September 14, 2007
Voyage Linux: The Comforts of Debian. Embedded.
Linux on x86 hardware has long been a reliable, capable, inexpensive way to make routers, wireless access points, and firewalls at a fraction of the cost of commercial devices. You get a lot more flexibility, more security, and often better performance. You can use recycled old gear, or specialized routerboards like Soekris, PC Engines, and Microtik. (Mikrotik also uses non-x86 CPUs, like PowerPC and MIPs.) Some folks think they're a bit expensive, but you can't beat them for flexibility and sturdiness. These little boards tolerate tough conditions and are highly customizable.