2021-10-12T10:32:00Z
Netanya Carmi - PeerSpot reviewer
Content Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
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What is the difference between PfSense and OPNsense?

Which is better?

1
PeerSpot user
1 Answer
Janet Staver - PeerSpot reviewer
Tech Blogger
Real User
Top 5
2021-10-28T14:03:15Z
Oct 28, 2021

Two of the most common and well recognized firewalls, PfSense and OPNsense both support site-to-site IPsec VPN and client, Open VPN and client, and PPTP client. Both also have intrusion detection and prevention in transparent mode. I like that both firewalls offer DNS filtering with any DNS filtering company and also have a network configuration feature with customized configuration that is enabled by a setup wizard.


Two stark differences between PfSense and OPNsense are that PfSense does not allow for quick updates and patches, but OPNsense does. On the flipside, PfSense has two factor authentication that works with a remote radius server, which OPNsense can’t do.


Another feature of each to consider based on your company needs is the dashboard; PfSense has drop-down menus, while OPNsense has its menus placed on the left side. It comes down to your personal preference, but I find that having menus on the left side of a dashboard makes it easier to use because it is organized and navigation is clear. Some people may think OPNsense is harder to navigate because of the messy dashboard layout.


What I like about both options is that they are free to download and use. They also both have frequent updates, with constant updated documentation. OPNsense seems to be more intuitive to use and has a great reporting feature. PfSense, though, seems to have more product tutorials available and also more answers to FAQs that can be easily found online.


Conclusion


Both products have a similar set of features. In my opinion, though, I think PfSense is superior to OPNsense, not only because it has an array of features but also because it has an automatic backup feature that I find very valuable.

Find out what your peers are saying about OPNsense vs. pfSense and other solutions. Updated: November 2022.
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Jul 25, 2022
Hi community, I'm working with OPNsense NGINX plug-in's WAF rules. Can you recommend any good documentation on this topic (as there is very little documentation I was able to find)? For example, how whitelist rules are created in the web interface that will work on one specific site and will not work on others. Thanks for your help.
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Evgeny Belenky - PeerSpot reviewer
Director of Community at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Jul 25, 2022
Hi @Murat Gultekin, @Chirosca Alecsandru, @Hermann Potgieter, @Ralf Wenzel, @Neil Wurzel ​and @Mauro Ponze, Can you possibly chime in here and help @Igor Parmon ​with their question?​ Tnx. 
Netanya Carmi - PeerSpot reviewer
Content Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Oct 12, 2021
Fortinet FortiGate and pfSense? Which is better?
2 out of 5 answers
Oct 7, 2021
Fortinet’s Fortigate is a firewall solution we use and are very much satisfied with its performance. We find Fortigate both cost-effective and efficient. One of the features we like most is that Fortigate can secure our infrastructure against known and unknown attacks. Unlike other firewalls we tried, it has a user-friendly interface. It is easy to create policies, and we can define security profiles and rules. Other features include a remote VPN, advanced malware protection, comprehensive logging, and IPS. Fortigate also has some room for improvement. The command line is not easy, so it requires expertise with CLI commands. Additionally, it is not easy to configure. All told, though, it is a robust firewall and gives value for the price. Previously we tried pfSense, and although it is a strong solution, it doesn’t combine Fortigate’s advantages. Sure, pfSense is free and open-source. You cannot be more cost-effective than that. But sometimes you get what you pay for. PfSense’s main advantage is its flexibility as a firewall and routing platform. Another advantage you get with pfSense is that it is customizable. PfSense offers most features basic firewalls offer, like stateful packet inspection. I find it a bit stuck in time, though, with almost none of the features you find in next-generation firewalls. The interface is a bit clumsy, it has lots of bugs, and there seems to be no documentation available. Conclusions If you are looking for a basic firewall at a lower possible price, you may go with PfSense. It offers basic features and is easy to configure, and if you don’t mind the bugs, it is an excellent place to start. However, if you are looking for something more powerful with advanced features, I would suggest you consider Fortinet’s Fortigate. It offers advanced firewall functions and is still cost-effective for small businesses. Yes, it has a bit of a learning curve, but in my opinion, it is worth it.
Leon Pinto - PeerSpot reviewer
Consultant and Head of Services at ILANZ LLC
Oct 11, 2021
PFSense or Fortinet... That would depend on your used case.... We are using pfSense for the past two years and it does mostly what you would expect of a firewall... Captive portal, site-to-site VPN, TLS based VPN, IPsec VPN, SNORT, Suricata, ACME, port forwarding, NAT, CA, DHCP, DHCP relay, VLANS, Bridges, LAGG, LACP, etc... etc...  Most of all, no paid licenses anywhere as it is open source and free... Support can be purchased but I personally never needed it so far... The only downside is that you need to be highly technical to get it working as per your needs...  Also, a lot of docs in Google/YouTube (though a bit of scouting and navigating through bugs is required) to get things moving assuming you already know firewalls as a concept...   With a Fortinet, in case you have the money to pay and justify the need for it, then it's worth going for because they will support you as long as they keep getting paid... In our case (in our small SMB), I have not yet come across a need to move away from pfSense because it basically does what it is supposed to do...  It has been running with us for almost two years with no reasons for complaints... Again, it's my own personal opinion...
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