Best affordable hardware firewall/router

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anotheri
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Best affordable hardware firewall/router

Post by anotheri » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:55 am

I'm looking at really stepping up my game when it comes to security. I've only recently become aware of how crucial routers are in protecting your computer from internet threats. I used to plug my computer directly to the modem in early broadband days and used the cheapest router at 10 year life cycles after that. Right now I'm running my ISP provided router/modem all in one combo unit.


I'm looking to get a preferably wired only router that has a high emphasis on security. I could care less about the fastest whatever, gaming, connectivity to IOT, etc..

So something with higher end than typical consumer grade software on it that isn't vulnerable to a million exploits like most ISP provided routers/gateway modem combos, something with a good track record likely to be supported for a few years down the line or even better a product that runs some kind of Open source firmware on it that will be updated for a long time, so DDWRT, OpenWRT, FreeBSD, etc... I have a preference for Linux as that is what I run.


Other than that I am a one man show, only one internet device, the desktop. No need for more than one port actually, no need for wifi or anything special, I have a VPN already configured on my desktop. Having wifi or multiple ports isn't a deal breaker but I don't need them so it shouldn't be the main selling point. If I were to run a VPN on it, I use OpenVPN protocol so it would have to accept that. I don't need it to support crazy speeds, I run a generic 25mbps down/10up connection.

Willing to spend around $200'ish, potentially a tad more if the product is really above and beyond. Like I said main area of focus will be it's hardware firewall/security aspects.

I would like something that's relatively easy to use/set up and does not require a few weekends on the forums to get up and running.


Only issues I can think of is there might be a time where I have to run the router behind another router instead of directly to the modem. I can control them all but I might have to set this router with another crappy unsecured router in front of it talking to the modem. So my computer > router I'm asking advise for > crappy ISP router > ISP modem.

Currently the only affordable router that I have found that seems to meet this criteria is the pfSense netgate SG-1000

https://www.netgate.com/solutions/pfsense/sg-1000.html



That and a few options from Ubiquiti Networks like this model and those that are similar
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 01ZK-00003

only concern with that is that they are not open source and thus vulnerable to backdoors and I've heard Ubiquiti routers are not very user friendly to set up.
Last edited by anotheri on Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Faust
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Re: Best affordable hardware firewall/router

Post by Faust » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:15 am

anotheri wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:55 am
..... Right now I'm running my ISP provided router/modem all in one combo unit....
Have you looked at Pi-Hole ?

You can stay with your ISP router and really beef up your security for very little cost .
It's easy to ssh into it so you can run it "headless" , and if it turns out not to suit your needs you still have a nice Raspberry Pi to play with .
What's not to like about that scenario ?

There are plenty of tutorials on Youtube and if you know how to put a GNU/Linux distro onto a USB stick , that's all the tech skills needed .

Of course , if budget is not a major issue , check out FortiGate hardware .... stunningly good kit !
" And so it goes " - Kurt Vonnegut
The modern reality and the satirical parody are rapidly converging .

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jimallyn
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Re: Best affordable hardware firewall/router

Post by jimallyn » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:17 am

anotheri wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:55 am
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...0XK-000W-00060

only concern with that is that they are not open source and thus vulnerable to backdoors and I've heard Ubiquiti routers are not very user friendly to set up.
Bad link. I am on a network of Ubiquiti hardware bringing internet to my neighborhood. Good stuff. They are very versatile, which can lead to being hard to set up. Just curious, what would make that Netgate SG-1000 better than running DD-WRT on a router I bought for 4 bucks at the Goodwill second hand store?
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Faust
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Re: Best affordable hardware firewall/router

Post by Faust » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:26 am

jimallyn wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:17 am
. ..... Just curious, what would make that Netgate SG-1000 better than running DD-WRT on a router I bought for 4 bucks at the Goodwill second hand store?
To be frank , almost nothing ( I looked at the specs before posting ) .
And you got a fantastic bargain there !

In many cases , attempting to flash a router provided by an ISP , and installing Tomato or one of the wrt variants will result in a brick .
" And so it goes " - Kurt Vonnegut
The modern reality and the satirical parody are rapidly converging .

Charlie
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Re: Best affordable hardware firewall/router

Post by Charlie » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:18 am

I put DD-WRT on a Netgear WNDR 3700 and am very happy. Hard to find a bad review out there. The version of the router can be the important thing as they are not all equal, arguably I have the superior of the breed in V4 while v5 is a brick as it is not supported by alternative firmware.

