Need a small form factor x86 box to be a firewall/router/dg

Alan Evans alanwevans at
Thu Aug 8 18:15:26 MDT 2013

I don't think using a Linux box is going to make calls go any smoother.

Tech: "What version of Windows are you using?"
Me: "I don't use Windows, I use [Ubuntu|Fedora|Debian|...]"
<bloated pause>
Tech: "That's Windows 8 right?"

Do like the rest of us...  Lie.

Tech: "Do you have a router?"
Me: "No"

- - or - -

Tech: "Do you have a router?"
Me: "Yes"
Tech: "Can you unplug it, wait 20 seconds and plug it back in?"
Me: "OK"
<do nothing, wait 30 seconds because you already tried this>
Me: "OK, its back up but <repeat original problem> isn't any better."

The problem with 'routers' as far as ISPs are concerned is that they are a
HUGE variable.

  1. There are hundreds/thousands of models.
  2. Joe consumer has a very low level of understanding, he plugged it in
and popped the CD into his Laptop and it magically worked.
  3. There are any number of failure scenarios.
    a. Incorrect wiring
    b. Bad cabling
      i. customer ran over it w/ wheels of a chair for the last year
      ii. abused cable ends
      iii. interference/noise
    c. If wireless
      i. bad antenna/device placement
      ii. authentication problems
      iii. interference (neighbours, 2.4GHz phones etc etc)
    d. mis-configuration
    e. on and on


On Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 3:01 PM, Doran L. Barton <fozz at> wrote:

> On Thu, 08 Aug 2013 14:43:46 -0600
> Michael Torrie <torriem at> wrote:
> > I want a machine that's x86 (i3 or i5), at least 1 GHz, low-power, no
> > fans, ssd disk, 2 gigabit ethernet ports, small formfactor.  Any ideas
> > as to what I should look for?  Anything under $500 is game at this
> > point.
> I noticed NewEgg has some systems like this:
> Obviously, this is only a 1.86 Ghz Atom CPU, but that's probably more than
> sufficient for a home firewall.
> --
> Doran L. Barton <fozz at> - Linux, Perl, Web, good fun, and
> more! "We would be delighted if you send in your payment. However, if
> you don't, you will be."
>     -- Seen on an electric utility bill
> /*
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