pfSense Review

Installation is relatively simple and acts as our main firewall and router with professional functions, but you need to have the right hardware setup as well.


What is most valuable?

- Firewall/router

- OpenVPN server

- DHCP server

- High availability cluster

- It's for FREE!

How has it helped my organization?

Before I started working for my present company, they used to use a small (for home use :) ) Linksys router. The main problem of Linksys was the limitation of firewall rules of up to 50 entries. I suggested using a main firewall/router because it has professional functions, has no limitation, and it's for free.

What needs improvement?

So far, from my point of view everything is working perfect!

For how long have I used the solution?

I started working with pfSense in 2009.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Deployment is very easy and quite intuitive. Installation is very simple.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, I didn't have any issues. Every issue I had with pfSense was with hardware (not caused by pfSense).

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Never.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I never use customer service.

Technical Support:

I never use technical support.

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

Before pfSense I had in the company an old Cisco router, but it had problems with stability so I was looking for an alternative and I found pfSense.

How was the initial setup?

If you have some knowledge about router and firewall, initial setup won't be a problem for you. Ask google about it and you will find a lot of documentation, instructions and video.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented pfSense by myself, so I can't rate the vendor team level of expertise.

What was our ROI?

System is totally free. I spent two days to implement it.
As hardware, I used old workstations which were prepared to scrap.
So ROI = use some cheap hardware with 2 NICs and you will get a professional firewall/router.

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

It's absolutly free, no pricing and no licensing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was checking some other alternatives (right now I don't remember which) but pfSense had the best documentation, so the choice was simple.

What other advice do I have?

For professional use, I advise using two computers with three NICs

Why 2 computers???
To create a HA cluster.

You will need 3 WAN IP addresses, 3 LAN IP addresses, and a quite simple NIC configuration:

1st NIC use to WAN connection (CARP)

2nd NIC use to heartbeat and sync between two pfSense

3rd NIC use to LAN connection (CARP)

For more details ask Google :)

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