Get Support

There are several means of obtaining support for pfSense® software to meet varying needs. There is guaranteed commercial support, offered by the pfSense team, for those networks in need of high levels of support all the way to community support for the home user that is new to the pfSense project and just needs to be pointed in the right direction.

Commercial Support

Our Team is an Extension of Yours

Purchasing support from us provides you with direct access to the pfSense team with a targeted response time of one business day for all support questions related to pfSense core. pfSense support compliments your IT resources, adding value and increasing efficiency by having a pfSense engineer ready to answer your questions and provide best practice advice. What's more, if you purchase your hardware appliance from the pfSense store, our support team will be more empowered to provide end-to-end solutions which encompass the hardware or the firewall application.

Managing Your IT Budget

Our support model is unique in that everything is on an hourly basis. This helps you manage your already-stretched IT budget! Support plans start with a 2-hour minimum commitment and are billed at an incremental hourly rate after that. You can purchase support as you need it without a large initial or subsequent purchase resulting in valuable IT dollars being left on the table. Support hours do expire one year after date of purchase. For more complex projects that deal with anything outside of pfSense core, we offer professional services at a very reasonable rate.


Support Services Offered

The following outlines the services we most commonly provide to our customers, this is not an exhaustive list:

Support
If you run into a problem with pfSense software, we are here to help.
Configuration Assistance
Whether you need some brief guidance on the best approach, or want us to walk you through the configuration via GoToMeeting to control your screen, or log in to your firewall and completely configure it ourselves, we are available for any level of assistance.
Configuration Review
We can review your configuration to ensure it follows both pfSense and general firewall best practices, and provide recommendations on improvements.

Targeted Response Time

It is our goal to see to it that all inquiries receive a qualified reply within one business day. Issues are prioritized by severity - problems causing an outage or having significant immediate impact on your network will always take priority, and will receive our attention as quickly as possible.


Availability

pfSense engineers are available from 8 AM to 8 PM US Eastern time, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays in the United States. Emergency support is available 24 hours a day every day of the year at a premium rate.


Commercial support is provided from the company founded by the people behind the pfSense project, Electric Sheep Fencing LLC.

Direct support is available for support subscribers only.

Professional Services

While commercial support time purchased through ESF will cover most things related to pfSense, there are some tasks which involve configuration, testing and implementation. This is where our professional services team comes in. Professional services are billed separately from commercial support and you will receive a statement of work from our engineers prior to the start of the project. ESF is ready and able to handle the following:

Network Security
ESF has partnered with PatchAdvisor, an industry leader in network security. PatchAdvisor can conduct a comprehensive vulnerability assessment with the goal of assessing the security posture of your internal network and systems security controls. Every device within the network is evaluated for configuration backdoors, trojans, malware, and mis-configuration which can lead to attacks and intrusions from the outside.

Our experienced professionals will examine the internal information systems for implementation of industry best practices and perform a technical review to verify existing vulnerabilities and configuration errors.

PatchAdvisor also offers product-independent network designs as well as design reviews of pre-deployment specifications and existing networks with an emphasis on potential vulnerabilities and network management shortfalls.

For more information, please contact professional.services@pfsense.org.

CARP Configuration
The Common Address Redundancy Protocol (CARP) allows multiple hosts to share the same IP address and provide high availability. One or more hosts can fail, and the others will take over for the failed system transparently. In addition to the shared IP address, hosts also have a unique IP address for management and configuration. Our professional services team can configure your firewalls to support high availability, thus reducing the risk of catastrophic failure.
Network Design
Before you can begin to design a network, you first must determine your needs. What services must you provide to your user community? What are the resources you'll need? You have to take into account network protocols, applications, network speed, and, most important, network security issues. Another important factor your management will probably force you to consider is cost — you can't forget the budget.

We have provided assistance with network design ranging from a review of your proposed design, to completely designing the environment to your requirements and providing complete, professional network diagrams and documentation. These are commonly larger or more complex networks, such as co-location environments, WISPs, small ISPs, universities, and large corporate environments.
Firewall Conversion
Migrating from one firewall vendor to another can be a huge undertaking requiring hours of tedious access and NAT rule rewriting, testing, verification and more!. For customers with an existing firewall looking to convert to pfSense software, we can configure your pfSense software to match the settings of your existing firewall product. We have experience with a wide range of commercial and open source firewalls, and extensive expertise and experience with Cisco PIX and ASA.
Systems and Infrastructure Install
Underlying applications to manage data, customers and infrastructure are absolutely critical. The installation and configuration of these applications can also be a daunting task. The ESF professional services team can help with the consultation, installation and configuration of the following enterprise applications:
  • Cacti - Performance and utilization graphing
  • Nagios - Network monitoring
  • rsyslog+ElasticSearch+Kibana3 - Log aggregation server (free splunk alternative)
  • Splunk - Log aggregation server
  • vTiger CRM
  • Sugar CRM
  • Zentyal Small Business Server
  • Bitrix24 CRM and Workspaces
For assistance on any of the aforementioned services, please e-mail professional.services@pfsense.org detailing your requirements and time frame. We will be in contact (usually within 24 business hours).

