What's the advantage of using Netgate appliance (instead of your own hardware) for Pfsense?



You could build your own Pfsense firewall using spare computer parts, or you could buy a Netgate Appliance pre-installed with Pfsense. Let's explore the difference.


  • Your own hardware can have a variety of parts, so performance benchmarking is difficult.
  • If you purchase from Netgate, each hardware was tested against various performance benchmarks and the results are presented for anyone to look at. Link1. Link2. Link3.


When you go to Dashboard, VPN, you'll see different options.

Here's what you'll see on a non-Netgate hardware:

Here's what you'll see on a Netgate hardware:

These 3 options don't appear on non-Netgate hardware:

  • AWS VPC VPN Wizard
  • IPSec Export: Apple Profile
  • IPsec Export: Windows

Here's what you'll see if you open AWS VPC VPN Wizard on Netgate hardware:

Cryptographically-singed OS

Netgate appliances are cryptographically signed, which means when you can trust that the OS is genuine and not modified by bad actors on your network.

Cryptographic Hardware Accelerator for VPN

Netgate appliances have Cryptographic Hardware Accelerator to accelerate your VPN connection.

Here's what you'll see on a non-Netgate hardware (based on Intel CPU):

Here's what you'll see on a Netgate hardware: