Home Router Recommendations?

Kimball Larsen kimball at kimballlarsen.com
Tue Apr 15 11:12:54 MDT 2008

On Apr 15, 2008, at 10:51 AM, Grant Robinson wrote:

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

Thanks, Grant.  I'll look into this.

- Kimball

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