Information Technology System Administrator / Director at Legault Joly Thiffault
Real User
Top 10
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.

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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 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.
PeerSpot user
CEO at netison
Real User
Top 5
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.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
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January 2023
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Owner at artesistemas.net
Real User
Top 5
An open source firewall solution with a useful encryption feature
Pros and Cons
  • "I like the connectivity to the open VPN. It's very smooth."
  • "They can improve the dynamic of the input of IPs from outside."

What is our primary use case?

I was working for a firm that has 70 employees. They are mostly working from home, so I needed a very well-structured VPN for remote working. We put it on Supermicro, and it worked fine, and it was above their needs.

What is most valuable?

I like the connectivity to the open VPN. It's very smooth. All the encryption in the open VPN is very good. The structure of the pfSense software works out very well. The PF work cuts and the snorts and whatever we put on the console for spyware and attack prevention seem to work very nicely. 

What needs improvement?

They can improve the dynamic of the input of IPs from outside. Determining the IPs that are outside would be another way to identifying potential threats. We can treat it or identify and then block it or determine the rules to work with that IPs from the outside and inside the network. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using pfSense for the past three years. 

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

Back in the day, I was using Fortinet, and it was very tricky to get it working without spending more money. pfSense is exactly what we paid for, and it's still working very well. We've been working with it for two or three years, and it's a very good solution, and I didn't have to spend any more money on it.

Cisco VSL and Fortinet are tricky when it comes to improving the firewall rules or creating rules above older rules. In pfSense, it's very logical. It's simple.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very linear and very smooth.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten, I would give pfSense a nine.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Owner and business consultant at networks srl
Real User
Top 5
A firewall or router computer software distribution solution with a useful VPN feature
Pros and Cons
  • "I especially like the VPN part. It works like a charm."
  • "I tried pfSense, and it has a big issue with file system consistency, and this is what drove me to OPNsense. The file system stability is quite a big issue for us. We have a lot of outages related to power issues, and OPNsense is much more stable on this side."

What is our primary use case?

I tested it for firewall, networks, and network stability and as a VPN access point.

What is most valuable?

I especially like the VPN part. It works like a charm.

What needs improvement?

I tried pfSense, and it has a big issue with file system consistency, and this is what drove me to OPNsense. The file system stability is quite a big issue for us. We have a lot of outages related to power issues, and OPNsense is much more stable on this side.

I would like it to be more stable on the file system part. It also has an issue with the ARP publishing, but it's common to BSD, and some providers experience issues with Layer 2 connectivity.

For how long have I used the solution?

I tested pfSense for six months, but it had quite a lot of networking issues related to latency and ARP publishing. So, I immediately switched to OPNsense.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I'd like to see its stability improved. I know the BSD Kernel is more capable than what pfSense provides at this time.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable. It implements specific protocols for scalability.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. It took me about ten to 15 minutes to install it and maybe half an hour for configuration.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented this solution.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution if there are no power issues. It's stable and performs well, even on older hardware.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give pfSense a nine.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
Head of information Techenology at a real estate/law firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 10
Secure protection, superior for small business, and support helpful
Pros and Cons
  • "I have found the most valuable features to be antivirus and malware protection."
  • "This solution is good for small businesses but it is not as stable as other competitors such as Fortinet."

What is our primary use case?

We use the solution for blocking websites, banking, and malware.

What is most valuable?

I have found the most valuable features to be antivirus and malware protection.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for approximately four months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is good for small businesses but it is not as stable as other competitors such as Fortinet.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We currently have approximately 45 people using the solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support is good when comparing to other solutions.

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

We have used FortiGate in the past and they tend to be more stable, but lacking in other areas.

How was the initial setup?

The installation was not too complicated. We did have some issues with the port forwarding,  some of the server application were not getting through the firewall but we managed to get it to work.

What about the implementation team?

The whole network deployment took approximately three days.

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

We are using the open-source version which is free. We are testing the solution to see if we are going to go to the enterprise version which requires a license and is not free.

