pfSense Review

A very good firewall with excellent VPN and captive portal capabilities

What is our primary use case?

I use pfSense as a firewall. I use it also as a VPN server and for the captive portal. Those are the main purposes.

How has it helped my organization?

It's difficult to say how it has made a difference in my organization.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the VPN and the captive portal. Captive portal and VPN are easy to deploy.

What needs improvement?

I haven't experienced many problems when dealing with the solution, so I don't know if there are areas that need improvement.

If a user doesn't have a large amount of experience in Linux systems, they will have problems using this solution. Users need to be highly skilled in troubleshooting competency. Users who do not have such skills will find the product difficult to use.

Sometimes if your network goes down, you might experience an issue on the captive portal. This may require a restart and it also may require that you load it again. I'm used to the system, so I know what to do, but it can happen from time to time.

It can be really easy  to deal with Technical support. Technical support is avaible every time I call . But sometime if Technical support do not privide you the solution, so you should double check and solve the issue by your self.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about five or six years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability isn't bad, but there can occasionally be bugs within the system. The likelihood is lessened if you follow a few key protocols.

It's important to have a proper license, otherwise, you run the risk of bugs.

It's important to upgrade the solution regularly. This also helps users avoid running into bugs. If you experience a bug, it's a good idea to check the release and make a grid.

Those that have experience in troubleshooting will benefit from their knowledge when using this solution. Sometimes packages will not work and you'll have to be strategic with workarounds.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support can be really difficult to deal with. I wouldn't say that we have been satisfied with them in any way.

How was the initial setup?

It's not very complex to set up. However, it can become complex as you're using it, and when you are learning the systems. In that sense, it might not be straightforward for everyone.

When it comes to using pfSense, you need to have extreme skills in Linux and in troubleshooting. If you don't have any form of troubleshooting competency, it could be very difficult to use, and very hard to set it up.

What about the implementation team?

I'm very proficient in the solution. I managed the implementation on my own. We didn't need to hire a consultant or bring on an integrator or reseller.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing of the solution is fair. I've also paid for a license that includes Entreprise support. Our license lasts for two years.

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers. We don't have a special relationship with the solution. We just use it on a regular basis.

I'm not sure if I'm using the latest version of the solution or not.

I'd rate the solution ten out of ten since I've never had any major issues with it.

The biggest thing a new user or company needs to be aware of, however, is that whoever the team is that's using it, they need to be very experienced Linux users. The system will be extremely difficult otherwise.

New users will need patience. However, it is easy to use due to its very good web interface. It's also easy to deploy and the process can be handled quickly. There's no need to have a really big fancy long-winded deployment process. That said, especially if you are using it within a complex Linux environment, you absolutely must have high skills in both Linux and security.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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