I am looking to build a ssh tunnel device that runs linux. The device is on 24/7 and will act mainly as a tunnel for me to ssh into my intranet at home.

This device needs to have the following specs:

  1. Compatible with linux
  2. Wifi card included
  3. Able to run 24/7 without overheating
  4. Costing under 200 USD.

I am aware of Raspberry Pi but I am also open to suggestions. What would you guys recommend?

5 Answers 5


Personally, I would just go with a raspberry pi, more specifically, the RPi 3 Model B Along with a USB wifi dongle such as this.

Cost totals out to about $49 USD ($40 for the RPi and $9 for the wifi dongle).

RPi's are capable of running 24/7, as mentioned here.

The main reasons why I would prefer a RPi are:

  • It is cheaper, compared to the other options provided.
  • The support communities are much larger and documentation is widely available.
  • It is capable of being used for SSH.

I would recomend the UDOO Family or the Odroid Family (Both came with their own Ubuntu flavor).

  1. Wifi card included

  2. Able to run 24/7 without overheating

If this works 24/7 you could damage the Wifi card; as you need for WiFi, you could instead buy an USB Wifi Module like this or this. The main attraction of the Pi 3 are the Wi-fi and Bluetooth, but in this case maybe is more important to invest in RAM, a best processor and heatsink.

For your budget an excellent investment would be the Odroid XU4

Processor: Samsung Exynos5422 Cortex™-A15 2Ghz and Cortex™-A7 Octa core

CPUs: Mali-T628 MP6(OpenGL ES 3.0/2.0/1.1 and OpenCL 1.1 Full profile)

RAM: 2Gbyte LPDDR3 RAM PoP stacked

USB: 2xUSB 3.0 Host, 1 x USB 2.0 Host

Ethernet: Gigabit Ethernet port

Size: 82 x 58 x 22 mm approx.(including cooling fan) <--- This is a BIG plus.


I would suggest a Parallella board. As mentioned above in regards to running wifi 24/7 and possible damage, you can always run an inexpensive Atheros based USB wifi dongle.

As stated on Parallella's page:

18-core credit card sized computer

• #1 in energy efficiency @ 5W

• 16-core Epiphany RISC SOC

• Zynq SOC (FPGA + ARM A9)

• Gigabit Ethernet


• Micro-SD storage

• Up to 48 GPIO pins

• HDMI, USB (optional)

• Open source design files

• Runs Linux

• >10,000 boards shipped

• Starting at $99


Vilros makes pre-assembled kits for Beaglebones and Pis:

Personally I'd go for the Beaglebone, they're a bit beefier than the Pi. On the other hand the Pi has a very large support community.

The Vilros kits are great, you don't have to mess with anything, really, just turn them on out-of-the-box and you're ready to go.

Alternatively, you could just buy a used, cheap laptop and throw Ubuntu on it. Even new ones are close to your price range.


I'd totally go with x86 over ARM. And If you aren't that picky you can spec out what Jeff Atwood calls a scooter computer - these seem to be systems with 'laptop' class internals, often of older models, designed for digital signage. They're cheap, and actually pretty well built compared to some random ARM SBC

A minimal speced varient of this should work - I run a NUC class machine with a similar processor without the big aluminium/industrial case and it hardly even runs warm. Looks like 2gb/32gb would run you 150USD + shipping, Which should be under your budget. Ars technica uses another model as a router and they haven't had heating issues.

Also, ARM processors don't have the same level of support, and often have janky wifi.This has proper antenna ports and mini PCIe so, its a much better/flexible bet

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