Recommendations for home-office hardware

Hi everyone!

I’ve been running an old 32-bit machine with IpCop for the last decade or so, but it’s getting rather cranky and I’m conscious that IPCop as a project has been dead for a while. I use it as the firewall for the home, but as I’m also a software and electronics geek, I have a lot of extra computers, NAS units, Arduinos with Ethernet adaptors, RasPis, etc. So I need something that makes a nice job of managing DHCP and NTP, shows me traffic graphs, lets me VPN into my network from my laptop when I’m on holiday, etc. It looks like IPFire might be just the replacement I need!

I’m keen to buy hardware for it that is quiet or silent, and low-power. I’d be happy to buy the IPFire Mini Appliance (particularly if it helps support the project!) but the store says they’re out of stock. Does anyone know whether this is a temporary thing, or whether they’re no longer sold?

Otherwise, I’d be happy to build a low-power x64 box. Does anyone have any good recommendations of processor and mobo combinations I can buy (I’m in the UK) that would be lower power and quiet/silent running?

I’ve been using an HP NUC very small but 64bit and does a great job as the firewall.
I do not run Update Accelerator or other CPU & storage hungry processes so the service works well and is light on the 8GB of RAM.

Try this for supply.
I’ve also used these as NVR’s for a small camera block and also as AirControl for UBNT Radio services, albeit small layout.

Hi @oddbloke

Welcome to the IPFire community.

It is a temporary thing but it is not clear how long temporary will be. It is the chip shortage that is impacting it i believe.


That’s quite cute! But what do I do about a second ethernet port? (Sorry, I should have said in my initial posting - my current setup has green Ethernet port for LAN and red Ethernet port, into my Draytek Vigor 130 modem.)

The Mini Appliance is based on the APUx boards of
These have x NICs. So your needs should be satisfied.

There are offers in the web for those boards or ready systems. But look at the price! I’ve seen APU2E4 systems for €1900,00 :frowning: .

Very good choice!

Personally, I like to exploit the flexibility of solid (small form-factor) boards,
equipped with “T” processor models, e.g.
. . . i3-4360T CPU + 4GB

This enables integration of additional PCI-e card directly into your box:
. . . any additional network cards you may need
. . . MoDem: VigorNIC 132 / 132F VDSL/ADSL
. . . W-Lan AP; e.g. equipped with Intel Wireless 8260 / successor models

Example, solid 24/7 since 2018:
→ Profile ebc1539924251781ecb8481a7c9d2691eae5258f

Professional “Mini Barebone” alternatives:
. . . sona: Supermicro Barebone SuperServer
. . . Thomas Krenn
. . . . . . → LES compact 4L: currently on offer for new customers until 31. Mai 2022
. . . . . . → LES network 6L: 6 x 1 Gbit/s LAN (RJ-45)

Best regards,

The Intel NUC has only 1 network port but I also use a USB > Network for the red. If you require a Blue then add another USB.

Beware: Concerning stability, your mileage may vary …

I’m not crazy about using a USB network adaptor. If I build a PC for this, I’d be looking for something with a PCIe expansion slot.

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Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing?

If it would be perfect, then great … but otherwise I’m tempted to build a temporary PC for the job to last just until the IPFire Minis are back in stock.

I use the 2-port version for a testing lab, it works well, 64GB mSATA, 4GB ram, J1800.


This ‘but’ is true for most new HW at the moment :cry:

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If you just want to use it as firewall then try Arm devices like

  • Friendlyarm NanoPi R4S
  • Friendlyarm NanoPi R2S
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I’ve been using something similar for a couple years - It’s a “fitlet2” made by Compulab, and has been very reliable. Added a 128GB m.2 and 8G Memory DIMM I had… overkill, but boots quickly & plenty of space.
I did add a small fan on my cabinet, since it’s a fanless design, but may not really need it…

Prior to that, I was running on a VM on my QNAP, and it was unreliable as heck (not the VM, running the firewall with virtualized network, etc.), so the fitlet has been awesome.

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I chose a TopTon from Aliexpress. Features include:
-4xIntel i225-V B3 2.5G RJ45 LANs, 2xUSB3.0.
-1xDDR4 SODIMM non-ecc ram slot, max support 16GB 2400MHz.
-Support two storage: 1xmSATA SSD+1x2.5’'SATA SSD/HDD.
-Support 1xHD-MI+1xVGA dual display output synchronously and asynchronously.
-1xSIM slot, 1xMPCIE wireless slot, support WiFi/3G/4G(3 choose 1) connection.
-Support AES-NI, ESXI, Watchdog, Auto power on, RTC, PXE boot, Wake-on-LAN.
-Full Aluminum Alloy high quality solid-built shell with three-sided ice thorns, excellent cooling performance,
-Fanless system
-Low consumption TDP only 10W and can be mounted back of monitor by VESA bracket(optional).

Here is the speed test noting that it is a fibre connection throttled by the isp.

This is definitely not the cheapest on Aliexpress, but I find that paying more = more quality.


Interesting little device, what services are you running on the IPfire while getting 315/98 throughput?

This is a fresh bare install with just the basic services running.

I ran a similar device before it failed after about 5 years use.
I don’t have a way of testing full speed of the device.