Protectli Accessories Review
Table of Contents
Protectli is best known for their Vault firewall appliances, but they also make a variety of accessories that you may purchase for your Protectli hardware. I did not realize they were available until I started browsing through their website when I was preparing for my first Protectli hardware review.
In an effort to provide more information on Protectli products that may interest my readers, I requested a couple of accessories so that I could take a closer look at them.
Protectli offers a UPS option when you order their products so you can have battery backup for your critical network infrastructure. For those of you who do not have a rack with a UPS or a standalone UPS for any of your networking gear, this may be a nice, compact option for your Protectli hardware especially if located in a confined space.
The Protectli UPS is not compatible with their highest tier models (FW6E, VP4650, and VP4670) – possibly due to increased power requirements.
Below you can see the UPS, the included cables, and the wall mount brackets. The footprint of the UPS is about the same size as their 4 port Vault hardware.
One aspect I thought is interesting is that it plugs inline with the power cord supplied with the Vault appliances. Rather than plugging the UPS into the wall and then plugging your device into the UPS as with a traditional UPS, you instead plug the device’s power cord into the wall and then the device’s power cord into the UPS, which then plugs into the device as shown below.
There is even a “Y” cable as you can see below that allows you to plug 2 Protectli devices into the UPS. That is a really nice feature if you have 2 Protectli devices (for high availability, for instance).
If you plan to use the UPS for 2 devices and/or you wish to have a longer run time on the battery, Protectli offers a UPS with a larger battery capacity.
If you plan to purchase a Protectli device on Amazon instead of directly through their website, there are Amazon bundles that have a Vault or Vault Pro model along with the UPS. You can typically save about $20 USD by purchasing the bundle (however, it is worth noting it is the lower capacity UPS).
4G LTE External Modem and Optional Antennas
On Protectli’s store you will find a 4G LTE modem, as one of the available accessories. Some of their Vault/Vault Pro devices can be customized to include an internal 4G LTE modem, but for the devices which do not support an an internal modem, they offer an external modem option.
The external modem has the advantage of being physically located anywhere you can run an Ethernet cable, which allows you to put the modem in a more ideal location. If your router/firewall is in your basement, that is likely not the best place to put your 4G LTE modem.
If you are using OPNsense, you will need to get the external 4G LTE modem because the FreeBSD Operating System on which OPNsense in built does not support certain types of hardware. The external modem will work with any router because it connects to the router via Ethernet. You simply treat it as any other gateway to the Internet such as cable modems, etc.
There are option antennas available for the 4G LTE modem. You may want to consider the optional antennas if you wish to place the antennas further away from the modem to a location where you have better reception.
To use the modem, you will need to add a service plan. Protectli has both low volume and high volume plans to choose. If you simply would like to have an emergency backup connection for basic needs such as checking email, social media, etc., the low volume plans are relatively affordable. However, you will need to monitor the amount of data that you are using to avoid accumulating a large bill since you pay per GB of data used. Protectli has a portal where you can track usage for the low volume plans as well as the ability to set thresholds, which is very helpful.
I roughly estimated how much bandwidth I use during a 8 hour work day on a VPN connection while working at home, and it was roughly 1 GB of data so I know it will cost me $15-20 per day to use the 4G LTE connection if my primary Internet is down. If I had to drive to the office when my Internet is down, I would be spending about half of that amount in gas, wear and tear on my vehicle, and the commute time.
My Internet is not typically down for long periods of time when there is an outage so if I only had to use the connection for a few hours, I would use even less than 1 GB of data so I think the backup connection would be helpful with minimizing disruption while working from home. A reliable Internet connection is very important for those who have the option to work from home.
Protectli’s 4G LTE modems only work in the United States so if you wish to have a secondary/failover WAN, you will need to consider other options if you do not reside in the US.
USB Flash Drives
Protectli sells small USB 3.0 flash drives. They are not much larger than the end of a typical full-size USB cable and have a metal finish with the Protectli logo on them. I think the finish looks better in person than in the photo on their website. It reminds me of satin nickel.
The flash drives are 32 GB so you should have plenty of space to load your Operating System of choice onto your Protectli or other hardware.
As you can see in the photo when compared to a US penny, they are quite small. There is a small hole at the top if you want to hook the flash drive to a keychain so you can carry it with you without losing it.
When I did my first Protectli hardware review, I did not request their rackmount shelf, but I decided to request it when I had the opportunity to review a second Protectli unit.
The rack shelf is only as deep as the Protectli units so it is designed to match the form factor of their hardware. The shelf measures about 5" deep.
What I like about this rack shelf is that you can mount your Protectli devices to the shelf using the predrilled recessed holes and the screws which are packaged with the rack shelf. Although the Protectli boxes do have some weight to them, they will move around a bit if you are pushing cables into them. If you like everything in your rack to be secured, you should consider this accessory.
You can mount a single device in the middle of the shelf or mount two devices next to each other, which is nice if you have two Protectli devices for high availability (or perhaps you are using one of them as a light weight server).
Where to Purchase?
If you would like any of these accessories and more, you can purchase them from Protectli’s website. I do not earn any commission from purchases on their site, but I did receive review units of all of the items described in this review. Some of their accessories such as the Protectli UPS is available on Amazon, and I do receive affiliate income from Amazon.
I hope you found it interesting to take a look at some of Protectli’s accessories!