The Banana Pi is a system-on-a-chip released by LeMaker in late 2014, and is well-suited for building an internet gateway. While the Raspberry Pi is more well-known and slightly cheaper, it has one significant drawback that makes it a poor choice for a gateway: it only has 10/100 Mbps ethernet. If you are moving a lot of data around your network, gigabit ethernet is a must-have. The bPi also has a SATA port (if you want fast access to an external hard disk), and a dual-core processor (which makes it responsive, even when it's working hard).
The only downside is that it only has 2 USB ports (to the rPi's 4), but with the use of a USB hub, this is unlikely to be a problem.
What is a gateway?
The advantage of setting things up this way is that it isolates all the computers on my home network from the internet. Every computer must go through the gateway to reach the internet, which means that I can put a firewall, ad-blocker, virus checker, etc. on the gateway and they will affect every computer on my LAN. The firewall is particularly important, since it will detect and block any unauthorized traffic, both incoming and outgoing.
The first part of this tutorial will explain how to set up a bPi as a very basic gateway:
- Installing Bananian Linux
- Getting online
- Setting up the gateway:
- Setting up a WiFi access point
Once we have a simple gateway up and running, we can then add additional servicesNone of these are essential, but having a firewall is strongly recommended, and the ad-blocker is very handy. to it:
And when you have your Banana Pi gateway up running, this tutorial explains how you can back everything up.
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|1.||↵||None of these are essential, but having a firewall is strongly recommended, and the ad-blocker is very handy.|