PFSense appliance recommendations

I am looking to setup a PFSense appliance in a home internet closet. A four port system is all I need:

– two Wans
– one Lan to a managed VLAN switch.

I have seen some disturbing posts about ProtectLi and for that matter Netgate regarding the external/internal temperature these appliances run at. Are any of these devices UL/ETL approved? I don’t need staff getting burnt or the units overheating and possibly starting a fire.

An appliance is intriguing because security patch management is tested by someone other than me.

Any thoughts?

I own three units (FW1, FW4A, FW4B) fanless devices, which the enclosure is the heat sink. While warm to the touch, they will not burn someone or catch fire. Of course, my units are in a well ventilated area. Placing any heat generating electronics in an unventilated cabinet/closet is not advisable.

See the comparison page for product approvals.

Provide links to the posts you read so we have better context. Facts are better than FUD.

Within your forum one link I remember.

One said couldn’t put hand on it hence my request for ideas.

I saw your image on the ProtectLi site before posting. Yes 58C or 140F Tj is well within Intel’s spec but Tj is internal. Any idea how hot your units case runs? And yes there needs to be enough airflow to keep the unit well within the specidications.


FW4B CPU load is typically <10%
Core temps are ~50-55C (~122-131F)
IR thermometer case temp ~43C (~110F)
Ambient temp ~24C (~75F)

If your CPU loads are higher, your results may vary. Depends highly upon what you are running.

I’m only running 4 additional packages.

I’ve setup about 5 Protectli units now. Case feels barely warm…Maybe 25-30C at most

Thanks all! 30-43C appears normal. This gives me a base point t to verify and ensure I have sufficient airflow.

Are there any other products I should look at or is the ProtectLi line simply great?

Even though sources internationally, they test for compatibility and you get domestic support

Alternates (Use at your own risk.)

We have 3-4 of the Qotom devices at work. Mostly used for Lifeline computer (in the server room) and 2 machines playing out Spotify. They are ~5 years old and working. (The last two in a non-controlled dusty environment)

Thanks for taking the time to respond. Five years is a great recommendation.