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  #1  
Old July 13th, 2017, 07:49 AM
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Pete Pete is offline
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4 NIC port mini PC that can be used as a router-firewall

Just a post to see about interest relating to a group purchase of a nano itx 4 port mini PC to be utilized for PFSense.

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Depending on interest and numbers I will try to get the device for closer to $100 if possible.

Many years ago (well over 10 years ago) did something similar here on Homeseer relating to purchasing some barebones mini PCs.

This deal will only be for Homeseer / Cocoontech forum users and only related to PFSense.

I am seeing the prices for almost the same nano itx computers all over the place.

To increase the numbers may duplicate this post on Cocoontech.

May prewrite the PFSense OS image on the SSD cards in bulk....you will need to configure it and register it on first boot.

Such that the specs would be something like this:

J1900 CPU
RAM: 8Gb
NIC Gb Ports: 4
SSD: 32Gb

A 9 PIN RS-232 serial port is utilized here for the NTP/PPS server.

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There are others with an RJ-45 console port. Looks like the footprint is bit larger.

Personally wanting the smallest one possible such that I can fit it inside of my Leviton can.

Currently doing my network here a la carte with an

ISP modem (x2 for failover) ==> Firewall ==> GB managed switch(s) ==> POE AP (2nd floor balcony ceiling)

Tentative list of interested folks.

1 - langenet
2 - pete
3 - rmasonjr
4 - jello4
5 - bjm2020
6 - rprade
7 - pete
8 - pete
9 - spike5884bjm2020
10 - JGary
11 - MStan
12 - brientim
13 - jimatbeersman.com
14 - cjohlandt
15 - cjin
16 - ckellyusa
17 - Blade
18 - Teken
19 - facke02
20 - redthebartender
21 - redthebartender
22 - DaveW32
23 - WayneW
24 - usLEDsupply
25 - denisl
==========
28th of January, 2018 Total interested = 25
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Last edited by Pete; January 28th, 2018 at 05:49 PM.
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  #2  
Old July 13th, 2017, 09:02 AM
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I'd be interested. The only issue as of today is that I have no idea on installing/running/setting up PFSense. So if you could pre-write PFSense that would help immensely.
Currently I'm looking at the SG-1000 only because it's pre-installed/configured etc. I'm sure I could get there (install/setup) but have yet ventured there.
Like you, I'm looking for the smallest footprint...and lowest power consumption.

I did certify as a Cisco CCNP years ago so am not totally blind with any of this.

Robert
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  #3  
Old July 13th, 2017, 09:07 AM
waynehead99 waynehead99 is offline
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I'd be interested too Pete if you can get the cost down.
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  #4  
Old July 13th, 2017, 09:30 AM
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rmasonjr rmasonjr is offline
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Count me in, Pete...

I recently installed a Pi-Hole on my home network and the results are outstanding. No more wasted bandwidth on ads! The family has also noticed no ads on their mobile devices while on wifi.

I also have 2 Netgear R7000 routers that have the stock firmware. The DHCP on these routers are horrible. I am still using my older e2000 router running DD-WRT and the DHCP is rock solid, but the router is getting old.

My main reason for wanting pfSense is DHCP and use the R7000 as access points only.
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  #5  
Old July 13th, 2017, 09:34 AM
waynehead99 waynehead99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmasonjr View Post
Count me in, Pete...

I recently installed a Pi-Hole on my home network and the results are outstanding. No more wasted bandwidth on ads! The family has also noticed no ads on their mobile devices while on wifi.

I also have 2 Netgear R7000 routers that have the stock firmware. The DHCP on these routers are horrible. I am still using my older e2000 router running DD-WRT and the DHCP is rock solid, but the router is getting old.

My main reason for wanting pfSense is DHCP and use the R7000 as access points only.


Consider looking at the ubiquiti WAP if moving to a dedicated router. I have been using three for about 3 years and I just went to the AC model and get amazing speed and coverage. Really cheap for what you get.
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  #6  
Old July 13th, 2017, 09:41 AM
automateme automateme is offline
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Pete, thanks for initiating a possible group purchase. I would be interested as well.
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  #7  
Old July 13th, 2017, 09:42 AM
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Pete, I am interested.

Thanks,
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  #8  
Old July 13th, 2017, 10:18 AM
Kerat Kerat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by langenet View Post
I'd be interested. The only issue as of today is that I have no idea on installing/running/setting up PFSense. So if you could pre-write PFSense that would help immensely.

Currently I'm looking at the SG-1000 only because it's pre-installed/configured etc. I'm sure I could get there (install/setup) but have yet ventured there.

Like you, I'm looking for the smallest footprint...and lowest power consumption.



I did certify as a Cisco CCNP years ago so am not totally blind with any of this.



Robert


PFSense is pretty easy to install, put the install on a USB thumb drive, boot to thumb drive. After install your basic setup will be in a terminal (VLANS, ip, etc) then everything else is from the GUI


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  #9  
Old July 13th, 2017, 10:29 AM
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Over the years on Cocoontech have written about PFSense.


For here on the Homeseer forum will do a DIY help post on configuring PFSense.

Installing it is plug n play.

Will try a direct vendor purchase for group buy.

If I install the base of PFSense on the 32Gb SSD then the user will just need to configure it which takes about 5 minutes.

For non play WAP here utilize Ubiquiti.

For tinkering WAP's here have been using mini cheap travel routers with OpenWRT. (these typically go for around $20)

Newest one that I am playing with is a GliNet. Fast CPU and much play space today. Thinking maybe of making one a lightning sensor.

