"Linux on x86 hardware has long been a reliable, capable,
inexpensive way to make routers, wireless access points, and
firewalls at a fraction of the cost of commercial devices. You get
a lot more flexibility, more security, and often better
performance. You can use recycled old gear, or specialized
routerboards like Soekris, PC Engines, and Microtik. (Mikrotik also
uses non-x86 CPUs, like PowerPC and MIPs.) Some folks think they're
a bit expensive, but you can't beat them for flexibility and
sturdiness. These little boards tolerate tough conditions and are
"Both Soekris and PC Engines have introduced a new line of more
powerful boards. Soekris, as usual, gives theirs a dull name, the
net5501. This comes with a 433 or 500 MHz AMD Geode LX800 CPU, IDE
and SATA connectors, Ethernet, serial, PCI, and more. PC Engines
has a similar board they call Alix..."
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