Does anyone use IPFire as a router solution

Discussion in 'OffTopic' started by robbo100, December 25, 2016.

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  1. robbo100
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    robbo100 Retired Team Member

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    Hi all,



    I thought I would post on here to see if anyone in the community uses IPFire for their home router solution?

    Basically, for those who don't know, IPFire is an open source Linux based firewall, run from a small low powered computer, which will allow you to create multiple networks in lieu of a normal router.

    A while back, I decided that I had given my wifi password to so many people (friends/babysitters etc), that I had lost track of who might be able to access my network. Clearly I wouldn't give out my password to someone I didn't trust, but it always niggled me a bit. So, had a play with a Raspberry Pi 1, to see whether I could use it in combination with my ISPs router, to provide a guest wifi network, firewalled from the main home LAN. It worked really well, but the RPi is slow and only has a 10/100 NIC (and also the SD card didn't like power cuts), so I decided to take the plunge and move onto something a little more adventurous.

    I bought a second hand Wyse Thin Client for £35 from ebay (Z90D7 with a 20Gb SD drive), and have installed IPFire. I have also bought a cheap (£8) USB 3.0 10/100/1000 NIC.

    My setup:

    - USB NIC -> directly to my ISP modem in PPPoE mode, which provides the internet connection to the house (Red Network).
    - Onboard Wired NIC -> to a network switch connected to the private LAN (Green Network)
    - Onboard WiFi NIC -> configured as the guest WiFi (Blue Network).

    So far, so good. I have enhanced firewall protection from the internet, and firewalled internet access only to my guests via WiFi. While concurrently running parental control, VPN access, and a whole load more for the household.

    It seems really stable, and anecdotally, my internet speeds see slightly increased (and the network seems far more stable). WiFi access points aren't dropping out like they used to and my Macs seem to play far better over the Network with my PCs!

    Does anyone else use IPFire? (or any other similar software, like PFSense). If so, what other systems do you run on that machine to make your network better/faster/smarter?
     
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  3. BlueMax1916
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    BlueMax1916 Super User

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    Hi,

    I am running IPFire for a little bit more than seven years now. It is running on pretty old hardware - a MSI ITX mainboard with three onboard 1GBit NIC and a 10 W ULV Intel Dual Core CPU. It was installed on a CF card which died early this year and since it has been replaced by a small SSD.

    It is easy to administrate and to maintain. My preferred solution after 9 years of OpenSuSE Linux with self-written firewall scripts on a PentiumPro CPU and mainboard.

    Cheers

    Blue Max
     
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  4. robbo100
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    robbo100 Retired Team Member

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    @BlueMax1916 Excellent!

    I am reassured that someone else (who seems to know what they are doing) is also using it. I was a little worried about they system not coping well with power cuts and needing a reinstall, but (unusually) we have had two in the last week and things have been completely fine.

    I do however, intend in making a USB recovery disc, so that I can get a fully configured version of the setup installed back on the machine in minutes, should the worst happen. I also have my old router switched off, but standing by, just in case.

    The one area I am slightly struggling with, is getting the Blue WiFi network to work correctly through the URL Filter and Proxy. I want every user (basically, any guest who connects with their smart phone), to go through Squid etc, but for some reason, they bypass it. I have tried blocking all DNS attempts other than via the IPFire DNS IP, but it still doesn't work. Do you know if any easy to follow guides that you can recommend?

    Robbo
     
  5. BlueMax1916
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    BlueMax1916 Super User

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    Hi Robbo,

    I am not aware of that the blue network gets bypassed by the filter. Here it works as it should. For troubleshooting I would recommend the IPFire forum as the developers and the users there are very helpful - just like here in this forum :)

    Cheers

    Blue Max
     
  6. robbo100
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    robbo100 Retired Team Member

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    Well, the forum is quite a lot quieter than that MediaPortal forum, but I suppose a firewall is slightly less sexy than an HTPC :)
     
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