What is pfSense?

operating system

PfSense is a new age customized, open-source and free operating system that works for routers and firewalls. This technology can be used for turning some old computer systems into a feature-rich firewall and router.

It was developed in 2004 as a part of the widely known m0n0wall project. The most important difference between m0n0wall and pfSense is that later one is designed to work with PC; hence, it ensures more features and better flexibility to the users. This software tool seems to work fine with various types of applications including firewall, router, and larger corporate networks as well. PfSense is easier to maintain and install with its interactive and user-friendly web interface. Along with all these amazing features, you will find many advanced options that make it a much better choice over other expensive commercial routers in the market.

One can install pfSense on almost every type of commodity hardware; the list includes embedded systems and computers as well. Users can operate and configure this unique via easy to access the web interface. It means there is no need to mess with the terminal files or config files to make this router work smoothly. It is even possible to run desired software updates from web UI.

Software modules of pfSense:

pfSense is generally recommended to work as firewall software and router. Some people also prefer to use it as a VPN server, WiFi Access Point, DNS server, and DHCP server; you will be surprised to know that all of them can run over single hardware. pfSense is also compatible with many open-source packages that are designed by third parties; the most commonly used are Squid and Snort. They can be connected via Package Manager; it makes them compatible with several types of network administrators.

pfSense is a flexible system in terms of design. Users can make tinwork like a tiny home router or serve the large corporation as well. Experts reveal that pfSense can also replace CISCO and many other big brands in the market. It has gained huge popularity, not for its free availability; rather for the mature and feature-rich platform.

Reasons to use pfSense over other routers:

Well, the most common reasons to use pfSense instead of other competitors in the market is its high speed, free availability, and stable operations. In case if your current router is not working up to the mark and you are searching for some alternative to ensure reliable service, pfSense is the best choice. It is possible to control all hardware operations and connected components by just customizing pfSense.

Reports reveal that pfSense is a good alternative to other off-the-shelf routers as well. Note that, those traditional systems have limited functionality; users keep on reporting several software vulnerabilities related to those units. Moreover, they cannot deal with serious security holes, performance problems, and software bugs. PfSense is the best solution to all these problems, and it can serve users with satisfactory services.

The best thing to know about pfSense is that it can be installed on any hardware unit; some people even make their old computers work like routers by installing pfSense. Even if you are a beginner, you can get started with pfSense instantly. They have a large support network online that is serving users around the world since 2004. The blogs, forums, tutorials, and hundreds of YouTube videos can guide you to make best out of this tool. You can put your queries online, and the senior members on the community are ready to assist you with possible solutions.

If you are not willing to spend a huge amount on buying a new router, or firewall for your network; we advise you to get started with pfSense. It is loaded with a wide range of features that can extend support to handle your networking issues. PfSense can be installed on a wide range of embedded platforms including Alix, Soekris, and PC-Engines as well. Those who are interested in creating a low power, quiet and small appliance for network settings within their premises are advised to go ahead with pfSense.

Company is also offering commercial support to the enterprise environment. The dedicated users can avail one-year subscription that comes with five hours support. In this session, you can ask questions related to configuration issues, network design, or migration-related problems. Those who join the active community with commercial support subscription are also able to access automatic configuration backup that keeps all details of your pfSense system safe for the long run. One can also avail online access to the well-written book on the pfSense system.

Amazing benefits of pfSense at a glance:

  • This system is designed to work with advanced security features that can prevent you from data breach and hackers attack with ease. The smart intrusion detection system with Snort and excellent malware prevention with pfBlockerNG make it a perfect choice for every user.
  • It comes with satisfactory and reliable VPN options. It can easily encrypt your network traffic to protect your privacy.
  • pfSense is designed with amazing network management options that ensure excellent performance of new-age IoT devices.
  • Users can choose their own hardware to serve their personal needs. There is no need to invest in a new system; even an old computer with two network cards can work perfectly to serve your needs.


Although the market is loaded with a wide range of network equipment; but none of them can offer you huge flexibility like pfSense. It can help you avail excellent support with high-end functionality and loads of features.

Experts rate it high for its flexible and versatile performance. You can install this system for your home-based small network and organization as well. With the global infrastructure and reliable performance, pfSense can help you enjoy uninterrupted services for the long run. One can install it over a large multicore server; it provides amazing options for network scaling. Many big organizations such as NASA, Shopify, US Department of Homeland Security and Google recommend pfSense as an ultimate firewall solution.

In case you want to be on safe side and get a VPN too, you can find instructions and get a VPN for pfSense on ibVPN website.