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pfSense Room for Improvement

Bojan Oremuz - PeerSpot reviewer
CEO at In.sist d.o.o.

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. It would be more user-friendly if things were set automatically. 

The drop in performance can be drastic when you use more advanced techniques. There is some trade-off between having a certain level of security and maintaining acceptable performance.

One of the things that are usually outside of the UTM, or system on the gateway, is the SIEM. It is an advanced system for managing the possibility of threats. It is not normally part of such devices but it would be nice if the pfSense interface were integrated with it.

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TW
Managing Director at Midgard IT

We are at the moment looking to use it as a proxy service so that we can limit what websites people go and view and that sort of thing. That's an area I've struggled with a little bit at the moment and it could be a bit easier to set up.

The only other thing I might look at would be some sort of antivirus type of aspect to check traffic coming in and out of the network. If they offered unified threat management, that would be an ideal outcome for us.

I have been looking at it as a sort of an appliance, rather than installing it on an actual PC. However, that's for future research first.

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GC
Chef at a media company with 11-50 employees

The web is evolving every day. So, the product should be constantly improved with more regular updates. Things are constantly changing. There are obsolete protocols, and then there are new protocols. For my own use, it is not an issue, but for somebody who is more at the forefront of internet browsing, it could be a problem.

There could be a way to remote to it through a mobile app. You can always browse through your browser on your mobile phone or tablet, but it would be good to have a dedicated app. I understand that iOS and Android developers are expensive, but there should be a mobile app.

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Buyer's Guide
pfSense
September 2022
Learn what your peers think about pfSense. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
635,513 professionals have used our research since 2012.
TO
VP of Business Development at a tech services company with 1-10 employees

In terms of areas of improvement, the interface seemed like it had a lot. The GUI interface that I had gotten into was rather elaborate. I don't know if they could zero in on some markets and potentially for small, medium businesses specifically, give them a stripped-down version of the GUI for pfSense.

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Leon Pinto - PeerSpot reviewer
Consultant and Head of Services at ILANZ LLC

As I said, the product is fantastic. It could use a little bit of improvement in the reporting — the reporting is virtually non-existent. Something like a reporting module would be a benefit. Otherwise, in terms of the performance, at least for my organization, I don't see much of a problem.

By this, I mean that we cant generate reports of trends etc that could be exported out of PFSense in terms of a PDF etc to see how the firewall is functioning...

Though I must say that the work around for this could be to use the pfsense zabbix plugin and integrate to a Zabbix platform and then use the Zabbix reporting capabilities to get the required reports... Not much of an effort for the technically sound persons but definitely not in the scope of those from a non technical perspective... 

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Bojan Oremuz - PeerSpot reviewer
CEO at In.sist d.o.o.

There's always room for improvement. In general terms, for someone who is not familiar with the product I think ease of use could be improved. When you're connecting, the interface is very difficult for an inexperienced user in the sense of setting everything up, as it all has to be set manually. I've also found that the more features you use influences performance and the drop can be drastic when you use advanced features. I want to achieve a certain level of security and at the same time maintain good performance.

The solution is feature rich enough, but one of the things usually outside the UTM system or gateway system is SIEM. It's an advanced system for managing the possibilities and it would be nice to have a kind of interface in the UTM, to enable connectivity with most SIEM systems.

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Dilawer Ali - PeerSpot reviewer
Acting Manager IT at National Insurance Company Limited

We had one issue with hardware support. The department head who was managing the solution became the director of the company, but he still has administrator access. And usually, whenever a WAN goes down, we always have a backup, but the hardware doesn't support more than one WAN. And then, if he wants to switch, he doesn't know how to reconfigure it. So we have to wait for the ISP to resume their services, which is not professional.

Also, the GUI is helpful, but it's not user-friendly. It's complicated. It should be more intuitive for the average user and have an excellent graphical view. Of course, the user will typically know about network administration, but it still should be easy to understand. A user should be able to find the feature they're looking for easily, but pfSense isn't so good in that sense.

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Malik Yusuf - PeerSpot reviewer
Solution Architect, Managed Services & System Integration at Transmeet Technologies

The interface is not very shiny and attractive. Most of the people that use pfSense are highly skilled, so they don't even bother to go the extra mile when it comes to configuration or any protection mechanisms. With other firewalls, with just one click or with the assistance of a wizard, the service is already configured. With pfSense, you have to have some time to do your own research regarding how to fine-tune it. If that could be improved, then life would be much easier. This would help any entry-level users to adapt to the platform. 

Netgate, the mother organization that manages the pfSense platform, should offer organized security feeds for its users so that they can avoid configuring multiple types of feeds in multiple locations. That could generate extra revenue for the company, too.

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PG
Software Applications Manager at a engineering company with 201-500 employees

The integration of the plugins into the GUI could be better. It's sometimes hard to find where a setting can be found or how it might interact with other settings. Some documentation is outdate and plugins sometime have no documentation. Information can always be found on the fora but for novice users this can be a challenge.

