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I'm thinking of creating a proper home network and using a single machine dedicated to access control, centralised authentication, DHCP and acting as a proxy for internet access via a separate home router. Currently all my machines connect to the router direct via power line networking.

Would there be performance issues associated with putting a proxy such as this in between my home computers and the router or would they be negligible (as in just one more hop)?

Also if there's any massive caveats that I should be aware of let me know.

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migrated from serverfault.com Jan 28 '12 at 22:49

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I would recommend setting up your dedicated machine as the router instead of proxying. Proxying makes the environment more complicated than necessary in the scenario you describe. There are numerous resources online for configuring your OS of choice as a router.

The most important thing to maintain while you're setting up an advanced home network is some sort of fall-back plan. Things rarely works the first time around, so you'll want to have a plan for re-establishing basic connectivity when your configuration fails and you turn to a Web search for answers.

Also, take the time to generate a firewall configuration that's build on a 'default deny' policy. This can be a headache, but the security benefits are worth the effort.

Performance issues are unlikely, but benchmarking software like netperf or Smokeping can be helpful if you suspect an issue. You'll want to read about QoS and traffic shaping as well if you expect multiple users to be sharing the connection.

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cheers. Sorry for the incorrect terminology - router was what I meant, I'm not planning on packet inspection or anything like that so a low level forwarding service is what I want. And yeah like my existing router I will setup a whitelist of allowed services and deny everything else. –  rutherford Jan 29 '12 at 2:06
    
Ah, okay :) I added a few notes on performance in light of your clarification. –  Caleb Jan 29 '12 at 16:39

custom firmware like openwrt or dd-wrt on a router can run privoxy

PS I would not add 100W-eating computer to complement 5W-eating home router with USB thumb drive...

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Not what I was trying badly to ask but interesting point nonetheless –  rutherford Jan 29 '12 at 2:07

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