must go faster

July 3, 2012 @ 11:33

So I’ve got faster internets now. I just upgraded to a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem (free) and now I’m getting 60Mbps downstream and 8Mbps upstream. Go ahead, you can be jealous.

Back in 2001, I bought a Soekris net4501 single-board computer, to use as my DSL router. Back then, I had a 1.5Mbps connection, so the net4501 was fine. Now though, it can’t sustain more than about 12Mbps, so it’s got to go.

At some point since then, I upgraded my wireless to a D-Link DIR-655 so I could get the 802.11n, and since it also has a pretty decent router, I stopped using the net4501.

Lately I’ve got a new apartment, which has a really obvious BDF, and I figured I’d put all the network stuff there, and keep the D-Link in the living room as just an AP and switch (for the Xbox and HTPC and such). So the net4501 came back out, and I discovered its limitations.

So…. after doing a bunch of research into thinks like the Soekris net5501 and Alix 2d13 boards, but they’re just not really “future-proof”, in that they max out around 85Mbps. Next up is obviously the Soekris net6501, but now we’re getting up into the $400 range, well beyond the budget I had in mind, when I could just swap the D-Link back in and call it a day.

Talking to a local guy (hi damnski!), he mentioned he had an old HP/Neoware thin-client acting as his router, running our choice of router OS, OpenBSD. They have a lot of options, but the CA10 seems to stand out as obvious - it has a PCI slot which into which I can put a NIC, and a CPU which is certainly fast enough to saturate its ethernet ports while filtering traffic and doing other miscellaneous tasks.

And the best part: $20 shipped on ebay. So that’s what I’m doing for right now.