pfsense on a notebook

jadams

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Mar 14, 2010
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4,087
I've used pfdense on a notebook before. It worked well. But it told me the USB. Wired nic adapter I was using would not support qos.

Never used the peice of equipment u linked though.,
 

rekd0514

Gawd
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Nov 24, 2007
Messages
745
Very interesting tool rekd0514! Bookmarked and subscribed

I think I am going to order one soon to use on a Gateway M465-E. According to my Kill a watt it idles at 22-30 Watts with the wireless off and screen turned all the way down. So it would be just as low as most of the atoms and sandy bridge Pentiums. I like the fact that with a laptop I get a kind of built in UPS for my router as well.

If anyone knows of so cheap older notebooks with Intel NICs in them , list them here as well.


Those would be useful for anyone trying to do a pfsense router like this on the cheap! :)
 

YeOldeStonecat

[H]F Junkie
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Jul 19, 2004
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I've built and used many PFSense routers on old IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad T series....you can pick up some cheap T-20 and T-40 series...and with the Thinkpad series you get good business grade standardized chipsets and onboard Intel NICs....PFSense runs great on them.

I also became a fan of using old laptops for this purpose....built in KVM, low power consumption, low noise, small footprint on your desk/counter, and built in battery backup.
 
Joined
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822
I know you rather use an intel nic but what I did on my 2 pfsense laptop routers is get this product from trendnet.

I use the trendnet port to the WAN because I am going to get no where near the 1Gbps connection while I use the built in intel nic in my thinkpad to the LAN network. It's a lot less bulky than the solution you look like your going to try. And I believe you have an intel nic on the gateway as well.

And yes I know that the card bus is capped around 480mbps I believe and can't truly run at gbps speeds.

I completely agree with Stonecat on this one. Old Laptops are almost designed for this purpose.
 

RocketTech

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Oct 7, 2009
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If your laptop NIC supports VLANS, and you have a VLAN capable switch, you only need one NIC and pfSense 2.0.
Personally, I use an old PCMCIA or Express card Ethernet card in mine.
Failing all of the above, I ran across this on smallnetbuilder.
 

jahsoul

Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
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611
I never knew that anyone ran it on a laptop. That's pretty cool. I'm building my pfsense box from an old HP Pavilion 7915 that I just had lying around. I'm still working with it though because I can't get my VLANs to the outside...
 

rekd0514

Gawd
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Messages
745
I've built and used many PFSense routers on old IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad T series....you can pick up some cheap T-20 and T-40 series...and with the Thinkpad series you get good business grade standardized chipsets and onboard Intel NICs....PFSense runs great on them.

I also became a fan of using old laptops for this purpose....built in KVM, low power consumption, low noise, small footprint on your desk/counter, and built in battery backup.

I agree they seem like a great solution for a diy router. I am thinking business grade gear or high end notebooks is the only place we will find the reliable Intel NICs incorporated. I will look around more to see if I can find any other cheap models.

I know you rather use an intel nic but what I did on my 2 pfsense laptop routers is get this product from trendnet.

I use the trendnet port to the WAN because I am going to get no where near the 1Gbps connection while I use the built in intel nic in my thinkpad to the LAN network. It's a lot less bulky than the solution you look like your going to try. And I believe you have an intel nic on the gateway as well.

And yes I know that the card bus is capped around 480mbps I believe and can't truly run at gbps speeds.

I completely agree with Stonecat on this one. Old Laptops are almost designed for this purpose.

I like the having the 2 Intel NICs for the reliability and support in pfsense. I was thinking I could mock up a small carboard/MDF box for the laptop to sit on with a hole for the NIC to go through. It will be sitting in a back room, so I don't care what it looks like.

If your laptop NIC supports VLANS, and you have a VLAN capable switch, you only need one NIC and pfSense 2.0.
Personally, I use an old PCMCIA or Express card Ethernet card in mine.
Failing all of the above, I ran across this on smallnetbuilder.

I would rather not complicate things with using VLANs, but maybe it is not as difficult as I am making it out to be.

It says that part only works on certain commell boards, which I'm sure will end up costing you more than a old notebook solution. Even some new notebooks have been around $250 with atoms/ amd e-350/300 / sandy bridge pentiums.
 

RocketTech

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Oct 7, 2009
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VLANS aren't that bad once you get a couple concepts down. On anything other than a basic pfSense deployment I use all VLANS, just so I can 'patch' remotely if needed. I wouldn't need to go to the server closet to actually move cables- also great for testing.
I know Dell's Precision line from the m4400/m6400 on up use VLAN capable Intel NICs- the Latitude E-series should use the same NIC. For really cheap I would cruise specs on Latitude D series.
 

YeOldeStonecat

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Jul 19, 2004
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11,330
Where you'll find the good Intel NICs stand above the crowd...is when you try to crank up the traffic shaping/QoS features.

Yeah you can get some el cheapo 9 dollar NICs to run PFSense fine...it will route your traffic reliably..appear fast to you. If you go crank up the QoS features....you may see a little improvement...but probably not as much improvement as you'd see if you had a good Intel NIC (or some older hardware based 3COM).
 

rekd0514

Gawd
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Messages
745
Just a small update:

I got my Thinkpad T60 up and running and loaded Windows 7 for some testing. With the T5500 installed, all unnecessary parts disabled, and the screen brightness turned all the way down it was idling at 16-17w with my Killawatt.

I still haven't received the adapters yet unfortunately.
 

rekd0514

Gawd
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Messages
745
I got the adapters today. I likely won't get to play around with pfsense until the weekend. I still need to get either a small SSD or CF card as well.
 

rekd0514

Gawd
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Messages
745
Installed pfsense just fine on my T60. Only problem is I'm getting an 1802 error that is common with installing an unknown wireless device. I am going to try and get rid of it with a BIOS update then everything should be peachy!
 
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