Hardware options for pfSense

If you are thinking of running pfSense at home then you might interested in knowing about what hardware you might want to use. Not everybody wants to use an old PC as a router, if this is you then consider some of the hardware below. However, keep in mind that the smallest the system is the more it’s going to cost. This post is not about which hardware is better, but only meant to inform on some of the available hardware options.

You may have to track down the vendors, if you live in the US Newegg seems too have both Intel and Jetway boards.


  • AMD Geode LX800
  • 256MB DDR DRAM
  • 3 Onboard NICs 10/100
  • 1 miniPCI
  • USB
  • Fanless
  • Cost $116

What I like ?
Small form factor and fanless makes for a winning combination. Plenty of NICs. Bundle with pfSense and you have a winning combination.

What I don’t like ?
Memory cannot be upgraded, but 256MB should be enough for most.



  • VIA CN700 + 8237RP chipset Technology
  • Support VIA C7 @ 1.5GHz 25 Watts Edition Nano-BGA processor
  • Support Front Side Bus 133MHz
  • Single Channel DDR2 533 Memory DIMM
  • Support 2 Serial ATA Devices with RAID 0,1
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet LAN Supported
  • Cost $120 – $170 (depending on vendor)

What I like ?
Dual NICs, PCI slot and the built-in VIA PadLock Security Engine.

What I don’t like ?
It’s not fanless.

Intel D945GCLF

  • Intel Atom processor 230
  • 1x240pin slot (2GB max memory supported)
  • 1xPATA
  • 2xSATA
  • 1 Onboard NIC 10/100
  • Mini ITX
  • Cost $64.99

What I like ?
Cheap and plenty of processing power for pfSense. Expandable thanks to SATA and PATA.

What I don’t like ?
It’s not fanless.

intel atom


pfSense (based on FreeBSD) has extensive support for various NIC vendors, but not all NICs are the same. If you have the money then buy Intel NICs, they will result in less load for the system.

You still need to provide a PSU, compact flash or hard drive along with a case or enclosure to have a fully functioning system.