Hardware for SOHO

  • Im currently using an Alix with pfSense at home, it works for the most part, but there are a few issues with it.  I'm looking for something that has 4 or 5 ports (I find 3 too limiting), CF or HDD (HDD preferred) and at least 512MB RAM to upgrade my home setup.  I'm currently running Snort and this seems to be causing some issues, so I want a minor upgrade on the hardware.  I like the compactness of an appliance so I won't change to an old PC or anything like that.

    At work I use Lanner FW-7535's and they are great, but too expensive for me to purchase one myself (about $600).  I looked at a few lower end Lanner models (FW-7540, FW-7543), which would be perfect, but still more than I want to spend (around $300).

    Are there any other hardware vendors that offer comparable devices that are x86 based but are under the $200 range?

  • The APU board would be the next step in that price range.  Depending on when you bought the Alix the APU may fit in the same case.


  • Nice it would fit in my current enclosure.  Im still stuck with the CF though and only 3 ports though.

    Soekris looks like they have some options (has extra ports and the option for a HDD), but I think its pricey for what it is (only 10/100 NIC, RAM and CPU is still limited)


  • MIGHT fit.  There were some cases that cannot support the APU board because it needs direct contact with the case for cooling.

    That Soekris board is identical to the Alix you have.  Don't buy it.

    You should consider using vLANs & a switch if you need more interfaces.

  • Thanks for the tip on the Soekrisk

    I'm currently using a VLAN and a switch at the moment, I was hoping to reduce hardware at the same time with a low cost appliance that can do it all :)

    Any other vendors out there that might be a fit under the $200 price range?

  • No, not really.  Not unless you consider a used desktop or something similar.  You'd take a beating on power costs though.

  • @rcampbell:

    Im still stuck with the CF though and only 3 ports though.

    You can install on SD, mSATA SSD and there is also a SATA connector on the board. I run mine with mSATA SSD. Didn't try the SATA connector because I got one of the beta boards with the old CPU/2GB RAM and there is no power connector for the SATA drive.

    Maybe the production boards have a power connector for 2,5" HDD.

  • I found a device that looks interesting, 4 gigabit ports, CF or HDD, up to 4GB RAM.  I called them and the price is about $250.

    Accrsser AND-D525N2

    It looks nice, but I'll see what else I can find before I make a decision.  Hopefully I can find something like this under $200.

    Edit: correction from 5 ports to 4 ports

  • One of the older generation of Atoms just isn't a worthwhile upgrade.  They're fine for FW+NAT up to a couple hundred Mbit/s but as soon as you toss in Snort, Squid, VPN, L7 Traffic Shaping, or anything else reasonably intensive they grind to a halt.

  • Here is another device that looks like it would be a good fit other than the price tag:

    Intel Atom, GB ports, CF/HDD, up to 2GB RAM.


    I called them and the price was about $550 so it rules it out for me.

  • They have a similar device with a VIA CPU (dual core 1.2GHZ) and 1GB of RAM (up to 2), CF/HDD, 4xGB Ports

    Price around $450

  • Does anyone know of other OEM suppliers that make firewall appliances I can check out?

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