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


Valuable Features

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.

Improvements to 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!

Room for 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).

Use of Solution

I've been using it for three years.

Deployment Issues

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

Stability Issues

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

Scalability Issues

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.

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.

Previous Solutions

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

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

Other Solutions Considered

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!

Other Advice

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

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

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