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MA
Technical Presales Consultant/ Engineer at a wholesaler/distributor with 10,001+ employees

I'd really love to see the web interface enhanced. It's good but it could be clearer and more straightforward. As a FreeBSD fan, I'd love to see a BSD license code, rather than a GPL license code. I'd also love to see a Sandbox and more security features. pfSense is a mature product, but if you compare it to other products in the market, you realize that pfSense is a little behind. 

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Buford Laruan - PeerSpot reviewer
Network Administrator at Benguet State University

More documentation would be great, especially on new features because sometimes, when new features come out, you don't get to understand them right off the bat. You have to really spend a lot of time understanding them. So, more documentation would be awesome.

In terms of features, for my use, I don't see anything wrong with it. I basically get what I need from it by default. I build my firewall, so I only rely on the software. On the software side, there is not much to improve right now. So, at this point in time, I don't see anything, but I always welcome any kind of upgrades that they do. I always try them out and see if I can use them in the company or not, but so far, there are no complaints on my end.

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TS
Principal at a tech services company with 1-10 employees

I would like to see pfSense integrate WireGuard. Currently, pfSense uses OpenVPN, and there's nothing wrong with it, but WireGuard is a lot leaner and meaner. Unfortunately, it's not ready for pfSense, which is built on BSD, and WireGuard is not yet integrated with BSD. The issue is that pfSense is waiting for BSD to add WireGuard support. Once WireGuard is supported on BSD, you can bet pfSense will adopt it. 

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DS
CTO, Software Architect, founder at a tech services company with 11-50 employees

We did have a strange issue with an update at one point, however, that was resolved quickly.

If you want to take advantage of all of the solution's options, you need to have a bit of a technical background. It's not for a layperson.

You do get a good solution for free. However, the trade-off is you need to be technical to really take advantage of it.

The installation could potentially be faster.

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ES
IT analyst with 1,001-5,000 employees

The access control aspect of the product could be improved. There should be more control over everything that the user is doing. It should be able to log and report on everything users are doing. 

The product no longer complies with new rules in Brazil. Therefore, we need to move off the solution.

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Amandio Zumba - PeerSpot reviewer
Director De Tecnologias da Information at EPAL-EP

The process can be challenging. We do not have one security team. We need a team that can guarantee the security of our company and we're not there yet. We only have the client's equipment, and one guy managing this equipment. This isn't necessarily a problem with the product, it's more about our own internal structure. 

Ultimately, we'd like something stronger, and something that can handle threats better in real-time. 

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JG
Vice President - Engineering & Delivery at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

As an IT leader, it would be a benefit to have a mobile application to have certain features, such as mobile application notifications when a new device is added, or the ability to turn off or on firewall policies. Having these simple features would be very convenient and reduce the need to have to log into the console. I can use a web browser on my phone to access the pfSense site but I would prefer to have an application where I can toggle things, such as the policies. Some simple features within a mobile application would be valuable to me. I have evaluated other solutions and have determined this feature does not currently exist. However, Untangle has an application but it was not enough to compel me to change at this point.

In an upcoming release, the reporting could be more user-friendly. For example, the reporting in graphs and charts for the host can be cumbersome.

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BH
Systems Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

Their support could be better in terms of the response time.

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MA
CEO at a tech services company with 1-10 employees

The main problem with pfSense is that we have to use proxy solutions. They don't have features like Layer 7 filtration. We can't filter based on applications. For this reason, we need to work with solutions from Cisco like OpenAPPID that help pfSense understand similar applications. For example, if I have to block WhatsApp, I need to use a third-party solution like OpenAPPID to help it understand what WhatsApp is. This capability is not native to pfSense, so I have to use another solution, like an add-on. I think that the proxy is the main problem with pfSense.

pfSense doesn't implement SD-WAN solutions. Competitors have this feature. If pfSense began doing this, it would be a big improvement.

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Omer Mohammed - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior System Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees

The problem with open-source is that no one can take responsibility.

It needs to be more secure. Security needs improvement.

It's always better to have an agreement, an SLA regarding security. You should outsource your security to another company.

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AL
NOC Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

The router monitoring needs improvement when compared with Sonicwall.

I would like an API that can sync to SolarWinds because we use SolarWinds for our monitoring platform. It would be great to be able to do all of the monitoring from SolarWinds instead of logging into the application to monitor it. It would be a nice feature to have.

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CandidoViandro - PeerSpot reviewer
National IT Coordenator at a government with 51-200 employees

The user interface can be improved to make it easier to add more features. And pfSense could be better integrated with other solutions, like antivirus. For example, pfSense could add templates with firewall policies that a user can customize. I haven't tried to integrate pfSense with Microsoft Active Directory, but in Mozambique, we use many Kaspersky antivirus solutions. If pfSense integrated with these antivirus solutions, everything would be much more stable because most of the companies here have a different kind of security solution. Within a single company, you might find two or three different antivirus suites. So, for example, there could be an open-source solution that you get for free, but you can pay for the support if you want it. So for solutions like that, it would be great.

