Difference between revisions of "DIY"

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== Getting Technical ==
DIY routers overcome the support limitations of commercial units, although until recently this has been at a cost of:
*additional terminology
Most DIY units have been based on superceded PC
*new mainboards now affordable - see below under "Hardware"
Additional hardware will be required, whatever main board is used:
*additional network cards
**most USB-Ethernet devices supported
**some USB modems will work in lieu one Ethernet card
*modem (if not provided by ISP as modem or Set Top Box)
*ethernet switch (unless only one computer will be accessing the Internet)
*WiFi Access Point
**if required
**might be implemented as a PCI/PCIe WiFi card in the routing PC
=== Hardware ===
Minimum suggested specs are approximately
*CPU - any X86 compatible of 333 Mhz or faster
**ARM CPU may now be viable in lieu x86 compatible see "Strictly for Geeks" below
*RAM - 256 MB
**additional functions, particularly caching, require extra RAM
*storage - 2 GB
**effective caching requires several GB more disk space
*network interfaces
**PCI, PCIe or USB-Ethernet required
**10 Mb/s suffice - unless running ADSL 2 or faster link
**'''NB''' - speed of other devices on the LAN is irrelevant, LAN performance depends on the ethernet switch deployed
Wattage for DIY has been somewhat higher than for commerical routers. A suitable objective, using 2010 or later componentry is 25 W. Lower wattage units are addressed under "Strictly for Geeks" below. CPU wattage is a poor indicator because other chips and peripherals consume somewhat more. Suggested basis for low wattage router:
#HP Proliant Microserver
#mainboards based on C50 CPU - which appears to have been used mainly in netbooks
#mainboards based on E350 CPU
#mainboards based on Atom CPU are something of an enigma
#*can be the lowest cost available but
#*wattage surprisingly high, because of associated chips
#mainboards based on VIA CPU
#*expensive unless s/hand
#*not particularly low wattage
#mainboards based on Pentium III CPU
#*reliability might be reduced because of age
#*zero cost & acceptable wattage
=== Software ===
Many Linux and BSD can be configured a gateway-router, but it is generally simpler and more watt efficient to use a specialised firewall/gateway distribution. Better known ones are listed in [[Linux_Distribution_Recommendations]] Although BSD based distributions such as Monowall are quite functional, their use would involve an additional learning curve for most people
=== Zoning ===
Software for DIY routers implements similar network zoning to that in commercial routers. An aspect that is different is the colour coding of zones:
*<span style="color:#c93800">'''RED'''</span> for untrusted/unfiltered Internet
*<span style="color:green">'''GREEN'''</span> for most trusted, '''wired''' LAN connections
*<span style="color:blue">'''BLUE'''</span> for less trusted WiFi connections
*<span style="color:#800080">'''PURPLE'''</span> for additional LAN zone
*<span style="color:#FF8000">'''ORANGE'''</span> for Demilitarized Zone, (DMZ)
**not required by most home users
**typically used for stand-alone servers, to which access from the Internet is permitted
== Strictly for Geeks ==
Be aware that the following techniques can render commecial routers unusable and perhaps unrecoverable, if applied unsuccessfully.
=== openWRT ===
openWRT http://wiki.openwrt.org is a long standing project aimed initially at utilising improved software on commerical routers. More recently it has morphed to:
*a more general embedded Linux distribution for compact devices
*covering a much wider range of off-the-shelf devices
One of the more popular devices to which openWRT it is currently applied is the TP-Link TL-703N
*'''not''' sold on the Australian market
*must be sourced from China
*nearest equivalent on the Australian market appears to be the TP-Link TL-MR3020
=== Developer Boards ===
DIY routers based on bare boards utilising an ARM CPU have become viable during 2012.
*have potential to match commerical routers in wattage and acreage
**whilst maintaining advantage of frequent software updates
*require more careful matching of hardware and software
**ARM compilations are not as "portable" as x86 compilations
***advisable to select hardware having an ARM CPU series matching the compilation
*raspberry pi is best known hardware example - see [[Raspberry Pi]]
**IPFire is the only well-known firewall/router that has reached '''released''' level for it
**alternatively, raspbian could be adapted as a firewall/router for it
Developer boards typically have more RAM & CPU resources than openWRT devices thus making print servers and caching routers more practical.
--[[User:Rpeters|Rpeters]] 15:34, 1 September 2013 (EST)
[[Category:Technical Info]]

Latest revision as of 10:52, 20 February 2016