pfSense Overview

pfSense is the #2 ranked solution in our list of best firewalls. It is most often compared to OPNsense: pfSense vs OPNsense

What is pfSense?
Providing comprehensive network security solutions for the enterprise, large business and SOHO, pfSense solutions bring together the most advanced technology available to make protecting your network easier than ever before. Our products are built on the most reliable platforms and are engineered to provide the highest levels of performance, stability and confidence.
pfSense Buyer's Guide

Download the pfSense Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: January 2021

pfSense Customers
Nerds On Site Inc., RKC Development Inc., Expertech, Fisher's Technology, Ncisive, Consulting, CPURX, Vaughn's Computer House Calls, Imeretech LLC, Digital Crisis, Carolina Digital Phone, Technigogo Technology Services, The Simple Solution, SwiftecITInc, Rocky Mountain Tech Team, Free Range Geeks, Alaska Computer Geeks, Lark Information Technology, Renaissance Systems Inc., Cutting Edge Computers, Caretech LLC, GoVanguard, Network Touch Ltd, P.C. Solutions.Net, Vision Voice and Data Systems LLC, Montgomery Technologies, Techforce, Concero Networks, ASONInc, CPS Electronics and Consulting, Darkwire.net LLC, IT Specialists, MBS-Net Inc., VOICE1 LLC, Advantage Networking Inc., Powerhouse Systems, Doxa Multimedia Inc., Pro Computer Service, Virtual IT Services, A&J Computers Inc., Envision IT LLC, CommunicaONE Inc., Bone Computer Inc., Amax Engineering Corporation, QPG Ltd. Co., IT 101 Inc., Perfect Cloud Solutions, Applied Technology Group Inc., The Digital Sun Group LLC, Firespring

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about pfSense pricing:
  • "pfSense is open-source, but the support is something that the customer pays for."
  • "I spent a couple of $1,000 on hardware, and the OS was free. A comparable firewall would cost me probably 20 grand. It saved a lot of money."
  • "We are using the open-source version, not the commercial one."
  • "It has almost zero cost, and it is open to us. It runs on a small appliance just for a couple of 100 bucks, and I've never had an appliance burn out on me yet."

pfSense Reviews

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Ray Ost
CEO at Private
Vendor
Apr 7, 2019
The terminal gets access to our own server inside the network and if one internet fails, then the other one is still up

What is our primary use case?

I had an appliance that died six months ago. Then I didn't want that hardware anymore, so I bought two new servers. A single power supply but dual on a network with three times four network cards. On that, I installed the pfSense (Community Edition). From inside to outside, I have about 15 to 20 node servers and users going outside. From outside to inside, I have only three tech support people, myself and two other ones. With regard to clients using the platform from outside to inside, on the servers inside, I have about 1000.

Pros and Cons

  • "I had some outages in the network and we provide services for our company. We sell mobile credits. The terminal gets access to our own server inside the network and if one internet fails, then the other one is still up and we have a back-up link on the devices."
  • "Adjustment in the interfaces: I had to adjust those interfaces manually and of course that is a great feature that you can restore it but it is immediately also one point for improvement. If you don't have to adjust, if it's just stamped and it works, that's great."

What other advice do I have?

I definitely plan to increase using pfSense. I am going for a higher capacity. If power fails or one server dies, or one gateway dies, the other servers will take over seamlessly. That's the ultimate for us. I would definitely rate pfSense an eight and a half out of ten. Definitely eight and a half, not lower, could be a bit higher. Because it's stable, it's good. If the small issues I've mentioned are worked on then I would go to a 10.
Bojan Oremuz
CEO at trendnet
Real User
Top 10
Jan 22, 2021
Feature-rich, well documented, and there is good support available online

What is our primary use case?

We are solution providers and this is one of the products that we deploy for our customers. This is not a product that we use ourselves.

Pros and Cons

  • "The classic features such as content inspection, content protection, and the application-level firewall, are the most important."
  • "Ease of use is a problem for a user who is unfamiliar with this product because, in the interface, everything has to be set manually."

What other advice do I have?

It is important to remember that you can't just leave the device to do everything. You still have to know what you're doing. I recommend the product. It's well-balanced and one with a long history, so it doesn't have child's diseases. There is a lot of online support available online, which they can consult themselves. But, in the case that they need support, they can hire a professional support line and that is highly recommended. I say this because usually, people look at the UTM as something that should be put in the system, set up, and left alone. But, this is not the case with this type…
Learn what your peers think about pfSense. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2021.
456,812 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Davy MOUSSAVOU
Head of Department of operational and compliance at ACE GABON
Real User
Top 20
Jun 22, 2020
A very good firewall with excellent VPN and captive portal capabilities

What is our primary use case?

I use pfSense as a firewall. I use it also as a VPN server and for the captive portal. Those are the main purposes.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are the VPN and the capture photo."
  • "If a user doesn't have a large amount of experience in Linux systems, they will have problems using this solution. Users need to be highly skilled in troubleshooting competency. Users who do not have such skills will find the product difficult to use."

