Last night I upgraded our BellSouth DSL to their finally-available 6.0 Mbps service. The sales rep told me it would be speedier by the 14th, and much to my surprise, I woke up this morning to find a newly improved 6 meg connection.

Tonight I get home to spend a few hours enjoying twice my former bandwidth, only to reallize that my little DD-WRT-running Linksys router can’t keep up with demand. When my download kept “randomly” dropping by 200k/s, I started poking around to see what was up.

Turns out it was related to all the logging I had going (built-in logging, syslog, rflow, etc.) that was eating the processor of the wee little machine (load averages up in the 3’s on a router aren’t generally a good thing for your packet latency).

So, for now I’ve disabled all those “unnecessary” (but highly necessary) services on it to get things working. I’m now looking for a small fanless Linux box that will appropriately run one of the common firewall distros. At the moment, I’m looking towards m0n0wall, but if there are other opinions out there, I’d be open to hearing them (I’ve used IPCop in the past, but it looks like they may have died, since it’s been a year since a patch was released).

LinITX looks great, particularly their m0n0wall box and their beefier generic firewall box. Unfortunately, they’re based out of the UK, which means shipping is expensive and it could take forever to get it. My AmEx and constant desire for instant gratification don’t particularly care for either…

So here are my requirements:

  • Capable of running a popular *nix firewall distro with no “tinkering” or “tweaking”
  • Fanless
  • Low-profile and low-power

Somebody out there has to have a good suggestion. I don’t have enough time to build this thing myself, so I want a pre-assembled (and preferrably m0n0wall-installed) appliance. Suggestions, please…

Originally published and updated .