs but imho thats still a little bit to expensive for a home router which in my case doesn`t need to do more then route a 16mbit connection, nothing fancy.

    The best bargain i could possibly find were some thin clients which you can buy @ ebay for very little money.
    I would like to hear your opinion on using a Fujitsu Futro S550 and make it a a pfsense appliance
    The specs are:

    AMD Sempron 2100+ 1GHz (Single core only :( )
    512-1GB Compact Flash

    I am still not sure about it because with the a pci raiser card and an additional nic for at least two network interfaces i probably need to pay 50€ which is nice but on the other hand its old hardware and other options like the already mentioned Celeron 1037U costs already start at about 70€.

    I am always interested to get the most out of my investment and surely the HP Microserver N54L would be an option too. In case of the HP Microserver i even could virtualize the pfsense part and could use a few ressources the server has left for other purposes (like a VM for testing web services etc.)

    What kind of harwdare would you prefer for a home firewall with no extraordinary requirements?

  • PFsense will run on just about any hardware that is still alive and functioning today.

    For example, I have several installations in various ranges of performance, two are running supermicro 1U units with 2xL5420 CPU and 16 GB ram (production units in colocation DC each serving 1/2 rack nodes with countless VM's / CT's) huge overkill but dirt cheap, and have yet to bottom out on GB lines with traffic in the range of 15+TB data/month, and bursts of throughput approaching 750MBps 500MBps +/- sustained.

    To an ASRock- phenom X4 home office use in front of several nodes containing various file servers, git repos and test CT's , all the way down to an age old AMD 500MHz 500MB ram serving 27 cam CCTV, several wireless repeaters and the local wired boxes. Which is a bit underpowered itself, yet flawless existence, for the most part. The latter gets a bit bound up at times, for obvious reasons.

    Get creative, grab anything you have laying around, no HDD just use a thumb drive and a couple GB nics.

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