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jimallyn
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Re: Best affordable hardware firewall/router

Post by jimallyn » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:54 pm

Faust wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:26 am
And you got a fantastic bargain there !
I can buy used routers for 4 bucks at the Goodwill, Salvation Army, Senior Center Thriftshop, and so on just about any day of the week. Every time I have gone looking for one, one or more of those second hand stores has had one. Or several. Maybe I should go into business buying routers for 4 bucks and turn around and sell them at a profit.
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Jim Hauser
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Re: Best affordable hardware firewall/router

Post by Jim Hauser » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:52 am

My system is using a Cisco RVS4000 4-port Gigabit Security Router - VPN. Although this router has been discontinued there are still used/refurbished units for sale on Amazon for around US $25.00 ( + US $6.00 shipping.)

More specs can be found here:

https://www.amazon.com/Cisco-RVS4000-4- ... B000GQXFUK

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Jim Hauser
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Re: Best affordable hardware firewall/router

Post by Jim Hauser » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:56 am

I should have talked to jimallyn first... :?

anotheri
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Re: Best affordable hardware firewall/router

Post by anotheri » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:45 am

I'm really not looking to build something from scratch e.g. pfSense box, VM firewall router, flashing, etc, it's not that I can't but I simply do not have the time to do another build, troubleshoot, spend days on end on the forums getting things to work. I already have those issues running a Linux OS, where what would be a 5 minute problem on Windows turns into a week long problem posting on forums for answers. I need a commercial solution plug and play solution, the issue is getting one of those without having to drop $500 + on a router.

I would find it redundant to spend money on the various plug n play high end firewall appliances/routers that come with Windows OS oriented AV software built into them, which is a lot of the enterprise/high end routers... Not to mention the cost of these "appliances".


So far the Ubiquiti Networks Edge Router ER-X & Edge Router X have come recommended from some security minded folks I've talked to for an affordable yet enterprise grade router that will provide you with good performance and most importantly protection. I'm not looking for bullet proof protection but I definitely need to get out of this lazy complacency zone I've been in for years relying on ISP provided routers/modems. These things suck, they never get firmware updates, are full of holes because of various remote administration or plug n play type features, massive target for exploits due to being used by millions of subscribers, etc...


ER-X SFP
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... -_-Product

X
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 1EA56S0811

ERLite-3
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 000A-00001


So what do you guys think... Is this a solid choice? Are there better options? Any potential downsides to this or ways in which this particular product dosen't address my security concerns?
jimallyn wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:17 am
Bad link. I am on a network of Ubiquiti hardware bringing internet to my neighborhood. Good stuff. They are very versatile, which can lead to being hard to set up. Just curious, what would make that Netgate SG-1000 better than running DD-WRT on a router I bought for 4 bucks at the Goodwill second hand store?
Just how much more advanced is it to set up these kinds of routers from Ubiquiti Networks vs the average Linksys/TP-Link home market oriented router? Is it going to be headache or something pretty straight forward?

Charlie
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Re: Best affordable hardware firewall/router

Post by Charlie » Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:27 am

I checked Amazon and there are many reviews for these products. You may find the advice you want amongst them.

anotheri
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Re: Best affordable hardware firewall/router

Post by anotheri » Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:10 am

Ended up going with the Edge Router X, I figured the NAT/Firewall provided by this will be an upgrade over the vulnerable ISP all-in-one unit, it's analytics features as well should be useful in trying to sniff out any attacks or suspicious programs trying to access the net or prod my system. For fun I might boot Win 10 up and see how many connections are attempted even once you disable all the telemetry stuff.

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majpooper
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Re: Best affordable hardware firewall/router

Post by majpooper » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:08 pm

I went with the router behind a router - actually a 3 router set up I got from listing to the pod cast Security Now with my hero Steve Gibson.
https://www.pcper.com/reviews/General-T ... Insecurity

There are plenty of low priced routers out there, Ubiquiti being one of the best deals for about $50. I had an old wireless Linksys router that I had replaced with an enterprise level wired router. All was good until friends and family could not get on line with their phones and laptops. The reason I went wired was to avoid wireless into my home network. However I purchased a new wireless router and was trying to figure out how to best segregate a guest (wireless) network access from my wired network which is when I heard of the three or Y router configuration on Security Now.

I installed dd-wrt on the old wireless router (not with out a whole lot of frustration) and now have a "boarder" router (the router wired to the ISP modem on one network.). The boarder router has the wireless disabled. Behind the boarder router I have the other two routers; the wireless now running dd-wrt on a separate network for guests and the wired router on yet a third network for the wired home network. I also changed the networks to random ip address space like 192.168.57.12 and implemented firewalls on each and all the recommended router security tweaks you can find with a little research on line.

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