FW1 FW2 FW4 Series Hardware Overview

Last Updated On January 12, 2018
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As with all Protectli Vault hardware, the FW1, 2 and 4 series need only RAM (memory) and mSATA (storage) added in order to have a fully functional hardware system. In addition, an optional WiFi module can be installed as well. For more information on HW compatibility, see this link.

The FW1, FW2, and FW4 series hardware are different in a few subtle ways, but the general board layout, supported hardware, and placement of components is largely the same. The FW1 and FW4 vary only in the type of CPU they have, while the FW2 is different from the other in the number of network ports, as well as CPU. For a full comparison between different models, please see this page.

The annotated photo below shows the location of the various sockets.  The FW4 is pictured.


The FW4 Series uses an Intel Atom E3845U processor (located on the underside of the motherboard). This CPU has built in suport for Intel’s AES-NI hardware encryption.

The FW1 series uses an Intel J1900 processor and the FW2 series uses an Intel J1800 processor.


There is a single SODIMM socket for memory.  Additional information on compatible memory modules can be found in the Hardware Compatibility page.  The maximum supported memory size is 8GB of DDR3L (1.35V).


The FW1, FW2, and FW4 series come with a single mSATA socket.  This socket is capable of holding any logical size mSATA.


The WiFi module socket is a PCIe form factor socket.

Note that the wifi module, while PCIe in form factor, operates over USB channel communication, limiting functionality as compared to pure PCIe modules.  Protectli sells a compatible wifi module that is available here.  Instructions for installation of the wifi module can be found here.



Port Connectivity

The ‘Front’ of the 4 port Vault is pictured above.  Connectivity and port counts are the same for the FW1 and the FW4.  The FW2 is different, as it only has 2 ports (WAN and LAN).

Power should be supplied by the included power supply, which is rated for 12V at 3.3A.

The Power LED, which lights up green when power is applied, indicates that the Vault has power applied.  It does not indicate the status for the operating system

The Drive Activity LED will blink, according to mSATA drive activity.  Usually, the user will see the most activity as the unit is booting, or if the unit is under heavy load.  For most operating systems, this indicator will not be on and only blink occasionally under most conditions.

The Network ports are each independenly connected to the CPU via a PCIe connection.  A table that shows port numbering can be found below.

Vault ModelPort 6Port 5Port 4Port 3Port 2Port 1
FreeBSD (pfSense) Labeling (in software)em5em4em3em2em1em0
Windows 10Ethernet 3Ethernet 2EthernetEthernet 1


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