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Sunday, September 13, 2020

How to install pfsense firewall

Pfsense is an open source firewall
By Sudarshan Yerunkar | | Posted on 13th September 2020.
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Hey everyone Sudarshan here, So today we are going give you an overview of open source enterprise level software firewall. 

pfSense is open source firewall, a powerful software that runs on an ordinary PC just about any intel or AMD PC will work, pfSense competes directly with big brands in firewalls like Cisco and others, pfSense has a loads of features some of the top features like Multi-WAN which allows you to connect two or more separate internet connections and combine them in a load balancing or failover as per requirement, and my favourite feature in pfSense is VPN (Virtual Private networking) which allows you to make secure connection to your corporate network, i am have been using this for long time and has been very useful during this WFH phase. Another feature is IPSEC (Internet Protocol Security) which allows you to communicate between two different networks for example if you have your headquarters in Mumbai and another corporate office in another city, so IPSEC allows this tow office to connect and communicate with each other, and there are many other features. 

pfSense is extremely flexible if you have a low budget you don't have to buy a brand-new powerful server you can use an old PC if your network grows you don't have to buy a different firewall or new firewall you can just add additional network cards to existing pfsense and make the necessary configuration changes. 

Is pfSense stable?


Yes, in fact very stable I personally manage firewalls that have been up and running without rebooting for over years straight and what's the best feature pfSense absolutely 100% free and open source and no licensing fees whatsoever. 

Installation 
So let's go to the pfsense website which is just www.pfsense.org and once there we're going to go straight to the download tab most machines nowadays are only 64 bit or better you're going to want the file type install architecture in my case is going to be AMD 64-bit if you do have a machine that's only 32-bit they do offer a 32-bit variant as well and then platform for standard PC hardware we're just going to use the CD image right there and then of course here you can select the locations closest to you and just click the download button and away we go. (Image below for your refe.) 



So let's go straight to actually your first boot so you'll makes bootable pen drive with help of rufus

once you are done with the rufus, boot the Machine up and boot it with the bootable pendrive, first things you should see on screen is below image 


So here we will let it go ahead and count down or you can hit enter if you want to speed the process up a bit it's going to run through and what we're actually looking for is it's going to prompt us if we want to enter the installer or not and you'll press I on the keyboard to enter into the installer 



there we go you got to be quick about it you've got only 10 seconds to do it, sp the first screen it's going to bring us up to this configuration and notice which we need to hit enter to accept and then hit enter on install pfSense and hit continue and select the disk you want to install pfSense on and hit enter and this install can take depending on the speed of your hardware I've seen it take in as little  as a minute to as much as 20 or 30 minutes on slower machines especially some of the small embedded platforms , so once all done it will ask you to reboot you'll remove the bootable pen drive and reboot and now time for first boot and so if your install successfully completed you should see this screen here below.  





back and wait this looks almost identical to the boot screen for the pendrive the only difference is you'll notice that we do not get prompted to run the installer since this is actually running off of the drive in your machine. So once booted it will see something like this 


Sometimes it does not automatically detect your network cards or else you can just assign lan ip and and configure WAN setup from right here, i won't go into much details here as it is as per your requirement. 

So we assume you have assigned LAN IP and configured WAN interface and connected to your local network,, so open a browser on a different pc or laptop on the same network and enter the lap IP which we had assigned and hit enter and it should see pfsense login page as below. 




so default username is admin and default password is pfSense all lowercase, it's going to try to walk you through a wizard if you've got a little experience with these and you know what you're doing you can just click on the pfSense logo up here and that will actually bypass this wizard but in this 
particular case we're going to go ahead and use the wizard so click Next and follow the onscreen procedure. 

All right well that was a setup and first boot of open source firewall pfSense, you can go through the UI and setup wan, DHCP, dashboard, firewall rules and many more features. 

If this tutorial helped you learn how to install pfSense from scratch please share this to your friends and don't forget to comment. 

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