Hello! First time newbie with a bunch of questions

  • I was sent over here from the FreeNAS forum. Here is what I said there:

    I would say I am better than average with computers, especially the hardware side–a casual nerd. However, I quickly discovered that networking is not my strong suit.

    My biggest childhood accomplishment was building a computer in the 7th grade (Pentium 4 and 1GB of RAM!!!), installing Ubuntu (then Gentoo) and Apache and selling web hosting for my friends' bands. 🆒 Since then I've kind of been in and out of the computer world, taking it up again when my primary system dies or I find myself with extra time on my hands.

    What do I hope to learn here? Right now I'm in law school and would like to start my own firm down the road. One big problem in the legal industry I see is the older generation of lawyers are not grasping the importance of data security, backups, etc. I'd like to become proficient enough with FreeNAS so that I can have a special skill set in the legal market (most lawyers are not tech savvy, except for some patent folks).

    I discovered PfSense while looking for a better way to set up a VPN server at home. Then I found out about all the other cool features  PfSense offers and well, here I am.

    I'd like to build a PfSense box that is both quiet, power efficient, and relatively inexpensive (under $200 doable?). Size does not matter; it is going in a closet.

    I have:
    -50/50 FiOS connection
    -Verizon Actiontec router-MoCA thing. Hooking up ethernet to my ONT is NOT an option.
    -Apple Airport Extreme
    -FreeNAS server that I use to store big and unimportant files
    -Macbook (Wifi 75% of the time, 25% wired)
    -Roku (wired)
    -wired printer/scanner
    -Sometimes guests with their devices but nothing crazy

    I think I want to do something like this:

    Verizon router (somehow set to bridge mode)–->PfSense--->8 port unmanaged switch--->a) all my wired devices and b) Apple router set to wireless access point.

    Would that work? I have no desire for VLAN or anything fancy.

    Now, for hardware, I am a bit lost. I definitely want to use the PfSense as a VPN server, but MAY also want to set up (Snort?) the virus scanning plugin that detects and blocks bad stuff. Is there also something that logs when someone tries to hack into your network? Especially while using VPN (both to access FreeNAS and for encrypted web browsing while traveling), I do not want this to be a bottleneck in the system.

    Where do I begin in terms of hardware?

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    sure you could setup something for 200, end of aug the pfsense sg-2220 starts shipping


    Priced at $299

    but sure you can build something for under $200..