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Looking for a recommendation on a device (or devices I guess) to do router/firewall/vpn/vlan/nat functons for my home network. Right now, I'm doing this with an IPCop box, but I'd prefer a little less roll-ur-own.


  1. VLANs to segment traffic (damn kids)
  2. Traditional firewall/nat functions like linksys boxes
  3. VPN to home ability so I can use my laptop on the road via a safe pipe
  4. VPN to home from Windows/Macs/Linux machines

I'm thinking of something a step up from the typical blue boxes (or are they sufficient?).

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closed as off topic by Mark Henderson Jan 12 '12 at 5:52

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Have you looked into alternative firmware for consumer routers? I know that DD-WRT offers all the features you're asking for. It's free and may be compatible with your existing hardware. Just be aware that the vpn images require routers with a bit more flash.

Other options

  • OpenWRT
  • Tomato may work...not sure if it has the full feature list you're looking for as I don't have any experience with it.
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I would highly recommend the Cisco ASA5505. It will do everything that you want including IPS with a AIP-SSC card and 2 POE ports if you get into VOIP. It can be had for around $500.

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+1 on this. The 5505 is a pretty amazing box for the price. – Matt Oct 7 '09 at 14:42
You need to get the "Security+ License" if you want more than 3 VLANs (inside, outside, dmz). The DMZ interface CANNOT talk to either inside or outside. The "Security+ License" comes pretty close to doubling the pricetag. – Zypher Oct 7 '09 at 15:09

If you don't mind a bit of basic assembly and setup, I'd highly recommend running pfSense on a PCEngines embedded atom board. Yes, it's still officially a "roll your own" solution, but once installed, all admin tasks are performed through a very nice web interface. pfSense will support all of your 4 requirements with ease.

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I recommend Draytek 2910. With Cisco you have only 3 months of software upgrade.

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Check out the LinkSys RVL-200. It does an SSL VPN (which is supported by almost anything), NAT/SPI, Cisco put up a page on setting up the VLAN trunk with a bigger LinkSys switch too if needed:

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I like the Linksys RV042 and RV082 series of routers, but they might be a bit pricey for a home router I suppose. VLAN support (double-check that), IPSec (VPN Tunnel), PPTP (VPN Endpoint), Firewall, Port forwarding/NAT.

The RV042 and RV082 are essentially the same, but the RV082 has 8 ports instead of 4 and has a faster CPU (helps with the VPN).

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Looks like there are already a lot of different suggestions, but I'll add yet another! Snapgear makes Linux-based, web-managed (telnet/SSH access is also available) devices with a variety of VPN options including IPSEC, PPTP, and GUI-less OpenVPN. They got bought by Secure Computing, which got bought by McAfee. I've used them in homes and offices for many years without failure, and unlike many devices I've never needed a support contract to download firmware updates (both fixes and features).

Check out for an overview/feature list and for a user interface demo. Google Shopping has plenty of vendors with public pricing.

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Check out Fortinet's Fortigates. They do it all plus more. They are infinately flexible. has some good pricing. You have to pay a yearly fee for AV and Web Content filtering updates, but it is peace of mind. They have kept our network trojan, virus, and malware free for 3+ years.

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I've had extensive experience with Fortinet and I would say stay away. They have horrible customer service and are terrible to deal with on the phone. – Jordan Eunson Oct 18 '09 at 22:02

If you want an all-in-one solution, pick up a Cisco 851. It has IOS built in, as well as IPSec VPN. I have one deployed and it handles my routing/firewall, VLAN's and IPSec VPN traffic. Serious recommended buy.

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