Combo PF Sense Router/Cache Server

How would it work out if you combined a PF Sense Router and caching server in the same box? And while we’re at it, we might as well make it a storage server as well, right? I was just thinking that a powerful CPU, lots of memory, some fast SSD’S in RAID 1+0 and some spinners in a RAID 5 for data integrity would kill 3 birds with 1 stone.

Idk about the fileserver, but pfsense should have a caching package available through the webui. I think it uses squid.

I mean I guess you can go command line and set it up as a file server because it’s just BSD, but idk if you would want to. Personally, I think those things should be separate


I was just thinking that a powerful enough system should be able to handle all three, which would save money and space as well. Basically a magic routing/storage box for your network that all workstations would benefit from. especially with updates and game downloads. Would definitely help with media server storage too. Or am I just unaware that something like this already exists lol?

The reason pfsense isn’t a file server is because its a firewall. It makes no sense to have your storage on a machine which is Internet facing. If you want to do it then the best way would be to run pfsense as a vm and have the file server on the host machine, but that brings other issues.

You can set up squid on pfsense to do http caching but it’s probably not worth the effort.


That makes sense I suppose. I was thinking along the lines of how ‘Tortilla’ is a wrapper for TOR and funnels all network access through TOR and not just the .onion addresses, but come to think of it, that runs in a VM as well. OK, so that whole idea is pointless. Just set up a basic PF Sense router machine and stick a dedicated caching/storage server behind it like normal people. :wink:

Forgive my ignorance on the issue.

In general, you can get away with converging services on single pieces of hardware, but if you can separate anything, it should be between your edge/gateway device and internal server device. There is some overlap of services that can be run on either (DHCP for example), but I agree with @reavessm and @Dexter_Kane, firewall and file sharing are ideally on different hardware, even in a small home network.

A cache or proxy could also be run on either hardware though, so you have some flexibility there.


You guys are alright. I’ve been on too many “elitist” forums where new members asking seemingly dumb (or just dumb lol) questions were like chum in shark-infested waters. Thanks for taking the time to respond with helpful information.


IIRC, pfsense does allow RAID support, but that isn’t necessary in a home environment. If you were in a mission critical setup, now that’s when it is advisable.

Pfsense supports raid and zfs but there’s no file server, it’s not designed to be used as a NAS. It’s probably possible to set something up through the command line but from a security point of view it’s a bad idea, plus things done outside the gui on pfsense have a tendency to be reset when there’s an update, or even just a reboot.

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