Posted On

2020 Apr 28

about 4 years ago

Updated On

2022 Dec 31

over 1 year ago

Protectli Vault 6-Port FW6C (i5-7200U)

If you are looking for a small footprint, All-in-One, mini PC that is able to handle the following:

  • XCP-ng Hypervisor Virtual Machines
  • WAN/LAN Router that handles 1Gbps
    • (probably 400~500Mbps on 2 interfaces with Snort/Suricata IDS services)
  • pi-hole
  • UniFi Controller
  • (depending on your use case and memory usage per VM)

you can consider a Protectli Vault 6-Port FW6C (i5-7200U)

This post is not sponsored in anyway by Protectli

Firmware Version

Be sure to upgrade the BIOs firmware before trying to install XCP-ng on it. You can read their guide provided by the Protectli team @, it is outdated now as you can download XCP-ng's version of XCP-Center (XCP-ng Center)

Only the FW6 series supports XCP-ng

Tested Scenario and VMs

  1. pfSense Firewall/Router
  2. pi-hole
  3. Ubuntu16 Server
  4. Ubuntu16 Desktop
  5. Plex Media Server

Plex Transcoding

  • Yes. I ran it. Being a Plex Subscriber enables me to Direct Play videos on my iOS device, so it didn't matter to me whether the CPU was fast enough to transcode. And if you are wondering...
  • No, the Protectli FW6C will definitely lag behind during transcoding, which affects your whole system, in turn affecting your Internet bandwidth (pfSense Router)

Virtual Machine Performance

All VMs will take roughly ~10% hit on performance relative to the hardware specification. This is pretty normal for Hypervisors and is important to keep in mind when looking out for your next hardware purchase


  • Heatsink Casing
    • No need to replace fans
  • Silent
  • Small footprint with more than enough performance as a consumer/SMB router
  • Low CPU TDP⚡️ - 15W
  • AES-NI Capable (pfSense)


  • If you plan to deploy more than three VMs on this little beast, it's better to go for a NUC, the next step up which is upgradable
    • NUC is limited to x1 LAN interface
  • Can get hot to the touch
    • Who touches their routers anyway?! 🤣 Jokes aside, just be careful if you are moving it after running it for 24hrs 😊

If you find the price a little high, you can source for the OEMs over at Alibaba

Room for improvement

The Protectli FW6C since have been migrated over to a pure pfSense Router in an SMB environment

If you plan to deploy/test more VMs, always purchase something with room for improvement. The FW6C has been replaced with a full consumer Desktop HTPC case with even higher specs, 32GB RAM, running a total of 10 VMs, with performance room to spare

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