Best pfSense Hardware You Can Buy in 2022


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pfSense is a free and open-source network firewall distribution. You can install pfSense on an old PC, Mini PC or even run pfSense as a virtual machine. There are many great ready-to-use hardware firewalls on the market. However, in this article, we will solely focus on the best pfSense hardware.

The official pfSense hardware is developed by Netgate. You’ll see some of them in this list too. However, if you want to use the free and open-source pfSense software (pfSense CE), then you need to install it on third-party hardware.

If you are new to pfSense, then I recommend taking the “pfSense Fundamentals – Secure Your Network With pfSense” course to learn about its features and make the most out of your pfSense box.

Here’s the summary of the best pfSense Hardware:

pfSense HardwareLink to Product
Protectli Vault FW4BSee details at Amazon
HUNSN RS34g Micro Firewall ApplianceSee details at Amazon
Netgate SG-2100See details at Amazon
Qotom-Q555G6-S05 Mini PCSee details at Amazon
Netgate SG-1100See details at Amazon
Vnopn Micro Firewall ApplianceSee details at Amazon

pfSense Hardware Requirements

Following are the pfSense hardware requirements:

  • 64-bit CPU with at least 600Mhz clock speed (Recommended 1GHz).
  • Minimum 512 Mb RAM (1GB or more recommended).
  • Minimum of 4GB storage (8GB recommended).
  • Two Network Interface Cards (NIC) or a network card with two ports.
  • CD-ROM or USB for initial installation.

With the above-mentioned requirements, you’ll be able to run pfSense. However, you might need a more powerful system to support higher bandwidth and to get optimum performance.

Best pfSense Hardware

1. Protectli Vault FW4B

Protectli Vault FW4B pfSense hardware
Source: protectli.com

The Protectli Vault FW4B is a four-port mini PC that is bundled with a 64-bit Intel Quad Core processor along with AES-NI hardware support.

The one mentioned here ships with 8 GB RAM and 120 GB SSD storage. You can also choose the barebone variant – in which you have to purchase RAM and SSD separately to complete the build.

Along with the 4 x Intel Gigabit Ethernet ports, this mini pc has 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 1 x RJ-45 COM and 2 x HDMI ports. Moreover, it is also compatible with the coreboot BIOS.

Apart from pfSense, you can also use this mini PC with other Open-source Firewall solutions such as OPNsense and Untangle.

Protectli Vault FW4B is compact and has a fanless design which makes it completely silent during operation. It doesn’t come with any pre-installed OS, just install the pfSense and it will turn into the best pfSense box.

Key Features of Protectli Vault FW4B:

  • Intel Quad Core Celeron J3160, 64 bit, up to 2.2GHz.
  • AES-NI Hardware support.
  • Intel NICs.
  • 4 x Intel Gigabit Ethernet ports, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x RJ-45 COM, 2 x HDMI ports.
  • Compatible with pfSense, OPNsense and Untangle.
  • Fanless Mini pc for pfSense.
  • Available in Barebone (no RAM, no SSD) version for maximum customizability.
  • Compatible with coreboot BIOS (must be installed by user).

Shop now at Amazon

2. HUNSN RS34g Micro Firewall Appliance

HUNSN RS34g Micro Firewall Appliance
Source: www.hunsn.com

HUNSN RS34g is a four-port mini PC that is bundled with Intel Celeron J4125 CPU along with AES-NI support.

It is available in multiple RAM and storage variants. The one I am mentioning here is an 8 GB RAM model with 128 SSD storage. You also have the option to choose the barebone version and provide your RAM and SSD to complete the build.

The mini pc has many ports including 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x VGA, 1 x HDMI and 4 x LAN ports. The 4 LAN ports are 2.5 GbE ports which are faster when compared to the 1 GbE port provided by other mini PC such as the previously mentioned Protectli Vault FW4B.

The fanless (silent) design and compatibility with other firewall solutions such as OPNsense and Untangle is the icing on the cake. If you want a pfSense box with 2.5 GbE ports, then check out HUNSN RS34g Mini PC.

