pfSense Review

Hotspot and overall stability needs improvement but easy to use and has high performance


What is our primary use case?

We are using the solution for a firewall and other operations, such as traffic shaping.

What is most valuable?

The features I have found best are ease of use, GUI, and performance.

What needs improvement?

The hotspot and the portal feature in this solution are not stable for WiFi access. We use it at least once or twice every day and it crashes. Some modules can be better by improving detection and having new updates. Additionally, we have some issues with clustering and load balancing that could improve.

In a future release, they could redesign the policies because we need to write inbound and outbound simultaneous policies. They could change it to one policy, such as in FortiGate, Sophos, and Cyberoam. In these firewalls, we add rules in one way, and they add rules automatically. However, in this solution, we need to write every policy manually. 

They can improve in site-to-site tunnels with other devices, such as Cisco or FortiGate. It is not very easy to set up VPNs for site-to-site tunnels.

There have been some problems we have been facing with BGP routing that needs to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for approximately two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability could improve.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Since this solution is software-based it is easy to scale. We can extend the UIs by adding some hardware, such as CPUs and memory discs. We would not be able to match this type of scalability with a hardware-based solution, for example as FortiGate.

This solution is best suited for small to midsize networks. When there is heavy traffic in larger-scale businesses it becomes less reliable.

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

I have used FortiGate previously and this solution is cheaper and more reliable.

How was the initial setup?

The solution is easy to deploy.

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

The solution is free. However, you need to pay for support.

What other advice do I have?

I rate pfSense a five out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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