Hardware for home usage



  • Hello all,

    I am trying to configure a home pfsense hardware.
    My intention is to use pfsense for both firewall and wireless access solution.

    I am thinking on using d410pt as board.
    I will be adding basic hdd like 80 gb and 2 gb ram.
    I will be directly connecting my adsl modem to pfsense and i will disable adsl modem's wireless radio.

    I want to add a pci card to d410pt for wireless solution.
    But i couldn't find a product to solve this issue. There are several mini pci cards but d410pt not compatible with mini pci.

    I am thinking on using freeradius for wireless access control.

    Can anyone give some advice to me on this topic ?

    Thanks



  • I would not use a pfSense appliance for providing Wi-Fi access, is well discussed in the forum that pfSense support for wi-fi is still weak. Finding a PCI wireless adapter should be easy (i.e. TP-LINK TL-WN951N), cannot say more about compatibility with a really old board.
    I am building my unit with those drivers:

    1 - iTX Board with minimum 3 LAN port (at least 2 1GB Intel) - The unit will take care of Routing/NAT/Firewall -
    2 - Separate Wi-Fi AP Unit (they are pretty cheap) with some GiGe ports (to be used also as a switch)
    3 - Separate ADSL Router (Bridge Mode).
    4 - HP Pro-Curve Switch

    Basically I need to manage 2 LANS, 1 clear internet and the other one VPN (NAS/Media Player/ TV / Safe Browsing)

    Depending on your budget the solutions are severals.

    Going into my details I bought a Supermicro Board (A1SRi-2558) it will be fitted into a mini-case (M350), with 8GB RAM (ECC) with a SSD Intel S3500. Wireless will be done by Netgear R7000 (Stock Firmware or DD-WRT)

    Up to 20 devices connected (100Mbit ADSL connection). I know it is a powerful solution and a bit expensive (near 600€ to build the pfSense unit) but I want something ready for next bandwidth upgrades. You can build something cheaper or directly buy a unit based on APU platform (300$).



  • @Wolf666:

    I will not use a pfSense appliance for providing Wi-Fi access, is well discussed in the forum that pfSense support for wi-fi is still weak. Finding a PCI wireless adapter should be easy (i.e. TP-LINK TL-WN951N), cannot say more about compatibility with a really old board.
    I am building my unit with those drivers:

    1 - iTX Board with minimum 3 LAN port (at least 2 1GB Intel) - The unit will take care of Routing/NAT/Firewall -
    2 - Separate Wi-Fi AP Unit (they are pretty cheap) with GiG LANS (to be used also as a switch)
    3 - Separate ADSL Router (Bridge Mode).
    4 - HP Pro-Curve Switch

    Basically I need to manage 2 LANS, 1 clear internet net and the other one VPN (NAS/Media Player/ TV / Safe Browsing)

    Depending on your budget the solutions are severals.

    Going into my details I bought a Supermicro Board (A1SRi-2558) it will be fitted into a mini-case (M350), with 8GB RAM (ECC) with a SSD Intel S3500. Wireless will be done by Netgear R7000 (Stock Firmware or DD-WRT)

    Up to 20 devices connected (100Mbit ADSL connection). I know it is a powerful solution and a bit expensive (near 600€ to build the pfSense unit) but I want something ready for next bandwidth upgrades. You can build something cheaper or directly buy a unit based on APU platform (300$).

    Thank you for your detailled answer.

    So i will be looking for a atleast 2 lan board.

    I want to build a cheap solution.

    I thought using something like TP-LINK TL-WN951N will solve the problem with wifi.
    I think i didn't understand the weak wifi support ? Is it related with the freebsd wireless adapter setup or pfsense wireless management ? Because i am using freeradius in one of my setups without a problem. I thought TP-LINK TL-WN951N will handle the wifi and pfsense manage security etc in one box.

    My next configuration will be something like you provided without switch. Also i will be flashing the tp-link ap unit with openwrt.



  • One more plan may be adding a PCI Lan Card to d410pt for dual rj45 support :)

    ADSL Modem –- 2 GB RAM 80 GB Disk d410pt motherboard dual lan --- Wi-Fi AP with empty lan ports.

    What about this ?  :o



  • I read that pfSense wi-fi support is not so good but I could be wrong, make some search on the forum. Personally I would buy a simple 1 WAN ADSL Modem (30/40$) to be wired to the WAN port of pfSense unit (Bridge Mode) (WAN-WAN connection)

    I would then use your existing modem/router (Wi-Fi capable) to handle the wi-fi as a AP, connected LAN-LAN with pfSense, if the modem/router has spare ethernet ports you can connect other devices.
    In this scenario you will only need 2 LAN ports on the pfSense (1 WAN connected to modem and  1 LAN connected to exixting modem/router). It should work.


  • Netgate Administrator

    The driver in 2.1.X does support that card (though there are several versions of it) but only in 802.11g mode. Search the forum, there are a number of reports with that card. 2.2 should have much better support. Most people would recommend using an external access point instead.
    The D410 is pretty old, I assume you already have that board?

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    The driver in 2.1.X does support that card (though there are several versions of it) but only in 802.11g mode. Search the forum, there are a number of reports with that card. 2.2 should have much better support. Most people would recommend using an external access point instead.
    The D410 is pretty old, I assume you already have that board?

    Steve

    Thank you for your reply.
    I've decided to add a wireless app to my configuration as recommended by wolf.

