pfSense hardware options

Hello everyone!

I’ve spent over 6 months browsing the Internet regarding different hardware options for pfSense. As many of us are already aware we can install it on pretty much any x86 device. The challenge is that we don’t have any proper list of ‘TOP’ devices wether you prefer smaller form factor, fanless, proper hw support, modular devices etc. To solve this problem I have made a YouTube video around this topic mostly due to visual presentation of the devices instead of a random device list.

The video will be out this Wednesday in case you are interested. @LTS_Tom please confirm if I’m allowed to share my YT video on this forum? Thanks!

If sharing a link is forbidden, I can share the devices as a list. The point is not to promote myself but rather to share knowledge (parly inspired by Tom! :slight_smile: ) because I’m sure many of us can face the same challenge which hardware to pick at certain situation.

I don’t mind videos being shared as long as they are helpful to the community. Videos that are inaccurate, just self promoting, or advertising are not allowed.

On a related note, I think is probably the most common go to review site for lots of those small boxes.

Thank you @LTS_Tom !

The video is 100% made for community in mind. There are no sponsorships, affiliate links whatsoever. Feel free to remove my link in case you find it against the rules of this forum!

The video was released a moment ago:

Great video.

I know when I was shopping around for pfsense hardware I sort of narrowed down my choices down to either Netgate or a NUC. I came to these, as I wanted something “brand name” (hoping for reliability, and something that would get updates), and it meant I could keep my entire network at least 2.5 GbE.

However I couldn’t really find much info about the performance of various devices when operating as a firewall (how much processing power was really needed). I kind of asked about this, and the answer I got was, if you buy a Netgate, it will be plenty. I ended up buying a I5 NUC (NUC11TNHv50L) I went this route hoping it would be a bit overkill.

However this sort of begs the question, does hardware matter that much? Has anyone seen a good test with multiple pieces of hardware in the same situation?

Thank you!

It took me about 6 months of research to put it together.

Regarding the performance on different hardware, I don’t think there should be much of a difference on a similar hardware unless the drivers are bad. A while ago I was runing 1GbE optical fiber connection on my Shuttle DS68U (from 2016) using dual core Celeron CPU. I think i5 or i7 could handle symertic 1GbE connection with some VPN/Suricata/Snort going on as well.

Hardware benchmark tests would be nice, though they require a big budget because devices from Netgate, SuperMicro and co ain’t cheap. If only they could sponsor us on this… :slight_smile: