Router Options

Okay.  I currently use ClarkConnect Community Edition on my router (Dell OptiPlex GX1).  ClarkConnect has turned into ClearOS.  I’m also considering other options for a new router.

1.  ClearOS

Pros:  Easy set-up, tons of features, easy-to-use web interface.  Red Hat based.

Cons:  All-in-one solution (think MS Home Server) and tons of features I would never use.

2.  Endian

Pros:  Dedicated security distro, perfect mix of apps.  easy-to-use web interface.  Red Hat Based.

Cons:  ClamAV instead of Kaspersky for AV.  Hand-tweaking is required for decent performance on spam control and antivirus.

3.  Untangle

Pros:  Desktop, graphical installer, robust feature set, awesome network control apps.  Very powerful web interface.  Debian-based.

Cons:  Commercial product – FOSS features are awesome but not as good as commercial offering.  No options for spam / antivirus (SpamAssassin / Kaspersky.)  Fragile App configuration – breaks if you tweak the config too much.

4.  Gentoo Linux

Pros:  Insanely fast, efficient, customized to exact specs.

Cons:  DIY OS – very long deployment time, patching takes forever.  Patching occasionally breaks with no way out.  No configuration tools.  No installer.

5.  CentOS

Pros:  Red-Hat Enterprise Linux clone integrates 100% into existing Red Hat network.  Remote management software installed by default.  Very easy to configure and customize.  Desktop installed by default.  Graphical Installer.  Very flexible and robust – tweaking config does not break management system.

Cons:  Huge and bloated with significant hardware requirements.  Not exactly efficient or lightweight.  Not designed to be used as a router / firewall (CentOS is for servers and workstations).



  1. #1 by Joshua on May 1, 2010 - 3:36 PM

    Untangle is kind of neat – the “apps” have a UI that mimics a rackmount layout where you can switch the order in the networking stack and such and see all the basic controls on one screen. Check out the Quick Start Guide.

  2. #2 by daveloper on May 6, 2010 - 5:15 PM

    I’m a bit biased towards ClearOS myself. It can be svelte and run with very little overhead, or it can be used for very robust sites.

    While you may not use all the features, they don’t consume resources unless you turn them on. Additionally, the tight integration between services means that it scales well.

    Since moving from PointClark to ClearFoundation, the OS is more FOSS than ever before. The business model for ClearOS is based on services delivered from the cloud. This ultimately benefits the home users because they get to use the software without being forced to foot the bill. The OS is not limited. Additionally, ClearOS comes with free integrated Dynamic DNS which can make it easier to find your way home on the internet especially if you have an ISP which give you dynamic addresses.

    Future releases of ClearOS will also have a ‘home version’ which will have more choices for home type applications built from the ClearFoundation community.

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