Community Support

There are many avenues that our community members use to communicate with each other. Before using any of these resources, please review the project rules below.

Forum

We have an active forum where you can get help, create a bounty for a project, and more.


Mailing Lists

Project Announcements
Subscribe to this list to receive important notifications from the project administrators. Low volume, only announcements of major new versions and other important announcements. Less than 10 posts per year. You can subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your preferences or view the list archive as of September 2011.
Support and Discussion
This list is for any discussion on the project in general, questions on how to do things, discussing problems, etc. Anyone who subscribes can post. You can subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your preferences or view the list archive as of September 2011.
Development
This list is for discussion of development-related topics. If you are developing in relation to pfSense software, this is the place to discuss it. If you aren't writing code, please don't use this mailing list. You can subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your preferences or view the list archive as of September 2011.
Security Advisories
Subscribe to this list to receive important security notifications from the project administrators. Low volume, only announcements of security advisories. You can subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your preferences or view the list archive as of September 2011.

IRC Channel

We have an active IRC channel on Freenode, ##pfsense. There are typically around 300-350 people in the channel. If you have a question, just pop in and ask, and wait for a reply. Someone will likely answer, though maybe not immediately. People who come in, ask a question, and quickly leave typically get an answer after leaving.

If you aren't familiar with IRC, see the IRC Wikipedia article for more information. You can also use FreeNode's WebChat to join the conversation.

Project Rules

To keep things orderly, and be fair to everyone, we must enforce these rules.

Please do not post support questions to the blog comments. The comments are for discussion of the post, and letting people ask questions there would make a mess of the purpose of those comments. Any support questions will not be moderator approved.

Please do not cross post questions between the forum and mailing list, unless your inquiry has gone unanswered for at least 24 hours. Do not bump your mailing list or forum posts for at least 24 hours. If you have not received a reply after more than 24 hours, you are welcome to bump your thread.

Please do not email individuals, the coreteam address, or private message people on the forum to ask questions. We provide a wide variety of means for obtaining help in a public forum, where it helps others who have the same questions in the future. We don't have enough time to answer all the questions our users post in the public forums, much less via email and private messages. Since we cannot possibly reply to everyone's email and private messages, to be fair we will not reply to anyone. Individual attention via phone and email support is available for commercial support customers.

Gold Membership

pfSense Gold is our premium membership subscription program, designed to provide special benefits to our members while supporting ongoing development of the Open Source pfSense project.

Current exclusive benefits for Gold members include:

  • Access to our AutoConfigBackup secure cloud based backup service for up to 10 hosts.
  • pfSense: The Definitive Guide book in PDF and other formats, available for immediate download after purchasing.
  • Monthly online MeetUp! Monthly video conference hosted by a rotating selection of core developers with occasional special guests.
  • Plus many more features are being planned.
Please Note: pfSense Gold is a completely separate product from support, all Gold Memberships do not have support included.

Documentation

We have a documentation wiki available and if you are looking for a more in-depth view of the pfSense project, we recommend you look there.

For example, it contains several tutorials on how to use pfSense software.

pfSense: The Definitive Guide

pfSense 2.1 Book Now Available!

By far the best source of information available on the project, pfSense: The Definitive Guide Version 2.1, is immediately available to Gold Members.

Written by pfSense co-founder Chris Buechler and pfSense developer Jim Pingle, this Definitive Guide to pfSense covers installation and basic configuration through advanced networking and firewalling with the popular open source firewall and router distribution. This book is designed to be a friendly step-by-step guide to common networking and security tasks, plus a thorough reference of pfSense software's capabilities.

The book covers hardware and system planning, installation and upgrades, backups, firewalling fundamentals, port forwarding and Network Address Translation, bridging, Virtual LANs (VLAN), Multi-WAN, Virtual Private Networks (VPN) using IPsec, PPTP, and OpenVPN, traffic shaping, load balancing, wireless networking and captive portal setups, redundant firewalls and High Availability, system monitoring, logging, traffic analysis, sniffing, packet capturing, troubleshooting, and software package and third-party software installations and upgrades.

The print version of the first edition of pfSense: The Definitive Guide is available from Amazon.com and other retailers. This edition is based on version 1.2.3, so is dated for best information specific to 2.x versions. A print version of the 2.1 book will be available in 2014.