Webarchitects have extensive experience of running (mostly*) Free Software on new and second hand hardware. If you want a router, server, desktop, laptop, phone or tablet running an up to date, secure Linux or Android distribution then we can help.
If you would like us to configure a device please get in touch. Installing Linux or Android on a device would typically take around one or two hours and our rates are reasonable. We can also optionally configure devices to automatically sync with Nextcloud servers — so for example your address book, calendar and photos on your phone are synced with your own server and not those run by a US based corporation.
While we can usually install Linux on almost any laptop we would suggest that since Lenovo ThinkPads are generally very well supported by Linux, more repairable than many laptops, and quite easy to obtain second hand, these are a good choice. We recommend a minimum of 8GB of RAM and solid state disk (SSD) drives.
When installing Linux on a ThinkPad we would first ensure that the BIOS was updated, disable the remote management system (ATM), optionally set a BIOS password and then install Linux with full disk encryption. (Debian would be our first suggestion but other distributions are also available; Ubuntu is a popular choice for first time Linux users.)
We have a lot of experience of installing, configuring and running the LineageOS Android Distribution and Ubuntu Touch. We would generally suggest LineageOS unless you are keen to have a full Linux distribution in your pocket and can live without access to all the apps available for Android.
The F-Droid app repo provides a huge selection of Free / open source Android software, including the Yalp Store app which allows you to download (but not pay for) software from the Google Playstore without a Google account. It is also possible to flash the Google Apps package (Gapps) during the LineageOS install if necessary.
The ethically manufactured modular smartphone, the Fairphone, supports both LineageOS and Ubuntu Touch. If you would like a cheaper, second hand alternative then we would suggest choosing one of the most popular LineageOS phones and then buying one from Ebay or elsewhere.
The most popular devices for Ubuntu Touch are the Nexus 5 and OpenPlus One.
We have a lot of experience of configuring OpenWrt routers to do all sorts of interesting things, like blocking advertising, trackers and other objectionable content at a router level or providing a separate VLAN and WIFI access point for semi-trusted Internet of Things devices or guests, or enabling an internal server to be accessible from outside of your LAN in a secure manner.
Finding OpenWrt hardware that has good ongoing support used to be very difficult, however these days it isn't, thanks to GL.iNet. They have a variety of affordable routers (available on Amazon) which ship with their version of OpenWrt and can also be flashed with stock OpenWrt. We are happy to provision and configure these devices as needed for clients.
It is very hard to exclusively run Free Software on many devices due to the BIOS and binary blobs. Further steps than the ones we would usually suggest can be taken through the use of things like coreboot and Libreboot to replace the BIOS. An equivalent for phones is Replicant (if you can live with things like WIFI, Bluetooth and GPS not working). If you can afford it, Purism offers security-focused devices running Free Software.