pfSense software is a popular open source firewall distribution based on FreeBSD operating system that is entirely managed via a web interface. Up until recently,
FreeBSD (see comments section) pfSense would only support x86-64 (Intel or AMD hardware). But progress has been made with pfSense (and FreeBSD) for ARM, and Netgate, the company behind pfSense, is now selling two ARM based firewall appliances with SG-1000 microFirewall powered by Texas Instruments AM3352 Cortex A8 SoC, and sine a little over of month, SG-3100 firewall appliance based on a more suitable Marvell dual core Cortex A9 processor.
Netgate SG-3100 hardware specifications:
- Processor – Marvell ARMADA 38x 88F6820 dual core ARM Cortex-A9 @ 1.6 GHz with NEON SIMD and FPU
- System Memory – 2GB DDR4L Non ECC
- Storage – 8GB eMMC Flash
- Network Interfaces
- 2x Gigabit Ethernet configured as dual WAN or one WAN one LAN
- 4x ports Gigabit Marvell 88E6141 switch, uplinked at 2.5 Gbps to the third port on the SoC for LAN
- USB – 1x USB 3.0 port
- 2x M.2 ‘B’ key sockets (SSD, LTE)
- 1x M.2 ‘E’ key socket (2230 form factor) for WiFi / Bluetooth
- 1x miniPCIe (WiFi)
- mikroBUS socket, for community hacking and OEM expansion opportunities
- Console Port – 1x mini USB port
- Power Supply – 12V/3.33A threaded barrel connector
- Power Consumption – 5W (idle)
- Dimensions – Enclosure: 20.3 x 17.8 x 4 cm; motherboard: mini-ITX 17 cm x 17 cm
- Operating Temperature – 0°C to 65°C
- Certifications CE, FCC, RoHS, UL
The device is pre-loaded with pfSense with features such as stateful packet filtering firewall or pure router, routing policy per gateway and per-rule for failover and load balancing, transparent layer 2 firewall, support for IPV6, NAT, BGP, VPN: IPsec, OpenVPN, L2TP, Dynamic DNS client, and more. SG-3100 is said to support up to 1.8 million active connections.
This model targets SMB to medium sized networks, small to medium sized branch office, managed service providers (MSP), home or commercial high-speed Gigabit connections, or multiple VPN Connections.
Netgate SG-3100 is sold for $349 with a 12-month hardware warranty, and a one year subscription to pfSense Gold ($99 value) providing access to extensive documentation and videos. More details may be found on the product page.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
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