Peplink Balance 20X Gigabit Ethernet WAN Expansion Module

I need more WAN ports because I may soon add Starlink and/or a fiber connection to my home network, at least temporarily. I probably won’t keep two backup connections once I get fiber, but it is possible I would keep 2 if I add Starlink.

The built in CAT4 cellular modem (at least on my generation of 20X) is pretty much much useless to me. I was already using a CAT11 modem before I bought the Balance 20X. I bought it for its ability to do SpeedFusion across two WAN ports (including USB) at a reasonable price.

I do appreciate the ability to use a USB 3.0 to Ethernet adapter to add one Ethernet port, but some of us could use more. I am already using the USB/Ethernet port to connect to a T-Mobile 5G Home Internet device. Your 5G modem is probably better, but T-Mobile won’t let it be used with the Home Internet plan.

It pains me that the Expansion Bay is just sitting there, when an expansion module to provide a single 1GE WAN port would probably be trivial to make. I would be surprised if it is much more complicated than mapping the pins and adding a couple of LED lights. It would be great if the module supported more than one WAN port, but that is probably more complicated, and the Balance 20X is probably expecting a single connection from the expansion device. Keep it simple and inexpensive so you can sell it at a good profit in the same market as the Balance 20X.

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It is our understanding that the 20X HW3 will support the forthcoming SFP module which can, of course, be used with ethernet or fiber modules. I don’t think I’ve heard a firm availability date for the latter, however. My really strong guess is that the issue is a bit more involved than “mapping the pins and adding a couple of LED lights,” however.

Maybe we can get someone from Peplink (or another Partner) to provide an ETA for the SFP module. @Cassy_Mak may know. :<) We’d like to know also.

Yes they announced it in a thread I posted in June. Was supposed to be released around July.

We have a few of these in similar circumstances where a second “real” ethernet WAN would help make the 20X into a more useful box - that said though once you add all these modules on things like the BR2 Pro start to also look competitive when you consider the two built in 5G modems and more modern CPU.

Do we know if the HW3 version will have increased capacity in terms of how much bandwidth the Flex Mini slot can handle? I believe at the moment it is limited to ~300Mbps in current revisions - would be a bit pointless adding a “gigabit” ethernet interface and effectively having it limited to a fraction of that because of the modules interface.

I suppose there is also still the “virtual WAN” port licence that is on the horizon too for the 20X (and hopefully in the future they will expand that concept to other models where possible - software defined interfaces to go with your software defined WAN!).

Maybe we can get someone from Peplink (or another Partner) to provide an ETA for the SFP module. @Cassy_Mak may know. :<) We;d like to know also.

The module is very close to be released. We are targeting in the end of August or in September.

If you are interested to buy this, please send an email to [email protected]. Quote this email thread and tell us your contact information and who is your resellers. So that we can follow up with you for the datasheet and the logistic etc.


Interesting perspective. Ours is a bit different. While the speed limitation may be a factor in some installations, very few of our customers have much more speed than that on their secondary WAN and we’ll be glad to have a fiber SFP module – regardless of speed – as we install “light gaps” in many WANs to protect the router and everything downstream. In those cases that’s one less media converter we have to use. So, we’ll be pleased to have that module available and thank Peplink for producing it.

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I think you want to look at the B20X virtual wan feature:

Valid point regarding the optical isolation that this adds.

In a lot of cases high bandwidth backup links are becoming increasingly common for us as more providers roll out FTTP services, although those often use PPPoE which itself is creating other problems in Peplink world.

We have a few customers with GigE leased lines and high bandwidth backup links into 20X at the moment where we accept that the backup will only run at 100Mbps via USB-Ethernet dongles but that is also fine as in most cases the PepVPN throughput of the 20X is the limiting factor for us in those deployments (video streaming deployments where 100Mbps is not a lot these days).

As you say, nice to have options and good to see that Peplink are responding to what people want, although I also hope that Peplink will be clear and open about what the module will actually deliver in clear black and white text on the data sheet so we can use that to better manage expectations and guide our customers.

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