pfSense Review

Flexible with a straightforward setup and great plugins

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for security. It's a firewall.

What is most valuable?

The solution is an excellent open-source product. It has a big community around it as well. Out of those few points, you'll come up to a situation whereby you can avoid the vendor lock-in. Since there is a big community, you can count on reliability. There are lots of installations and lots of people who understand how everything works. 

The solution offers excellent flexibility. You can either install pfSense just on a machine, on your local PC, or you can buy an appliance. You can even buy your own hardware and install it on your own. Of course, if you choose that route, you need to have a technical expert on your team. For us, as a software company, that's not a problem.

There are plugins you can add to the product if you want even more useability. You can even add more security functionality.

The initial setup is straightforward.

What needs improvement?

We did have a strange issue with an update at one point, however, that was resolved quickly.

If you want to take advantage of all of the solution's options, you need to have a bit of a technical background. It's not for a layperson.

You do get a good solution for free. However, the trade-off is you need to be technical to really take advantage of it.

The installation could potentially be faster.

For how long have I used the solution?

I haven't been using the solution for very long at this point. It may be somewhere around three to five months. It hasn't been long.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's excellent.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is excellent. We don't have any issues as far as that is concerned.

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

Prior to pfSense, we used Cisco.

How was the initial setup?

The implementation is not complex. It's very straightforward to initiate. A company should have no problems with the process.

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

As an open-source solution, it is free to use as you see fit.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I didn't evaluate the solution against other more expensive commercial tools.

What other advice do I have?

We are just customers and end-users.

The solution is an open-source platform. We are a software company and we like open-source. Lots of people say open-source means that you need to install it on your own. They will see that as a limitation, however, we see that as the other way around. 

I'd recommend the solution to other organizations and users. It's open-source, it's flexible, and has a strong community. You can use it in many different ways, either in a small installation, laptop, PC, or on a machine, or you can buy an appliance or you can even buy your own hardware and configure it in a different way. The software as such is free and you have a lot of options as to how you want to use it.

I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten. It's been very good for us

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