pfSense

(11)
4.5 out of 5 stars

The pfSense project is a powerful open source firewall and routing platform based on @FreeBSD.

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Showing 11 pfSense reviews
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pfSense review by Jonathan H.
Jonathan H.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Pfsense a worth while firewall"

What do you like best?

The best things of this product is how modular it can be and the community support it offers.

pfsense has a range of modules/plugins that can be added in order to shape pfsense to your needs, there is a wide selection and you are sure to find something to do the job. If for any reason you are unable to find a module to do what needs to be done, more than likely a question has been asked on the subject and an answer is easily found, if not you can pose a question on the forums and you will be met with a very patient community.

One of the main benefits is the capability for multiple WANs, allowing you to route traffic how you see fit or even load balance.

You can add squid guard and block/allow websites on a whitelist/blacklist.

Aliasing allows you to add multiple IP's/networks/hosts under a single alias and make firewall rules based on this, so rather than creating 250 firewall rules for 250 nodes, simply alias all 250 and make a single rule for that alias.

There are pages devoted to graphs so you can monitor your network traffic, your physical NICs and the server itself.

There are a ton of features and all the basic/advanced networking needs are met.

What do you dislike?

There is very little I have found I do not like about pfsense, although I have not tested every single possible feature, my experience has certainly been very positive. There are two things however that do spring to mind.

I was unable to achieve port forwarding for a VPN. The VPN was PPTP (admittedly I never tried any other methods) on a Windows server. Despite countless hours searching and reading the results and numerous attempts of changing settings, I was unable to use the VPN (had worked previously with a paid firewall solution), whether this issue still stands or was entirely my fault still remains unsolved.

After approximately three years I have found pfsense to become slightly flaky. I have only experienced this with one box (the longest running). Whether this issue boils down to the physical server and/or components or whether this is due to changes over the course of time/corruption of configuration files, is again undetermined.

In reality I have not experienced any real downsides of the solution I cannot link back to me.

Recommendations to others considering the product

It's got a great fully fledged gui and it's linux for shell users. Install it, try it, any problems the docs or community will come through.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The product has personally helped to act as a firewall protecting and controlling both internal and external traffic on the network.

It has allowed me multiple WAN connections. With aliasing I can quickly group servers, computers, security equipment etc. Using the aliasing I have been able to dedicate WAN connections for specific purposes ensuring the bandwidth is distributed as necessary with a single firewall rule.

Modules like bandwidthd help me check the hosts consuming the most traffic, squid to help me monitor traffic and squid guard to help me block or allow traffic, make this a great solution.

After moving from one paid licensed solution to another I have found pfsense to not only be free, but completely wipe the floor with anything paid for previously.

My experience with this product is extremely positive and I would definitely recommend it as a great solution.

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pfSense review by McCourt C.
McCourt C.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Open Source Enterprise Grade Firewall"

What do you like best?

This is easily the most configurable open source firewall project I have come across.

If you want to build your own rather than buy rack based commercial products then i highly recommend.

We have full control and transparency over our perimeter with this solution.

The array of plugins available is great and integration of proven IDS and IPS solutions is very good also.

Over all its very good.

What do you dislike?

Its very hard to configure, and sometimes getting the right instruction for your version can be a nightmare.

Very steep learning curve but worth it.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Stick with it, but do some test builds and hardening before going live.

Lots of gotchas to work out.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

As a smaller business PFSense has enabled us to comply with legislation and ISO certification without breaking the bank.

What Firewall solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
pfSense review by Administrator in Information Technology and Services
Administrator in Information Technology and Services
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Great Enterprise Firewall"

What do you like best?

I think pfSense is performant, powerful, and stable. It's got active development, and while I think the pace of innovation is kind of slow. I believe it's one of the best open source firewalls made. It's FreeBSD base provides a great stable base and wonderful networking capabilities. This router really can do everything a Cisco can and more.

What do you dislike?

I think the project tends to shy away from things like configuration management and newer "hot" technologies because they have alternatives coming down the pipeline. Which is great, and I look forward to things like pfCenter, but not having at least some hooks in Ansible is a problem. When things get brought up on forums, people can be nasty. But I guess that's the internet for you.

I wish the base OS was more vanilla FreeBSD w/pfSense packages that could be installed on top. Sometimes I want to do things and I'm afraid to add packages that are outside of the official pfSense package list because there's a fear it could bork the system.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Read the documentation, take the official training. Buy support if you have questions or need help.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Replacing more expensive firewalls and getting much more performance.

pfSense review by Jack-Benny P.
Jack-Benny P.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"pfSense is the my favorite firewall distribution"

What do you like best?