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TS
Principal at a tech services company with 1-10 employees

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.

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JoaoBrito - PeerSpot reviewer
Owner at artesistemas.net

Other solutions provide more scope for growth. For instance, we can have only 10 to 20 employees on VPN, but other solutions can support more users. We also have more capabilities to increase the performance of the solution.

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MB
IT Support Specialist with 51-200 employees

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.

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ZelalemGedefie - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior System Administrator at Debre Markos University

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.

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JR
General Manager at Galgus

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. 

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KK
Information Technology at a transportation company with 51-200 employees

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.

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CT
IT Consultant at a tech services company with 1-10 employees

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.

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VO
Head Of Infrastructure at a transportation company with 201-500 employees

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.

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VinodGupta - PeerSpot reviewer
CEO and Founder at Indicrypt Systems

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

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Stephane Boudant - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Manager at a marketing services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees

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.

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HP
Engineering Manager at UTI Tech SA de CV

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

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

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EDWIN GARZON - PeerSpot reviewer
Defensive Security & BlueTeam at Global Research CO

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.

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Paulo Janeiro LJT - PeerSpot reviewer
Information Technology System Administrator / Director at Legault Joly Thiffault

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

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Stefano Festa - PeerSpot reviewer
CEO at netison

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.

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JoaoBrito - PeerSpot reviewer
Owner at artesistemas.net

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. 

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CA
Owner and business consultant at networks srl

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.

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OSCAR ARANGO - PeerSpot reviewer
Systems Manager at CORNARE

It would be ideal if the solution could integrate with Snort and OpenVPN.

The technical support needs to be improved.

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RG
CEO at a tech services company with 11-50 employees

They could improve their commercial stance and be more agile when it comes to the commercial pricing of enterprise deals.

For a feature update, they should increase the API integrations into decentralized identity platforms making it stronger.

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Hugo Hoyos - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Infrastructure Analyst at ADRA Peru

The main problem with pfSense is that it lacks adequate ransomware protection. I would also like pfSense to be more robust like Cisco or Fortinet.

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LB
Owner at The Computer Guy

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.

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RS
IT Manager at a consultancy with 1-10 employees

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

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Zelalem Gedefie - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior System Administrator at Debre Markos University

I have no idea.

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TO
Managing Director at a comms service provider with 1-10 employees

There is a need to increase the technology on the area of WAF, the web application firewall. I would like to be more knowledgeable about the firewall, so I may best use it to solve customer problems. 

The integration should be improved. 

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Arturo Rony-Oncebay Casanova - PeerSpot reviewer
System Implementer at a tech vendor with 201-500 employees

ClamAV AntiVirus can cause some crashes. That service should be improved.

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Eman-Taky - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior System Administrator at KnowledgeNet

pfSense has some limitations in detecting site sessions. We want to control internet usage based on sites and their content, and pfSense doesn't perform this function.

The site itself could be improved; it's not easy to find the things that you want to implement and apply.

It would be good if it had more features like Sophos does.

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FlorianBUIS - PeerSpot reviewer
Infrastructure Administrator at CFA-INSTA

The configuration of the solution is a bit difficult.

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MN
Owner at it logic

They do not provide support in India.

The security could be improved.

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Muhammad_Irfan - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Network Administrator at ACMC

The usage reports can be better.

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FA
System Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

It would be great to add more to security.

I know that pfSense has a lot of features, but I don't know how to configure and enable them. That is why I am looking into my support options. I am looking for better security and performance.

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MH
Owner with 11-50 employees

There are some bias issues and some intrusions in our network that have to be addressed. So, we're thinking of changing this firewall to something like a professional hardware-enabled firewall.

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Divyesh Jesadiya - PeerSpot reviewer
Full Stack Developer at Infrassist Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

The stability could be improved. Whenever there is an update, in spite of developments I may have made, I am required to make certain changes to the coding. 

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EM
Sans emploi at a pharma/biotech company with 51-200 employees

The integration could be improved.

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RH
IT consultant at a tech services company with 1-10 employees

The solution could improve by having centralized management and API support online.

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AmitSharma3 - PeerSpot reviewer
Director at Pixels IoT Ltd

I'd like to see some instructional videos as opposed to documentation. It would be helpful for beginners and start-up companies. 

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DiegoVoltolini - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Infrastructure Analyst at TranspoTech Equipamentos

The integration of pfSense with EPS and EDS could be better. Also, it should be easier to get reports on how many users are connecting simultaneously and how sections connect in real-time.

View full review »
Buyer's Guide
pfSense
September 2022
Learn what your peers think about pfSense. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
635,513 professionals have used our research since 2012.