FreeBSD as router - performance vs hardware routers

Kirk Strauser kirk at
Thu Aug 14 08:52:41 PDT 2003

At 2003-08-14T14:39:55Z, "J. Seth Henry" <jshamlet at> writes:

> What I'm not sure about is performance. Has anyone built a cable modem
> gateway router using FreeBSD and "low-end" hardware like this? If so, what
> were your results?

Under full load, the (old) machine never uses more than 1 or 2% CPU -
including interrupt servicing.  It moves along nicely.

The reason that I tend to prefer "soft" routers is that if you need extra
functionality, it's usually very easy to add it.  A friend just replaced a
FreeBSD box with a Linksys SOHO router and was kind of peeved to realize
that he lost:

  1) DHCP that's more than trivially configurable
  2) The ability to send signed nameserver updates whenever his IP changes
  3) IPv6
  4) Totally configurable NAT and firewalling

For most people, those probably aren't things that would be missed.  I'd
hate to lose any of them.
Kirk Strauser
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