Some Questions before I begin

  • Hello everyone. 1st time poster here (hope this is the correct section) Attempting to plan a setup of PFsense and or ClearOS (I believe PFsense is overall better and would like to use this)

    I recently got another ISP line coming into my home. and I started looking it to load balance / direct which devices I want to use what ISP. At the same time I wanted to have 1 local in home network as I have a massive file NAS and ESXi Server where everything is stored…  I have a few questions and will this work like this questions.

    Here is a sample of my thoughts:
    Attached Image

    For starters:

    1. I was thinking of getting a 1U server micro i3 / 4GB ram and either a 4 port PCI Express card or 4 individual cards (any draw back to individual cards?) I assume I need 1 port for each ISP I hook up + 1 port to go to the WAN port on my main switch.
      -- Is this correct?
      -- Is that over Kill?
      -- Bandwidth issue toward bottom I need 1G local transfers how are these treated with a switch in the example maybe I don't need that powerful of a box for pfsense.

    1a) Instead of building a 1U server and install PFsense would a Firebox with PFsense mod be better or worse? such as ->

    Is this a bad buy? Old? Slow?
    One of the many other 200-400 dollar premade hardware boxes that I see around the sites?

    Any pro/con of building my own vs a firebox or can you recommend something for 2-3 ISPs?

    1b) My DSL modem is in bridge mode. I currently use my router to log me into the DSL… Can pfsense do this for me? I assume tell it what PORT the DSL is hooked up to and then set the pppoe etc.

    1. I want to be able to assign certain devices (xbox or a roku etc.) to only use 1 of the connections due to data cap on the 1 line and ping times. I assume I can do this and then have the rest of the devices load balance or assign to a default.

    2. I assume that the PFsense server or box would also be my DHCP / Main router (like if i was just doing modem -> WRT54G type setup the PFsense would be the WRT54G)
      3a) Referencing my image... Would I then use 1 port from the PFsense server and run it to the WAN port of the Linksys switch or would I run it to a standard lan port?

    3. I am VERY concerned about local file transfers / streams. Everything in the house will be hooked up through the Main Switch (linksys) or perhaps access points that are attached to the main switch. Will file shares / streams Stay whiten that switch or will it have to run back through the PFSense server?

    I ask this because I see some of these pfsense servers are only 100mbs. I run HD TV over media center / a massive Plex server and 100mbs wont cut it…
    Basically... If I am transferring files from 2 computers or devices that are hooked to that Linksys switch or are further down stream/switches will it have to go all the way back tough the single cable 100mbs to the PFsense box or will the switch recognize that the devices are hooked up to it and keep the connection local to itself and not route traffic back out to the PFsense server.

    I'm trying to essentially use the PFsense box as my modem.... however it will also handle the DHCP / load balancing / port forwarding.. Local transfers will not reach the PFsense box.

    1. If the above is correct.. I assume the switch should have DHCP turned off? Still not sure if I use the LAN or WAN port on the switch.

    2. One last question... Never seen this before but the Linksys that  I am looking at

    Has 1G ports however I see Forwarding Rate: 38.69 Mpps tried to Google this maybe I didn't fully understand it (was late) but I do know 39 Mbs is no where close to 1000… Is this a mistake, something unrelated to file transfer speed,  or should I not worry? As long as I have the 1G link and can transfer files at the 100MB/s I will be happy.

    Any other suggestions or input MUCH appreciated before I go spending on hardware.


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