pfSense firewall router

The new pfSense firewall/router has been in service since Monday. A pic below.


The new unit is 2nd from left.

This was taken on Monday.

The basic hardware is the same as the $500 VK-T40E from the pfSense Store, except without the support or expert fine tuning of the configurtion. Oh, and the case for mine is black (I tried both black and red but found the black did a better job of dissipating heat — not sure why).

Full specs:

PC Engines APU1c4
MyDigitalSSD Super Boot Drive SATA III 32Gb mSATA
Atheros 9280 mPCI-e WLAN Card
Enclosure 3 LAN, USB, Black
2x Wireless Antenna SMA reverse +5dBi
2x Cable I-PEX reverse SMA
PfSense 2.1.5 RELEASE
24W Power Adapter

Total cost was only around $250, but many uncompensated hours were put into the configuration, so the real “cost” was probably close to the pfSense Store version — except without the year’s worth of support.

In addition to the services that ship with pfSense I added the BIND package so the firewall could become the new primary name server for our home network. The stock DHCP server hands out IP addresses to internal clients on both the wired and wireless networks. The unit is also configured as a wireless acess point using the add-on Atheros card.

The main point of this, of course, is to finally have a firewall in place that will get regular security updates. In my opinion the lack of updates for all but the newest (at any given time) consumer devices is a huge problem. The only practical alternative to rolling your own along the lines I did here would be to go out and buy new hardware every year. Even then there’s no guarantee that updates for new devices will be forthcoming in a reasonable amount of time, if at all.

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About phil

My name is Phil Lembo. In my day job I’m an enterprise IT architect for a leading distribution and services company. The rest of my time I try to maintain a semi-normal family life in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC. E-mail me at philipATlembobrothersDOTcom. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and not those of my employers, past, present or future (except where I quote others, who will need to accept responsibility for their own rants).