Replace switch with more router ports?

Using pfSense on old Dell PC.
Only need about 7 total ports for my home network, but currently only have 4 port NIC.
So I used a small basic switch with VLAN capability.

Would there be any benefit by adding another 4 port NIC and eliminating the switch?
Say…speed … flexibility?


IMO, with a small setup, I think your switch would work perfectly. I’m running more of a production infrastructure and have 3 physical NIC’s in my main pfBox. My remote sites are using 2 physical interfaces. I have 2 Unifi 48-port POE switches that have no throughput issues with what we do here on 1 interface in pfSense. Hope this helps you some!

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Thanks Matt…that helps

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If devices of the same network don’t need to communicate with each other (i.e. only with other local networks or with the internet → all the traffic has to go through the router anyway), then I don’t see a downside. But if for example you have a workstation or server connecting to a NAS, that traffic would now go through another computer instead of through a switch. Switches are purpose-built for forwarding traffic and can do that in hardware. A computer running a software router cannot switch packets at the same rate, so there will be a bottleneck.