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IT Support Specialist with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Very stable, relatively easy to set up, and offers good technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "The built-in open VPN and the VPN Client Export are the solution's most valuable aspects."
  • "There's a bit of a learning curve during the initial implementation."

What is our primary use case?

We just use the solution as a straight-up firewall. There is no VPN access or anything like that. We just use it as a straight-up firewall and we run Suricata on it as a defense.

What is most valuable?

The built-in open VPN and the VPN Client Export are the solution's most valuable aspects.

What needs improvement?

I cannot recall any features that are lacking.

There's a bit of a learning curve during the initial implementation.

You do have to pay extra for better customer service.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for about six months. It hasn't been too long.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. We've had zero issues. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's been reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not tried scaling, therefore, I can't really comment on how easy or hard it would be to expand the service.

There's only one person in the organization using the solution, and that's me.

How are customer service and technical support?

The tech support is excellent if you have a support subscription. If you didn't have that, you could be lining up for a while. It could be a hit or miss, whether you get someone that's actually going to help you. 

However, we have a subscription and therefore our support is always excellent. We're quite satisfied with the level of service we're getting.

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

Previously, we used Dell SonicWall. There was just a high cost of licensing all the time, and, with having someone go in and troubleshoot for issues as well, it just wasn't cost-effective anymore. pfSense is simply a better solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup has a bit of a learning curve. It's not complex per se. It just takes some getting used to. After the initial deployment, the other six or seven were easy. I could just copy the configuration of the other ones, change some IP addresses, and I was basically done.

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

There aren't monthly or yearly licensing costs.

What other advice do I have?

We're just cusomers. We don't have a business relationship with pfSense.

We're using the latest stable version of the solution.

I would 100% recommend the solution to others. On a scale from one to ten, I'd give it a 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.
ZelalemGedefie
Senior System Administrator at Debre Markos University
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Great monitoring, easy to install, and very stable
Pros and Cons
  • "We like the fact that the product is open-source. It's free to use. There are no costs associated with it."
  • "The solution could always work at being more secure. It's a good idea to continue to work on security features and capabilities in order to ensure they can keep clients safe."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for security purposes. We use it for a firewall.

What is most valuable?

The solution is quite stable. The performance is very good.

We've found the solution to be very easy to use. It's user-friendly.

The scalability potential of the product is quite good. 

We like the fact that the product is open-source. It's free to use. There are no costs associated with it.

The solution is very easy to install.

The solution is quite fast.

It does a good job of monitoring our systems.

What needs improvement?

The solution could always work at being more secure. It's a good idea to continue to work on security features and capabilities in order to ensure they can keep clients safe.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a while. It's been about six years or so.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. There are no bugs or glitches. it doesn't crash or freeze. Its performance is reliable. It's been very good over the years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution scales quite well. If a company needs to expand it, it can do so with relative ease.

We have a few hundred users at this time.

We do have plans to continue to use the product.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used technical support in the past. They have always been very helpful and responsive. They are knowledgeable. We have no complaints. We're quite satisfied with their level of service. 

How was the initial setup?

The installation of the solution is not overly complex or difficult. It's easy. It's straightforward. e didn't have any issues with eh implementation process. A company should find the setup very simple. 

The deployment was very fast. It only took a few minutes.

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

The solution is an open-source product. It's free to use. It's extremely affordable.

What other advice do I have?

I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten. It's been very good in terms of its overall capabilities.

I would recommend this solution to other companies and users. It's very fast and very easy to use.

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.
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General Manager at Galgus
Real User
Top 20
Open source, easy to deploy, and works really well
Pros and Cons
  • "One of the advantages of pfSense is that it is very easy to work with. It is a very good open-source solution, and it works really well. pfSense provides a complete package. For some features, it could be the first solution in the world. It is a very good alternative in the market for a firewall solution. You don't need to go to Cisco or other brands with expensive firewalls. pfSense also allows us to offer some support services."
  • "There is more demand for UTMs than a simple firewall. pfSense should support real-time features for handling the latest viruses and threats. It should support real-time checks and real-time status of threats. Some other vendors, such as Fortinet, already offer this type of capability. Such capability will be good for bringing pfSense at the same level as other solutions."

What is our primary use case?

Our main business is for WiFi networks. Customers also ask us for simple firewalls, and we use pfSense to add a firewall to provide the complete solution. We are working with the latest version of pfSense.

What is most valuable?

