pfSense Review

A great solution that just works and is fast and affordable


What is our primary use case?

We use it for small businesses, and most of my clients are using pfSense.

What is most valuable?

It works. I put pfSense in, and it works. I can't think of any trouble I ever had with it. It runs on heat-sensitive appliances. They don't need a fan, so they don't overheat. 

It is affordable, fast, and very high-speed. It is built on BSD Unix, and it pretty much runs on any Intel processor. 

What needs improvement?

I've never tried it in large environments. All my clients are small businesses with a handful of employees, so I am not sure how it works in large environments. I keep up with recent versions, and there's nothing I'm waiting for, and nothing breaks when I get a new version.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for maybe five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It just works.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I've never challenged it. All of my clients are small businesses. It is open-source software, and it runs on whatever appliance you run it on, so whatever computer you run it on, it'll scale up pretty high.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is excellent. They do have good support service. I don't use it because I've never had any problems with it, but the people I know who use it in bigger environments love it. You can even search their knowledge base and learn anything you want to know pretty quickly. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Some of my businesses just use the built-in firewall in the ISP modem. I replaced an old SonicWall that couldn't keep up with a faster internet service. I've replaced a couple of Cisco solutions that were just getting old to run modern software, but the hardware was working. They just died of old age, and I replaced them with pfSense. It has been great. I'm sure a lot of people know how to configure Cisco solutions, but I don't. pfSense is very easy to configure.

How was the initial setup?

It was very simple. You download and boot a USB stick or a CD to install it. From then on, it is managed by its own webpage. The deployment takes a few minutes.

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

It has almost zero cost, and it is open to us. It runs on a small appliance just for a couple of 100 bucks, and I've never had an appliance burn out on me yet. 

What other advice do I have?

It is just great. Give it a try. It just works.

I would rate pfSense a ten out of ten.

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