[CentOS] Router for SOHO network - hardware considerations

Blake Hudson blake at ispn.net
Mon Nov 22 18:09:24 UTC 2010

> Is there anything you could especially recommend for this job? (I'm not 
> afraid of getting my hands dirty, BTW :oD)

+1 for Linksys WRT54GL and tomato firmware
+1 for pfsense (or monowall) on a small server

The Linksys is going to be your cheapest option and will take the least
amount of time to setup. It is also the least featureful. As far as
support goes, just buy a spare and keep it around in case something goes
wrong with the primary unit. In my experience, I've never had to reboot
a Linksys running tomato. However, I have had bad power adapters or
routers die in the past, so I would keep a spare for any application
that required mid level availability.

pfsense (a fork of monowall) is great on any device I've tried it on.
And it should offer basic DNS and NTP serving ability that the Linksys
may lack. Your performance/availability is going to be limited by your
hardware here as well. If you need high availability, I'd recommend a
name brand Dell/HP/etc with a warranty and redundant hardware. If some
downtime is acceptable to the the client, then perhaps forgo the
redundancy but keep the warranty or get a spare box.

The great thing about the Linksys is that it will likely pay for itself
inside of a year due to the lower operating costs and low initial
investment. A server based box may not pay for itself, but could provide
additional features (enhanced security, VPN, authenticated wifi hotspot,
etc) that would be worthwhile to the client.

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