Router update - first try for a DIY router

Thought I’d start a new thread. anyway here goes. I got my server running and it works ok, needs more work but that will be the case for a while.

Now to the router - I currently use an Ubiquity Edge Router X something - it’s a 5 port device. To the hose I have Cspire Fibre internet so 1gb or such. I hear you can actually pull 1.2 out of it at time. My router can’t clock more than 800-880 when I test. Not that bad I know but it’s clearly doing all it can do.

Plugged right into the raw ONT output I click 950 or so with ease.

Anyway point here I want more but also want more internally. SO new NIC for the server and new router is planned.

Crazy thought one - getting a HP SP01 or other devices is getting expensive or at least always 100+ dollars. For the 116 to 132 I can get a HP Z240 box with i5-6500, 8gb ram. It’s got plenty of over head.

From there I would use some intel 4 port nic. and I would get a similar device for my server or a 2 port.

But I’m open to getting something that takes 2.5gb or more.

After that it’s ssd for the drive I have 2 spares laying around or hell I’d use a SATA 3gb spinner for all it matters. Would it matter if I have 8gb of ram?

I’m open to suggestions as always. Thank you

  1. pfsense/opnsense doesn’t need much cpu, an older 4th gen SFF box for $40-50 is sufficient, plus I340/350.
  2. your router’s NIC only needs to be as fast as your ISP connection.
  3. for high-speed networking within your LAN, use a switch, not the ports on your router’s NIC. If you want 2.5GbaseT, then that means a 2.5GbaseT switch. I’d recommend 10GbE SFP+ as both switches and NICs are cheap and abundant on eBay.

so if I were to run PFsense and Pi hole would there be any other software items that I could/should run on the router box?

I’ll keep looking for a cheaper box but this seemed rather reasonable.

Meanwhile would I not be wise to use at least a dual port connection between the router and switch/or server. while yes my internet pipe is only 1GB if I have a dual connection any concurent downloads with any upload activity should run faster than just one connection.

Right or do I read that wrong.

So my thought here is to use port agregation between router and switch and switch to server. I figure that would maximize the ability.

also never really thought about getting 2.5 or faster hardware so I’ll look at that too.

If you run pfsense, use pfblocker since it’s built in and compatible with the same type of DNS Block Lists.

Your router only needs 2 ports, 1 for WAN (Modem) and one for LAN (switch to rest of network). Port aggregation won’t make any sense for your use case.

so right now since I don’t have alot of things everything is run into the 5 ports on my router. NAs on one - Ap on one, office dock on one, etc I don’t have alot of things wired.

To that end I was planning on using a 4 port Nic to do the same role but to be fair they are spendy. vs getting a unmanaged switch in the 2.5 or multi GB format. Which is my requirement. Maybe I didn’t put this in the front end but I want to have 2.5gb avaialbe for when my ISP provides it. LIkewise between my server box and the other bits I wanted to provision for more then 1gb since I’m expecting to move that way in the future. I plan to either put a over gb NIc in the server or I want to have port agregation between the server and the router or switch. I figure once I start streaming 4K internally I’ll need a bit more than 1gb. Also my new access point has a 2.5gb allowance.

Again, do not treat a 4-port NIC on pfsense as though it were a switch; you’ll be switching in software which is slow and inefficient. Consumer routers have built-in hardware switches.

LACP is mostly for failover. You could use multiple un-aggregated links (separate IPs) and SMB multi-channel or multipath iSCSI, but that’s application-specific.

If/when you get 2.5Gbps from your ISP, pop a $20 dual SFP+ NIC in pfsense with a $40 10GbaseT transceiver (not all can do 2.5GbaseT), then run a DAC to an SFP+ switch like an Aruba S2500 ($80-100). From there DAC or fiber to the machines that need 10GbE.

Streaming 4k does not saturate gigabit; the stream info shows you the bitrate.

That’s a key piece I missed the 4 ports on other routers is a internal switch. Ok thank you for explaining that.

So then I’ll look at switches,I assume here unmanaged switches would be best.

From there are people still avoiding Broadcom nics for pfsense?

I avoid BCM NICs in general, but the specific issue with pfsense was old drivers for RTL; I believe that has since been remedied.

completely mistyped that but thank you.

I was looking on one tab with a broadcom wifi chipset - and on another tab I’m looking at 2.5GBnics. mixed my makers.

But regardless thank you. Realtek nics seems to be the easiest to get 2.5gb devices.

Plan V2 - same box because the price is right. But dual port 2.5gb nic. Then another dual port 2.5 nic for the server box. And then a TL Link unmanaged 2.5gb 5port switch.

why 2.5 - my fiber provider supposedly is putting out a 1.2+ gb output and the ONT has a 2.5gb port but I can’t see it (it’s outside in a box). and so in theory I’ll get even more out of it when I have a 2.5gb port connected. Supposedly. I have nothing over a GB now so I have no way of knowing.

Guy in my neighborhood is on the same system but got a new wifi router with a 2.5 port I think it’s a TP link device - anyway he’s getting speed test results over 1100 so clearly there is more in the pipe.

So another part. On the box I plan to run virtualize pf or open sense. Still deciding

And then vm home assistant and proxy service and Adguard. Which requires Linux if I recall. Hence the extra process power in the box. Might even do 16gb of ram.

Do not virtualize your router/firewall. It will cause you a world of trouble. I highly recommend building a cheap, dedicated appliance.