Thoughts on rugged firewall software?

I provide IT support for non-tech savvy family in another state. They are using an older Linksys router that I’d like to replace.

I can build something based on a raspberry pi or a HP T620 Plus thin client.

I need some thoughts on the best firewall software to use. The pi will support Open WRT, IPfire or other Linux distros. The T620 will also support pfSense or OPNsense.

I don’t need advanced features, just LAN, WAN and WiFi segments and stuff like NTP, DNS, DHCP and DDNS support.

I ran IPCop and pfSense for years, but always had a distro CD handy in case a reinstall was needed.

Any thoughts on what firewall software would be appropriate?


Well if you already know pfSense then that would seem the optimal, you can easily back-up the config and restore if something goes wrong. That raspberry pi with a single NIC sounds like asking for trouble.

I’ve bricked a couple of routers with dd-wrt, though I have to say I had a Linksys router running OpenWRT for ages without any issues.

My suggestion would be to go for pfsense.

And set up an openVPN or similar so you can get into the network and connect to other computers for support. Or do you use something like Teamviewer for your remote support?

When I have helped family and friends setup their networks, depending on their WAN speed- I have used the EdgeRouter X before.
pfSense has more features for sure, but I usually am setting up their network to be the simplest network: a totally flat network with a single LAN, DHCP and I usually don’t even set up a local DNS.

SG-1000 is $199
EdgeRouter X is $59.

If the price difference doesn’t matter, I would personally do pfSense as I am just more familiar and it makes a VPN for remote help really easy. (I personally don’t like the EdgeRouter VPN options very much.)
If price is a concern, the ER-X is a very capable device at the $59 price point.

The ER-X is by no means better than pfSense, but in some cases it can get the job done equally well for ~25% of the price.

1 Like

pf_sense is the way to go SG-1100 or if possible price wise SG-2100 and install pf-Blocker-ng. Best for the non tech savvy. Set up the Open VPN for the remote help, you will get calls. Do a detailed how to connect with pics and color codes.