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4-port gigabit router, fanless, energy-efficient, running free software

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ef26

New Around Here
Hi!

I have three computers connected (wired) to a Linksys WRT54GL, and I want to replace it with something that can handle gigabit speeds. It does NOT need to also work as a wireless AP. But it must be able to run free open source software, and neither DD-WRT, OpenWRT nor Tomato seems to support any gigabit devices, at least none that are available where I live (Finland).

Are there any fanless gigabit embedded devices that it is possible to install some Linux or BSD based operating system on?

Is it a good idea to build a PC for this purpose? If so, what are the minimun requirements for the hardware? The PC must be fanless, and I want it to consume as little electricity as possible.

I have been looking for a PCI card with 4 gigabit ports, but there doesn't seem to exist many of them, and the ones I have seen cost several hundred euros. Are there any available for under 100€?

Cards with only one port are available for around 10€, but if I get 4 of them, then I will need to use a motherboard with 4 PCI slots, and I have not seen any such motherboards that work with energy-efficient CPUs, like the Intel Atom or AMD Geode.

What operating system would be best suited for this? It needs to be able to do NAT-routing, port forwarding, DHCP, have a DynDNS client, basically everything DD-WRT can do, exept for the wireless stuff.
 
If you just need gigabit speed on the LAN side, why not just uplink to a gigabit switch?

Current 4 port gigabit NICs tend to be PCIe or PCIX and will run you $400 - $500.
 
Have you considered looking at building your own? There are a few fairly sophisticated *nix distributions available (including m0n0wall, IPCop, others) that run on standard-ish x86 hardware, like the stuff available from PC Engines (WRAP, ALIX) and Soekris. I considered building one for a while, because I was looking for something which had Dual WAN ports and IPv6 support. I eventually gave up because I realized that (a) we didn't need the dual WAN once our uplink became more stable; and, (b) our ISP doesn't support IPv6.

Let me know what you happens... I'm curious to hear what you decide.
 

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