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# 250625 19-May-2019 15:33
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How fast is a Firewalla Blue?

 



dimensions: 4 x 4 x 3cm

 

Introduction:

 

Advertised as "Smart & Powerful Cyber Security Firewall Appliance Protecting Your Family and Business", this tiny box is a hardware firewall with numerous options including: device management, parental control, VPN server, dynamic DNS, ad block, intrusion prevention, and bandwidth measurement.

 

It is available at two spec levels:

Firewalla Red: "affordable" (USD $109), 100 Mbit
Firewalla Blue: "powerful, pro version" (USD $179) >500 Mbit

 

The Firewalla website is in the USA, and the device ships from China.

 

I am on a "gigabit" HFC cable connection in Wellington, and therefore bought the Firewalla Blue.

 

The Firewalla website claims: "The Blue will allow all of these wonderful security features to run at near gigabit speeds.
Our current code is able to do 400 to 500 Mbits, and by the time we deliver, we should be closer to gigabit speed."

 

I am very impressed with this tiny device, and it does what it says on the box, with one exception - speed.

 

Without the Firewalla I can get downstream 950 Mbit/sec from Auckland and 850 Mbit/sec from Melbourne.
With Firewalla connected, speeds immediately drop to about 400 to 500 Mbit/sec or worse.

 

While realising that for real-world purposes there is no difference between 800 and 400 Mbit/sec, the geek in me wants to know if other users have the same "problem."

 

  • Do any other Geekzoners use this device?

  • How well has it performed for you?




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  # 2240841 19-May-2019 16:19
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These devices that claim to secure things and only have a single ethernet port will always be a bit hit and miss for both performance and if they even work at all.





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  # 2240853 19-May-2019 17:03
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i would not buy these

 

they are a scam

 

they do not work

 

all they do is use your internet connection as a vpn to do illegal things

 

there are a few of these boxes around

 

just save your money

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2240921 19-May-2019 19:24
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  # 2242764 21-May-2019 22:25
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Just buy a Ubiquity Edge Router Lite. Cheaper, Good support for them on GZ and other forums. And they definitely can route gigabit. They will also run for ages without needing to be restarted. Mine is currently on approx 1 year and 3 months uptime. (time since last restart).







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  # 2242913 22-May-2019 09:31
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Aredwood: Just buy a Ubiquity Edge Router Lite. ...

 

 

Good advice - I recently upgraded from an EdgeRouter Lite to an EdgeRouter 4, which is even faster.  🙃

 

The Firewalla is designed to be attached to a router - not to replace it.

 



 

It is claimed to be compatible with most routers, including Ubiquiti.

 

Firewalla was created by (oversubscribed) crowd funding, and the Firewalla website shows quite an active geek community supporting it.

 

Since I bought the Firewalla, a new page has been added to their website: Firewalla Speed Limitations Explained.

 

It now claims: "Packet Processing Speed >500 Mb" - which is about what I am getting with the Firewalla connected.

 

Case closed.  🙂  (unless a future software upgrade works a miracle)

 

 

 

EDIT: review (red version) : PCMag Australia 





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  # 2242939 22-May-2019 09:53
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You'll never achieve full speed - the single board computer is simply an NanoPi (Here) which does have Gigabit ethernet, however I believe this is on a USB bus.

 

Also, you really got ripped off by this as the NanoPi along with a memory card and case is only ~$45US





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  # 2242996 22-May-2019 11:25
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So not different from Trend Micro Home Network Security and other devices like these, then?

 

It surprises me (not) that companies run Kickstarters for products/concepts that already exist, with big claims but not adding anything substantial to the market. Some companies (not saying this one specifically) go as low as to simply slap a sticker on a product already available from AliExpress.

 

I believe most KickStarters and Indiegogo campaigns are not worth the cost of paying for the bytes to travel from their servers to my browser.





 
 
 
 




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  # 2243101 22-May-2019 13:14
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freitasm:

 

So not different from Trend Micro Home Network Security and other devices like these, then? ...

 

 

... except that it is cheaper (but still overpriced) and does NOT charge an ongoing annual fee.





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  # 2243115 22-May-2019 13:27
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Sideface:

 

freitasm:

 

So not different from Trend Micro Home Network Security and other devices like these, then? ...

 

 

... except that it is cheaper (but still overpriced) and does NOT charge an ongoing annual fee.

 

 

Busines model apart, functionality is practically the same. Not really talking price. As michaelmurfy mentioned you could go even cheaper if you wanted.





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  # 2243119 22-May-2019 13:36
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How does it work, despite only having 1 ethernet port? Assuming that it does ARP spoofing to get all Ethernet traffic to be redirected through itself.

If that is the case, then malware or just a kid who wants to bypass the parental controls. Simply needs to figure out the IP address of the actual router and set it as the gateway address.





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  # 2243125 22-May-2019 13:53
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Aredwood: How does it work, despite only having 1 ethernet port? Assuming that it does ARP spoofing to get all Ethernet traffic to be redirected through itself.

If that is the case, then malware or just a kid who wants to bypass the parental controls. Simply needs to figure out the IP address of the actual router and set it as the gateway address.

 

 

It wouldn't work. ARP Poisoning basically means the device replaces its own MAC address in the packets that would be identified as the original gateway, receiving all packets first. You have to physically remove the ethernet cable from the device to stop the spoofing.





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  # 2243318 22-May-2019 19:52
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Sideface:

 

... except that it is cheaper (but still overpriced) and does NOT charge an ongoing annual fee.

 

 

So who keeps it updated and secure if the end user isnt paying?





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  # 2243322 22-May-2019 19:54
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freitasm:

 

It wouldn't work. ARP Poisoning basically means the device replaces its own MAC address in the packets that would be identified as the original gateway, receiving all packets first. You have to physically remove the ethernet cable from the device to stop the spoofing.

 

 

The one that a friend had the misfortune of being stuck behind (well its not really behind, more beside) would spoof all the DHCP user IPs to the router as well so that you couldnt even statically assign the real router and have it work.





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