Netgate 3100 or Edgerouter 4 for gigabit internet routing?

I’m a retired IT pro for over a decade now, and recently decided I’m tired of consumer routers that don’t do what I want (I’m looking at you, Asus!). I miss the days of having control over my network.

I’d like to put a good router between my cable modem (gigabit internet) and Asus XT8 mesh kit (will be put in AP mode) that’ll let me do what I want (like route IPv6 DNS queries directly to my own local server, and setup multiple VLANs). Whatever I get needs to have low power requirements, solid IPv6, and good firewall support. And I’d prefer something that’ll be well supported with software updates for years to come.

I’m currently looking at the Edgerouter 4 or Netgate 3100. I’m a big fan of open source, so pfsense is looking really sweet at the moment, if only it didn’t cost twice as much. I’m used to a command line, but wouldn’t mind learning a new GUI.

What do you think? Is it worth paying twice as much for the Netgate? Or would the ER-4 be better in this case?

As a bonus question, is there something else I should be considering? I was looking at a lower end Netgate, but they don’t appear to handle gigabit very well.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Take a look at I think they make decent boxes.

I’ve seen Protectli mentioned before. Being about the same price as a Netgate appliance, do they offer something more?

I think the Protecli offer more of everything when compared like for like against Netgate devices at the same price point.

There are other similar chinese boxes out there, I have one, which can run pfSense very well.

I don’t have even 100mbps at home, so not sure it can really handle it, but take a look at a used HP T620Plus, can normally get them for around $150usd with a 2 or 4 port Intel NIC installed. Add in your software of choice and give it a try.

If you had an old PC around you could probably give it a try and see if it is a way forward and then decide how much money you wanted to invest.

I’m having a hard time tracking down some solid numbers on Protectli’s router and firewall performance for their different builds. Looking at the same price point and below, I’m specifically curious about the FW6A, FW4A(and B), FW2B, and maybe even the VP2410. On their site they vaguely mention that they’re “all gigabit capable.”

Also, how reliable are these compared to Netgate appliances? Are Protectli boxes something you would trust to use professionally?

Thanks for your patience. I’ve been out of the game for a while and am just trying to catch up.

We have used some Protectli boxes and over all they have worked well except for a few time when they failed boot after an update and required a bios update, they did have the work around posted on their site. The Netgate boxes are nice and reasonably priced considering the warranty and support they come with.

The sg-3100 is not up to the task once you start installing packages and enabling services. From my experience, it locked up way too often.

I purchased a Protectli FW6B with 8GB ram and 120GB msata drive. Loaded pfsense on it, installed pfblocker-dev and Suricata. Suffice it to say, giving it the right hardware resources makes it run very well.

I looked at Protectli my self however only down side is they don’t have any boxes with 10GE ports… Which for most people is fine however, I needed 10GES.