What other advice do I have?

For those who want to implement this solution I would advise it is great for a small enterprise, it is best to get started without having any harm getting to their networks.

I rate pfSense an eight 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.
PeerSpot user
IT Manager at a marketing services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Easy to use, simple configuration, and stable
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is very easy to use and configure."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using pfSense as a personal firewall for our systems and network protection.

    What is most valuable?

    The solution is very easy to use and configure.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using pfSense for approximately five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I am only using the solution for personal use and have not tried to scale it.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have not been in contact with the technical support because everything has been easy with the solution and there is clear documentation available.

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

    I have used other firewalls, such as Cisco and Netgate.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is very simple and the configuration is user-friendly. It took me one day for the whole process.

    What about the implementation team?

    I did the implementation of pfSense myself. The solution does not require much maintenance, we require sometimes to reboot the system.

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

    I am using the community version of the solution and it is priced well. There is a cost of learning how to use the solution, if it was free it would be better.

    What other advice do I have?

    A good firewall has to be easy to install, configure, use, and fit the use case. This solution for my usage is very good.

    I would recommend this solution to others.

    I rate pfSense a nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Owner at The Computer Guy
    Real User
    Top 20
    High level protection, fast installation, and good support
    Pros and Cons
    • "pfSense is a nice product, and I find that there's a lot of information out there. There are some good tutorials on YouTube and other websites with helpful information."
    • "pfSense could improve by having a sandboxing feature that I have seen in SonicWall. However, maybe it is available I am not aware of it."

    What is most valuable?

    pfSense is a nice product, and I find that there's a lot of information out there. There are some good tutorials on YouTube and other websites with helpful information.

    What needs improvement?

    pfSense could improve by having a sandboxing feature that I have seen in SonicWall. However, maybe it is available I am not aware of it.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using pfSense for approximately three years.

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

    I have used the SonicWall solution. 

    How was the initial setup?

    Sometimes firewalls can get a little complicated. I think some of the things about the setup could be a little bit clearer. Maybe something like a configuration wizard or something that would guide you on more in-depth projects.

    I'm running pfSense on old hardware, it takes all of 10 minutes to install.

    What about the implementation team?

    I did the implementation of the solution, it is not difficult.

    What other advice do I have?

    I like pfSense and I have deployed a number of them. I have approximately four of them in the area that I'm using. I have replaced SonicWall with a pfSense unit. It's a more economical way of using a firewall, and the protection it provides is second to none.

    Lonnie Buchmann:
    I would say give it a serious look. And especially a lot of times when you're in a small business, this is a really good solution that doesn't kill you with all the technology overhead that you deal with nowadays.

    I rate pfSense a ten 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.
    PeerSpot user
    IT Manager at a consultancy with 1-10 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Simple installation, easy to use, and the performance is good
    Pros and Cons
    • "It is much simpler than other solutions such as Fortinet."
    • "I expect a better interface with more log analysis because I create my own interface."

    What is our primary use case?

    pfSense is used as our firewall and router.

    What is most valuable?

    The performance is good.

    It is easy to use.

    I have been working with this solution for so long now that it has become easy. It is much simpler than other solutions such as Fortinet.

    What needs improvement?

    I expect a better interface with more log analysis because I create my own interface.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using pfSense for a long time. Since the beginning.

    I have the latest version.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    pfSense is a stable product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    pfSense is a scalable solution.

    How are customer service and support?

    I have not contacted technical support.

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

    Previously, I worked with Fortinet FortiGate, Linux, and OPNsense.

    I have tested all that are available on the market and pfSense is more.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is easy. 

    The first installation took an hour to complete, but the configuration is another part. It's about the complexity of my network because I have provided services from a firm and every company has a different setup.

    What about the implementation team?

    I was able to complete the installation myself.

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

    I am not aware of the licensing costs.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend pfSense to others who are interested in using it.

    I would rate pfSense an eight 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.
    PeerSpot user
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