Starting my first home server build. Need help...

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New Member
Aug 15, 2018
Hello there,

So I’ve been a tech enthusiast for years and have aquired most of my technical knowledge from having to fix things for friends and family members as the need arises. I’ve recently started looking into ways to build a more secure/convient home network with a lot of salavged hardware. I need to get a better grasp of the network side of things and I was hoping for some positive feedback. Here goes my plans.

Convert HP Compaq Pro 6300 workstation into pfSense router with HP four port gig nic with DNS Resolver and Squid cache, using the onboard ethernet as WAN and the NIC as LAN1, LAN2, (Unused port), IOT wireless port( using dd-wrt on linksys 3200 to convert to VPN Router)

For my LAN, I have a Netgear Nighthawk X8 just gathering dust so i want to DD-wrt it into a switch and use the built-in port Aggregation to connect Lan1 and Lan2, as well as aggregate port 3&4 to connect to my custom workstation/SSDRaid5NAS.

I built my own x99 gaming pc then upgraded it from 28 lanes to 40 lanes and used the i7-5820k on a ASRock x99 killer 3.1 motherboard (2 onboard ethernet ports) to make a workstation to backup devices to as well as use my data recovery tools to salvage data from crashed devices before repair.

I’m an avid console gamer as well and would like to be able to use my 2 xbox one consoles as well as my gaming PC on a Netgear XR500 attached either on the Pro 6300 open NIC port or on one of the Nighthawk X8 open ports.

Would this be a decent setup or are there any helpful hints or tricks that would simplify things? I want to prioritize my network for console gaming first and foremost. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!


Active Member
Sep 7, 2016
TLDR; Try to get yourself a used Dell R710 and managed switch off Ebay.

Would advise using a different system for your NAS and workstation. Workstations tend to be powerful, way more powerful than a NAS needs to be, and because of that use a lot more power than a NAS. I don't know off the top of my head if your mobo comes with Realtek ethernet ports, odds are it does, but those tend to not be the best performers vs. Intel ports. Driver instability, and compatibility issues tend to plague Realtek NICs and can lead to issues down the road. There was also a lengthy post on this forum comparing the performance of Intel NICs vs. Realtek.

Also, would advise against setting up link aggregation unless you're running from switch to switch. I don't think it's going to work the way you want it to work. It usually causes more headaches than not and won't provide any additional throughput compared to a single link for a network of your size.

Would recommend getting a Dell R710 and an older managed switch off Ebay. Could likely find both for under $500 and would cover all of your needs simply and efficiently.

Now if you want to go the route you're going, you can. It will be more complicated, require some hackery to get it to function correctly and will require more down time when something does go wrong, but it will work. Would still highly recommend against link aggregation, but you can try that too. pfSense can handle QoS for your gaming connections, but I don't see anything you mentioned that would hammer your entire network, or WAN connection, enough to really require it. You have some torrents, a web server, or something else running in the background that would require QoS?