RESOURCES > FYI > pfSense
The pfSense project is a free network firewall distribution, based on the FreeBSD operating system with a custom kernel and including third party free software packages for additional functionality. pfSense software, with the help of the package system, is able to provide the same functionality or more of common commercial firewalls, without any of the artificial limitations. It has successfully replaced every big name commercial firewall you can imagine in numerous installations around the world, including Check Point, Cisco PIX, Cisco ASA, Juniper, Sonicwall, Netgear, Watchguard, Astaro, and more.
pfSense software includes a web interface for the configuration of all included components. There is no need for any UNIX knowledge, no need to use the command line for anything, and no need to ever manually edit any rule sets. Users familiar with commercial firewalls catch on to the web interface quickly, though there can be a learning curve for users not familiar with commercial-grade firewalls.
Unlike most common commercial firewalls offerings, the pfSense project is just the software portion of the firewall. This means you get to tailor the hardware you choose to meet your environment’s specific needs. You can use the live CD or memstick to test out your hardware without installing to the hard drive, or install to a compact flash card for embedded systems.
Our Install Guide will guide you through your hardware selection, the initial pfSense configuration, and installing the pfSense software to your hard drive. Installation is quick and painless making it easy to setup your own personal demo in a virtual environment.
How you configure the pfSense software is largely dependant on the needs you’re trying to meet. There are tutorials in our documentation wiki for various configuration scenarios.
For the best information we recommend that you become a Gold Member, this gives you access to a digital version of the official pfSense book and monthly hangouts that cover a variety of topics as well as our Auto Config Backup service which gives you a secure place to store and retrieve backups off site.
If you need professional assistance configuring your deployment, you can use our commercial support to help get you up and running.
Hardware Requirements and Guidance
The following outlines the minimum hardware requirements for pfSense 2.x. Note the minimum requirements are not suitable for all environments. You may be able to get by with less than the minimum, but with less memory you may start swapping to disk, which will dramatically slow down your system.
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