Solution with at least two 2.5GbE NIC. Thoughts? Even better suggestions?


I have now fiber Internet with 1Gb up/down. But as both my primary and secondary IPFires have one 1GbE on board NIC + one 1GbE on USB NIC, I am sure they are now bottle necks.

So I have started searching for possible solutions with at least two 2.5GbE NICs. I have found these that may be good.

What do you say about these and do you have even better suggestions?

Fanless pfSense Router Celeron J4125 Mini PC 4 LAN 2.5G Intel i226 2500M
$240 (8GB RAM 256GB SSD)

VNOPN Micro Firewall Appliance 4 Intel 2.5GbE Intel N3700 Quad Core
$183.27 (8G RAM 128GB SSD)

NanoPi R5S Quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 one Native 1Gbps E, and two PCIe 2.5Gbps E
$93 (4GB RAM SanDisk Ultra 32G Class 10 UHS-I MicroSDHC Memory Card+ case)

Beelink Mini PC, EQ12 Intel 12th Gen N100 Dual 2.5Gbps
$249.00 (8G RAM 500GB SSD)

ODROID-H3+ [83002] Intel® Quad-Core Jasper Lake N6005 2 x 2.5Gbit E
~$380 (16G RAM 120GB SSD+ [ODROID-H3 / H3+ Case Type 1 [83005])

NanoPi R5S is currently not supported.
Missing bootloader and devicetree definition in kernel-6.1
I have support for R4S a while ago but i have no R5S hardware to test. I also think that 2.5Gbit interfaces cannot full used by the Realtek chip.

I have not seen any 2.5Gbit benchmarks yet but i know that even 1Gbit may problematic for small soc’s like the N3600 because you need to hande 4Gbit on the PCIe interface with two 1Gbit nic’s. (I don’t know if the N3700 is much faster)


I think I have one, it cannot handle 2.5g both ways.

Plus if you add in processing needed for file transfer I doubt it can reach more than 1.5g

I tried it with multiple devices and what I understood from my experience is:

  1. To utilize full 2.5g you need high speed drives on both ends.
  2. High speed cpu which can handle network b traffic along with file transfer to read and write on both ends.

Just having 2.5g capable networking did not give me a big difference in file transfer. :frowning:

Ended up making me spend a lot to keep testing and then I gave up on getting full 2.5g read/write.

With rtl and intel 2.5g chips I can get 2.37g transfers only in iperf test.


But it sounds that is close at least. These two have intel 2.5g chips, do you think they also could be close to 2.37g?

  1. Fanless pfSense Router Celeron J4125 Mini PC 4 LAN 2.5G Intel i226 2500M
    Intel i226-V network cards
    $240 (8GB RAM 256GB SSD)


Intel i226-V is a new network card, pfSense, ROS etc system maybe have not released compatible driver to match yet, suggest to install newest version of following systems: OPNsense 22.x, pfSense Plus, OpenWrt, ESXi, Proxmox, PVE, CentOS etc. Please make clear before buying, DO NOT open dispute because of system issue.

Processor parameter for referance only

Gemini Lake Intel Celeron J4125 4 cores 4 threads 2.0GHz up to 2.7GHz 4MB cache TDP 10W Intel UHD Graphics 600, AES-NI supported.

  1. VNOPN Micro Firewall Appliance 4 Intel 2.5GbE Intel N3700 Quad Core
    Intel i225 network cards
    $183.27 (8G RAM 128GB SSD)

