A low-noise, 20 dB gain balanced photoreceiver for wavelengths from 1.2 to 2.2 micron with over 150 MHz bandwidth for LIDAR or eye-safe free-space applications. The R205M consists of matched InGaAs/InP photodiodes and a transimpedance amplifier with low electrical-return-loss for improved link performance. The R205M may be used in coherent-lightwave link designs to eliminate DC intensity noise, effectively using all of the link signal and local oscillator power. Losses due to mixing in single port receivers are eliminated and the link is able to operate near the shot-noise limit. The component module is packaged for use in the Lab Buddy, protecting the fiber and photoreceiver from accidental damage in the lab due to mishandling or incorrect power supplies.