What is our primary use case?
In the past, we had different locations in different countries, and in every location, we had the same pfSense firewall. Therefore, the connection between our different locations was good and manageable. However, in the last two years, we have had only one location here in Belgium, thus the performance of the pfSense has been good, and we can manage great with the open ports and the closed ports, but now a firewall has to be a little bit more than just that.
How has it helped my organization?
I do not have any big malware in my network, partly because of pfSense. The firewall blocks every malfunctioning malware or virus. Also, the access from outside our network has to be blocked, and I know by experience that our pfSense is very closed. You have to open every port in order to make sure that there can be a connection from outside our network.
What is most valuable?
- I can manage it easily by myself.
- The interaction between the same firewalls is good. We can connect VPNs over the same firewall easily.
- It is an open source solution. Therefore, the price is good.
- The performance and functionality are good.
What needs improvement?
A malware blocker should be included. I do not know if it is included yet. However, until now, we have not experienced a large malware invasion.
There are a few features not included, and when you have to use those features, you have to pay for them.
I know that I should change the current pfSense solution. I should change it because we have only one key port on it. Our internet access also has a key port now, I should have two key ports, one to the LAN and one to the WAN.
Therefore, I want to change it, because it gives us less speed. I could provide the speed, but there are not two key ports on it. Therefore, I now have to choose a new pfSense solution, or I could look at another vendor similar to what we have.
For how long have I used the solution?
More than five years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I am satisfied with the stability.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability was less important. When we started, we did not have to scale the pfSense. In the seven years that I have used the pfSense, once I had to renew it because the hardware was broken or was defective. The second one was a little bit faster and had more memory, so I did not have to scale it again. Therefore, the scalability has not been so important to us until now.
Which solutions did we use previously?
We came from OneStart. OneStart was out of data and at end of life. Thus, we had to switch. pfSense was originally proposed to us by the dealer and our external IT help.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was straightforward, therefore I wanted to continue using the product.
What about the implementation team?
I did not do it alone. I had help from the dealer. Once installed, I can manage now to change little things. For the initial setup, I was involved with it, but I did not do it myself.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
It was straightforward to buy from pfSense.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
From Sonic Wall, their price is much higher, because for every feature that you want to add, you have to pay. I can do the same things with pfSense, but everything is included in one price.
We originally evaluated Cisco, WatchGuard, and Barracuda. We chose pfSense because of the price and it was open source software. At the time, our team was called OpenERP (now called Odoo), so open source software was an advantage.
What other advice do I have?
I would recommend it. It is manageable and straightforward. It is not so complex. You have to know the different rules, but you can manage it easily. The performance is good.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Jun 10 2018