Decent FW for SOHO use. It seems stable, but suffers from a lack of maturity seen with paid options. The standard feature set is extensive and even includes clustering out of the box. Unfortunately, this functionality is basically a requirement for business use as the updates frequently fail and require manual intervention to bring the FW back online. Worse, the dev team has a real attitude and has recently been pushing to lock pfSense to Netgate hardware. While once a great project, it has begun to lose its shine; it may soon be time to look elsewhere for a good, free SOHO FW distro.
Best open-source firewall hands down. Fantastic routing platform, VPN concentrator, IDS/IPS, Captive Portal, Traffic Shapping, etc...such a rich feature-set for a free distro but it's rock solid. I've deployed hundreds of these for large networks of 1,000+ users, deployed in production data-centers, and trust it for my home network.
Very capable and reliable firewall/router. I have been using pfSense for many years and it is highly configurable and provides lots of customization. It will take you some time to understand how to access all the awesome power of this software in your network system but it is more than capable of handling you needs from home to enterprise networks.
Great firewall/gateway for personal, SMB and non-profits! Buy Netgate.com product for commercial use. Well priced for all uses. Easy to backup/restore your configurations. You need some basic networking knowledge but not much. Good documentation and HowTo videos available.
Spend $200 to 300 good hardware you can have a firewall with the capabilities of SonicWall and much of Cisco's on a much smaller budget. Turn on or add the features you want. Blacklists, VPN, DHCP, vlan, DMZ, QoS, WiFi (hardware dependent), Snort and other tools, port forwarding, to name a few features. Can run in VM. What's not to like and or learn?
Am struggling w site to site VPN. Close to working. Much shorter learning curve than SonicWall was for me. Try on some old hardware then check out Qotom on Amazon or some other small devices. Netgate has a cool two port unit for $150.
Very Stable! pfSense is a much better option than a $150 consumer router (that never gets updated) for just about everyone.
Untangled is also a good option for some. Windows admins may like it better.
I've been using pfSense for a home firewall OS for years & have found it to be an excellent & extremely stable distro. The most common issue I run into is needed to uninstall & reinstall the snort security package after some version upgrades (I use it to block suspicious activity). There is also a bit of manual configuration & messing around that can be an annoyance for home users like myself, but the effort is small compared to the sense of added security I get.
If you don't mind reading up a little bit on IT stuff before hand it is great, but a lot of the stuff here will go well beyond the vast majority of potential users.
Not too hard to set up & fairly easy to admin; very stable & often goes for months without needing any intervention; the defaults generally work just fine for home users; the web browser based interface provides loads of configuration options & a fairly easy way to admin inspite of the excessive options that go way outside what I use it for; did I mention the added sense of security of having pfSense + Snort?
Like I said above Snort is a great tool, but some upgrades necessitate a full uninstall & reinstall (meaning the start services & the simple reinstall don't always work); I have had one significant failure related to some oddball old hardware that didn't boot right after an upgrade, but there was a decent work around on the forms; the system may be almost easy enough for home users, but I definitely get the feeling that more technical/IT type knowledge than I have is needed to really get the full depth of the system & a lot of things will go far beyond most users.