    I know the d410 is pretty old but for both cheap and low power solution i decided to go with old intel itx motherboards.
    I am evaluating INTEL D945GCLF motherboard right now. It seems this is older btw.  :D
    This project is just for my home :)



  • A wireless AP can be as cheap as $15.

    I'm using this one for one section of the house that is blocked from my main AP:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833704147&cm_re=tplink--33-704-147--Product  It might not be enough for a larger space, but it's working really well for me.



  • @oppland:

    A wireless AP can be as cheap as $15.

    I'm using this one for one section of the house that is blocked from my main AP:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833704147&cm_re=tplink--33-704-147--Product  It might not be enough for a larger space, but it's working really well for me.

    i will be also using a tp-link product for wireless ap. I will be flashing with openwrt btw.  ;)



  • My wireless is this (from dmesg):

    ugen4.2: <ralink>at usbus4
    run0: <.0> on usbus4
    run0: MAC/BBP RT3070 (rev 0x0201), RF RT3020 (MIMO 1T1R), address xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    run0: firmware RT2870 loaded

    That is, a usb-based AP. If I had to do it over again I might go ahead with an ethernet-based AP as everybody here seems to think it makes a lot more sense and is simpler to configure. Also I thought I read somewhere that higher wireless speeds are available in that configuration. I am limited to 802.11g speeds.

    I am using the embedded solution, just running off a USB flash drive. Can't get any cheaper…</ralink>



  • I'm curious to know if you have considered http://www.ecs.com.tw/LIVA/
    I am in a similar predicament as I need to build a new router. Low power consumption and high performance and reliability are on top of my priority list. What troubles me most with the traditional mobos is the multi-voltage power inlet that needs an on board power converter module or a full blown PC power supply (heat dissipation and reliability/durability issues).
    HK



  • @simplei:

    @oppland:

    A wireless AP can be as cheap as $15.

    I'm using this one for one section of the house that is blocked from my main AP:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833704147&cm_re=tplink--33-704-147--Product  It might not be enough for a larger space, but it's working really well for me.

    i will be also using a tp-link product for wireless ap. I will be flashing with openwrt btw.  ;)

    Not sure which model of TP-LINK you're intending to use, but watch out; the cheaper models have very limited storage. I once installed openwrt on a TL-WR841N ($20), it worked flawlessly but it was useless for all intents and purposes because it ran out of space as soon as I entered a few firewall rules or DHCP leases.



  • use a netgear r7000 with ddwrt for wifi.



  • @simplei:

    Hello all,

    I am trying to configure a home pfsense hardware.
    My intention is to use pfsense for both firewall and wireless access solution.

    I am thinking on using d410pt as board.
    I will be adding basic hdd like 80 gb and 2 gb ram.
    I will be directly connecting my adsl modem to pfsense and i will disable adsl modem's wireless radio.

    I want to add a pci card to d410pt for wireless solution.
    But i couldn't find a product to solve this issue. There are several mini pci cards but d410pt not compatible with mini pci.

    I am thinking on using freeradius for wireless access control.

    Can anyone give some advice to me on this topic ?

    Thanks

    If you're still interested in the d410pt let me know… I just picked up five of them off of eBay for $50. Larger mini-itx case than I'd prefer but it has a 3.5" 160GB HD and 2 gigs of memory. Not all of the face plates are complete and I yanked the CD drives just cuz they weren't necessary. I added a dual PCI broadcom NIC so there are now 2 gig ports and one 100 mb port. They seem to run just fine and are very quiet.

    At any rate - I don't need all of them. I'd sell at least 2 of them for my cost - $60 plus shipping if anyone wants one.


  • Netgate Administrator

    @haleakalas:

    I once installed openwrt on a TL-WR841N ($20), it worked flawlessly but it was useless for all intents and purposes because it ran out of space as soon as I entered a few firewall rules or DHCP leases.

    That's surprising because the various versions of that all have 32MB RAM which, by OpenWRT hardware standards, is quite a lot. Many SOHO routers are 8MB (and 2MB flash). I guess things have moved on quite a bit since the original WRT54 (16mb?).

    @messerchmidt:

    use a netgear r7000 with ddwrt for wifi.

    I imagine that work well. It's pretty far from a $15 TP-Link unit though to be fair.  ;)

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    @haleakalas:

    I once installed openwrt on a TL-WR841N ($20), it worked flawlessly but it was useless for all intents and purposes because it ran out of space as soon as I entered a few firewall rules or DHCP leases.

    That's surprising because the various versions of that all have 32MB RAM which, by OpenWRT hardware standards, is quite a lot. Many SOHO routers are 8MB (and 2MB flash). I guess things have moved on quite a bit since the original WRT54 (16mb?).
    Steve

    I thought that I would have plenty of space too, but as soon as I installed openwrt there was very little space left. I don't have that setup any longer as I put back the original firmware but I recall that there was less than a megabyte of free space left and I wondered why anybody would bother to port wrt on such limited hardware.
    Halea


  • Netgate Administrator

    Hmm. I have an old Buffalo wla-g54 here that runs OpenWRT flawlessly. It's 16MB RAM 4MB ROM. However it's an older version, I don't think current will run on it. I know that when moving to newer kernels they had to abandon some of the older Broadcom SoCs.

    Steve



  • Gargoyle works great on a lot of the TP-Link hardware… nice interface on top of OpenWRT.  Personally, I think most TP-Link hardware hits a sweet spot between cost and quality.