Hardware / NIC question



  • Hi Guys,

    First post! I'm an IT Engineer (mainly Windows Server) with some network based skills based in the UK.
    I've been reading about PFsense for awhile as a forum guest and I've recently signed up to an VPN account (to connect abroad) and found my Billion 7800N not doing the business. It has a PPTP client but no option to route all my traffic through the VPN…annoying!

    I love new kit and a project! so I've thought about building a pfsense box, nothing fancy though - I'm also on a budget!

    I had a look at the J1900-D3V Gigabyte board that seemed to be an issue originally but is working OK now, is this still a reasonable choice? I see it has dual NICs and that's all I need, 1 WAN, 1 LAN.
    I've seen another J1900 board 2nd hand and remembered I had a PCI-E Intel CT 1000 adapter lying around - would that be OK working in conjunction with the on-board Realtek adapter?

    One other thing...sorry.
    I have an old DG41MJ ITX Intel motherboard lying around, it's a bit power hungry but has an onboard Realtek NIC again (Grrr) and an E8400 CPU - it uses a PCI (as opposed to Express) slot and I think I have an Intel 1000 XT lying around somewhere as an additional NIC. Would this suffice as temporary solution? I could always upgrade to a lower power (J1900 or such <15w) setup in the future.

    Thanks in advance



  • I would say it's definitely worth a try.

    The worst thing that could happen is you get a pfSense box up and running, config it the way you want and you find it doesn't have  enough oomph for your needs.

    So you find the box you need, copy the config from the old to new and you're back up and running with the horsepower you need.

    From my POV there's nothing like getting some real world experience, even if it only points out what you have improve for your second try.



  • Consensus, and the experience of xthousands of people using FreeBSD (including me), is the safe route is to go Intel. The story apparently is Intel is developing the drivers for their cards for FreeBSD themselves, as opposed to the drivers for the other brands, which are guestimating reverse engineered.

    Two single port Intel NICs are cheaper than one dual NIC, and set you back very little in money. Quad ports get more expensive.

    I don't even hesitate, for whatever build whatever: Intel NIC.



  • If you're looking to get a J1900 board why not spend $25 more and go with the Supermicro X10SBA-L with dual on board Intel i210 NIC's?


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