Edge Router 4 vs Netgate SG-1100

I have a little bit of an internal struggle I am trying to deal with.

I am looking at upgrading my firewall and standardizing for the other networks I manage.

Here is my delema, I want to go with the SG-1100 but the form factor isn’t as clean as the ER-4. I have looked at the specs and both seem similar but both are in a very different package.

The SG-1100 is in a plastic case, with a separate power brick, and there isn’t currently a mounting option.

The ER-4 is in a rack mountable metal case with an integrated power supply.

The other thought going through my head is ease of management. There are multiple sites. The ER-4 can be managed through UNMS, the SG-1100 doesn’t have that option.

Can anyone offer some guidance to my indecisiveness?

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If you need a central management system go with the edgerouter & UNMS. If you want more features such as pfblocker, an easy to manage OpenVPN along with a really nice web interface then go with pfsense.

I am really interested in the openVPN implementation to give more people remote access, which is one of the big reasons I want to go with the SG-1100. UNMS and the thought of the ease of managing all my networks is my draw to the ER-4.

My longterm goal is to put a Synology NAS at most of the networks I manage maybe I will just use their VPN?

What do you feel is the larger necessity accessing resources on a network or the ease of managing multiple networks? As a side note we are only talking about 5 separate networks.

Also would you waste a full rack unit on the SG-1100 or would you find some other way to creatively mount it?

Have you used the ER-4 before or are familiar with its UI? It is “kinda” graphical but for many things you have to fall back to a command line interface. I find many commands illogical and hard to follow without a good guide. Pfsense is all graphical and I find its logic/clarity very easy to follow. Very powerful but with a great GUI. For example, setting up DNS over TLS with Cloudflare and quad 9 was easy on pfsense…just click a few checkboxes. Easy to verify in the logs as well. Not intuitive at all on the Edgerouter interface. You can try the Edgerouter interface for about $50 with the Edgerouter X. I did and after about 6 months decided enough was enough and built a pfsense box with a Protectli fanless PC. This solution is working well for me. Now that the SG-3100 and SG-1100 are out those are viable choices as well. Tom has a good review of the 3100 and a Celeron Protectli box as well.

I’m thinking of using the SG-1100 as a travel router and just have to work on a LAN WiFi connection (or WAN and LAN WiFi) for it to make it a working system.

The unit is so small and light you could just velcro it to an existing rack