Home Network Firewall Options



  • I'm looking into some home networking equipment for a friend of mine who wants me to setup a media server, NAS backup, etc. Looking into firewalls currently. I was thinking of just using PFsense or maybe Sophos but I wanted to get some opinions first. Money saving is of course great but I want to find a happy medium.



  • ERX all the way!

    $60 on Amazon



  • PFSense is a good free option, but it requires you provide your own PC class hardware, and the power bill will probably be 10X or more than an ERX.



  • @Dashrender said:

    PFSense is a good free option, but it requires you provide your own PC class hardware, and the power bill will probably be 10X or more than an ERX.

    Thanks very much. I'll check it out.



  • @Dashrender said:

    PFSense is a good free option, but it requires you provide your own PC class hardware, and the power bill will probably be 10X or more than an ERX.

    This right here.

    pfSense is a great solution but requires hardware that will cost you more than an ERX ever will.

    Drop another $80-$90 on an UAP-AC-LITE and you have a rock solid home network running basic enterprise hardware.



  • Thanks for the info guys. Appreciate it.



  • @wirestyle22

    @JaredBusch said:

    @Dashrender said:

    PFSense is a good free option, but it requires you provide your own PC class hardware, and the power bill will probably be 10X or more than an ERX.

    This right here.

    pfSense is a great solution but requires hardware that will cost you more than an ERX ever will.

    Drop another $80-$90 on an UAP-AC-LITE and you have a rock solid home network running basic enterprise hardware.

    Sophos has the same options. Free, but requires a machine to run on.

    https://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-utm-home-edition.aspx



  • i'm currently using pfsense for small size business, it works great all in one, but as other guys mentioned, a PC will consume much more electricity than a router device does


  • Banned

    @Dashrender said:

    PFSense is a good free option, but it requires you provide your own PC class hardware, and the power bill will probably be 10X or more than an ERX.

    Cost of hardware isn't the biggest factor.. the power is what will get you.

    I'm using the Edge Router Lite.


  • Banned

    @jyates said:

    @wirestyle22

    @JaredBusch said:

    @Dashrender said:

    PFSense is a good free option, but it requires you provide your own PC class hardware, and the power bill will probably be 10X or more than an ERX.

    This right here.

    pfSense is a great solution but requires hardware that will cost you more than an ERX ever will.

    Drop another $80-$90 on an UAP-AC-LITE and you have a rock solid home network running basic enterprise hardware.

    Sophos has the same options. Free, but requires a machine to run on.

    https://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-utm-home-edition.aspx

    It's a resource hog...


  • Banned

    @Jason said:

    @jyates said:

    @wirestyle22

    @JaredBusch said:

    @Dashrender said:

    PFSense is a good free option, but it requires you provide your own PC class hardware, and the power bill will probably be 10X or more than an ERX.

    This right here.

    pfSense is a great solution but requires hardware that will cost you more than an ERX ever will.

    Drop another $80-$90 on an UAP-AC-LITE and you have a rock solid home network running basic enterprise hardware.

    Sophos has the same options. Free, but requires a machine to run on.

    https://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-utm-home-edition.aspx

    It's a resource hog...

    It's not been bad when I used it, even on a junk box processor with 2GB of Ram. What services were you using?


  • Banned

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    @Jason said:

    @jyates said:

    @wirestyle22

    @JaredBusch said:

    @Dashrender said:

    PFSense is a good free option, but it requires you provide your own PC class hardware, and the power bill will probably be 10X or more than an ERX.

    This right here.

    pfSense is a great solution but requires hardware that will cost you more than an ERX ever will.

    Drop another $80-$90 on an UAP-AC-LITE and you have a rock solid home network running basic enterprise hardware.

    Sophos has the same options. Free, but requires a machine to run on.

    https://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-utm-home-edition.aspx

    It's a resource hog...

    It's not been bad when I used it, even on a junk box processor with 2GB of Ram. What services were you using?

