Just about finished building a small server for filesharing on a small network, and am starting to look at an OS. I am thinking of using ClarkConnect 4, but I have not decided to configure it as a standalone server, or use it as a router also. Basically, which will provide better internet:
* My small server running ClarkConnect 4 (or other OSes you might suggest).
* An off the shelf router, like a DI-604.
Our internet (PPPoE cable) is used for both browsing and downloading. VPN etc is not needed. Mainly interested in a stable, fast and reliable connection, rather than lots of features.
The server will be roughly of these specs:
Intel Pentium 4 1.8GHz (Williamette)
Asus P4S8X MB
Syba PCI-SATA RAID 2 port card
2xSeagate 7200.9 SATA 250GB(for storage)
1xMaxtor DiamondMax9 IDE 40GB (for OS)
2xNIC (one at 1000Mbs for LAN, one at 100Mbs for WAN)
PCI USB/Firewire card (for attached storage)
Wireless G PCI card
Any comments on the above specification is also welcome.
m0n0wall is the most recommended router, firewall, but it is not for beginners. Linux routers are more powerful than store bought routers. They can handle an entire department. As far as speed is concerned an expensive router can match a Linux box, but it will have only four ports and limited software options. The advantage of the store bought router is simplicity and space advantage.
Last year I took an old Dell computer and set up a linux based router. At first I used Smoothwall and was really happy with it. I then got a hold of a faster old Aptiva and gave the old one to a friend. This time I used IPCop and was happier yet. IPCop is based off of Smoothwall, but allows more custimization and more complex networks without the addition of 3rd-party add-ons.
My old Linksys router usually had to be reset every few days or so, my Gigabit one - probably once a month, because of them locking up. I've gone 11 months and never have had smoothwall or ipcop lock up - only reboots I had were for firmware updates.
The linux routers I have used were not ever intended to be file servers, or serve any other purpose but routing. There is a reason for this; security, if the router is compromised then your fileserver is too. I have used ipcop and m0n0wall.
The other difference of the PC based routers is they suck much more power.