About pfSense

The pfSense® project is a free, open source customized distribution of FreeBSD specifically tailored for use as a firewall and router that is entirely managed via web interface. In addition to being a powerful, flexible firewalling and routing platform, it includes a long list of related features and a package system allowing further expandability without adding bloat and potential security vulnerabilities to the base distribution. The pfSense project has become a fairly popular project with more than 1 million downloads since its inception, and proven in countless installations ranging from small home networks protecting a single computer to large corporations, universities and other organizations protecting thousands of network devices.

This project started in 2004 as a fork of the m0n0wall project, but focused towards full PC installations rather than the embedded hardware focus of m0n0wall. We also offer an embedded image for Compact Flash based installations. The two projects have since diverged significantly.

We've steadily grown to become one of the most widely used network firewalls in the world, with in excess of 200,000 known live installs as of December 2013.

Our History

The pfSense project was started in September 2004 by Chris Buechler and Scott Ullrich. Chris is a long time contributor to the m0n0wall project. m0n0wall is a great embedded firewall, but one of the great things about its design is also a limitation to expandability. m0n0wall runs entirely from RAM, the entire OS and all applications are loaded into RAM at boot time. This is a great design for embedded systems, for performance and reliability reasons. However m0n0wall is not capable of being installed into a normal file system on a hard drive. Hence many desirable functions can't be reasonably implemented.

See this blog post for background on the name behind pfSense software.

Contact Us

To contact us for submitting patches, security issues, inquiring about contributing to the project, notifying us of problems with any of our web sites, or any other non-support issue email coreteam@pfsense.org.