Home Router Recommendations?

Grant Robinson santiago at mr-r.net
Tue Apr 15 10:51:27 MDT 2008

On Apr 15, 2008, at 9:36 AM, Kimball Larsen wrote:
> So, like many of you, I've got some servers set up at my house to do  
> things like serve my personal domains and handle my email, etc.
> I currently use a somewhat old Netgear FVS318 (Version 1 - about 4  
> years old) to act as my firewall/router - it works pretty well, but  
> I have 2 issues with it:  first, I can only forward 16 ports with it  
> - which means I occasionally have to decide on which services to  
> disable to be able to enable others.  Secondly, it does not work  
> properly with transferring files over IM, which is a tad annoying.
> In the past I've used a full linux box as the router, and while that  
> was more flexible, it was harder to set up initially and tweak when  
> needed.
> So, I'm interested to know what sorts of routers everyone has set  
> up?  Items that are important to me include:
> 	Ability to forward as many ports as I want (tcp/udp differentiation  
> as well)
> 	Web-based configuration over ssl
> 	Cheap(ish) ( < $100)
> 	Intrusion detection/prevention
> 	DOS attack detection/prevention

My suggestion doesn't fit in the < $100 price range, but my favorite  
general-purpose router that I have ever used is a Soekris[1] box.   
They are about the size of a your typical home router (such as a  
linksys wrt54g).  Setup is pretty simple:

1) Download image of m0n0wall or shorewall or other firewall/router  
2) use dd to copy it to CF card
3) insert CF card into Soekris box, and power on

You can find better directions than that on the web, but you get the  

They cost more than your average home router, but they also are MUCH  
more stable.  Just to give you an example, I have one hooked up to a  
fiber connection that serves a block of public IP's, and acts as a  
firewall and router for those IPs.  It sustains a pretty consistent  
load of 3-5 Mbps, with spikes up to 20 or 30 Mbps and has not needed  
to be rebooted in a LONG time.  In fact, I don't remember EVER having  
to reboot it, which means if it has happened, it hasn't happened very  
often.  I run m0n0wall, but you can run a variety of operating systems  
on it.  m0n0wall is FreeBSD-based, has a web configuration, and can do  
just about anything you would want and/or need.

If you aren't down with the price, a good second choice is to use a  
Linksys WRT-54* (WRT-54GS, etc) model that allows you to use OpenWRT,  
and use that as your router.  I've had much better stability with  
OpenWRT on consumer-grade routers than with the built-in software.


[1] <http://www.soekris.com/>

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