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networking focused mini PC

sswilson

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Is there really that much use for these kinds of devices though?

Every comment I've ever seen on these multi port firewall appliances is that the ports aren't configured as a switch and thus are only useful if a person has a need for multiple isolated lan ports connected to a single WAN. Otherwise the best setup is to connect your Lan port to a switch for multiple interconnected devices.

I freely admit that I'm not very strong in network experience, but that was the one point continually hammered home when I was looking into making an opnsense router.
 

moocow

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I have a 4 port Intel card in my PFSense machine. I had to bridge 3 of the ports together so it acts more like a hub. Left 1 of the port as a config port per the tutorial. Not sure if it actually behaves like a switch.
 

Marzipan

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Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canuckistan
Is there really that much use for these kinds of devices though?

Every comment I've ever seen on these multi port firewall appliances is that the ports aren't configured as a switch and thus are only useful if a person has a need for multiple isolated lan ports connected to a single WAN. Otherwise the best setup is to connect your Lan port to a switch for multiple interconnected devices.

I freely admit that I'm not very strong in network experience, but that was the one point continually hammered home when I was looking into making an opnsense router.
a router is only supposed to be one WAN and one LAN...that they have a 4 port switch built into them is just a convenience thing.

hopefully someone with more networking experience will comment...but perhaps there is software that can link up the ports so they would operate as a de-facto switch?
 

sswilson

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a router is only supposed to be one WAN and one LAN...that they have a 4 port switch built into them is just a convenience thing.

hopefully someone with more networking experience will comment...but perhaps there is software that can link up the ports so they would operate as a de-facto switch?

As referred to above, you can bridge the ports together but that's apparently not ideal.
 

JD

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Yeah "bridge" is generally software-based on these sort of devices, thus the performance penalty. Since each interface is separate, they can't communicate directly with each other, and instead the packets have to flow back through the CPU and to the NIC is my understanding.
 

enaberif

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The biggest reason for these devices is so that in something like pfSense or OpnSense you can create specific networks for certain jobs.

Nowhere does it say this is either a router or a switch.
 

enaberif

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Is there really that much use for these kinds of devices though?

Every comment I've ever seen on these multi port firewall appliances is that the ports aren't configured as a switch and thus are only useful if a person has a need for multiple isolated lan ports connected to a single WAN. Otherwise the best setup is to connect your Lan port to a switch for multiple interconnected devices.

I freely admit that I'm not very strong in network experience, but that was the one point continually hammered home when I was looking into making an opnsense router.

Pretty much bang on.

I run a 1u box with 2 nics and 1 is for my WAN in and the other for my LAN out to my switch. My OpnSense box handles all internal routing.

WAN -> OpnSense -> Switch
 

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