Key Features of HUNSN RS34g:

  • Intel Celeron Processor J4125 CPU (up to 2.70 GHz).
  • Intel NIC.
  • AES-NI Support.
  • Available in 4GB/8GB/16GB DDR4 RAM variants.
  • 1 x mSata SSD and 1 x 2.5 inch SSD/HDD, HDMI, 2 x USB3.0, VGA, RST, 4 x 2.5GbE LAN ports.
  • Quiet Fanless design.
  • Compatible with pfSense, OPNsense and Untangle.
  • Available in Barebone (no RAM, no SSD) version.

Shop now at Amazon

3. Netgate SG-2100

Netgate SG-2100 official pfSense Hardware
Source: www.netgate.com

Netgate SG-2100 is the official hardware for pfSense. It is pre-loaded with pfSense Plus rather than pfSense CE which you usually download to install on third-party devices (like mini PC).

SG-2100 is bundled with a Dual-core ARM v8 Cortex-A53 1.2 GHz CPU along with 4 GB DDR4 RAM and 8 GB eMMC Flash. There is also a 32 GB storage version available.

As for networking, it has a 4-Port 1 GbE Marvell switch and a dedicated 1 x GbE WAN RJ45/SFP combo port. This makes it ideal for both home and small businesses.

Last but not least, the design of the SG-2100 is compact and sleek. Moreover, having a fanless design makes it silent during operations. Also, it consumes less power compared to a mini PC.

If you are a non-techy person, who doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of installing pfSense, then the Netgate SG-2100 will be the optimum choice. Also, you will be supporting the pfSense project by purchasing the official hardware.

Key Features of Netgate SG-2100:

  • Official pfSense Hardware.
  • Pre-loaded with pfSense Plus.
  • Dual-core ARM v8 Cortex-A53 1.2 GHz CPU.
  • 1 x GbE WAN RJ45/SFP combo port, 4-Port 1 GbE Marvell switch, 1 x USB, 1 x Micro SIM slot and MiniUSB (console) port.
  • 4 GB DDR4 RAM and 8 GB eMMC Flash onboard (or optional 32 GB M.2 SATA 2242 SSD).
  • Sleek and Compact Design.

Shop now at Amazon

4. Qotom-Q555G6-S05 Mini PC

Qotom-Q555G6-S05 Mini PC
Source: www.qotom.net

Qotom-Q555G6-S05 is a 6-port mini PC that has an Intel Dual-Core i5-7200U Processor along with AES-NI support. It ships with 4GB RAM (which is upgradable up to 32 GB) and 32GB SSD storage.

Apart from 6 x Intel Gigabit LAN ports, this mini PC has 1 x COM (RS-232), 1 x HD Video, 2 x USB 3.0 and 2 x USB 2.0 ports. Moreover, it is compatible with many open-source solutions such as pfSense, Sophos, VyOS, Linux iptables and Untangle.

It comes pre-installed with unactivated Windows 10. You can remove that and easily install any other OS of your choice using a bootable USB drive.

If you want a powerful mini PC for pfSense and/or a mini PC for general usage, then Qotom-Q555G6-S05 will be a great choice.

Key Features of Qotom-Q555G6-S05:

  • Intel Dual-Core i5-7200U Processor (up to 3.10GHz).
  • AES-NI Support.
  • 4GB DDR4 RAM (upgradable to 32GB) and 32GB mSATA SSD.
  • Support 1 x Mini-PCIe for mSATA SSD and 1 x 2.5″ SATA SSD/HDD.
  • 6 x Intel Gigabit LAN Ports.
  • 1 x COM (RS-232), 1 x HD Video, 2 x USB 3.0 and 2 x USB 2.0 ports.
  • Compatible with pfSense, Untangle and VyOS.
  • Fanless build.

Shop now at Amazon

5. Netgate SG-1100

Netgate SG-1100 official pfSense hardware
Source: www.netgate.com

Another official pfSense hardware on the list. This one is Netgate SG-1100 which is also pre-loaded with pfSense Plus software. SG-1100 ships with Dual-core ARM Cortex-A53 1.2 GHz CPU along with 1 GB RAM and 8 GB EMMC storage.

Unlike the Netgate model (SG-2100) mentioned previously in this list. SG-1100 has 3 x GbE switched (WAN/LAN/OPT) ports.