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers. We don't have a special relationship with the solution. We just use it on a regular basis. I'm not sure if I'm using the latest version of the solution or not. I'd rate the solution ten out of ten since I've never had any major issues with it. The biggest thing a new user or company needs to be aware of, however, is that whoever the team is that's using it, they need to be very experienced Linux users. The system will be extremely difficult otherwise. New users will need patience. However, it is easy to use due to its very good web interface. It's also easy to deploy and…
Eddie Kibuuka
Manager, Operations at SUS-TECH Limited
Real User
Jul 13, 2020
Robust but complex and requires quite a bit of technical knowledge

What is our primary use case?

The solution pretty much is our only firewall security at the moment. It handles the integration with our active directory and makes sure that all communications are channeled through a secure network.

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very robust."
  • "The solution requires a lot of administration."

What other advice do I have?

We're just users of the product. We're not consultants or resellers. It's your basic firewall setup. However, when we looked at Sophos, we found that Sophos offered a lot more as it's a fully unified solution and had a firewall, as well as anti-virus and network monitoring capabilities. This solution really gives us a greater extensive array of modules or features than we would not necessarily see in managing the system as administrators. The solution is quite extensive in that there was a lot of material that we had to read about. It just was not user-friendly for the team. We needed a…
reviewer1388052
System Analyst at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Jul 23, 2020
Cost effective, with an easy setup, but not suitable security at the gateway level

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution basically for the firewall, UTM content versioning, bandwidth shaping, routing, and IPS.

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup is easy."
  • "As an open-source solution, there are so many loopholes happening within the product. By design, no one is taking ownership of it, and that is worrisome to me."

What other advice do I have?

We're just using this solution; we don't have a relationship with the vendor. In terms of the version of pfSense we are using, we have that basic boss, 1.0 however, that is behind the firewall. The firewall which we were using is UTM1240B. While we are satisfied with the netting features and the bandwidth controlling and routing, we find cannot expose our entire network to pfSense as there's no underlying ownership fo the product itself. We prefer a hardened firewall. Due to the fact that it is an open-source solution, no one at an enterprise-level would ever think of putting pfSense at the…
reviewer1026420
Systems Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
Dec 20, 2020
A rock-solid, customizable, and free open-source firewall with useful intrusion detection, clustering, and HA features

What is our primary use case?

It is my main firewall into the data center and VPNs for clients. It sets up my DMZ and does a whole bunch of other stuff. I am using the latest version.

Pros and Cons

  • "The intrusion detection feature is the most valuable. It is an open-source firewall, so there is a lot of material on it. I also find the open VPN capability very nice. It is pretty customizable. The clustering and the high availability are the two biggest things to be able to get out of a firewall."
  • "Their support could be better in terms of the response time."

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to go for it. I would recommend this solution. It is a good solution. No other solution can beat the price. There is so much stuff you can do with it. There are so many features, and I have not even scratched the surface on all of them. If it is something that someone doesn't feel like configuring, you can buy a prebuilt system from them and get support. I would rate pfSense a nine out of ten because of the cost and flexibility. It has been pretty good.
Omer Mohammed
Senior System Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Nov 8, 2020
Open-source, stable, and supports at least 5,000 concurrent connections

What is our primary use case?

We have internet limitations here in Sudan. The financial institutions that I am working with do not have a lot of services on the internet. It is difficult but at the same time, we are safer and are not faced with any kind of compromised data. This solution is suitable for small businesses and charity organizations. Security is not just about the firewall, you need policies and procedures in place.

Pros and Cons

  • "At our peak time, we have reached more than 5,000 concurrent connections."
  • "It needs to be more secure."

What other advice do I have?

I would continue to use pfSense if the decision was mine, but it is out of my area. It depends on the CIO. I would recommend this solution to others who are interested in using it. pfSense will not cost you any money. It depends on your business needs. You have to address your business needs correctly. I would say to go with pfSense. If you feel that it is not compatible, you have other purchase options such as Palo Alto. I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.
Tony Scandora
Principal at AES Systems Corp.
Real User
Top 10
Nov 22, 2020
A great solution that just works and is fast and affordable

What is our primary use case?

We use it for small businesses, and most of my clients are using pfSense.

Pros and Cons

  • "It works. I put pfSense in, and it works. I can't think of any trouble I ever had with it. It runs on heat-sensitive appliances. They don't need a fan, so they don't overheat. It is affordable, fast, and very high-speed. It is built on BSD Unix, and it pretty much runs on any Intel processor."
  • "I've never tried it in large environments. All my clients are small businesses with a handful of employees, so I am not sure how it works in large environments. I keep up with recent versions, and there's nothing I'm waiting for, and nothing breaks when I get a new version."

What other advice do I have?

It is just great. Give it a try. It just works. I would rate pfSense a ten out of ten.
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