Suggest a show on networking

I think home networking is a central and complicated enough topic that a show devoted to it would be quite useful.

It should cover both the hardware and “software” choices for people with different concerns about levels of security, performance, price and ease of setup/configuration and use.

I for example have two old Linksys WRT54G routers connected by Ethernet providing coverage throughout my home. My current (grandfathered) download is “up to 15 Mbps” (and I commonly get up to 10 because I throttled my router to reduce bufferbloat).

Sometimes, my Twit TV videos or the videos from Netflix buffer, but my wife and I are generally OK with the performance.

BUT, the available DD-WRT software doesn’t have any security updates as far as I know, so I am concerned that I am at risk of intruders.

So, I would like advice on an inexpensive substitute that would be modern enough to handle the next level of download that my ISP offers (200 Mbps) and would allow me to customize for security and performance.

I am ok with using the command line to configure these devices (I am no guru, but I am retired and stubborn).

I am interested in “quality” hardware like the EdgerouterX (with an additional wireless access point) and would like to use PFsense if this is reasonable. (I don’t think it is easy to get PFSense running on the EdgerouterX).

I am not enamored with mesh systems because (a) they are expensive and (b) I don’t think they allow the fun of “hands on” customization.

So I would love to see a show where problems with home networking like mine would be the focus.

Of course, if I get responses on these forums that helps, that would also be great.

Thanks in advance,



Ubiquiti’s UniFi does have a lot of hands-on customization options, and it’s the original (or one of the original) mesh systems. Also works really well, especially with their other devices like their security gateway and managed switches/routers. A lot of their gear (including their EdgeRouter) isn’t all that expensive, either; I think I picked up my Unifi AC for ~$100.

For pfSense, I’m looking at getting a netgate, which is made by the developer of pfSense themselves, and also one of the best appliance options for it (heard Steve Gibson and others mention that). Or I might just build a pfSense computer, haven’t decided yet.

Crosstalk Solutions on YouTube is a good channel to follow for networking stuff for a relative networking novice like me.


If you build your own, remember you need at least two NICs for it to make sense, and if you have more, you’ll find uses for them. If you have a small midtower which can have 6 to 8 slots (it may not need a graphics card, if it has on board video) then you could install lots of NICs cause they’re cheap. On the other hand, now you have a big box computer with a big box CPU which may be spending more of a power budget than a small, built for purpose, box from Netgate. But then again the Netgate box with 6 (or 8 I forget which) ports is mighty pricey… $500 pays for a lot of electricity…


Good to know! Yeah, if I go custom route I’m definitely going to go for a power efficient/low TDP CPU, and an ITX board with bifurcated PCI-E for the NICs or a DTX board with 2 slots, so I can put it in a nice, small case with an external power supply. If I think I might need more NICs than that, I think I’ll just get a netgate down the road.

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Well for my [future] use case I can think of:

  • Desktop PC network, including the NAS
  • Wireless mesh network (IoT)
  • DMZ
  • completely untrusted gear (fully isolated)

I’d like to second.
Desktop PC network, including the NAS


2 Feb update. I bought an Edgerouter X and have installed it. Have not completed “customizing” its configuration, but it seems to be working well.

In regard to comparison with pFsense appliances, I followed a few recent posts by a blogger who felt Ubiquiti was not maintaining a proper focus on network products and the firmware and switched to a Netgate appliance. That however manifested a power problem that was known to occur and he returned it when it stopped working and instead got another box and installed pFsense on that one.

The general impression I have gotten is that the Edgerouter firmware is more complicated to customize than the pFsense and because EdgeOS (basede on Vyatta OS) is from the linux world, pFsense firmware may have some advantages.

I have also heard (not sure it is true) that the EdgeOS is better for setting up complicated routing, while pFsense is better for complicated firewalling.

Perhaps, that isn’t an issue for anyone proficient in either OS from the command line.

I am currently happy with the performance (not quantitatively measured to be sure ).

A major value of this router is the opportunity to learn to configure it for both performance AND security.

Still would like to see/hear Leo set up a show devoted to networking…



I had an edgerouter x a while ago but changed it for a Mikrotik since the X had lots of firmware update problems. There was never enough spare memory to install the updates. I also have a pfsense firewall which I use for NAT and firewalling but I’ve not tired doing any inter VLAN routing on it. This matches your thoughts of edgeos for routing and pfsense for firewalling.

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I am just getting used to the Edgerouter. At the very least, it is giving me a chance to play with configuration.

Thanks for comments.


It takes a while to get your head around it as it’s got so many features. The netflow analysis of the traffic types on the main screen is really useful too.