10 Best pfSense Alternatives and Similar Firewalls

Best pfSense Alternatives

pfSense is a free and open-source security application that serves as a firewall and router. There are over ten pfSense alternatives for various platforms, and here are some of them.

What is pfSense?

What is pfSense?

pfSense is a free and open source customizable version of FreeBSD that is intended for use as a firewall and router. It is a strong, versatile firewalling and routing platform that also contains a large list of related functions and a package structure.

This allows for further expansion without introducing bloat and possible security risks to the base distribution. Essentially, pfSense firewall software is an engine that drives a firewall, but it does not include the physical hardware.

This implies that comparing a pfSense firewall to any commercial firewall is not a straightforward comparison. Those devices are an all-in-one solution that combines hardware and operating systems into available solutions, with most of your customizability based on the license models you are ready to pay for.

The pfSense software was created to be a configurable platform that could run on any hardware. This enables the developers to satisfy the project’s requirements using a device that has the appropriate I/O and specs.

Unlike other free pfSense competitors, the functionality provided by it enables it to be compared with proprietary firewalls. And, based on the amount of protection and security you want, as well as your technical skills, you may tailor the pfSense firewall to meet your requirements.

Best pfSense Alternatives

1. OPNsense

OPNsense

OPNsense is an open source firewall and routing platform based on FreeBSD. It’s a great free alternative to pfSense.

OPNsense’s feature set includes high-end capabilities including forward caching proxy, traffic shaping, intrusion detection, and simple OpenVPN client configuration. For long-term support, the newest edition is based on FreeBSD 11 and employs an MVC-framework based on Phalcon.

OPNsense’s emphasis on security results in distinctive aspects such as the possibility to utilize LibreSSL instead of OpenSSL and a HardenedBSD-based implementation. OPNsense’s comprehensive and dependable updating process enables it to deploy critical security upgrades in a timely manner.

OPNsense contains the majority of the functionality found in pricey commercial firewalls, and in many cases, even more. It combines the comprehensive feature set of commercial services with the advantages of open and reliable sources.

2. IPFire

IPFire

IPFire is a server distribution that may be used as a firewall, making it a possible substitute for pfSense. It emphasizes adaptability and scales from tiny to medium-sized commercial networks and residential networks.

Along with this robust, basic design, there are a number of add-ons that can be added with a single click. It may be set up to act as a firewall, proxy server, or VPN gateway. It offers a lot of configurability.

Because an Intrusion Detection System is built in, assaults are identified and blocked from the start. You may also use an extra add-on, Guardian, to achieve automated prevention.

It takes less than 30 minutes to get started with IPFire. IPFire is free software created by an inclusive environment and trusted by users worldwide.

3. Cisco Next-Generation Firewall Virtual (NGFWv)

Cisco Next-Generation Firewall Virtual (NGFWv)

This pfSense competitor’s portfolio protects your workloads against an ever-increasingly complicated collection of risks. Furthermore, it continues to strive for uniform security practices, increased visibility, and enhanced threat response.

Leveraging the power of Cisco transforms your existing network infrastructure into an extension of your firewall solution. This results in adaptive protection anywhere you need it, from your data center to branch offices, cloud environments, and everywhere in between.

The industry-leading NGFW lays the groundwork for uniform visibility, policy harmonization, and unified administration. Cisco Threat Response simplifies synergies across the Cisco security ecosystem, allowing you to identify, assess, and mitigate threats more quickly.

Threat protection features are the same for physical and virtual Cisco Firepower NGFW equipment. As a result, security effectiveness and visibility are constant across physical and virtual workloads.

The Cisco Firepower NGFWv is available for virtual, public, private, and hybrid cloud installations on various platforms. With Cisco Firepower NGFWv, organizations using a software-defined network can quickly provide and execute flexible network protection.

Organizations that use network function virtualization can also save money by eliminating upfront network infrastructure expenditures when adopting Cisco Firepower NGFWv.

4. NG Firewall

NG Firewall

Managing your network and ensuring that every device is sufficiently protected may be a time-consuming and expensive effort. This pfSense substitute simplifies network protection by delivering a single, modular software application that adjusts to your security needs.

It is intended for enterprises with minimal IT resources and finances. NG Firewall is a browser-based, dynamic, and user-friendly interface that allows you to instantly acquire visibility into network traffic.

Content filtering, enhanced threat prevention, VPN connectivity, and application-based shaping for bandwidth efficiency are all included. NG Firewall provides a complete, enterprise-grade network security platform for businesses of all sizes.

It features a lovely dashboard, and you may try it out first. It functions similarly to an app store in that you may enable or disable a certain module based on your needs. The free edition includes the NG Firewall platform, free applications, and a 14-day free trial of premium services.

5. ClearOS

ClearOS

This pfSense replacement is a collection of operating systems for the corporate, small company, and household. There are three versions to pick from, based on your requirements and ability. ClearOS Enterprise, ClearOS Home, and ClearOS Core are the three options.

