Alix 2D2 Suitable for Home Use?

  • I've been offered an Alix 2D2 for not much money which seems like a great way to have my own firewall / wireless access point that I have full control over.

    I'm currently using a Virgin Superhub 2 and am on 100MB/s down and 7-8MB/s up, but the firewall causes me great concern as in order for port forwarding to work correctly, the firewall level has to be set to 'low' - Virgin have confirmed this is the case. Wireless coverage across the house isn't great due to the Superhub 2 only having internal antennas.

    I've previously setup a pfsense router on my vm host which I used with some vm's on a server for testing and it works really well. The GUI is excellent and I was surprised at how simple it was to setup.

    I'd be interested in buying the Alix 2D2, installing a couple of mini PCI wireless N adapters and then several antennas purely to use at home. I have 2 servers [vm's and storage], 4 laptops, 2 tablets, the usual smartphones and a couple of games consoles, some supporting 2.4GHz and other supporting 5GHz.

    In term of setting up pfsense, I'd put the Superhub 2 into modem mode, have the Alix configured as the firewall and then possibly Team the two wireless NICs and keep things fairly simple. Some port forwarding rules but not a huge amount else, maybe a VPN in the future but only for one user. One server connected by Cat 5 @ 1GB but everything else would be connecting via wireless, hence wireless speed and decent coverage is important, particularly for file transfers too and from my vm server.

    Would the Alix 2D2 be suitable taking into account I'm only going to be using it at home and the concurrent connections is never likely to exceed probably 10 at any one time, but factoring in that the device doesn't have a huge amount of Ram and the CPU doesn't have a lot of grunt?

    Also, I've seen 85MB/s mentioned regarding wireless cards inside the Alix 2D2, would Teaming the cards help to overcome this, and do the cards need to be identical in order to be Teamed?

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