At my place of work we use OPNSense as our router/firewall, a very nice HardenedBSD based firewall and routing platform. So off-course I wanted something like that at home as well. After playing and getting a couple of miniPC's from Ali, I had a good start on with it. However something was constant off, I just could not put my finger on it, but just some nagging in the back of my head. The router was always hot, throughput not really great.
Two weeks ago the inevitable happend, during the night it broke down. No more access to the Internet. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, having a working connection to the Internet, is, when working from home, quite mandatory. Luckily I had an older Netgear running OpenWRT router lying around, so connectivity fixed. However this is not what I wanted to have. I wanted to have a working OPNSense router/firewall.
While searching for a replacement for the Chinese build miniPC, I came across PC Engines as a good platform for the home-office, and capable in running OPNSense.
A very nice platform indeed. I got myself the components via a nice shop in Germany, made an order on Sunday, got a reply indicating I had ordered a couple of parts that I would not need. The components shipped on Monday, arrived on Tuesday. And not soon after got it running. Am very happy with this AMD based platform. It is a very nice platform for at home, throughput is perfect. Best of all I can update the BIOS when the router is running without a reboot. Very nice indeed.
So router is running a number of services:
- Wireguard Roadwarrior (connecting to home network and back out)
- OpenVPN (a couple of tunnels I need for my work)
- Some AdBlocking and such.
- Guest Network
But best of all, even with all the services I want run on it, the memory consumption is not above the 650MB of the 4048MB available. CPU is not constant running at 40% to 50% like the miniPC did, temperatures is not extremely high, all in all a very nice platform.