pfSense Review

Sometimes updates can mess up the running configuration but it is a powerful tool.

What is most valuable?

First of all scalability of this solution. It's an all-in-one solution useful for every kind of company. It's also very easy to set up rules and NAT, and it has several modules like transparent proxy, VPN, and traffic shaping which are the daily modules for me.

How has it helped my organization?

pfSense software was designed to be a customizable platform that can be hardware agnostic. This allows the engineer to meet the needs of a project with a device that's got the right I/O and specifications, and then customize the pfSense settings to their needs.
So power consumption and less hardware requirement can save our money!

What needs improvement?

Compatibility with virtualization system (like VMWare, Proxmox and so on and so forth); in some cases, it can create conflicts with virtualized hardware, and configuration export (sometimes the XML file creates a conflict with the hardware network MAC address).

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

  • Compatibility with some virtualized system
  • Configuration export in some cases
  • Sometimes updates can mess up the running configuration

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Never had any issues. In fact, I've had a pfSense firewall with the uptime of a year.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, and it doesn't matter how many rules or not that you have. It can manage different network interfaces (virtual and physical) without a problem.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

We never use it, but it has a large community so you can find whatever you need in the pfSense forum.

Technical Support:

We never use it, but it has a large community so you can find whatever you need in the pfSense forum.

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

Previously we've used hardware firewalling solutions like SonicWall, Zyxel and others but they're not powerful like this solution. Also, they are hardware so the cost is much higher than software. I've also used IPtables which is a software Linux solution but it's complicated to setup when you need to manage several rules.

How was the initial setup?

It's easy to setup the solution because there's a wizard that guides you through it, and therefore, you cannot make mistakes. Then, you can configure the different aspects to fit your needs.

What about the implementation team?

We have become experts in this solution. We installed it in our lab and tested the solution. After that we implemented it throughout our company, and then began using the solution with our customers.

What was our ROI?

We've a strong know how, and we've use this solution with our customers so we can be more competitive than hardware solutions.

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

It's a software solution, and also open source, so it's cost is zero!

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We tested IPCop, Smoothwall, IPTables and others. When we have an OS project, we want to test so we can compare it to our technology, and if it's better, we build it!

What other advice do I have?

Test, test, test and...test! It's powerful but only with testing will you realize what you need.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

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