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#1 2005-06-20 19:21:31

apeiro
Daddy
From: Victoria, BC, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-12
Posts: 771
Website

Good mini PC for routers?

Hey all,

I have a pretty ghetto setup for my home gateway right now.  It's an old 486 PC, running some hacked up variant of floppyfw.  I like the 486 because it's not hot enough to require any fans, and since I boot off a floppy, no hard drives either.  Nice and quiet.

But I'd like something with a little more flexibility.  It's awkward to update firewall rules and such with my setup, and I know this 486 will probably die at the most inopportune time, so I'm trying to be proactive in replacing it.

My ideal setup would be a small, fanless 686-compatible PC with two ethernet ports so I can use it as a gateway.  It doesn't need a hard drive, but it would be nice to have a bootp-compatible ethernet chip.  Then I can boot it from the network and avoid any local storage at all.

I googled for awhile, but didn't come up with much.  Everyone's trying to sell mini itx computers with P4s in them.  I don't need a P4 or the fans that come with it.

Any suggestions?  TIA.

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#2 2005-06-20 21:28:25

cactus
Taco Eater
From: t͈̫̹ͨa͖͕͎̱͈ͨ͆ć̥̖̝o̫̫̼s͈̭̱̞͍̃!̰
Registered: 2004-05-25
Posts: 4,615
Website

Re: Good mini PC for routers?

http://mini-itx.com/store/?c=2#p1622
specs: http://www.viavpsd.com/product/epia_PD_ … oardId=241

Fanless, 600mhz via with dual nic onboard.
Has a pci slot, so you can even add another nic if you want a dmz or something.

Should be fast enough for routing, and the upside is you could put it in just about any type of case. even a shoebox. tongue


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#3 2005-06-20 22:08:54

i3839
Member
Registered: 2004-02-04
Posts: 1,185

Re: Good mini PC for routers?

Though it's rather expensive and unclear if it's really i686 or not.

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#4 2005-06-20 22:11:50

cactus
Taco Eater
From: t͈̫̹ͨa͖͕͎̱͈ͨ͆ć̥̖̝o̫̫̼s͈̭̱̞͍̃!̰
Registered: 2004-05-25
Posts: 4,615
Website

Re: Good mini PC for routers?

It is not i686. It supports most of the i686 spec, but falls short on a few thingscant remember what it is off the top of my head that isn't included.
I believe all via chips do currently, with the exception perhaps of one or two of the new 1.2+ ghz cpus with the C5P core. not sure though..

They run fine off i586 though. So, I guess it doesnt fulfill the i686 qualification... *shrug*

As for the price. It was only a link to the information regarding the model. I have never bought anything from that vendor, so I cannot vouch for it.


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#5 2005-06-21 00:29:38

keevn7
Member
From: Lancaster, OH, US
Registered: 2005-06-09
Posts: 206
Website

Re: Good mini PC for routers?

Look into Soekris. They are made to be firewalls/routers. It seems that they are i586 though. They are quite inexpensive though, so you can always take a look anyway. wink

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#6 2005-06-21 11:50:30

zezaz
Member
From: Bordeaux, France
Registered: 2004-04-26
Posts: 80
Website

Re: Good mini PC for routers?

For a router i would choose between one of these:
- Linksys WRT54GS (pro: not expensive, flashable Linux firmware, cons: not x86).
- Apple MacMini re-installed with NetBSD (pro: more powerful than the previous, PF routing, cons: not x86)
- Biostar Ideq 210P (pro: x86, up-to-date hardware, cons: may not work fanless)

It all depends on what you need most: low price? runs Linux? 686? fanless?
I am using a WRT54GS at home and am quite happy with it. It has 4 ethernet ports and AFAIK wlan can be disabled.

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#7 2005-06-21 13:04:57

lanrat
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2003-10-28
Posts: 1,274

Re: Good mini PC for routers?

You forgot to mention that wrt54gs has a fast wireless nic too (1 wifi + 1 wan + 4 switch ports - all can be reconfigured with non standard firmware). And there are plenty of linux based firmwares for it including openwrt (embedded linux, based on debian IIRC and has ipkg package manager similar to pacman :-), no gui or www but it can be added - usually you can work via ssh, can be used for vpns and all kind of things). Very nice hardware but it's not 686.

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#8 2005-06-21 17:43:52

apeiro
Daddy
From: Victoria, BC, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-12
Posts: 771
Website

Re: Good mini PC for routers?

Thanks guys.  Soekris looks like they make some nice boards and they're pretty cheap.  I might give them a shot.

I'd like cheap, but first priority is that it runs linux.  Ideally, x86 compatible as well.

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