CWWK/Topton/... Nxxx quad NIC router

Notice: Page may contain affiliate links for which we may earn a small commission through services like Amazon Affiliates or Skimlinks.

Stovar

Active Member
Dec 27, 2022
167
71
28
Yea, i could move this way, start it easy and then experiment when some spear time'll be available.
It's the ram/nvme drive installation easy or should i go for those proposed by them?

In virtualization mode, i could deploy a zabbix server to monitor things around.

Did you pull off/replaced the thermal paste?
Are the cwwk's shipments fast/reliable enough? Better than Ali?

I can't find a device with usb3 ports, am i missing something or there's not any?
They do appear to be already well built the cwwk units at least, but you might wish to slide a bright led torch and see if there is a gap between the cpu and copper plate or heatsink. I myself did not risk it, it really does take a few minutes to unscrew the screws and get to the mainboard.

If you check this thread here the last 20 or so pages, I posted some pics of the screws and mainboard its not the Newer N100 and N series lot but the cwwk N5105 6 nic version I got 2-3 months ago so should be similar somewhat. There is also a thread where I mentioned some power bios tweaks but check the 4 pages here also since the tweaks are even more improved on by Becks. Lots of other great info and pics on that other thread too.

I took my paste off since it was easy and re-applied with some artic silver paste and checked it left an imprint so the contact between heatsink and cpu was there but sometimes there can be a gap which is why others used copper plates and shims in-between or modded it be shaving off the mounting screw heights so it was a tighter fit. Cwwk units much lesser issue though.

Its tricky to say but maybe best to ask cwwk direct via chat, it varies country wise and some of us got the dreaded duty fee to pay which really does bump up the cost sadly which I got too. You may need to contact Ali and other companies to get details on that though. If you see the topton unit here think it list duty free, not sure how true that is.

Yeah I think the newer N100 and above do not have the usb 3.0 ports for now, you have to remember these are just the very first units within a 6 months or 1 years time we will probably be on revision 3-4 etc, I think the N5105 peaked and got the best it was gonna get around revision 4-5 and now there all moving over to the N100+ series since its better overall.
 

Thorror

New Member
Sep 16, 2022
16
9
3
What i'm concerned about it's the general stability for daily use, i'm away from home the most part of the day and my wife, instead, works from home... And I have to grant here a good&stable connection, because she needs that for her job.
Then i would wait a few weeks and see what kind of problems the early adopters have. The N5105 machines had some problems at the beginning which now finally seem to be sorted out. My J6413 6 Port runs fine. The OPNSense froze only 1 time in months, but my bitwarden froze more often, but this does not happen anymore and was proably a firmware or kernel issue.

Its tricky to say but maybe best to ask cwwk direct via chat, it varies country wise and some of us got the dreaded duty fee to pay which really does bump up the cost sadly which I got too. You may need to contact Ali and other companies to get details on that though. If you see the topton unit here think it list duty free, not sure how true that is.
I think cwwk direct is without duty fees because they use shopify and Aliexpress is for sure with duty fees&taxes (at least for European Union), because Aliexpress is obliged to collect it in advance by EU law. That explains also the differences in price at Aliexpress cwwk store and cwwk direct.
My Topton device arrived also without additional payment in Germany
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stovar

Stovar

Active Member
Dec 27, 2022
167
71
28
I think cwwk direct is without duty fees because they use shopify and Aliexpress is for sure with duty fees&taxes (at least for European Union), because Aliexpress is obliged to collect it in advance by EU law. That explains also the differences in price at Aliexpress cwwk store and cwwk direct.
My Topton device arrived also without additional payment in Germany
Ok was not aware of this, I did speak to cwwk store direct and he just told me buying from aliexpress is the same, he did not have the unit I wanted listed on his home page so went ali-express.

My N5105 unit came from I think Sweden all the way to UK, took a good 3-4 weeks due to duty mess also.

Did you get your topton from aliexpress and still avoid the duty? I thought aliexpress had duty

Maybe I will try topton next but id like to hear how their support is, another guy on the other mega thread his topton unit died after 6 months....
 