    Just the basics... but, how much throughput where you getting with it? I have a 150mb home internet connection. It couldn't saturate it. the Edege router Lite can..


  • Banned

    I was getting 38 when I'm expected to get a 40 down line at home. 100+ MB is not common here yet.

    This was with all the IPS, gateway AV, content filtering on.

    Do you remember the spec of the machine? Mine was a core 2 duo, with 2 dedicated gigabit cards for in/out, though it did have a 32GB SSD.


  • Banned

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    I was getting 38 when I'm expected to get a 40 down line at home. 100+ MB is not common here yet.

    This was with all the IPS, gateway AV, content filtering on.

    Do you remember the spec of the machine? Mine was a core 2 duo, with 2 dedicated gigabit cards for in/out, though it did have a 32GB SSD.

    Intel Xeon E5-xxx Quad with 8GB of ram and quad on board nic. NO SSD but that's not going to affect a router.


  • Banned

    @Jason said:

    Intel Xeon E5-xxx Quad with 8GB of ram and quad on board nic. NO SSD but that's not going to affect a router.

    Something very very wrong was happening then...maybe the quad NIC? If I get a decent outbound line, I'll try sticking the same box on it and test it. See what the performance is like.


  • Banned

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    @Jason said:

    Intel Xeon E5-xxx Quad with 8GB of ram and quad on board nic. NO SSD but that's not going to affect a router.

    Something very very wrong was happening then...maybe the quad NIC? If I get a decent outbound line, I'll try sticking the same box on it and test it. See what the performance is like.

    Nope wasn't the NIC.. Worked fine on Pfsense too. They were Intel NIC which are the best for firewalls. The CPU was just pegged out when trying to saturate 150mb, too much overhead with those UTM packages


  • Banned

    @Jason - Well, if I ever get a connection like that, I'll have a play.

    I really liked the Sophos when it was on, ran it for about a year, then retired it.



  • @Jason said:

    @jyates said:

    @wirestyle22

    @JaredBusch said:

    @Dashrender said:

    PFSense is a good free option, but it requires you provide your own PC class hardware, and the power bill will probably be 10X or more than an ERX.

    This right here.

    pfSense is a great solution but requires hardware that will cost you more than an ERX ever will.

    Drop another $80-$90 on an UAP-AC-LITE and you have a rock solid home network running basic enterprise hardware.

    Sophos has the same options. Free, but requires a machine to run on.

    https://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-utm-home-edition.aspx

    It's a resource hog...

    Anything labelled UTM would be. UTMs really can't be used on anything but super slow connections. It's one of the many reasons many of us feel that the entire UTM concept is a silly and dead one.



  • @Breffni-Potter said:

    I was getting 38 when I'm expected to get a 40 down line at home. 100+ MB is not common here yet.

    This was with all the IPS, gateway AV, content filtering on.

    Do you remember the spec of the machine? Mine was a core 2 duo, with 2 dedicated gigabit cards for in/out, though it did have a 32GB SSD.

    150 up 150 down here ^_^


  • Banned

    @wirestyle22 said:

    150 up 150 down here ^_^

    Don't rub it in you 🙂



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Jason said:

    @jyates said:

    @wirestyle22

    @JaredBusch said:

    @Dashrender said:

    PFSense is a good free option, but it requires you provide your own PC class hardware, and the power bill will probably be 10X or more than an ERX.

    This right here.

    pfSense is a great solution but requires hardware that will cost you more than an ERX ever will.

    Drop another $80-$90 on an UAP-AC-LITE and you have a rock solid home network running basic enterprise hardware.

    Sophos has the same options. Free, but requires a machine to run on.

    https://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-utm-home-edition.aspx

    It's a resource hog...

    Anything labelled UTM would be. UTMs really can't be used on anything but super slow connections. It's one of the many reasons many of us feel that the entire UTM concept is a silly and dead one.

