I would like to monitor network traffic for a computer on my network


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Special Forums IP Networking I would like to monitor network traffic for a computer on my network
# 8  
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corona688
Why a $200 mini-computer, and not a $15 garage gale piece of garbage?

Brand new computers, and especially brand-new mini anything, are the computers most likely to not have good support from a linux distribution (or from anyone, really). Its power supply is weird, its video card is weird, its processor is weird, its hard drive is weird, its ethernet ports are weird, its motherboard is weird, and it has no real I/O except USB. It's almost as bad as a PI. Not an actual computer, despite its lofty ratings.
I was talking to a friend about this last night and he pointed out the this computer also comes pre-bundled with PFSense. Hence, it is probably designed to perform this task. Does that change your answer? Ultimately, I might just buy the hardware and try it out. Thanks.

Amazon.com: QOTOM Mini PC Q190G4-S01 with 8GB RAM and 64GB SSD, Intel Celeron J1900 processor, Quad Core 2.0 GHz, 4 LAN Mini PC PFSense Linux Windows: Computers & Accessories
# 9  
Quote:
Originally Posted by gandolf989
I was talking to a friend about this last night and he pointed out the this computer also comes pre-bundled with PFSense.
pfsense is an operating system based off BSD. You either install it inside the machine itself, or inside a virtual machine running inside the machine. And a cheap Celeron is very unlikely to support hardware VM.

So you'd be locking yourself in a weird proprietary operating system. If that works for you, great. If it doesn't, you may be painting yourself into a corner.

Quote:
Hence, it is probably designed to perform this task.
It's an internet appliance with four ethernet ports - naturally it's designed for networking. Which doesn't mean it's easier to use.

If you don't like the preloaded loadout, you may have a hard time installing anything else. If you drive that bargain-basement SSD to an early grave with frequent logging writes, it may not be replaceable. If you back yourself into a corner and need to boot a rescue disk, I hope you can find a compatible one.
# 10  
Read again Corona688's post#5 and post#7.

You do seem to be hell bent on spending good money on this when the best solution is to get hold of a piece of junk somebody has thrown out and put a second NIC in it. It will give you a choice of almost any Linux version to run on it and a choice of any decent open source firewall (eg, IPcop). You can quickly get to the situation where nobody can as much as sneeze on your LAN or WAN without you knowing about it. You can also police the whole thing and allow/disallow anything you want.
# 11  
Also, one of Robert Grossblatt's famous laws of life and design: "If you can't afford to blow it up, you can't afford to use it."
# 12  
I can't disagree about the potential for lack of support on drivers for the hardware. Since I have not yet seen the device, I can't say if it will work or not. Some of the computers will run on SSD drives, which have faster performance than regular hard drives. SSD's would probably be ideally suited for this kind of work. The fact that the mini computers only use 18 watts of power would also be helpful, since this is meant to be an always on appliance. If I buy such a computer I am taking a gamble. I guess I am OK with that. I can always go back to the Belkin router. The last quote is certainly appropriate.
# 13  
Quote:
Originally Posted by gandolf989
Some of the computers will run on SSD drives, which have faster performance than regular hard drives. SSD's would probably be ideally suited for this kind of work.
If you want to kill an SSD as fast as possible, install something which does lots of frequent tiny writes, like a logging application.
Quote:
The fact that the mini computers only use 18 watts of power would also be helpful, since this is meant to be an always on appliance. If I buy such a computer I am taking a gamble. I guess I am OK with that. I can always go back to the Belkin router. The last quote is certainly appropriate.
You're not taking a gamble -- you're taking the path of maximum resistance. This mini computer can do what you want -- eventually -- once you've figured out exactly what you want and how to do it.

That figuring out is something that's so much easier to do on a real computer. Even if you want to use the mini computer eventually, if you build it on a real computer first, you'll save yourself a huge amount of time.
# 14  
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corona688
That figuring out is something that's so much easier to do on a real computer. Even if you want to use the mini computer eventually,
if you build it on a real computer first, you'll save yourself a huge amount of time.
I think I will start with an old Pentium 4 that I had planned on sending to get recycled. If that works, maybe then I will get new hardware.
If the ethernet networking is too hard, the Pentium 4 has a 56K modem... ;-)

thanks.
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