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For a small home network -- two laptops, two desktops, plus the main server -- should I expect much gain by running Squid on the main server? I fully understand the value of running a caching name server for a small home network, but I'm not sure if there is any value to running an HTTP caching proxy.

The main server does full NAT for all other computers on the network, in case it matters.

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6 Answers 6

up vote 10 down vote accepted

You probably won't really see much gains in network performance.

What you do get is

  • A place where you can block annoying sites
  • you can integrate clamav to help block malware before it gets to your windows systems.
  • You can watch the access logs and see what computers are doing what. And possibly see requests from systems that where infected by malware. Or see when some stupid application is checking every 5 minutes for application updates.
  • Protect the Kiddies from sites you feel are objectionable when combined with blacklists.
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I'd say you get decent improvement if the internet link is a slow one, like dial-up or satellite. –  Mei Jul 9 '09 at 0:54

I don't think it's worth it. You might see a small speed-up on commonly used pages (if they're used by both machines), but you're not going to save enough bandwidth or time to make it worth the hassle, IMO.

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If they all run the same operating system, and the update system on said operating system is caching-friendly, using a web cache would mean that you download each update once, not (in your case) four times.

YMMV.

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Mind you, if they run Windows, you may win more by setting up WSUS than Squid. So yeah. Definitely YMMV. –  Chris Jester-Young May 4 '09 at 4:26

If you have a small network, there's not much to be gained. I've had squid running on our home network. Last time I measured it, it was reducing the traffic by 6-8%. There's also the gain you get by removing the effect of latency on TCP setup. But unless multiple users are hitting the same site, the re-visit hits are likely as not going to come from your browser's cache anyway. If I didn't know the squid was running I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference.

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Next to nothing or even slower unless all 4 computers go to the exact same websites all the time and still there wont be anything to get happy about, i properly spent all the time you would save typing this message :S

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If you block all outbound traffic except for that from squid, you can get a nice view of what is sending traffic out of your network that you didn't otherwise know about. Some stuff will just bounce off your firewall and the rest you can see in your squid logs.

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