PfSense On Devon IT TC5v

If you are interested in buying one of our test builds, you can find one here.
tc5v-firewallIf you read our previous article PfSense On HP T610 Plus, then you know we have been on a search for a new low cost thin client that can be re-purposed as a firewall for our small and medium sized clients. Fortunately we settled on the HP T610 Plus, however in that pursuit we tested a handful of other thin clients that would almost certainly work really well for a higher end small office or home setup. One of our test boxes was the Devon IT TC5v thin client which sports a VIA Nano E-Series u3100 Low Power Processor. VIA Nano E-Series processors also feature VIA PadLock with the Advanced Cryptography Engine delivering tc5v-firewall-backthe world’s fastest AES encryption. So if you are planning on using this box as an OpenVPN endpoint, you have the capability of using hardware based encryption with VIA PadLock.  Beyond that, this thin client also comes with a full height PCI add-in slot which enables us to add the additional network adapter(s) required for Pfsense. Setting this machine up for Pfsense is fairly straightforward. First, we disassembled the machine. Once disassembled, we added a new Intel PRO/1000 Single Port PCI Network Card. Next we reassembled the machine and booted into the BIOS using the DEL key. Once in the BIOS, we changed our hard drive access mode to CHS, disabled network boot on the on-board network adapter and set the boot order to USB first. Last, we installed Pfsense. The back of the machine is pictured to the right. In the end, we have built a pretty capable firewall that will keep most home users and small businesses happily plugging away, without breaking the bank. While we were able to use on hand new parts for our test build, this firewall can be easily built for less than $150 USD by sourcing the parts needed on eBay. In the end we decided against using this little guy for the following reason. While the board does have a PCI-e slot, we were unable to source a 90 degree riser that would work with this device. What this means is you are stuck using a PCI network card.

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