Pfsense vs Wireless router

Hi I plan on replacing my old 802.11.g router and Docsis.2 modem with new equipment. For the modem I've already decided on a Motorola SB6141
( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16825390001 ), but for the wireless router I'm torn between using Pfsense on an old Pentium 4 running at 3.14 GHz with 250 gig hard drive, 4 gigs of ram and adding a Asus PCE-AC66 Wireless-AC1750 Dual-Band PCI-E Adapter
( http://www.frys.com/product/7535516?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG ), or just using the router equivalent ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320115 ). Basically I just want to know which would be faster. I have heavy use on the network from 12+ devices, and on the desktops and laptops their will be torrenting, online gaming, large downloads, web-surfing, and HD streaming. All suggestions are appreciated.

Thank You.

P.S. If there is a better solution than Pfsense I'm all ears.
3 answers Last reply
More about pfsense wireless router
  1. You almost can't compare them. I would hope you plan to add a switch to the PC and not try to run all that all over wireless. The PC app can do so much more but it will also kill that machine if you decided to filter at url levels. Then again the asus can't even really do that.

    The key thing you give up using a PC is that the internal card can ONLY run 5g or 2.4g at a time. The router can run both at the same time since it has 2 different chips.

    Now the standard 802.11ac warning applies. All the devices on the market are DRAFT 2.0 or less, the actual standard will not be finalized until the end of the year. Also much like running 802.11g and 802.11n at the same time 802.11ac will go into compatibility mode and you lose most the benefit. This is especially true if you are going to use your old 802.11g adapters. You will likely not see much difference over your current router.

    I would buy a inexpensive dual band 802.11n router and use it as a AP and use your current 802.11g router as a AP. All connected to your pfsense box with a switch. I would place a second nic card in your PC just to make the routing simpler. You would lock the 802.11n router to support N only that way it will not fall back into compatibility mode.
  2. john-b691 said:
    You almost can't compare them. I would hope you plan to add a switch to the PC and not try to run all that all over wireless. The PC app can do so much more but it will also kill that machine if you decided to filter at url levels. Then again the asus can't even really do that.

    The key thing you give up using a PC is that the internal card can ONLY run 5g or 2.4g at a time. The router can run both at the same time since it has 2 different chips.

    Now the standard 802.11ac warning applies. All the devices on the market are DRAFT 2.0 or less, the actual standard will not be finalized until the end of the year. Also much like running 802.11g and 802.11n at the same time 802.11ac will go into compatibility mode and you lose most the benefit. This is especially true if you are going to use your old 802.11g adapters. You will likely not see much difference over your current router.

    I would buy a inexpensive dual band 802.11n router and use it as a AP and use your current 802.11g router as a AP. All connected to your pfsense box with a switch. I would place a second nic card in your PC just to make the routing simpler. You would lock the 802.11n router to support N only that way it will not fall back into compatibility mode.


    What if instead of running the 802.11.n locked in n mode I bought the asus router and locked it off of 802.11.g. I ask this because the router is extremely good even at 802.11.n(http://m.tomshardware.com/reviews/wi-fi-802.11ac-router,3386.html).
  3. I have not seen what you can lock that router to. I would suspect you can lock it to N. Not sure if you can make it run say only AC and N.

    I have seen lots of reviews say lots of things. But if you go to the FCC site and look at what it says, the N66u and AC66u processor and 2.4 radio are EXACTLY the same chips the only difference in the 5g radio. So any review that says the AC is faster at 2.4 802.11n or has faster overall throughput I tend to disbelieve the complete review. I could see a difference at 802.11n on 5g since it is a different chip but the rest tends to make me think they have a issue with how they test. Bottom line will be your house. This is why you see such huge difference in consumer review of routers. Some people will say xx router has great coverage and the next guy will say it does not work in the next room.

    I like many others got burned by the PRE-802.11n stuff so tend to be very hesitant to adopt new technology built on standard that may change. I intend to wait until 2014 to buy any 802.11ac equipment.

    Just remember for the use you are proposing the main limiting factor is your internet connection. You could go out and spend millions of dollars and make everything in your house run 10G but if you connect it to a 15m internet connection your speed is still 15m.

    You also want to run as much as you possibly can on ethernet cable. This is particularly true for anything that is high bandwidth or needs clean reliable service (video streaming and games).
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