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Untangle Firewall Mini ITX Zotac Zbox ID91 Review

By October 10, 2014 No Comments

Untangle is a firewall and gateway server that is one of the best on the market today.FullSizeRender

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.

Additionally I added a Kingston Digital 60GB SSD – $54.99 and 4GB of DDR3 – CT2KIT25664BF160B -$43.24 memory.  Plenty enough power to handle Untangle with a fiber (400MB connection) to home.

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

Installation:

  1. Unbox your ID91
  2. Install Memory + SSD
  3. Hookup monitor, keyboard, mouse.
  4. Boot via Untangle USB – I had to use the traditional ISO to get it to work properly, this can be found here.
  5. 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).
  6. Plug in your wires –
  7. Connect to your device at the default address of 192.168.2.1 with your username and password set during the installation.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

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