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VO
Head Of Infrastructure at a transportation company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Hotspot and overall stability needs improvement but easy to use and has high performance

Pros and Cons

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

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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VinodGupta
CEO and Founder at Indicrypt Systems
Real User
Top 20
Stable, scalable with great extensibility

Pros and Cons

  • "Great extensibility of the platform."
  • "User interface is a little clumsy."

What is our primary use case?

We mainly use pfSense at client locations where the client is looking for a free alternative for paid/subscription based Network gateway with enterprise grade features

How has it helped my organization?

Being free and open source, we replaced our network gateway with it. Works well on an old Pentium 4 PC with 1 GB of memory. Failover, URL Filtering, Proxy server, traffic monitoring features inbuilt with SNORT IDS/IPS is all we use and have never faced any problem for over 5 years now.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature for our company has been the extensibility of the platform which is great. It's a great solution and I have regularly been supplying it to my clients. 

What needs improvement?

The user interface could be improved, it's a bit clumsy and clunky.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for more than seven years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is absolutely stable. With some systems there's a necessity to regularly redo the configurations inside the system. With Pfsense that's not the case. I have no issues with it at all. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable. It has a failover feature so it's highly skilled. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Given that the solution is a free and open source product, it doesn't have any technical support center. We just have the online documentation which is not one of the best, but it's good. 

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

I previously used a solution from Cyberoam but we had issues with the licensing. That's the reason we mainly stick to Pfsense open source.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a little complex, of intermediate difficulty. It takes about a day. 
In terms of deployment, the entire system has been installed and configured to basically take care of a network of roughly around 35 to 40 computers. We have a dedicated physical machine which has been configured and installed throughout.

What other advice do I have?

My only comment would be to suggest that if you wish to implement the solution read the documentation very carefully. 

I would rate this solution a nine out of 10. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Kenwyn Nero
Owner at IKON Business Group, Inc
Real User
Top 20
We have good firewall protection and use this as our gateway device

Pros and Cons

  • "Good basic firewall features."
  • "Layer 7 advanced firewall features are not included in the solution."

What is our primary use case?

We have a hosted platform with our client. We've built a VPN site and the solution is deployed as a VM. The client connects to it and it protects anything that's behind it like a regular firewall. Everything we have there is hosted in a data center, all our servers and things that clients connect to. So we're using it as our gateway device. We are customers of pfSense and I'm the owner of our company. 

What is most valuable?

I like the site-to-site VPN and the basic firewall features.

What needs improvement?

Right now we have to use a lot of third party plugins with other providers that have their own built-in features so I'd like to see layer 7 advanced firewall features included in the solution. It would definitely improve the product. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used pfSense over the past three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good, it's just that it's not as easy to use as SonicWall. There are limits as to who we can put to work on the solution, a limited number of our engineers work with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable. We don't sell pfSense to the end users, we use it ourselves. Our clients have SonicWall but the whole company benefits from the firewall. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We've never used technical support but we're looking into it now and I think it's very comparable to SonicWall.

How was the initial setup?

It's harder to set up pfSense than SonicWall. Only a couple of people in our company can do that. 

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

We are currently using the open source solution so it's free. 

What other advice do I have?

There's a learning curve to this solution, it's not as simple to use as some of the other GUI based firewalls. You need to play around with it a bit. 

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Stephane Boudant
IT Manager at a marketing services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Stable, fair price, and user-friendly with a very nice web interface

Pros and Cons

  • "It has a very nice web interface, and it is very simple to use. The way policies are working is also good."
  • "I have been using WireGuard VPN because it is a lot faster and more secure than an open VPN. However, in the latest version of pfSense, they have removed this feature, which is one of the main features that I need. They should include this feature."

What is most valuable?

It has a very nice web interface, and it is very simple to use. The way policies are working is also good.

What needs improvement?

