This is a list of my recommended or preferred solutions in the given categories. These are usually operating systems, protocols, or services. For my applications and online tools see my toolbox.
|pfSense||Free, open-source, FreeBSD-based firewall operating system that runs on x86 and embedded systems.|
I have used and have had experience with a great many firewall and router OS's and have found pfSense to be hugely powerful and flexible, while still being relatively simple. And does it while being completely free and has a huge and active community. There is a company behind the OS that takes money for hardware and official support, but the free OS is in no way hampered like a lot of such systems.
|FreeNAS||Free, open-source, FreeBSD-based network attached storage operating system.|
I must admit that I have not had a lot of experience with the appliance or boutique NAS systems. I have always had an extra Windows machine that served what centralized file serving I needed. FreeNAS had crossed my path a few times and when I finally decided I needed a real NAS with some flexibility it fit the bill. I looked really hard at it's competitors too. Even went back and forth between it and Nas4Free, which is an offshoot from it, but found FreeNAS checked my particular boxes much more thoroughly.
|DokuWiki||Open-source, text-based, database-less wiki software that runs on many platforms and can even run as lightweight local documentation medium.|
You are using it right now! After finding the need for an wiki to keep track of things on my home network and within my household, I began a long search. At this same time I decided a wiki was a better way to permanently document things at my job for more general use. I gave pretty much all the wiki cms's I could find a try and found DokuWiki to be dead simple and scales very well for my needs. I now run it here, at work, and in a jail on FreeNAS at home. I have also found a use for it in it's “local” form for more organized documentation on projects.
|Serviio||Simple 'free' media server that can run on all the major OS's and a couple NAS's|
I so wanted Plex to work for me, but Plex absolutely refused to pay attention to the ID3 data that I provided on my freshly ripped flac library. Plex insisted on trying to guess what the files were and were wrong on over half my library. And seeing as I mainly needed music and video is more of a convenience, Serviio was perfect. Now, after a little updating and finagling it serves my video up from a remote library fine. I am working on getting it running on a jail on the FreeNAS, but it works fine running on my HTPC with desperate libraries.
I ended up actually paying for this one as their Android app was the only one that handled my flac files with no trans-coding. I do, however, need trans-coding for my Internet radio in my kitchen and it handles it perfectly.