Build a Router

Home Consumer Routers are pretty cheap, not talking about the price tag but the performance. They lack tons of software features and use slow hardware such as a dual core MIPS or ARM CPU with very little RAM.

You could build a PC or even use a old PC laying around to do the job but a lot of people don’t like to do that either because the bulky size or power they consume.

How about building a x86 Single Board Computer that is meant for industrial use but is low power, Cheaper and faster then Netgate’s SG-1100 pfSense box?

There is a company called PC Engines that sale single board x86 boards that uses the same CPU used in the PS4 and Xbox One.

I have put together a minimal BOM or a “Barebones System” to get started on running pfSense and costs $129.00 (Before taxes and shipping). It even has the ability to use Cellular Modem if you want to be off grid or travel. Keep in mind this doesn’t have built in WiFi, you can add WiFi with a Mini PCI-E card.

Mainboard: APU.3D4
Case: case1d2blku
Power Supply: ac12vus2b
RTC Battery: LR44

With those three items you just need to slap in a SD Card, USB Thumb Drive with pfSense , connect to the System via RS-232 and boot the system. Keep in mind these PC Engine Boards don’t have a video out such as VGA or HDMI.

If you want to build a one that has everything then check this out.

Mainboard: APU.3D4
Case: case1d2blku
Power Supply: ac12vus2b
RTC Battery: LR44

RS-232 to USB
32GB SD Card
WiFi MiniPCI-e
U.FL to SMA Coax
Dual Band Antenna X3

You could also use a SATA Drive. Also I think you can use a Mini PCI-E SSD. Have to read the Coreboot Documentation to confirm.

If you want 3G/4G LTE Modem then look for a ME909s-120 Mini PCIe and grab two more dual band antennas.

With all of the added features it would still be cheaper then a mid range Netgate pfSense Box.


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