I made the first step in upgrading my firewall/ proxy/ security setup yesterday. I replaced an old consumer firewall system with a more flexible new system. It uses a superior firewall program: m0n0wall, running on
WRAP computer. For a good review, pictures, and description see
this. The eventual goal is replacing an old PC with either different software on this, or another WRAP.
The motivation is partially saving energy and money. Each watt costs about $1/yr. I was guessing that the PC was using 25 watts more than necessary. Another motivation is saving space. The PC is bulky. The WRAPs are about the size of a DVD. There is the noise issue. These will have no moving parts, no fans, no disks, nothing to make a sound. Finally, I like to play with toys.
As part of this I finally did real measurements of power consumption. This change increases my power consumption by about 3W. The PC actually consumes about 45W once it boots. It peaks at 105W while booting. The WRAPs consume about 8W. This will not save enough money to justify the change on its own, but I won't complain about saving $40/yr.