I have been using WireGuard VPN because it is a lot faster and more secure than an open VPN. However, in the latest version of pfSense, they have removed this feature, which is one of the main features that I need. They should include this feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for probably ten years. As the head of IT, I have used pfSense for the French infrastructure for around ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is working fine for me. I never had any problem with this firewall.

How are customer service and technical support?

I never had to contact their support because everything has been working fine.

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

I have a lot of experience with pfSense but not much with OPNsense. Both OPNsense and pfSense are very easy, but pfSense is a bit more friendly. pfSense is simple to use with a nice web interface. OPNsense is more tricky.

OPNsense has the remote access functionality, which is the main functionality that I need. OPNsense is very easy to set up and very easy to manage. It is also very fast.

How was the initial setup?

Its initial setup is very easy. 

What about the implementation team?

In France, we have less than five engineers. That's why we try to do everything by ourselves. We chose pfSense because it is user-friendly.

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

Its price is pretty fair.

What other advice do I have?

If you don't need WireGuard VPN, pfSense is better because it is easier to use than OPNsense. It is a very good platform. Its web administration interface has been working fine.

I would rate pfSense an eight out of ten. A couple of months ago, I would have rated it a ten out of ten because of the WireGuard VPN feature.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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HP
Engineering Manager at UTI Tech SA de CV
Real User
Top 20
The internet is always available and has low balances

Pros and Cons

  • "It has a good web cache. I used to use a DHCP server and DNS server. For my company, I use pfSense as a load balancing application."
  • "Many people have problems setting up the web cache for the web system."

What is our primary use case?

I use pfSense for the security of my company.

How has it helped my organization?

With pfSense we have low balances for the internet and the internet is always available. When our service provider fails, it takes communication to another service. The employees always have access to the servers that they need. They always have an abundant flow or they always switch to the lead when the internet fails.

What is most valuable?

It has a good web cache. I used to use a DHCP server and DNS server. For my company, I use pfSense as a load balancing application.

The HA proxy is the main feature that it's used for. 

What needs improvement?

Many people have problems setting up the web cache for the web system.

They should put an anti-spam in a web application firewall.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using pfSense since 2006. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is rock-solid. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think scalability is good enough. 

I do the maintenance for pfSense.

How are customer service and technical support?

There is a lot of information in the online forums. 

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

I have used other solutions but I chose pfSense because it's easy to use and configure.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very easy.

Before I set up, I wrote down all the levels on a paper and I drew the plan I wanted to protect. After that, I deployed it pfSense. I filtered the access to the users and to the servers. Everyone has the access that they need.

The deployment took less than an hour.

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

It's open-source. You can pay for support if you need. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate pfSense a nine 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.
EDWIN GARZON
Defensive Security & BlueTeam at Global Research CO
Real User
Top 20
Offers a nice interface and good technical support and has a nice load balancer

Pros and Cons

  • "It's a good solution for end-users. It's pretty easy to work with."
  • "The solution could use better reporting. They need to offer more of it in general. Right now, the graphics aren't the best. If you need to provide a report to a manager, for example, it doesn't look great. They need to make it easier to understand and give users the ability to customize them."

What is our primary use case?

Typically, we implement this solution on an enterprise-level for our clients and set it up for them as required.

What is most valuable?

The solution offers good value.

The captive portal on the product is excellent.

The solution has a very nice load balancer.

It's a good solution for end-users. It's pretty easy to work with. 

The user interface is very nice. It's easy to navigate around the solution.

Technical support is very helpful.

What needs improvement?

The solution could use better reporting. They need to offer more of it in general. Right now, the graphics aren't the best. If you need to provide a report to a manager, for example, it doesn't look great. They need to make it easier to understand and give users the ability to customize them.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with the solution for enterprise-level organizations for four or five years at this point.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our clients use the solution across 100-200 computers. Some of the implementations are sizeable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've dealt with technical support in the past and have found them to be helpful and responsive. we have been satisfied so far with the level of support provided. They are easy to work with.

How was the initial setup?

We implement the solution for our clients, so we have a good sense of what is expected.