ClearOS is a strong network and gateway server built for small and scattered companies. Despite the fact that ClearOS has a plethora of functionality and integrated services, the solution is simple to set up owing to the user-friendly web-based interface.

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6. NethServer

NethServer

NethServer is a free alternative to pfSense. It is an open-source, CentOS-based all-in-one Linux server distribution aimed for small and medium-sized businesses. NethServer has a number of built-in modules that may be used to rapidly transform any machine into a server.

Forget about the detailed installation methods, because you may install the modules of your choosing with a “one click.” It has a sophisticated and contemporary online interface that streamlines basic administration chores.

NethServer is a very strong, stable, and secure distribution since it is based on the popular CentOS distribution. You may also download security patches and updates from the official CentOS repository on a regular basis.

7. Endian Firewall Community

Endian Firewall Community

Endian is a provider of open source network security solutions and a free pfSense equivalent. The Endian Unified Threat Management product line has already safeguarded thousands of networks throughout the world.

It provides secure communication as well as security against dangerous Internet threats. Endian Firewall Community is a full-featured Linux security system. It transforms any machine into a full-featured security appliance with Unified Threat Management (UTM) capabilities.

The program was created with usability in mind, and it is incredibly simple to install, use, and maintain without sacrificing versatility. A stateful packet inspection firewall and application-level proxies for several protocols with antivirus support are among the features.

It also includes virus and spam screening for email traffic, Web traffic content filtering, and a hassle-free VPN option. The primary benefit of Endian Firewall is that it is a 100% open-source solution backed by Endian.

The developers collaborate with the Open Source community to create a robust, safe, and stable firewall using only Open Source software. With a public forum, comes swift development and new ideas.

It is a test bed for experimental technologies that may someday make its way into the stable and supported Endian Firewall Appliance. Endian UTM Firewall Appliances Endian Firewall UTM Appliances are available in both hardware and software configurations.

It provides additional features, commercial support, and access to the Endian Network for an unprecedented security experience. Consider one of their Appliances if you want expert service, a plug-and-play solution, and centralized update management.

8. Azure Firewall

Azure Firewall

Microsoft Azure is a public cloud service platform competitor of pfSense. It provides support for a wide range of operating systems, programming languages, frameworks, tools, databases, and devices.

Azure, like other cloud deployments, employs a shared security paradigm, which is best articulated in Microsoft’s white paper Shared Responsibilities for Cloud Computing. In a nutshell, Microsoft is in charge of the cloud infrastructure’s security.

Customers, on the other hand, are responsible for their own data and programs that use the infrastructure. Customers that are responsible for their own digital property must take further precautions to secure their data, apps, and networks.

Azure customers are advised to build a firewall to defend them against escalating cyber threats. Various kinds of Azure Firewalls serve several purposes within the Microsoft cloud.

They primarily serve as watchdogs for interactions between a certain area of the public cloud and the rest of the Internet. These firewalls can prevent malicious software from accessing apps, data, or even the network itself by screening packets and requests.

The Microsoft Azure Marketplace sells firewalls that are classified into two types, network and web application.

9. MikroTik RouterOS

MikroTik RouterOS

The operating system of MikroTik RouterBOARD hardware serves as a great replacement for pfSense. It may also be installed on a PC, transforming it into a router with all of the required functionality.

Routing, firewalls, bandwidth control, wireless access points, backhaul links, hotspot gateways, VPN servers, and more services are available. RouterOS is a self-contained operating system based on the Linux kernel v2.6.

The company’s objective is to deliver all of these functions with a quick and simple installation and a user-friendly interface. The firewall implements packet filtering and hence offers security capabilities for managing data flow to, from, and via the router.

Along with Network Address Translation, it prevents unwanted access to directly connected networks and the router itself. It also acts as an outbound traffic filter.

RouterOS has a stateful firewall, which conducts stateful inspection and maintains track of the state of network connections traversing it. It also includes Source and Destination Network Address Translation, NAT assistance for common applications, and UPnP compatibility.

The Firewall has tools for utilizing internal connections, routing, and packet markings. It supports Static and Dynamic Address Lists, as well as filtering by IP address, address range, port, port range, IP protocol, DSCP, and other characteristics.

Layer7 matching allows it to match packets based on a pattern in their content given in Regular Expressions. IPv6 is also supported by the RouterOS Firewall function.

10. Sophos UTM

Sophos UTM

This pfSense alternative combines comprehensive security software into a single unit. You can choose only the protection you require at the time you require it. And make it available on the platform that best suits your needs, such as software, hardware, or a virtual appliance.

No matter how many users you cover, they all have the same feature set. In addition, their simple web-based administration dashboard allows for easy, integrated management of all your IT security.

Sophos UTM provided all of the necessary fundamental functions. It is simple to use and administer for any integrator.

Conclusion

Firewall software protects your computer and network against assaults by filtering out superfluous network traffic and harmful applications. OPNsense appears to be the finest pfSense alternative for safeguarding your private network from malware threats and illegal access.

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