Netgate 6100 Firewall Appliance Launched for pfSense Plus

Netgate 6100 3100 2100 Family
Netgate 6100 3100 2100 Family

Today we have the launch of the new Netgate 6100 firewall appliance which is a 1GbE/ 10GbE solution for pfSense Plus. While the underlying hardware is not necessarily new, we reviewed the Intel Atom C3558 in 2017 (this is still the current-gen from Intel), we do get a new layout for the appliance.

Netgate 6100 Firewall Appliance for pfSense Plus

The Netgate 6100 is designed to be more of a desktop unit. The company has changed many of its units from looking more like industrial/ rackmount style appliances to looking more like upgraded versions of something that a company like Netgear may produce. We understand this since there is a market out there and the appearance of something that may be seen in an office is important. I am not sure if this is the most attractive design I have ever seen, but it is far from the worst and I see it as being very acceptable.

Netgate 6100 Front Angle
Netgate 6100 Front Angle

The rear of the unit has a huge array of ports and one can see the blanks for antennas. There are two 1G combo ports for either 1Gbase-T or SFP connections. There are two 10G SFP+ for 10GbE connectivity. These four ports allow for higher-speed WAN connectivity as many homes and businesses are getting WAN connections that are 1GbE or above these days. More often we see folks asking for recommendations to accept a fiber connection to their building.

Netgate 6100 Rear
Netgate 6100 Rear

There are also four 2.5GbE ports. We are going to have the full specs below.

Netgate 6100 Bottom
Netgate 6100 Bottom

Cooling is provided by a big heatsink array at the bottom of the appliance.

Something we wanted to quickly point out is that the system is designed to offer pfSense Plus. Earlier this year pfSense bifurcated into the main “free” version and then the paid version. Netgate had a different version for its appliances that morphed into pfSense Plus when this happened.

Key Specifications


Intel Atom C3558 with QAT, 4-core @ 2.2 GHz (Denverton family)

CPU Cores

Quad Core

Physical Network I/O ports

(2) 10 Gbps SFP+ cage WAN ports

(2) Auto media detect 1 Gbps (RJ45 copper / SFP fiber) Combo WAN ports

(4) 2.5 Gbps RJ-45 “direct” (unswitched) ethernet LAN ports


16GB eMMC – (Netgate 6100 “Base” configuration $699 USD)

128GB NVMe M.2 SSD – (Netgate 6100 “Max” configuration $799 USD)


8 GB w/o ECC, single channel (soldered)

Physical Expansion Card Slots

1x m.2 (Key-B slot) with dual-SIM (LTE, Wi-Fi, or NVMe) (PCIe, USB 2.0, USB 3.0)

1x m.2 (Key-B slot) with dual-SIM (LTE, Wi-Fi, or NVMe) (PCIe, USB 2.0, USB 3.0)

1x Mini-PCie Slot (Wi-Fi Only)

Console Port

1 x auto-detect console port: “Cisco pinout” RJ45 + micro-USB (micro-USB cable included with each system)

USB Ports

2 x USB 3.0 jacks (USB-A female)


3 x RGB LED(s) software / bootloader controllable via Microchip MCU


Desktop – Aluminum, plastic, and steel enclosure.

– 10 x 7.88 x 1.88 inches

– 254 x 200 x 47.63 mm


Optional wall mount kit




0°C (32°F) to 40°C (104°F) – ambient


IPERF Traffic2

  • L3 Forwarding: 18.755 Gbps (1.605 Mpps)

  • Firewall: 10.073 Gbps (862.141 kpps)

    – NAT: 7.892 Gbps (675.684 kpps)

  • IPsec VPN: 2.074 Gbps (185.709 kpps)

(AES-GCM-128 w/QAT)

IMIX Traffic3

  • L3 Forwarding: 6.62 Gbps (2.27 Mpps)

  • Firewall: 2.67 Gbps (941 kpps)

  • NAT: 3.18 Gbps (1.09 Mpps)

  • IPsec VPN: 545 Mbps (187 kpps)

(AES-GCM-128 w/QAT)

Overall, these are some nice specs, but nothing groundbreaking and necessarily new.


  1. Four “(unswitched) ethernet LAN ports” 2.5Gb ports?

    Is that CSMA/CD then? If so it is quite a regression.

  2. No inside the case shots, no detailed performance graphs.

    Pretty much a “puff piece” for this vendor, no?

    What is STH becoming after all of these years of seriously good and generally ethical reporting?

  3. Wow, that’s a really boring release and boring specs. A 2017 Atom chip in 2021 product seems quite hamstrung.
    Time to move on.

  4. It might not be revolutionary but I can definitely see it scratching an itch in 10gb internet soho/prosumer

  5. …assuming that the “WAN” SFP+ can actually be used on the LAN side, yes. But in that case I’m not sure why they named them the way they did (and then described them as fulfilling “versatile WAN connectivity”). Denverton is dull, and a V2516 might be more exciting in there, but how much room for excitement is there in 15ish W?

  6. Sleepy that is strange, no? We do launch pieces from time to time for products. A formal review is more likely in August since this will not be shipping until July.

  7. With pfSense you can re-map interfaces from WAN to LAN but the case will say “WAN” still. That’s been the case with all of its appliances.

    I don’t see this as a “puff piece”. Stating a product is out STH has done hundreds of times.

  8. Yes, I assume that’s the case, but the 7100DT which it is apparently designed to replace (I note the product page no longer has the 7100DT on it) did not label its interfaces in this way. :shrug:
    Regardless, I appreciate the coverage here, and given Netgate’s recent blog stated “During this week, in particular, we’ll make several key announcements” it’s likely there will be more to cover — deferring the in-depth coverage to later seems rational/forward-looking.

  9. I partially dismissed the product earlier but I was looking at features individually instead of realising these had been put together:
    -Fanless cooling
    -Performant 10gb w/ SFP+
    -Not the size of a pizza box
    -Low power
    -2.5gb’s for the APs just coming out (like Netgear business APs)
    -Not too expensive for home and borderline hard to beat with a home build
    -Supported hardware config

  10. Sleepy –

    If it doesn’t explicitly say “review” in the title, one can assume it is a “first look” or product announcement with little/no info above and beyond the press release.

  11. This actually seems like a pretty interesting device. There’s not much else that has both 10 gig and is fanless. The PROTECTLI boxes are quite a bit more powerful but are limited to 1G. If somebody else can name something that is faster than 1G and is fanless I would be highly interested. (Fanless is a hard requirement)

  12. The DEC850 is fanless with 10G.
    The Supermicro E302-9D is fanless with 10G, though it idles in pfSense at 70W according to anandtech, so “fanless” but not exactly cool. There’s a definite home appeal to something that doesn’t suck down 70W….
    Both options cost about twice this one, too.


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