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Old August 2, 2012, 05:30 PM
Scurvy42 Scurvy42 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 15
Question New router, DIY or buy and Tomato?

Every 7ish years (HRM!) I come upon a decision in my home network. I started it with a pentium acting as stand-alone router in 1997ish. In the early 2000s I upgraded to a WRT54G that I quickly discovered could be flashed. I eventually landed on Tomato and used it for ages, up until earlier this year, in fact, when that venerable 54G started to act up and drop wifi. :(

So now I'm on the fence again. I'd like the router to be able to do 'fancier' stuff than previously. Usual things like tunnelling (although I haven't used it yet I can forsee it in the future), NAT or something similar, wireless G/N (although with a very powerful AP and removable/upgradable antennas), as well as currently-non-standard things like running a TOR gateway. I don't need it to do file / print serving, as I already do that on other machines on the network. If it can take over DHCP/Dnsmasq/internal network DNS/network boot duties more-the-better, just to centralize that part of the network admin.

I know I can build a 1U machine to toss into my rack and make it work. I'm not sure the wifi hardware I'd throw in there yet, but the rest is pretty standard stuff I've done before (I may try a *BSD this time if I were to do it that way). But I'm also still very impressed with tomato/tomato-usb, I'm just not sure that those tomato-capable routers have the guts to run things like TOR or anything else I'd like to throw at the router.

I've mostly just searched around, made my best guess and gone for it. But I thought this time I'd source opinions from those who have probably done it better than I have, and maybe even done it as an actual job and not just a seemingly-full-time-hobby (I would only consider myself a Jr. level sys/network admin if I were going to charge for it, as I have no 'formal' training and have just puttered along mostly by myself since 1995ish).

Thanks for any help/pointers!
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