GL.iNet GL-AR300M Mini Travel Router with 2dbi external antenna, Wi-Fi Converter, OpenWrt Pre-installed, Repeater Bridge, 300Mbps High Performance, 128MB Nand flash, 128MB RAM, OpenVPN, Tor Compatible

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I have a smaller NeXX mini router inside of the OmniPro2 panel.

Last edited by Pete; July 13th, 2017 at 10:42 AM.
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  #10  
Old July 13th, 2017, 11:00 AM
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rprade rprade is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waynehead99 View Post
Consider looking at the ubiquiti WAP if moving to a dedicated router. I have been using three for about 3 years and I just went to the AC model and get amazing speed and coverage. Really cheap for what you get.
+1 on the Ubiquiti. Demonstrably and consistently faster than my R7000, which was very good. Better range, easier configuration. I can stream different FLAC audio to multiple devices in my Sonos system without a hiccup, which my R7000 couldn't do. I can watch a Blu-ray ISO over WiFi on my laptop, something that would cause the R7000 to flake out. Love 'em.
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  #11  
Old July 13th, 2017, 11:06 AM
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Pete;

I would be interested in one or two, depending on the price. If it could be near $100 definitely two. You pictured two models, my preference would be VGA video to HDMI, though an adaptor is only about $9.
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  #12  
Old July 13th, 2017, 11:10 AM
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cheeryfool cheeryfool is online now
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Pete

I would be interested too

Cheers
James
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  #13  
Old July 13th, 2017, 11:16 AM
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rprade rprade is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by langenet View Post
I'd be interested. The only issue as of today is that I have no idea on installing/running/setting up PFSense. So if you could pre-write PFSense that would help immensely.
Currently I'm looking at the SG-1000 only because it's pre-installed/configured etc. I'm sure I could get there (install/setup) but have yet ventured there.
Like you, I'm looking for the smallest footprint...and lowest power consumption.

I did certify as a Cisco CCNP years ago so am not totally blind with any of this.

Robert
Setting it up is a breeze. I'm a dummy and had it running in 10 minutes and mostly configured in 30. A friend who is an "expert" couldn't get it working.

The SG-1000 will consume about half the energy that the device in this thread will. At current energy costs a watt is roughly $1 per year, so the energy savings would be $4-5 per year. It also comes with a year of pfSense Gold support. My primary concern with that device was if it had enough processing power to support a few packages and occasional high internet traffic.
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  #14  
Old July 13th, 2017, 11:30 AM
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langenet langenet is offline
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Randy,

Yes, the processing power is one consideration I wonder about with the SG-1000. The Gold support is also an incentive - though, I'm not overly sure what that gets me.
I do what I can to reduce power consumption in my house, however, this hobby seems to add up the watts as I grow...

Sounds easy enough to get going. BTW, I doubt very much you're a dummy... thanks just the same.

Robert
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  #15  
Old July 13th, 2017, 11:35 AM
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Thanks guys...will update a list of interested folks in the OP.

@randy - yes looking for smallest footprint. The one with the RS-232 port is too big. It is the same size as the one with an RJ-45 console port.

Thinking we are OK with base of:

CPU, memory, SSD and 4 NIC ports.

Thinking most of the nano 4 port motherboards have some sort of serial pins for serial in/out.

BTW have tried PFSense with APC, Tripplite, CyberPower USB UPS's and it works well.

There are two UPS plugins for PFSense - NUT and APC.

Last edited by Pete; July 13th, 2017 at 11:48 AM.
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  #16  
Old July 13th, 2017, 01:28 PM
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vasrc vasrc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by langenet View Post
I'd be interested. The only issue as of today is that I have no idea on installing/running/setting up PFSense. So if you could pre-write PFSense that would help immensely.
Currently I'm looking at the SG-1000 only because it's pre-installed/configured etc. I'm sure I could get there (install/setup) but have yet ventured there.
Like you, I'm looking for the smallest footprint...and lowest power consumption.

I did certify as a Cisco CCNP years ago so am not totally blind with any of this.

Robert
Check the online reviews for the SG-1000. If you have larger Internet "pipe" and heavy traffic (ie movies, etc) it's probably not a good choice.

Z
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  #17  
Old July 13th, 2017, 01:45 PM
logbuilder logbuilder is offline
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Pete,

Count me in.

As far as the gold support made available on other models, I'm confident the collective knowledge and wisdom of this community will be more than sufficient.

Robert
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  #18  
Old July 13th, 2017, 02:02 PM
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Thank you logbuilder...I have added you name to the list in the OP.

Reminded just now via a PM that the J1900 won't support V2.5 because of AES-N probably giving this product only a lifespan a few years out....

Let's do a what if scenario thinking about the future some and keeping the size of the 4 port firewall nanoITX sized, low powered et al....

The SG-1000 was mentioned above...it uses an Arm CPU...

I have not really looked for multiple NIC ARM based devices.

I am playing though with 64 bit Ubuntu on the Pine64 2 Gb machine with only one NIC.
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  #19  
Old July 13th, 2017, 05:03 PM
epimetheus epimetheus is offline
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If the NIC's are Intel, count me in for 1 or 2. If their not Intel, I'm out. I'll be running Sophos UTM on them. It's picky about having Intel NIC's.
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  #20  
Old July 13th, 2017, 05:48 PM
wadesready wadesready is online now
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at $100 or less I would be interested in one Pete...
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