pfSense Review

Most valuable feature is a 50/50 between no licensing and ability to repair a firewall

How has it helped my organization?

Increasing customer satisfaction by not having to ask for license fees any time a new feature is needed. The redundancy and scalability is very nice too.

What is most valuable?

Most valuable is a 50/50 between no licensing (cough Cisco) and being able to actually repair a firewall instead of replace since pfSense can be loaded to any x86/x64 PC or Server.

What needs improvement?

The GUI could use more “bells and whistles”. It's got plenty of info for a Sysadmin but some people like shiny things.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Rarely and almost always due to bad configuration or failing hardware.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, pfSense can be installed on a decommissioned PC or a brand new 4U quad CPU server. If you need better hardware from the first install it's easy to either simply move the drive to the new firewall or backup/restore to new disks.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've only ever used community-based support and it's very solid with thousands of knowledgeable people on their forums.

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

NETGEAR or Cisco. Switched because NETGEAR didn’t always offer the functionality and Cisco was very complicated and expensive.

How was the initial setup?

Simple if you just want a firewall up and going to NAT your network. It can be as complex as you need it to be. Just run the install from an ISO and it's like any other out-of-the-box SMB router.

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

Unless they have specific requirements that demand a particular device, I always suggest pfSense specifically because of the absence of pricing and licensing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Monowall, Tomato, DD-WRT.

What other advice do I have?

Stop googling and head over to pfSense to download the ISO and get started. It will do almost everything the most expensive Cisco device will.

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