Firewalla is a Tiny Firewall Appliance Based on NanoPi NEO Board

FriendlyELEC Nanopi NEO and NEO2 boards are really cool and inexpensive little Arm Linux boards suitable for all sort of headless application. I’ve reviewed one with their NAS Kit, and run one around the clock as a Domoticz/MQTT server.

So it should come as no surprise that some people want to leverage the hardware in their own products, and Firewalla most likely relies on a NanoPi NEO board for their cute firewall/parental control/VPN appliance.Firewalla NanoPi NEO FirewallFirewalla specifications:

  • SoC – Unnamed quad-core Arm processor @ 1.0 GHz
  • System Memory – 512 Megabyte DDR RAM
  • Storage – 16GB MicroSD Storage
  • Connectivity – 100 Mbit Software Packet Processing
  • Power – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 2.8 cm thick

The device ships with a flat Ethernet cable, a USB power cable and US type power adapter, and a one year limited manufacturer warranty. The company does not actually mention NanoPi NEO board anywhere, but the specifications and connector layout make it clear it should be based on the board from FriendlyELEC.


Firwalla Android App The box runs software to protect all devices against cyber threats, supports VPN, DDNS, SSH shell, etc…, and can also act as an Adblocker. Everything is managed from Firewalla app for Android or iOS, where you’ll be able to set access control for your kids’ devices,  setup VPN, configure ad blocking, monitor bandwidth usage (Monthly / Daily / Hourly), and so on. The firmware running on the board is open source, and can also be installed on Raspberry Pi 3.

I sort of wish they had gone with NanoPi NEO2 which adds Gigabit Ethernet, but maybe it was not available when they first launched the product on Kickstarter last year. The video below explains the main features of the product, which look quite similar to the ones offer by Fingbox.

NanoPi NEO (512M) sells for $14.99, but we also need to take into account the enclosure, power supply, and other accessories, as well as development of the firmware and mobile apps. When you had all those, plus a profit margin, Firewalla ends up selling for $119 on Tindie, but you’ll also find it on Amazon for $109.99. Further details may also be found on the official website.

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