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Hardware devices for use with pfSense from AliExpress

By Sam Sheridan - 20th January, 2023

In today's digital age, protecting your network and data is more important than ever. One of the best ways to do this is by using a firewall software, such as pfSense.

AliExpress is a popular online marketplace known for its wide selection of products at discounted prices, like any online shopping platform, it is important to be cautious when making a purchase. AliExpress is often referred to as the wild-west version of Amazon.

First and foremost, it is important to do research on the seller and read reviews from other buyers before making a purchase. This will help you to get an idea of the seller's reputation and whether other buyers have had positive experiences with them.

If pfSense is your go-to firewall choice and you're looking for the best hardware, then AliExpress might not be on the top of your list. Yes, it's true that AliExpress offers a wide range of products at great prices - but when it comes to pfSense firewalls, there are better options.

Why we recommend official NetGate hardware for pfSense

When it comes to pfSense firewalls, official hardware from NetGate is the best option over generic mini PCs, such as those from AliExpress. This is because pfSense offers official support for their firewall devices, which includes technical assistance directly from them. Additionally, pfSense-certified hardware is typically more reliable and better optimised for pfSense than generic mini pcs from AliExpress, or anywhere else for that matter; which can help keep your network more secure.

That being said, if you are on a tight budget and don't need pfSense-specific support or specialised hardware, an mini pc [from AliExpress] can still do the job. Just keep in mind that you're taking a risk with generic hardware and won't have pfSense's official backing.

Using generic hardware such as available from AliExpress

As stated, pfSense firewall devices from AliExpress can be great for those on a tight budget, who are willing to take the risk and don't need pfSense-specific support. In most cases, an pfSense-compatible mini PC that is available on AliExpress will still offer good performance with pfSense, but it is important to double-check the specs of the device before purchasing.

It's also important to note that keeping your pfSense firewall up to date is essential for optimal performance and security, but if you're using a mini PC from AliExpress, then updating the BIOS or firmware may not be possible.

Without regular updates, your pfSense device can become vulnerable to malicious attacks and other security threats. Plus, outdated hardware can lead to slow speeds and poor performance - which could ultimately put your network at risk.

To ensure that your pfSense firewall is always running on the latest version of BIOS/Firmware, we still recommend to opt for official NetGate hardware instead of generic hardware from AliExpress.

Faulty hardware purchased from AliExpress can be a major hassle to return and get a refund, as the customer service is often slow and unresponsive. Plus, if you aren't fluent in Chinese, then communication becomes an even bigger issue. This is why it's important to double-check the specs before purchasing any device for use with pfSense.

Bottom Line:

If pfSense is your firewall of choice, then AliExpress might not be the best place for pfSense hardware. Sure, you may find cheaper mini PCs that claim to be pfSense-compatible, but unless you're willing to take the risk of dealing with any problems that may arise, then it's recommended to go with pfSense-specific hardware from NetGate. That way, you'll be sure to get the best pfSense experience and have peace of mind knowing that if anything goes wrong, there's a team ready to help you out.

Purchasing hardware for pfSense from AliExpress can be a great way to save money, but It's always better to spend a little extra for peace of mind, right?

AliExpress Hardware Review

In this video, we will be taking you through the process of purchasing hardware from AliExpress, examining it by disassembling and putting it back together, fitting the components such as hard drive and memory, then installing pfSense.

Happy pfSensing!


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