BoomBangCrash

New Member
May 21, 2019
21
15
3
I've bought a few of these over the years. About half the sellers state you'll get no tax, those that don't mention it I assume i'll be charged (UK too). I've bought from Topton with no tax. For all of them you need to be careful and read as it's normally specific to one shipping type.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stovar

komodikkio

New Member
Apr 25, 2023
12
0
1
Thanks both, really appreciated
I was reading the thread Stovar linked, but was at the beginning. Jumped to page 110 and keep reading there's a lot to go through :)
So now I'm trying to understand if could be better to go for like a N5105 v5 or wait for the n100/200 boards to get further revisions and bios updates
 

Stovar

Active Member
Dec 27, 2022
167
71
28
I've bought a few of these over the years. About half the sellers state you'll get no tax, those that don't mention it I assume i'll be charged (UK too). I've bought from Topton with no tax. For all of them you need to be careful and read as it's normally specific to one shipping type.
Nice good to hear, ill try maybe topton next it does say no duty on their pic at least. I ended up paying something ridiculous like £75 on the duty and 2-3 week delay getting the unit, not good when we are in a Cost of living and energy crisis!
 

BoomBangCrash

New Member
May 21, 2019
21
15
3
Thanks both, really appreciated
I was reading the thread Stovar linked, but was at the beginning. Jumped to page 110 and keep reading there's a lot to go through :)
So now I'm trying to understand if could be better to go for like a N5105 v5 or wait for the n100/200 boards to get further revisions and bios updates
I'm pondering the same. The N5105 boxes are so much cheaper now you could get that use the difference towards an upgrade in six months once the prices fall.
Very tempted by the Pentium 8505 as they are cheaper than N100 currently (and also have the 4 efficient cores) with a larger cache. Most concerned with minimising idle power and not seen too much data on that (in theory should be similar as the intel cores nap down to near zero when unloaded).
 

miro123

New Member
Apr 25, 2023
17
8
3
8505 looks more interesting for home PC than server. The problem is big-little architecture and software awareness of VM hipervisor and guest OS/OS''s
 

komodikkio

New Member
Apr 25, 2023
12
0
1
I really dunno what to aim for, in the thread Stovar kindly linked in his previous reply to my questions, there're some suggestion to use an i5/i7-1260p or Ryzen 5600U+ cpu to achieve the usage of some ips/ids rules on 1G connections.
I'm trying to figure if the one i found on cwwk has good disdipation.
Still reading the thread tho, i will report later more considerations
I'm pondering the same. The N5105 boxes are so much cheaper now you could get that use the difference towards an upgrade in six months once the prices fall.
Very tempted by the Pentium 8505 as they are cheaper than N100 currently (and also have the 4 efficient cores) with a larger cache. Most concerned with minimising idle power and not seen too much data on that (in theory should be similar as the intel cores nap down to near zero when unloaded).
 

Becks0815

Well-Known Member
Oct 15, 2022
215
275
63
So now I'm trying to understand if could be better to go for like a N5105 v5 or wait for the n100/200 boards to get further revisions and bios updates
Why wait? What isn't working and can be fixed by new revisions or Bios upgrades? I only have spotted issues with FreeBSD, but no new Bios can fix this.

Btw.: also didnt pay import taxes on my N100 from cwwk.
 

skjom

New Member
Apr 30, 2023
3
1
3
After reading through these threads , I was wondering what the advantage of these units are , they seem a bit hit and miss. The i5 on the other thread is €544 which ain't too cheap.

What's the advantage of these over a second hand PC like the Lenovo's on the DIY thread?
 

Becks0815

Well-Known Member
Oct 15, 2022
215
275
63
If you think of the Lenovo here, then: speed. My old opnsense box used a J3160 with a passmark of 1100, and by looking at the network now, I am sure it was too slow to handle UDP traffic without dropping data packages here and there. At least based on how some torrent traffic changed (more connections, higher transfer rates) I am pretty sure it was the case. And it was the case despite only running the bare minimum, no data traffic tracking nothing, and also by only seeing some spikes with 50-80% CPU usage.

The Lenovo CPU has a passmark of 1406, and I won't replace a system if I only get maybe 20% more CPU power, but at the same time I have to use a CPU with 15W TDP and add a PCIe card which also draws some power, and it doesn't offer any other advantage beside the low price. There is no space for additional hard drives.and the CPU also is not fast enough to keep a firewall router and a NAS running at the same time.

