The SG-1100 is a firewall and router in a single form factor released by NetGate as an addition to the company’s popular ARM-based desktop appliance. This new design of the pfSense firewall has enormous upgrades from its SG-1000 predecessor. While being slightly more expensive than SG-1000 at USD $179, the SG-1100 is said to bring in 5x more performance. The NetGate 1100 is ideal for small and home offices, home labs, virtual offices, small and medium businesses, and corporate branch offices that need a 1Gbps performance firewall.
If you are looking for a security gateway firewall appliance for home or office use, and you’re running under a 500 Mbps connection, the pfSense SG-1100 offers some promising features worth looking at. Users who have switched to this router from previously using one of its greatest competitors like SG-3100 or Ubiquiti Edge Router 4 didn’t find any performance issues or network speed problems.They even found the pfSense SG-1100 to meet their expectations when it comes to IDS/IPS application, VPN routing, and firewall use.
In this article, we’re looking closely at the key features of NetGate’s pfSense SG-1100, the pros and cons of using one, system requirements to identify if it fits your setup, and whether or not these are worth purchasing.
Why Choose NetGate pfSense SG-1100?
The NetGate SG-1100 comes in a fanless, sleek, compact, and much lighter box ,significantly smaller than the other boxes in the SG line. While you see a nice white and clean, elegant packaging, in a small, almost a palm-size device, underneath it is a highly flexible modular arrangement. It operates on such a powerful energy-efficient 64-bit Marvell ARMADA 3720 network processing system-on-chip. The SG-1100 model also runs on a dual Cortex-A53 ARM processor cores and an extensive array of high-speed IOs.
If these numbers don’t mean anything to you, let’s look at it this way- just imagine having to procure other routers with several excessive features that add to the cost but actually prove to be superfluous. The SG-1100 model, on the other hand, is powered by this new technology? So what does this mean? It means the attached modules meet the exact user expectation which is centered solely on power and speed.
It’s also worth mentioning that NetGate pfSense SG-1100 is based on a Marvell Espressobin design. Marvell ESPRESSObin can be used for many different applications like firewall, server, router, gateway, and Wi-Fi extender, all in a single board computing platform. It can run up to 1.2 GHz at a fraction of the price of conventional retail products.
The NetGate SG-1100 can either be mounted or placed on a desk or a shelf. Another amazing thing about this device is that SG-1100 runs in a cost-efficient manner but with low power AND 5x more speed and 2x more RAM storage! When used as a firewall, it can get up to 500Mbps throughput, and up to 1Gbps for routers.
Easy GUI Management
Secure remote access
Low Power Consumption
No Moving Parts To Wear Out
500 Mbps Firewall
Might Not Work On A 1000 Mbps Fiber Connection
Freezes, Prone To Hanging
Packet Filtering Performance
Packet filtering is a technique used for controlling network access. It allows you to either pass or halt based on the packet’s source, IP address, ports, and protocols. This feature makes the flow of traffic fast as it doesn’t have any signature reading.
However, you will have to open specific ports for traffic to flow through the firewall. The catch in this kind of technology makes it both secure and unsecured. It’s fast and secure as long as no ports are open for suspicious traffic. But once a port remains open, any malicious traffic sent isn’t blocked.
When continuous traffic starts to flow and is transmitted unevenly in the network through the packet filtering performance, there is a need to build an effective packet distribution pathway. This can be done through load balancing. Load balancing does as it says,it balances a load of traffic coming in by distributing it to the output ports. This ensures that all servers get an equal amount of demand.
The pfSense software is an open-source network security solution that can be configured in a web-based interface. Pfsense software provides dependable and full-featured firewall protection in the cloud that is as fully functional as an expensive commercial firewall. This technology can have many uses from a packet filtering firewall, DNS server, VPN router appliance, and can even be configured for other applications.
Microchip Crypto Authentication Device
When purchasing devices that use a pfSense software, always look at the Microchip CryptoAuthentication device which assures that you are running an authentic, unaltered pfSense software. This is one key feature worth mentioning as not all form factors have this kind of guarantee.
Suricata IDS Engine
The Suricata Engine is a network threat detection engine that combines IDS, IPS, NSM, and offline PCAP files processing. It depends on signature language and rules to detect complex threats.
Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
With IDS or real-time intrusion detection, packets are pre-processed, passed on to the detection engine, and match connections against signatures of known attacks.
Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)
This technology continuously monitors the network, scans the traffic for possible malicious threats as it goes through the network, looks for the whole packets, and records information about such threats for future encounters. As opposed to the IDS which sends information as threats occur, the IPS prevents these attacks from happening.
What makes SG-1100 perform at the highest capability and performance, is because it follows a Marvell Espressobin design which uses a single board computing platform, simplest at its core, and yet able to support for multi-WAN, high availability, VPN, load balancing, reporting, and monitoring, etc.
No Add-Ons Required
No Feature-Based Pricing
Long Deployment Lifetime
|Maximum Concurrent Sessions:||1 Million|
|Integrated I/O:||3x Gigabit Ethernet|
|System Memory:||1GB DDR4 RAM|
|Storage Capacity:||8GB eMMC|
|Serial Ports:||LAN and USB|
|Dimensions:||110 x 84.6 x 31.75mm|
How To Use
Think the NetGate pfSense SG-1100 will help you with your home and business needs?
Learn more about NetGate pfSense SG-1100‘s features and current price here.
However, if you’ve already bought the NetGate pfsense SG-1100, you may perform this easy to understand installation guide to get started :
- To start the basic configuration, connect the appliance to the Internet and the computer. The Ethernet cable connects to the WAN port of the appliance, with the other end connected to the DSL modem.
- The second ethernet cable connects to the appliance and the computer.
- Open a browser and connect to 192.168.1.1
- As it prompts a private connection, click the advanced button to proceed to the link (unsafe).
- Use these default logins. Username: admin, Password: pfSense.
How To Set Up :
- Once configured, click next to start the Setup Wizard
- Go through the NetGate Global Support Information, and General Information page by clicking Next.
- To configure the firewall, use “pfsense” as the hostname, “localdomain” for the domain, and the Google public DNS servers 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 for DNS servers.
- Change the timezone and click Next.
- Configure LAN IP Address 192.168.1.1
- Use the subnet mask of 24
- Change the admin passwords. Then click Reload.
- Proceed with the instructions until the basic configuration is complete.
For more detailed instructions, here’s the NetGate pfSense SG-1100 guide to follow.
NetGate is a privately-held company founded in 2004 and headquartered in Austin, Texas. It is an industry-leading company known best as a reliable provider of high-quality security products.
NetGate uses two different platforms, the pfsense and the tnsr, that both cover a wide spectrum of uses, applications, and support needs. Choosing between the two platforms depends on varying requirements. Pfsense is more appropriate for a single or small number of locations. Tnsr, on the other hand, is more appropriate on a larger network.
NetGate is the only provider and pioneer user of pfSense, a free and open source firewall.NetGate is also known for their routers that use UTM, multi-WAN, load balancing, traffic shaping, web content filters, and more to fulfill their customers needs.
Over the years, thousands of businesses have relied on NetGate’s cutting-edge technology for their secure networking needs. Overall, NetGate leverages the pfsense software and combines necessary integrations and testing all to provide leading-edge operation and production.
Finally, what makes NetGate stand out from the rest is that all of its products require no additional cost, no hidden installation fees for added features, and are all available at a fair price point. One great example is the line of SG products, and a part of that is the SG-1100.
NetGate’s SG-1100 has some promising features that focus mainly on speed and computer memory. But it’s ambitious to have the ARMADA processor, gigabit routing, full Suricata IDS engine, and all these features combined in one box at a cheap cost. While it does the job of advanced security, we’re still not at the point of technology to get all these features in one firewall at a cheap price. Some users recommend this device if you have 500mbps of firewall traffic. Anything more than that, SG-1100 won’t be the top choice.
Have you given NetGate’s SG-1100 a try? What can you say about it? What did you like? What did you not like? We would love to know what you think, so please do drop us a line or two at our Contact Us section.
Also, after reading our review, if you are still keeping your options open, feel free to check out other hardware firewall reviews on firewallguide.com. Still haven’t found the right router for you? Not to worry! We are here to support you on your journey, we are more than willing to give you a helping hand until you find a product that will truly fit you.