bergman on 21 Mar 2017 08:05:12 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Low Power Consumption Firewall/Router

In the message dated: Tue, 21 Mar 2017 09:38:43 -0400,
The pithy ruminations from Casey Bralla on 
<[PLUG] Low Power Consumption Firewall/Router> were:
=> I'm looking to reduce my electrical power consumption on my home network and 
=> would like some advice.
=> Right now I use an old Pentium III system with 3 NICs running Debian and 
=> Shorewall to act as a firewall and router for a DMZ and internal network.  This 
=> works fine, and has the advantage of being easy for me to administer since I'm 
=> so familiar with Debian.   (Also Shorewall has great How-to documentation.)
=> The only downside is that old Pentium system drawing 65 watts (headless) 24/7.

Is your interest in saving energy, saving the cost-of-energy, or both (or something else)?

Hmmm.... 65W x 24h x 30 =~ 47KW/month.

PECO Cost/KWh =~ $0.0615 ~ $0.075, depending on the plan & reseller. 

So...your system costs $2.90~$3.25/month in electricity.

Let's say you went to a low-power system, using just 5W, at a retail cost of $50.
	( 5W x 24 x 30 ) =~ 3.6KW/mo =~ $0.25/mo in electricity
So, your break-even time period to save money with the new router can be determined by solving for
"N" in:

	$50 purchase price + N months * $0.25/mo  <  $3.00/mo * N months

Or... about 19 months.

That equation also assumes that your time is worthless -- that the effort to procure & configure the
new system has no cost.

Please don't misunderstand...I'm all for saving energy, and the benefit in learning to setup a new
system may be much greater than the value of your time, and there are other benefits, such as
reducing the square footage, eliminating the noise of the fans, etc -- all great reasons to get a new
gadget (as if we need an excuse for that!). 

However, doing this upgrade purely for economics doesn't make sense to me. Then again, the time I
just spent typing this message doesn't make sense either...

I've got a couple of old Wifi access points waiting to be recycled. I'd be glad to give you
can put OpenWRT or Tomato on it and use it as a router. Contact me off the list for details.


=> Would a simple firewall box (e.g.: 
=> ) be lower 
=> power?   I'd like to use a low-power system like a Raspberry PI, but the I/O 
=> and multiple NICs would cripple it.
=> Any suggestions?
=> -- 
=> Casey Bralla
=> Chief Nerd in Residence
=> The NerdWorld Organisation
=> ___________________________________________________________________________
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Mark Bergman    Biker, Rock Climber, SCUBA Diver, Unix mechanic, IATSE #1 Stagehand
'94 Yamaha GTS1000A^1					      2015 Aprilia Caponord 

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