[BALUG-Talk] Thoughts on home brew routers?

Charles Hathaway chathaway@logrit.com
Mon Jun 22 21:10:20 UTC 2020

Hey all,

I'm looking into replacing my Verizon Fios router with one I can manage 
(configure DNS black hole, possibly setup a VPN connection, etc. etc.), 
but I'm hitting an overwhelming number of options, so I'm wondering what 
everyone else is doing. I'm basically looking for something which lets 
me access the underlying OS so I can easily fix(/break) things, and 
weighing the pros/cons of also having it do some file sharing stuff 
(Samba/NFS) or using it for hosting toy projects to show friends, with 
at least GbE speeds.

In terms of hardware, I've seen ClearFog Pro 
<https://www.solid-run.com/marvell-armada-family/clearfog/> and it's big 
brother, ClearFog GT 8k 
<https://shop.solid-run.com/product/SRM8040S64D04GE008V12GE/>, both of 
which support running Linux (and then I could use things like iptables 
and dns-masq or whatever), but the review seem to be underwhelming. 
There is also pi-hole, which runs on Raspberry Pi hardware (and likely 
anything else), but I think that just does DNS, so I'd have to configure 
the routing on top of that; the problem there is that there is only 1 
ethernet port on the Raspberry Pi, and a managed switch sounds a bit 
over the top for my setup (plus, noise).

The other option I see is a small tower with 2 ethernet ports, probably 
a standard x86 box, and a standard switch. One pro to that is I might be 
able to get 10GbE, which I feel like will matter within the next 5 years 
(my FioS connection is already 1GbE), the con is needing two separate 

In either case, I'd need a wireless AP, which is something I know next 
to nothing about. I think I want something supporting 802.11ac?

Thanks in advance for the suggestions! I'm relatively new to this list, 
coming from the Philly Linux User Group, so I don't know if there are 
different expectations :).


Charles Hathaway, PhD
Phone: +1 (518) 817-8024

charles@mcom:~$ fortune -s computers
If at first you don't succeed, you must be a programmer.

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