UP Squared - Perfect SBC for pfSense

There is a new KickStarter project by UP, the people who made an Intel Single Board Computer (SBC) a while ago…

This new SBC is called the Up Squared (aka UP 2). It’s the first SBC to use the Intel Apollo Lake chips.

The minimum specs are a dual core Intel Celeron N3350 processor, 2GB LPDDR4, 16GB eMMC storage, a SATA3 port, a M.2 SATA port, a Mini PCI-e 1x v2.0 port, 3 USB3 ports, 40 GPIO ports, and many other ports as well. The SBC can be ordered with up to 8GB RAM, and 128GB of eMMC storage, as well as with a quad core Pentium N4200.

Dual onboard gigabit network ports are why this SBC is the perfect pfSense or other software router system. It also has a mini PCIe 1x v2.0 slot which can accommodate a wireless card, or, with a dongle/adapter, a 1x PCIe card (add on a quad gigabit Ethernet card). Additionally, the CPU supports hardware AES-NI instructions, something missing from many of the previously available small routers you could find on eBay. This is helpful for OpenVPN and some other applications.

I’ve never done a KickStarter before, but this project looks very interesting to me. I bought the base model for 89euros, plus 20euros shipping to USA. Based on the resource usage of my pfSense router at work, the base model should handle as much bandwidth as I can buy in my area. Easily capable of 1Gbps (but not more due to bandwidth limitations of the interfaces)

I’m excited to check this sucker out.


Specs sound better than some chromebooks...

Perfect, I've been looking for a dedicated pfsense box, and now with these, they look relatively phenomenal. The real question though is, can I wait until April?

  • AK

As luck (or fate) would have it, a new pfSense video has been released. This little SBC is perfect for pfSense, and I can't wait to get going with it.

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I was going to buy a Netgate RCC-VE 2440 to run as a pfsense box.
Now I'm thinking I should wait for this thing and pair it with a managed switch. It's a long wait to April though.
What do you guys think?
What kind of chassis would you use for one of these boards?

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i picked up ZOTAC ZBOX NaNO works great for pfsense and its fanless.

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Damn, that's a pretty compelling option. And no wait time. I even have an extra SSD and some memory laying around already. If those Zotac's had Intel NIC's, I'd buy one.

That netgate box is nice, but expensive. If you are getting a managed switch, that netgate box is overkill.
You can use VLANs to create more virtual interfaces even with a single network port computer. You'd have to be routing more than 500Mbps to need more bandwidth than a single gigabit interface could handle.