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 Post subject: Using as a PC as a Router/Gateway device, how many of you do
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:40 pm 
Mr. Late Night
Mr. Late Night
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 12:10 am
Posts: 753
I've toyed with doing this a few times as it would give me a more versatile gateway edge device than my current router. My D-Link DIR-615 is performing quite well and if I really wanted to it'd be no big deal to flash it to DD-WRT or another firmware. I just like to tinker with my network and was thinking of converting my Amahi box into a ClearOS box and possibly make my network performance even better, or perhaps it'll stay the same. I was thinking of throwing in along with another gigabit network card (has one built in to the motherboard) a pair of wireless network cards (one 802.11 G and one 802.11 N) so that B/G devices on my N network won't affect the wireless N network's device speeds. There are some other nice perks that I see in possibly using this OS. So how many other folks setup a PC this way or do you all just use a router with custom flashed firmware?


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 Post subject: Re: Using as a PC as a Router/Gateway device, how many of yo
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:57 pm 
Million Club [PC]*
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Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 5:29 pm
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Location: Motor City, folding for Mom
Mine:
old-ass HP desktop (model escapes me, but it's running something like a 600Mhz Celeron) as my 'edge' device; OS is Smoothwall Express 3.0.
Thing is absolutely rock-solid stable. And, very configurable, even without getting into the add-ons that are available for it.

For wireless duties, I have a DIR-655 configured to run in AP-Only mode, hung off of the Green network.


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 Post subject: Re: Using as a PC as a Router/Gateway device, how many of yo
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:50 pm 
8086
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Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:33 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Covington, La.
Unless you really plan on getting serious to the point where you need to intercept the packets for things like SNORT I would just get a nice router and put OpenWRT on it. And all that is , is a scaled down LINUX kernel that you have full access to. So the possibilities are only limited to what Linux can do with that amount of resources. And that is a lot of stuff you can do. Most packages you would use for networking can be added through the GUI, things like SNORT, Asterisk, Netflow and even Squid.

One thing to keep in mind about the router VS pc thing. The PC will do everything in software impacting the CPU directly where often times the router may have some dedicated hardware to do the same job making it faster than you would think.


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 Post subject: Re: Using as a PC as a Router/Gateway device, how many of yo
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:16 pm 
Thunderbird
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 3:51 pm
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before we moved i used a old pc for awhile as a monowall box then later for pfsense then after that ran pfsense as a vm on a win2k8r2 server

right now I'm just using DD-WRT which basically good enough for 99+% of stuff.... i miss abit of the monitoring functionality and squid proxy but due to various considerations it wasn't super viable to use the pfsense solution at our new place for now.

the electric bill impact of running a pc as a router is notable vs a cheap little dd-wrt router which uses very little power.


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 Post subject: Re: Using as a PC as a Router/Gateway device, how many of yo
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:31 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:33 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Covington, La.
I am re posting here because I have a new view of doing this.

I recently on my WNDR3700V2 running OpenWRT tried to run a few things like SNORT and FPROBE for netflows. What I found is while that OS and hardware set is capable of doing more it cannot really handle it. I was running the CPU and memory hard and that combined with me having a 60mb pipe was toasting the box.

So what I did was spend about $300 and built a MicroATX PC that is not much larger than a physically large consumer router. What I found is that not only was I able to get MUCH more functionality by running much faster hardware and better software my internet speeds (visible) increased. It seems the 60mb pipe was bogging down the hardware router, it was not designed for speeds of that rate.

So in conclusion, if you have a fast pipe, a few extra dollars and the need to run another thing or 2 on your router you can benefit greatly from this.

If anyone is interested in the hardware and software I used just post here and I will go into that.


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