For me the only alternative would have been an Asus industrial board with e.g. an AMD 5600G processor, because these boards have two Intel NICs on board and offer at least 4 SATA ports, but in the end I decided to keep NAS and Router separated and build a replacement with similar TDP of the CPU (6W and not 15W like the AMD ofthe Lenovo), while at the same time offering a much higher amount of CPU power. The N100 has a passmark of 4600, but with some easy overclocking you can even get up to a passmark of 6200.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stovar

BoomBangCrash

New Member
May 21, 2019
21
15
3
I think generally: the Lenovo type things are not that suited to a router (though some do have a PCIe slot for a multi-network card). They are good for use as a Proxmox box/general server. Main advantage is price (if bought used) and availability (ebay in your home country rather than AliExpress from China).
From a european energy price point of view they cost more to run, but generally can be coaxed to stay in the 10-12w idle range, but will easily flair up to 50-60w with loading (the N100 stays way below that in both cases).
For a router i'd stick with the chinese multi-port N5105/N100 things as they have compatible Intel NICs built in.
 
  • Like
Reactions: filister

miro123

New Member
Apr 25, 2023
17
8
3
From what I have seen so far - pfsense is heavily single threaded app. The two major blocks - OpenVPN and PPPoE are still single threaded.Firewall introduce some kind of multithreading. Maybe bare metal 8505 and modern intel 12-th and 13 gen I3/5/7 processors can take some benefits from big-little architecture.
 

BoomBangCrash

New Member
May 21, 2019
21
15
3
From what I have seen so far - pfsense is heavily single threaded app. The two major blocks - OpenVPN and PPPoE are still single threaded.Firewall introduce some kind of multithreading. Maybe bare metal 8505 and modern intel 12-th and 13 gen I3/5/7 processors can take some benefits from big-little architecture.
Exactly why i'm tempted to try a 8505 instead of an N100.
 
  • Like
Reactions: morh

ocny153

New Member
Apr 28, 2023
12
5
3
Hi all,

First time poster here. Been thinking of changing my home network for a while. Initially it was when thinking about installing an IP CCTV system on its own network etc (Which I haven't done yet), then when we had FTTP internet installed (500mb), but deep down I think I just want to tinker and learn about this stuff. I'm a software engineer, but the network side of things can be a mistery sometimes!

Anyway, I've just placed an order for a barebones N100 directly from cwwk.net. We'll see how long it takes to reach the UK. Judging by the pictures, it should be a variation B from the first post in this thread. I've ordered 16GB DDR5 and a 512GB nvme ssd (both Crucial) and take it from there. The plan is to install proxmox and then run Opnsense in a VM. Once I'm familiar with that I'm going to get a switch and access point from TP Link Omada (looking at the TP-SL2008P and EAP 650) and will run the Omada controller in a proxmox container. I will want to set up some VLANs and probably a WireGuard VPN. I'm sure I'll want to do other things once I've got it up and running, but first I need to get the box, make sure it's stable following the excellent information in this thread and elsewhere in the forum.
 

Becks0815

Well-Known Member
Oct 15, 2022
215
275
63
and probably a WireGuard VPN
I can help you with that. I have WG running on a NAS in docker (works without problems), and currently I am building on WG run on a virtual machine within the N100, linked to opnsense using a virtual network. I just need to figure out why I can't access the internal servers/services I run. Accessing external web pages works like a charm.
 

ocny153

New Member
Apr 28, 2023
12
5
3
I can help you with that
Thanks, I'm sure I'll be reaching out once I have the box. They estimated 10-15 days.

Out of interest, based on the research I've done so far I thought I could run a WireGuard server/plugin directly in OPNsense. What is your reasoning for running it on a separate VM?
 

Kahooli

Member
Dec 3, 2022
41
26
18
Man I thought my topton thermal design just sucked. Nope. assembly error. mountains of shitty thermal goop and a crooked gap pad on the NICs.
I replaced both the gap pad and all the thermal goop (and under the copper) with generic paste and MX5. From 95C under load to 48C. Unreal.
 

Kenjutso

New Member
Apr 27, 2023
4
9
3
Man I thought my topton thermal design just sucked. Nope. assembly error. mountains of shitty thermal goop and a crooked gap pad on the NICs.
I replaced both the gap pad and all the thermal goop (and under the copper) with generic paste and MX5. From 95C under load to 48C. Unreal.
How did you get the copper heat pad off? I took off the screws and it still wouldn't budge from the case. I considered using something to pry it off but I didn't want to damage it.