About this item

âś” Processor & OS---This 4 nic mini pc uses Intel N3700 Processor Quad core 4 threads 2M Cache at 1.6GHz (Burst up to 2.4GHz), supports AES-NI; The performance of CPU and GPU are better than J3160/N2940. It supports windows 10, linux ubuntu and more open-source firewall systems, etc. Support Auto Power On, Wake on LAN, RTC wake and PXE boot ("DEL" key to enter BIOS).
âś” 4 Intel 2.5Gigabit Ethernet ports---This fanless mini pcs all use Intel i225 network card chips, supports 4x 2.5gigabit ethernet to keep stable and high speed. It has a good compatibility for soft routing, firewall and other network applications. This compact pc has more I/O Interface to meet your more needs: 1*HDMI, 1*VGA, 4*RJ45 LAN, 2*USB3.0, 1*DC IN.
âś” High Capacity Storage---This little firewall box comes with 8GB DDR3L RAM and 128GB mSATA SSD. The memory is only 1x sodimm slot, max support 8GB. The storage is 1x mSATA, can be upgraded to 512GB. Large storage can meet the hardware requirements of different network security firewall software and hypervisor applications.
✔ Portable & Silent---This small form factor PC built for hardware firewall and router use, it’s only 5.27 x 5 x 1.43 inch and 0.6kg and has a mounting bracket that allows it to be hung on the back of the monitor or TV to save more space. In addition, this mini computer uses fanless passive cooling design and only has a 6W TDP to maintain low power consumption to save energy and 24/7 hours quiet running.
âś” Package List & Service---Vnopn Mini PC*1, 12V/3A power adapter*1, US power plug*1, user manual*1, WiFi antenna*2, Back mount bracket&Screws*1. We offer 24/7 hours customer service, 1 month free return, 3 year warranty and lifetime tech support.

Yes intel can do better than rtl chips.
This is just iperf test result.

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OK, I have ordered and will try this one: 8GB RAM 128GB NVMe, Alder N100 i226-V
Total it cost me right now: US $172.25 (lets see if I also need to pay custom fees)

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Just for future reference:

If you’re looking for a well build device with Intel hardware, support and don’t wanna buy those things from Alibaba & Co you may take a look at Protectli The FW4C is the least expensive device with 2.5 GBit/s Ports, starting from approx. 300 € for the barebone version (without SSD/RAM). Available at the company’s online store or at Amazon.


Here is device that might be worth an examination.

I have seen several reviews of it on youtube. It does have some limitations such as fixed memory. But as some use a RPi that may not bother you. I too am in the hunt for new hardware, and have decided that intel N100, with intel i226 NICs is the way I am going.


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We should keep an eye also on the capability of the bus, not just the CPU and the ethernet card. Meaning, it’s triad we need to get just right: CPU, motherboard and ethernet card. Thanks for the link to this device. It looks interesting.

I found conflicting informaton from Intel if the I225 chipset supports RSS.

Advanced features such as Jumbo Frame support for extra-large packets and Receive Side Scaling (RSS) are also supported.

Advanced features such as Jumbo Frame support for extra-large packets and Receive Side Scaling (RSS) (I226 only) are also supported.

Could an owner of an I225 chipset please verify if it supports RSS or not?

I think i have an answer for you. I have a system running an intel n100 processor with 4 intel 226-v nics with kernel driver igc and if i understand the proper commands it would appear that RSS is supported.

Issuing the command:

egrep 'CPU|green0' /proc/interrupts

results in:

           CPU0       CPU1       CPU2       CPU3       
 143:          0          0          0          1  IR-PCI-MSI 2097152-edge      green0p0
 144:    2937776          0          0          0  IR-PCI-MSI 2097153-edge      green0p0-TxRx-0
 145:          0    2588137          0          0  IR-PCI-MSI 2097154-edge      green0p0-TxRx-1
 146:          0          0    5000091          0  IR-PCI-MSI 2097155-edge      green0p0-TxRx-2
 147:          0          0          0    1844778  IR-PCI-MSI 2097156-edge      green0p0-TxRx-3
 148:          0          0          1          0  IR-PCI-MSI 2621440-edge      green0p1
 149:          0          0          0   27118577  IR-PCI-MSI 2621441-edge      green0p1-TxRx-0
 150:   22837935          0          0          0  IR-PCI-MSI 2621442-edge      green0p1-TxRx-1
 151:          0   25381228          0          0  IR-PCI-MSI 2621443-edge      green0p1-TxRx-2
 152:          0          0   21158819          0  IR-PCI-MSI 2621444-edge      green0p1-TxRx-3

Which seems reasonable given i have two ports bridged in the green side of the house and that the N100 has 4 processors.

As always have a nice day PZ