2.5GBe Router *sense with a fan

There are so many fanless routers out there and I require one with a fan for a number of reasons. Regardless of my reasons, I’m having trouble finding what I am looking for and thought you guys may have some ideas, suggestions or if I’m really lucky, an actual build that has the following:

  • low power (would prefer less than 20 watts if possible)
  • fan
  • minimum of two 2.5GBe ports (or faster. haha)
  • Support for *sense (not sure if I want opnSense or pfSense) so I think that eliminates Realtek?

additional 1 Gig ports would be great

can something be had for less than $250-$300

If I have to, I could build something completely from scratch but I am terrible at matching up parts and would prefer something pre-built or something I would only have to add some parts to (NIC) or I would entertain the idea of following someone’s lead to mod a fanless build but that seems like too much…

If I am so far off-base I should give up my search and wait a year for something, let me know.
thanks in advance for anyone attempting to help.

Not seen or heard of router devices with a fan.

You will have to use opensense, as it has drivers for intel 2.5GB network ports, pfsense does not yet have the drivers

Not sure where you got your misinformation @Paul bu pfsense DOES have 2.5gb drivers. The team at Negate wrote them for the BSD kernel.

Serve the Home has reviewed a lot of small devices, but I don’t think any have a fan.

This one has all what you are looking for and more:


You are going to have a very hard time finding anything with enough performance to route at 2.5gbps, run a cooling fan, and come in under 20 watts. I doubt you could do that with a 100mbps device while still running a few modules in the OS.

The above 8200 Max looks good, or build a SuperMicro based server with multi-gig network card on one of the Intel Atom or Pentium Silver processors. Probably cost close to what that 8200 Max costs.

Or try one of those Protectli boxes above and put a cooling fan on it and see how it works.

But I’d guess more like 40 watts during normal use for all of the above.

Apparently my expectations are slightly higher than the current market can deliver in several aspects. (power consumption, no fan).
I’ll look again in the future and maybe something will fit the bill.

Thank you all for your help.

Depending on the device and location, I wouldn’t worry about a fan. If the room is really hot, a fan probably isn’t going to help too much. If the room is nice and cool, then those fanless units will probably be fine.