Once again, the design is fanless and compact which allows it to run silently when placed on a desktop or rack. Moreover, this is the most affordable model Netgate currently offers when it comes to pfSense appliances.

If you want a small and affordable firewall device for your home that is pre-loaded with pfSense Plus software, then you can go with the Netgate SG-1100.

Key Features of Netgate SG-1100:

  • Official pfSense Hardware.
  • Pre-loaded with pfSense Plus.
  • Dual-core ARM Cortex-A53 1.2 GHz CPU.
  • 1GB DDR4 RAM and 8GB EMMC storage.
  • 3 x GbE Ethernet (WAN/LAN/OPT) ports, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0 and 1 x Micro USB port (console).
  • Compact form factor with silent operation.

Shop now at Amazon

6. Vnopn Micro Firewall Appliance

Vnopn Micro Firewall Appliance
Source: Vnopn

The last mini PC on this best pfSense hardware list is the Vnopn Micro Firewall Appliance. It is bundled with Intel N3700 Processor and supports AES-NI.

It has 8 GB RAM (that can’t be upgraded) and 128GB SSD storage which can be upgraded to 512GB. You can also choose the barebone version for more customizability by adding the RAM and SSD yourself.

This is a four-port mini PC. Moreover, the 4 ports are 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet ports which provide faster transfer rates than the traditional 1 Gigabit Ports. Apart from that, this mini pc has 1 x HDMI, 1 x VGA and 2 x USB 3.0 ports.

This mini PC comes with a fanless passive cooling design and an aluminium case to make heat dissipation faster and remain silent during operations.

Key Features of Vnopn Micro Firewall:

  • Ships with Intel N3700 Processor and Intel NIC.
  • Supports AES-NI.
  • 8 GB DDR3L RAM (max 8 GB) and 128GB mSATA SSD (upgradable to 512GB).
  • 1 x HDMI, 1 x VGA, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x DC IN and 4 x 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet ports.
  • Available in Barebone (no RAM, no SSD) version.
  • Fanless Mini PC for pfSense.
  • Compatible with OPNsense, pfSense.

Shop now at Amazon

Buying Guide for pfSense mini PCs

If you’re planning to buy a mini pc for pfSense rather than the official Netgate appliances, then this guide is for you.

At the beginning of this article, I have already mentioned the pfSense Hardware Requirements. Here, I am going to mention some additional things that will help you choose the right mini PC for pfSense.

Network Interface Card (NIC)

The NIC is the most important factor when deciding on a mini PC for pfSense. It is always recommended to go with the Intel NIC for optimum performance.

All the Mini PCs mentioned in this list have Intel NIC.

AES-NI Support

AES-NI (Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions) are a set of instructions that enable fast and secure data encryption and decryption. It is natively supported by modern processors.

It can help speed up cryptography processes for SSL and VPN services. Once again, all mini pc mentioned here have AES-NI support.

Silent Design

If you are buying pfSense hardware for your home, then you might want it to make low noise during operations, especially if you’re planning to put the pfSense box in your bedroom or office.

Therefore, a mini PC with a fanless design should be the one you should go for. All the pfSense hardware mentioned in this list has a fanless design to make low to no noise while working.

Number of Ports

You’ll require at least two ports (preferably 1 WAN and 1 LAN port) on your Mini PC for pfSense. The WAN port connects to your ISP’s modem and the LAN port will be used to connect the devices in the home/office.

Conclusion

This concludes the best pfSense hardware list. I have included both the official Netgate hardware and Mini PCs that are capable to run pfSense without any hassle.

If you are not afraid to get your hands dirty, then Mini PCs will prove the best and most affordable way to get the benefits of this awesome firewall solution.

Another great open-source firewall solution is OPNsense, just like pfSense, it is also based on FreeBSD. You can use the Mini PCs mentioned here with OPNsense or you can have a look at the dedicated list I have made for the best OPNsense hardware.

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Rahul R Nair

Rahul is obsessed with technology and programming. He is also the founder of TechSphinx. Being a technophile, he is always busy doing some techy stuff or learning about the latest technologies. When not busy with his usual routine (staring at the computer screen) he likes to write and share his knowledge with the world.