The computer and distro may be free, but the electricity it uses isn't. Even with only 50W used (old computer, minimal fans, no hard drive) it add up to 438kWh/yr. At the typical $0.11/kWh that's some $50/year - or up to $150/yr in expensive places. It may be way cheaper in the long run to buy a quality router - or just install a custom firmware.
Oddly I've never experienced locking issues...
142 days puts it right at the snowstorm we had in October.
You worry about 50 watts yet ignore how much power your refrigerator uses in KW not to mention the several hundred watts your TV uses? Electricity was a great discovery and it would be hell to live with a killjoy worrying about a damn 50 watts. This is akin to someone in a Hum Vee lecturing a person in a Geo Metro about ways to save fuel.
This supposedly cheaper to operate router with a wallwart power supply likely can only pass 20mbs or so through the firewall yet it probably still consumes more than you would think.
I'm sure your definition of good router is much different than mine. None that fit my definition are contained in a small plastic case.
My project is an adaptation of IPCop (IPCop is a fork from Smoothwall with many of the original Smoothwall devs) specifically for Cobalt x86 hardware. This is dubbed Raqcop. The Raq3 and Raq4 draw about 12 watts typically. The Raq4 with it's 450mhz processor can throughput as much as the 100mbs nic will allow and was the same going through the firewall as bypassing the Raq4 entirely. You'll never get a full 100mbs out of any 100mbs nic due to overhead. 92mbs usable is what we've seen.
The Raq550 with it's PIII 1.26mhz processor draws about 32 watts running Raqcop. The cobalts have always used mobile versions of the processors which only differ by using the thinner cores of the time thus requiring less core voltage for the same amount of work.
I had a few Raq3's that came with 300mhz processors. They draw as much as the Raq4's 450mhz due to the newer processor having a thinner core. I put K6-III's in them and resoldered the voltage and multiplier settings. The newer processor had a very thin core for the time and I had to drop the core voltage to 1.8. I set the multiplier at 5.5. I could get 600mhz by setting the multiplier to 2 as this is actually 6 on the later K6-II and III. I prefer firewall/routers to be headless yet have at least one pci slot and a character display such as you see on my avatar.