[kwlug-disc] x86 "routers"

Paul Nijjar paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca
Sat Jan 23 22:43:07 EST 2010


I have been following this router discussion with interest but not a
lot of understanding. Now I have some simple, embarrassing questions.
Firstly, are any of these routers x86 compatible? If not, then what
should I be looking for in order to get something with a number of
network ports, decent power, and a tiny router-esque footprint?

My problem is that due to space restraints I am looking for a firewall
with a pretty small footprint. Because I am a bigot I want to run
pfSense, which is primarily an x86 distro. (Support for MIPS is
coming, but it's only alpha and I am not trusting a firewall to alpha
software.)

Many people run these boards: http://www.pcengines.ch/alix.htm
.. They look okay but you have to ship them from far away, and given
previous bad experiences with small form factor computers I think I
would feel better if I ordered from a local supplier. Also those
boards come with a maximum of three ethernet ports built in, which is
barely enough for now but still two fewer than your standard router. 

Ideally I would get a complete box (with all the bits and pieces that
I need) rather than buying components separately. I can put
motherboards into cases and plug in RAM, but I am no hardware hacker,
and I certainly don't trust my hardware-modding skills for a
production firewall. 

Is there any hope for me?

- Paul




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