Checkpoint, Palo Alto, Cisco ACS and others, all of them are enterprise, popular and good firewalls. But all of them requires some price to pay. Are there any free alternative to these enterprise firewalls? Yes there are a lot but most of them is not a competitor for them. Pfsense is the most advanced, powerful, popular alternative to these firewalls. Pfsense is not too much advanced like them but provides most of the features for a day to day usage. In this tutorial we will look Pfsense features.
Pfsense became professional product. So deployment of the Pfsense can be done different ways like enterprise solutions. Pfsense can be deployed to the popular cloud services Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Server Hardware provided by Pfsense or some embedded boards or in to a virtual machine.
Pfsense is provided by AWS Market place as AMI (Amazon Machine Image). Current version as writing is 2.3.2 also other versions are avaible.
Microsoft cloud solution Azure also provides Pfsense. Provided version is newer than Amazon AWS which is 2.3.3 .
Hardware is provided by Netgate. There are different type of hardware solutions. From ARM board with 512 MB ram to Xeon CPU boards with 16 GB RAM.
Support is provided by Netgate. There are different type of support packages. Netgate provides support for their products after the sale. Also there is a support type which is avaible for customer who do not bought Netgate products. But this is a bit salty price.
Pfsense provides a lot of features. We will look them below.
Dashboard provides main overview panel for the Pfsense. In dashboard these information can be found dns server, version, interfaces.
Pfsense supports routing protocols like OSPF, BGP, RIP. There is also support available for static routing. Routing is an important part of a firewall and router. We can redirect packets into related networks with a routing function and routing information.
Pfsense provides usefull packages for popular applications. Some applications are asterisk, suricata, snort, squid.
Today IT infrastructure need HA for continous operation. Pfsense provides HA seamlessly.
Firewall & NAT
As stated before Pfsense is a firewall. Pfsense also have NAT and PAT support. Firewall module provides all basic features for an enterprise firewall.
Pfsense have DHCP services also WINS services. DHCP services makes Pfsense great for compact solution. DNS servers can be set with DHCP too.
NTP services can be provided with Pfsense. Another interesting features is that Serial GPS devices can be connected to the system.
Another powerful feature is VPN services. Pfsense supports IPsec, L2TP, OpenVPN, PPTP by default as VPN services.