New home gateway router (part 1)


For about 12 months I’ve been using the ASUS RT-N16 + OpenWRT as my gateway. But you know what? It sucks — I hate that it’s not a real Linux distro, that it’s difficult to upgrade, that it randomly reboots itself, that it only kinda manages IPv6, that it uses a half-assed packaging system, that I can’t run regular tools, and that it’s insecure.

And since I switched over to VDSL @ 80 Mbps which uses PPPoE (ie. no need for DSL terminated at the gateway), it’s time to switch to running a real distro on a real computer.

The first step is to choose a small form-factor PC, crucially with two ethernet ports. Unfortunately Intel still don’t sell NUCs with two ethernet ports. Also Intel NUCs are really expensive. So I’ve settled for a much cheaper alternative:

Total cost (including tax and delivery): £137.87

Note that I already have a spare 2.5″ SSD, but you would need to add the cost of a SATA HDD/SSD if you don’t have one already.

It’ll be interesting to see how fast the USB 3.0 ethernet adapter is in real life, because it’s the obvious weak spot. However I only need the router to be able to forward at 80 Mbps, and even a Celeron and a weak ethernet adapter surely should be able to handle that.


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6 responses to “New home gateway router (part 1)

  1. Albeit more expensive, the fitlet-i Barebone is a smaller and supposedly tougher alternative to the Gigabyte Brix, and it has 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports (Intel I211 GbE).

    • rich

      Nice although as you say a bit more expensive. The fitlet-i would be about £200 once tax and shipping are included, and that doesn’t include RAM or the SSD, but does have two GbE ports and a better processor.

  2. pasta win

    I don’t understand your problems with OpenWRT.

    About hardware, have you look the APU from PC Engines ? Have one at home, it’s a greate router.

  3. Pingback: New home gateway router (part 2) — the Gigabyte Brix | Richard WM Jones

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