Best media to run pfSense? CF vs CF-Microdrive vs SSD?



  • I'm currently running pfSense using a CompactFlash Microdrive and it's been running great (using the full install of pfSense and not nanobsd) but I'm beginning to worry about the card failing since it's very old.

    I was thinking about purchasing a new card or drive, but what's the best option for pfSense?

    SSD drives (30GB, etc) are extremely cheap and I would expect to be better performance than CompactFlash, right?  What about the CF Microdrive?  Also, would I install NanoBSD to an SSD to prevent wearing the drive out?



  • I was thinking about purchasing a new card or drive, but what's the best option for pfSense?

    What packets did you install and running?
    What services you want to use or offer?

    As I see it right it would be more tend to be;
    CFcard = NanoBSD for lowest or no write cycles and also no Squid as caching proxy, AVScan or logging
    CompactFlash Microdrive = NanoBSD but not read only and more write cycles and perhaps a few loggings
    SSD/mSATA = pfSense full install with Squid as a caching proxy, Snort and logging

    SSD drives (30GB, etc) are extremely cheap and I would expect to be better performance than CompactFlash, right?

    This might be that the performance is better, but in former days the CF Microdrive was also not cheap
    to get the hands on, so I ask my self why it must now being cheap?

    SSD drives (30GB, etc) are extremely cheap and I would expect to be better performance than CompactFlash, right?  What about the CF Microdrive?  Also, would I install NanoBSD to an SSD to prevent wearing the drive out?

    So a SSD should be really from a vendor that is selling good products like  Samsung perhaps:

    • Samsung MZ-M5E120BW mSATA
    • Samsung 840/850 Pro (SATA III SSD)
    • Samsung 950 Pro M.2 (PCIe .30 x4 - 2280)

    If you only want to use pfSense as a firewall and many logs would be written and/or Squid will be used
    as a caching Proxy it could be better to go with a greater model with more space, something 120 GB or
    240 GB would be right as I see it right.



  • SSD drives (30GB, etc) are extremely cheap and I would expect to be better performance than CompactFlash, right?

    This might be that the performance is better, but in former days the CF Microdrive was also not cheap
    to get the hands on, so I ask my self why it must now being cheap?
    I'm not sure what you mean by this?

    Also, is there a benefit to running Squid for a simple home network?  Right now I only use pfSense for routing and no extra packages…



  • I'm not sure what you mean by this?

    Often you will get what you pay for. So a more quality mSATA or SSD would be perhaps longer running.

    Also, is there a benefit to running Squid for a simple home network?

    If Squid will be a caching proxy it could be that a SSD/mSATA is speeding up this then.

    Right now I only use pfSense for routing and no extra packages…

    Then a 30 GB one could be right sorted in the dimension.





  • $20 more than the 120gb, and can be used in the future for something else if need be

    Others were reporting here in the forum that the Samsung 850 EVO seems to be not working together
    with the TRIM command or support from pfSense. So I personally would be aware of this SSD.

    In earlier times that SSD have had also Firmware problems and I really don´t know if this would be
    solved 100% out. So an older Samsung840 Pro without this problems is also fast and cheaper to get
    as it is older, but without known failures and firmware problems.


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