One of the advantages of pfSense is that it is very easy to work with. It is a very good open-source solution, and it works really well.

pfSense provides a complete package. For some features, it could be the first solution in the world. It is a very good alternative in the market for a firewall solution. You don't need to go to Cisco or other brands with expensive firewalls. pfSense also allows us to offer some support services.

What needs improvement?

There is more demand for UTMs than a simple firewall. pfSense should support real-time features for handling the latest viruses and threats. It should support real-time checks and real-time status of threats. Some other vendors, such as Fortinet, already offer this type of capability. Such capability will be good for bringing pfSense at the same level as other solutions. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using pfSense for about four or five months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easily scalable. It is more of a hardware thing than a software thing.

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to deploy. Our real deployments are for WiFi networks, and then we add one or two firewalls to protect the network. For a small network, it can take one week. For a more complex network, it could be two or three months. We have a few upcoming projects which would require severe thousand firewalls, and it would take us more than a year.

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

It is open source.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend pfSense, but it depends on the requirements. There could be other vendors who offer more services than pfSense. For example, Fortinet is a very good brand, and it offers services in a different way. Fortinet also offers more services, but it is very expensive. If you don't need some specific services, pfSense is an excellent solution.

I would rate pfSense a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
Information Technology at a transportation company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Reasonably priced and easy to understand with a straightforward setup
Pros and Cons
  • "Some of the terminologies were more familiar to me than it was when I first encountered Cisco."
  • "It's just not listed as FIPS compliant for where we're at now in government, which is an issue."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily install and test the solution. I'm not an expert in the solution; I mainly put them in place.

What is most valuable?

The pricing is good.

I have a good understanding of the underlying firewall which I find to be easy to use and comprehend. Some of the terminologies were more familiar to me than they were when I first encountered Cisco.

The initial setup is pretty easy.

The solution has been stable. 

From what I can tell, the solution can scale. 

What needs improvement?

I can't speak to if there are missing features. I'm not that familiar with it. 

The critical issue there for us was the lack of FIPs compliance, however, I don't know if that's something that they would consider adjusting for.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is stable. There are no issues with bugs and glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

While it's my understanding that scaling wouldn't be a problem, I myself have never actually tried to do so. Therefore, I can't speak from personal experience. 

How are customer service and support?

I've never dealt with technical support before. I can't speak to how helpful or responsive they are in terms of answering support-related queries. 

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

I also have an understanding Cisco, which is a bit harder to understand. This product is more straightforward. 

How was the initial setup?

In terms of the initial setup, pfSense seems pretty easy. I'd say it's been a few years since we played with it and I don't really remember too much about it other than using it and thinking it was okay. It's just not listed as FIPS compliant for where we're at now in government, which is an issue. 

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

The solution doesn't come at a high cost. That makes it a very attractive option.

What other advice do I have?

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten. I've been pretty satisfied with the product overall.

We are a customer and an end-user. We don't have any business relationship with the solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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IT Consultant at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Consultant
Easy-to-use interface, with good web blocking and it's open-source
Pros and Cons
  • "The interface is straightforward and easy to use."
  • "Also, simplifying the rules for the GeoIP. Making it simpler to understand would be an improvement."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is to protect our business network.

What is most valuable?

I like the fact that it is open-source.

The Surakarta and the web blocking functionality seems to be quite good. It's not perfect, but none of them are.

The interface is straightforward and easy to use.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see the dashboard modernized.

If you look at some of the other providers, their dashboard is more modern looking.

Also, simplifying the rules for the GeoIP. Making it simpler to understand would be an improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using pfSense for approximately one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It seems to be relatively stable. I haven't had very many issues.

If I do have any issues, it is more to do with the way that I have configured it. Other than that, it works fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's a scalable solution. We have 14 computers with more powerful hardware that allows us to deal with larger networks.

Apart from what you see on the interface, you can also use the command line to create a cluster if you need to.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward once you read the manual.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did evaluate another solution but felt that the cost was too high for what it was. Based on the consumer market, I didn't feel that it was at the enterprise level.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend reading the manual and the administration book. It has all of the proper information.

Many will jump into pfSense without reading the manual properly, or taking the time to understand the definitions, and how to set it up properly.

If you don't, then you might have a bad experience, which would not be fair to the product.

To give a fair comparison and trial, definitely read the technical documentation before implementing it.

Given the fact that it's open-source, relatively easy to use, and it seems to do the job quite well, I would rate pfSense a ten out of ten. I think it deserves that.

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.
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 10
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.
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.
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