I am looking for a software to turn my PC into a router and have the following capabilities which may come together with the software or is a plugin:

  1. firewall, filtering

  2. charting

  3. IPS, IDS

  4. HTTPS only connection for administration

  5. VLAN

  6. able to detect and use USB to RJ45 adapters

Any suggestions?


3 Answers 3



OpenWrt is a rather popular option that supports AVR32, ARM, CRIS, m68k, MIPS, PowerPC, SPARC, SuperH, Ubicom32, x86, and x86-64 instruction sets.

Why OpenWrt?

To quote the OpenWrt about page

Instead of trying to create a single, static firmware, OpenWrt provides a fully writable filesystem with package management. This frees you from the restrictions of the application selection and configuration provided by the vendor and allows you to use packages to customize an embedded device to suit any application.

To summarize, OpenWrt's main advantages over a static firmware are package management support (over 2000 packages are available in the official repo), a fully writeable file system, support for x86 and x86_64 targets, and a customizable kernel.

This means any requirement you've listed that is not immediately available in the base installation should be available via a package.

Why not OpenWrt?

Again, to quote the about page:

OpenWrt is not intended to be a distribution you can load onto an embedded device and expect to do everything you want out of the box. Instead, the OpenWrt framework allows you to modify your embedded operating system tailored to your own particular needs.

What you should consider, if OpenWrt is an option, is that, compared to other popular options such as Tomato and dd-wrt, OpenWrt will take quite a bit of configuration work during and post-installation. Depending on your targeted architecture you may need to compile the kernel yourself


Ultimately, I have decided to use Ubuntu.

While ClearOS's GUI is very slick and all, there are several issues with ClearOS, including the lack of a file explorer, unsupported USB->ETH devices (an issue that have been known for years), no list of supported USB->ETH devices, etc.


One term to search for is "firewall appliances". Some hardware firewall venders - who of course have software running on their devices - have software-only solutions free for personal use.

One of them is Astaro, now taken over by Sophos. They have their free "Sophos UTM Home Edition"and "Sophos UTM Essential Firewall" that may come in handy for you.

And Googling "free software firewall appliances" may be faster...

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