What about the implementation team?

As an implementer, our company can handle the initial setup for our clients.

What other advice do I have?

We implement the solution for our clients. I've personally implemented the solution on five projects so far.

We work with the latest version of the solution, typically.

Our companies are typically mid-level enterprises. 

This product is the very best. Overall, I would give it a rating of ten out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementer
Paulo Janeiro LJT
Information Technology System Administrator / Director at Legault Joly Thiffault
Real User
Top 20
No license required, improved intrusion prevention, but difficult to configure

Pros and Cons

  • "I have found the firewall portion for the blocking most valuable."
  • "The VPN feature of the solution could improve by adding better functionality and providing easier configure ability."

What is our primary use case?

We use the solution for a Firewall and a VPN.

How has it helped my organization?

We have found that this solution is better at keeping our business safe by having improved intrusion prevention than competitors.

What is most valuable?

I have found the firewall portion for the blocking most valuable.

What needs improvement?

The VPN feature of the solution could improve by adding better functionality and providing easier configure ability.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for approximately six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have found the solution to be unlimited when it comes to scalability. The more memory and power you give it, it will use it all.

How are customer service and technical support?

I found the technical support of the solution to be not very good at all.

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

I have used Fortinet previously and the installation took a lot less time to install. Additionally, I have also used SonicWall before but I switched to the current solution because it was getting too expensive. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial installation was very difficult, it took approximately one week.

What about the implementation team?

We did the implementation and maintenance of the solution ourselves.

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

The solution software does not require a license, it is free. The support contract is about $600 dollars. 

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend for other people looking into implementing the solution to read the manual, go on to the videos, verify everything with the tutorials. Make sure you fully comprehend the size of the software.

I rate pfSense a seven 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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Stefano Festa
CEO at netison
Real User
Top 20
Reliable, easy to use, and allows us to deploy OpenVPN clients

Pros and Cons

  • "My technicians find the pfSense's web interface very useful. It is very easy to use. pfSense is very reliable and stable. We like the OpenVPN clients that can be deployed using pfSense very much."
  • "I'd like to find something in pfSense that is more specific to URL filtering. We have customers who would like to filter their web traffic. They would like to be able to say to their employees, "You can surf the web, but you cannot get access to Facebook or other social media," or "You can surf the web, but you're not allowed to gamble or watch porn on the web." My technicians say that doing this kind of stuff with pfSense nowadays is not easy. They can implement some filters using IP addresses but not by using the names of the domains and categories. So, we are not able to exclude some categories from the allowed traffic, such as porn, gambling, etc. To do that, we have to use another product and another web filter that uses DNS. I know that there are some third-party products that could work with pfSense, but I'd like the native pfSense solution to do that."

What is our primary use case?

We are an MSP. We have some customers who have on-prem networks, and they want to have their networks protected by a firewall. They are quite small customers with 10 to 50 users. We use pfSense in order to protect our customers' network, to make some network automation, and especially to make VPNs to some remote branches to enable remote users to get access to the enterprise network.

It is deployed on a private cloud and on-prem.

What is most valuable?

My technicians find the pfSense's web interface very useful. It is very easy to use. 

pfSense is very reliable and stable. We like the OpenVPN clients that can be deployed using pfSense very much.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to find something in pfSense that is more specific to URL filtering. We have customers who would like to filter their web traffic. They would like to be able to say to their employees, "You can surf the web, but you cannot get access to Facebook or other social media," or "You can surf the web, but you're not allowed to gamble or watch porn on the web." My technicians say that doing this kind of stuff with pfSense nowadays is not easy. They can implement some filters using IP addresses but not by using the names of the domains and categories. So, we are not able to exclude some categories from the allowed traffic, such as porn, gambling, etc. To do that, we have to use another product and another web filter that uses DNS. I know that there are some third-party products that could work with pfSense, but I'd like the native pfSense solution to do that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for five years.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate pfSense a nine out of 10. It is a very good product.

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