Building my own router? Need help!

Games & Technology
Hello! As the title states I would like to build a router for our home. The primary reason for this is so that we can enable wi-fi in our home and for additional security. Our current router is a piece of garbage from Walmart and uses WPS so we can't turn on the lousy wi-fi it has.

We tested the wi-fi the other day and we were able to break into our network within 2 hours using Reaver. Turning off the WPS does not actually turn it off unfortunately even though it states that it does.

My friend suggested I build a router for myself and use a software program called PFsense. A so called "PFsense box". This is where you guys come in! I have some old computer parts laying around and I need advice on how to build a PFsense box.

I have an AMD Athlon II 640, a biostar A780L3G motherboard, thermal paste, a bunch of stock heatsinks for the CPU, I have some dd3 RAM somewhere and that's about it.

I don't have any switches, NICs, or an antenna.

Can I build a PFsense box given what I have and the purchase of some more parts?

Our router needs are pretty low in my household. We have 4 computers that run around 15 hours a day, 365 days a year and that's it. I'm not sure if this is relevant but all of our computers use the same Intel Gigabit CT Desktop Adapter.

I would like the router to be a gigabit router if possible. Our current one is not. The router needs to have a strong and steady wi-fi signal.

Our internet speed is (according to speedtest.net)
Ping: 5ms
Download Speed: 47.00 MBps
Upload Speed: 11.18 MBps
Server <50 miles away

We download a lot of video games from Steam but that's about it.

I hope I have provided enough information, if any further information is required I would be happy to provide it. Please help me, thanks!

Note: I am open to purchasing a router but I was told building one yourself offers a lot more options and security. Plus, I had hoped given I have some parts already it would be cheaper.
pfsense is one option (it's based on FreeBSD). Linux is another. I built my own Linux router, and it is *extremely* flexible, never needs to be rebooted for any reason short of me deciding to recompile/upgrade the kernel, and has amazing traffic shaping capabilities built in.

That hardware you have is *extreme* overkill for a router. It's not really even possible to state how overkill it is. The main advantage pfsense would have over a regular Linux (or BSD) distribution for you is, you don't have to worry about setting it up, since it's a distribution already pre-configured to be a router.

There are various "router" distros of both Linux and BSD. There isn't really anything special about them, except that they are pre-configured and come with tools to do common router tasks more easily and with less knowledge than doing them manually.
I maintain a pfsense router/firewall appliance at work. It works well enough but I suspect it would be overkill for your needs. Perhaps consider a good router (like netgear) and flash it with dd-wrt opensource firmware. That will allow the control you're looking for, without the extra hardware and advanced configuration.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum