I have seen this post about the Raspberry Pi for use as an IDS. But how well would it do as a firewall appliance in a residential setting? I will soon be setting up a new network and want to exercise my knowledge of network security. I don't exactly have an old pc to dedicate as a security device. I would purchase a Pi 3 for this sole purpose. Any thoughts or experiences to guide me?


This all depends on how fast of an internet connection you want to run a firewall for. A firewall needs at least 2 interfaces, so you'd have to attach a 2nd USB ethernet device. Because the on-board ethernet on the Pi is attached to the USB bus as well, you'll have all the bandwidth over the one USB interface.

For a slow connection -- something like 20Mbit or slower -- a Raspberry Pi3 will probably work fine. If you need anything approaching 100Mbit or faster, it just won't happen over the interfaces available on this board.

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  • It also depends on what kind of tasks this firewall has. If it is just packet filtering then the speed of the network interfaces is probably the main limit. But if it should work as a proxy too, should do traffic inspection, antivirus etc then the hardware will not suffice. – Steffen Ullrich Sep 9 '17 at 9:40

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