Untangle is a firewall and gateway server that is one of the best on the market today.
The Zotac Zbox ID91 is a Mini ITX PC.
Americans may not be so familiar with the Zotac brand but they offer a wide variety of integrated PC’s that are usual for both home media servers and powerful business machines.
I purchased the ID91 on Amazon for $350.99 – additionally you will need to add a Hard Drive and Memory (DDR3 SO-DIMM)
If you don’t want to deal with hassle of installing a hard drive or memory, the ID91 Plus is available with a 500GB (Non-SSD) hard drive.
The ID91 is based on the H81 Express platform. Sporting Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports this model is perfect for anyone wanting to run a Linux Firewall or Gateway.
For the mission of a home based ad-blocking gateway – I chose the ID91 as it comes with a i3 4130T(dual-core, 2.9 Ghz) processor.
This configuration is sufficient to handle a VERY fast connection. We are talking Fiber speeds without a problem, I am currently on a 400mb connection without any slowdown with a full Untangle configuration.
Total Cost = $449.22
- Unbox your ID91
- Install Memory + SSD
- Hookup monitor, keyboard, mouse.
- Boot via Untangle USB – I had to use the traditional ISO to get it to work properly, this can be found here.
- Install with default configuration options – you will easily be able to identify incoming wan and outgoing network adapters by plugging them in during the installation process. Once plugged in you will get a green light in the Untangle installer. I would recommend you mark your ports at this time, to designate incoming (WAN) and outgoing (LAN).
- Plug in your wires –
- Connect to your device at the default address of 192.168.2.1 with your username and password set during the installation.
- Add services as required to your network, by default Untangle will handle DHCP and NAT. I highly recommend adding the Web Filter and Ad-Blocking.
- Spend some time learning the new interface, you will soon see you’re time has paid off – and Untangle is really the perfect firewall for the SOHO/Home environment.
Enjoy the internet now without Facebook ad’s – Pre-roll ads on YouTube – and the protection of a real firewall.
Untangle has earned it’s place in my favorite pieces of software, days after the initial installation I have not had to restart the box or fiddle – things just work, and these days it’s hard to find software that just works this well out of the box.