It's absolutely free and it's in my opinion better then many of the enterprise class firewalls I've been in contact with. It's easy to manage, easy to update to newer versions, and best of all it's easy to extend. For example you can extend it with IDS/IPS (Snort), reverse proxies, various tunnel services, network landing sites etc.

What do you dislike?

I shouldn't say everything about pfSense is a walk in park, there have been hick-ups along the way. For example, not to long ago (3-4 years ago) there was a problem with Snort rules not being saved or overwritten with every update of the database. Also it's IPv6-support was a bit late (but on the other hand, so was a lot of other firewall vendors as well). Some services you'll have to tweak manually by editing files, but for most of the time (99.9%) you won't have to do this.

Recommendations to others considering the product

A tip of advice, if you are to run pfSense on a flash drive, don't forget to enable a RAM-disk for the logs or you'll end up with a dead flash drive within weeks. Trust me, it happen to me. Go to System -> Advanced -> Miscellaneous and scroll down to RAM Disk Settings and the "Use RAM disks". Then pfSense will use your RAM for /var and /tmp. This prevents the system from constantly writing writing log files to the flash drive, which can me many thousand entries per second, which will wear out the drive very fast.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

pfSense it my goto firewall solution when either friends or customers is in the need of a firewall/router solution. Since it can run of old or cheap hardware (beware of the throughput though) it saves both myself and my customers money. And besides, it's great for security.

pfSense review by Mark C.
Mark C.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"pfSense"

What do you like best?

What I like the best is how versatile it is and it performs as well as other name brand routing platforms. It is easy to customize for my client's needs.

What do you dislike?

I am completely satisfied with pfSense and it has met all my expectations. I have not experienced an issue with pfSense.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Make the switch to pfSense and use reliable hardware. It is worth it. I have had less problems with pfSense than any other product I have used.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Making custom routers for my diverse clients. The benefit of pfSense is that it is quality software for a fraction of the cost of the competitors.

pfSense review by <span ue="safe-name" data-safe-name-id="5238194e-ab6e-4e8b-82b8-b42a51e6133c">Allan L.</span>
Allan L.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source
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"Easy to setup and checking Software Router"

What do you like best?

Resource utilization is really lower.

Have a good user interface that I can easily understand and learn how to use it.

What do you dislike?

No much user know this product that I can only access their forum for searching solution

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Main Network Router and VPN gateway.

I can use an old server to serve 50 peoples without lagging.

pfSense review by James D.
James D.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Saved us £100's on a fantastic Router"

What do you like best?

pfSense is the ultimate free alternative to a router worth thousands!

It has all of the features most small businesses need.

Its easy to setup and configure as well as being secure and very powerful.

What do you dislike?

The GUI does look slightly dated although the functionality is ideal.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Well worth switching to! you will not regret it.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We avoided spending hundreds on a high end router/firewall by re-purposing retired hardware.

We use pfSense as our main office firewall and for VPN and content filtering.

pfSense review by Ashley D.
Ashley D.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"pfSense is a capable and configurable software firewall solution"

What do you like best?

pfSense is relatively simple to configure and very powerful.

What do you dislike?

Some features are only available with paid pfSense Gold.

Recommendations to others considering the product

pfSense may not be as featureful as a SonicWALL but if the advanced features aren't necessary then pfSense can save a lot of time and money. Keep it on its own VM or machine, however.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Many smaller clients need a firewall but don't necessarily need a full hardware firewall solution. pfSense on a VM is the perfect solution for this situation. pfSense has all the necessary features such as iptables filters, vpn tunnels, etc.

pfSense review by Jamie M.
Jamie M.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Very easy to install out of the gate and a robust routing platform."

What do you like best?

Can't believe how easy it is to set up out of the box. Fire up the server, install the platform and then you assign a LAN/WAN interface... DONE!

What do you dislike?

I would like to see more analytics or an easier way to get to client based data from the dashboard.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I am looking for a secure, but easy and highly configurable platform that just plain WORKS. This seems to fit the bill.

pfSense review by Joseph N.
Joseph N.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"So powerful "

What do you like best?

With this product being open source it amazing how powerful the features you get with it and the ability to configure to your needs is great!

What do you dislike?

It can be hard to get the configuration you want at the start but you get there in the end!

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Free open source protection for your network what more could you want!

pfSense review by Administrator in Computer & Network Security
Administrator in Computer & Network Security
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"The one and only firewall"

What do you like best?

Many options for configure a free and open source firewall to protect and manage your private cloud

What do you dislike?

Too many options and old style interface (a newer version with new UI is coming)

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Full mange of our private cloud

Kate from G2 Crowd

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