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DIY Home server/router wifi & NICs


I've seen a few random ideas around the net on home servers and routers, and I thought I'd try my hand at making one. I have a NAS server with an old AMD FX-6300 and a couple 3-4TB drives. The board it's on, a Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3, only has one gigabit ethernet port. I'd like to use it as a file server and a router, with a bit of traffic filtering for ads and malicious sites.


It's currently running Linux Mint, which is essentially a reskin of Ubuntu, and I'm fairly handy with it.


My plan is to get an Intel EXPI9301CTBLK, which is a $30 single port gigabit NIC, and plug that into my existing netgear gigabit switch for wired connectivity. For wireless, I'm thinking of one of the high end AC Wifi cards, like the TP-Link Archer T9E ($95), ASUS PCE AC68 ($120), or ASUS PCE AC88 ($150). The ASUS cards have antenna extensions in the box, which would allow me to position them more easily.


Should I pick a different ethernet card? Is there a better Wifi card that I haven't considered or seen? Any advice on software?

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If you're gonna do a diy router setup with an expensive router you might aswell buy a dedicated access point like the ubiquiti ap ac lite for $80 and hook that up via a wire. Also 2 port gigabit NICs are like $23 on ebay so you might aswell get a dual port one. For routing you could install PFSense or OPNSense in a vm and just pass through the dual port network card.


experience: have OPNSense running in a hyper-v vm on windows server 2016 and it works very well

have an ap ac lite and it's a good value access point, would recommend (also handy that your AP can be somewhere central where the server cannot be because it might be too loud :))

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