    I've been running Sophos UTM on a 300/100Mbps connection at home (certainly not a slow connection) and easily get full bandwidth usage with everything turned on. Granted I'm running it on a Dell R210 II and it is a bigger resource hog, but for home, I want all of that turned on, especially with teenagers who don't care about sites they visit or what they download. In the SMB (closer to S than M or B of SMB anyway) I've found the UTM approach anything but silly. The simplicity of management is a huge bonus.


  • Banned

    @NashBrydges said:

    In the SMB (closer to S than M or B of SMB anyway) I've found the UTM approach anything but silly. The simplicity of management is a huge bonus.

    The problem I find with UTMs is they need to be monitored and watched to be used properly. If an attacker is really trying to break in, do you want to hope the magic box works? Or is there monitoring to spot suspicious activity and react to it.

    UTMs are a magic box that I'm seeing over-sold, I myself got suckered into buying one and actually, it provides no performance or security benefits to the organisation it protects because the monitoring and reacting that you need to do, is not being done.



  • I too went the way of the UTM last time. Sure it did website filtering, but management complained about it.. and DAMN, the vendor wanted 90% the original cost to renew the updates, etc.

    I've dumped those and moved to ERLs.

    The idea of the LANless design encourages us to do other things to secure our endpoints.

    Removing admin rights from those teens machines should offer a fair amount of protection.



  • @Breffni-Potter said:

    @NashBrydges said:

    In the SMB (closer to S than M or B of SMB anyway) I've found the UTM approach anything but silly. The simplicity of management is a huge bonus.

    The problem I find with UTMs is they need to be monitored and watched to be used properly. If an attacker is really trying to break in, do you want to hope the magic box works? Or is there monitoring to spot suspicious activity and react to it.

    UTMs are a magic box that I'm seeing over-sold, I myself got suckered into buying one and actually, it provides no performance or security benefits to the organisation it protects because the monitoring and reacting that you need to do, is not being done.

    Totally agree that they're too often seen as a magic box but that's a user problem, not a technology problem. I wouldn't recommend a UTM without the appropriate oversight.



  • So without a UTM device how are you monitoring the network and locking down the traffic?

    I know there are other methods but a UTM seems to provide an easy way to accomplish this in an SMB environment


  • Banned

    @NETS said:

    So without a UTM device how are you monitoring the network and locking down the traffic?

    I know there are other methods but a UTM seems to provide an easy way to accomplish this in an SMB environment

    Netflow on your router then another device (IDS/IPS) can look at traffic and modify to block it if needed. Ours is actually called a Network Behavior Anomaly Detection. There's open source ones too I'm sure.



  • @NETS said:

    So without a UTM device how are you monitoring the network and locking down the traffic?

    I know there are other methods but a UTM seems to provide an easy way to accomplish this in an SMB environment

    In the SMB, one idea floated is to move way from the LAN altogether to a LANless design. Don't trust the local or any network. Protecting people from the websites they visit is difficult at best and impossible at worst, it's a moving target, and normally good site can be hacked and and suddenly start dishing out bad stuff.



  • @NETS said:

    So without a UTM device how are you monitoring the network and locking down the traffic?

    1. What is the actual need here? A firewall already monitors and locks down the traffic. Those are not UTM functions.
    2. With a UTM, how are you doing it?


  • @NETS said:

    I know there are other methods but a UTM seems to provide an easy way to accomplish this in an SMB environment

    Sure, but a firewall is just as easy. So what's the benefit to the UTM? UTMs are costly and often introduce big bottlenecks to the network. In what way do you see them justifying their extra cost to purchase and maintain?



  • @Dashrender said:

    @NETS said:

    So without a UTM device how are you monitoring the network and locking down the traffic?

    I know there are other methods but a UTM seems to provide an easy way to accomplish this in an SMB environment

    In the SMB, one idea floated is to move way from the LAN altogether to a LANless design. Don't trust the local or any network. Protecting people from the websites they visit is difficult at best and impossible at worst, it's a moving target, and normally good site can be hacked and and suddenly start dishing out bad stuff.

    Not just in the SMB, but the SMB will lead here but the nature of being easier to be agile.


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