Need to build very small pfsense system



  • Hello,

    I've been using pfSense for a number of years now in all sorts of ways. I travel all over the world teaching. I built myself a pfsense router to allow the students to access back to a lab over an OpenVPN connection.

    The router I built has two WiFi and two NIC connections, this allows it to connect to either NIC or WiFi for it's WAN connection and then broadcast on the other WiFi network as well as the LAN NIC. This all works very nicely using an ALIX board. However I'm finding the unit a little bigger than I'd like.

    I'm really looking to make it about the same size of an AppleTV, hopefully including power supply.  Booting from a microSD card, with internal WiFi antenna. It needs about 1-2Gb RAM and 1Ghz CPU if possible.

    2x WiFi transceivers
    2x 1Gb NICs
    2Gb RAM
    1Ghz CPU
    MicroSD

    I think lots of people would also benefit from this device when in Hotels.  I use mine to join hotel wifi and rebroadcast for my laptop, iPad, iPhone etc.  Thus only paying for one WiFi connection! It also means that I'm behind a firewall as I really don't trust hotel networks.

    So the big question is…. does anyone know how to go about building this? or arranging for a manufacturer to do it?



  • @guyp:

    2x WiFi transceivers

    1 is good enough.
    @guyp:

    2x 1Gb NICs

    yup.
    @guyp:

    2Gb RAM

    yup
    @guyp:

    1Ghz CPU

    dual core @ 1.7Ghz
    @guyp:

    MicroSD

    Meh.  eMMC
    @guyp:

    I think lots of people would also benefit from this device when in Hotels.

    I think there is near-zero volume in that application.
    @guyp:

    I use mine to join hotel wifi and rebroadcast for my laptop, iPad, iPhone etc.  Thus only paying for one WiFi connection! It also means that I'm behind a firewall as I really don't trust hotel networks.

    It's quite likely you can do this via your laptop.
    @guyp:

    So the big question is…. does anyone know how to go about building this? or arranging for a manufacturer to do it?

    yes.  6mo. want to talk NRE and BOM?



  • @guyp:

    2x WiFi transceivers

    @gonzopancho:

    1 is good enough.

    I have to disagree here…I need one WiFi transmitted to connect to infrastructure and the other for Access points.  If you try to put both infrastructure and access points on the same WiFi then the performance really sucks!



  • Intel NUC?



  • @robi:

    Intel NUC?

    Indeed I've thought about that.. and I'm quite temped.. I was thinking of USB WiFi and USB NIC for the additional, however many people on this forum have reported issues with using the USB interface for NICs which has put me off a little.  The size is right though!  I fact I'm using a NUC to run proxmox and virtualise some applications here already.



  • @guyp:

    @guyp:

    2x WiFi transceivers

    @gonzopancho:

    1 is good enough.

    I have to disagree here…I need one WiFi transmitted to connect to infrastructure and the other for Access points.  If you try to put both infrastructure and access points on the same WiFi then the performance really sucks!

    you're running co-located radios, and you think the performance doesn't suck?



  • @gonzopancho:

    @guyp:

    @guyp:

    2x WiFi transceivers

    @gonzopancho:

    1 is good enough.

    I have to disagree here…I need one WiFi transmitted to connect to infrastructure and the other for Access points.  If you try to put both infrastructure and access points on the same WiFi then the performance really sucks!

    you're running co-located radios, and you think the performance doesn't suck?

    maybe it was the card I was using but when I tried to have both infrastructure and Access points on the same card I could hardly get 1Mb through put… when I split it to separate cards I get near full speed... you are right of course two radios in close proximity is always going to be an issue.