Top 15 Best pfSense Alternatives You Should Check Out In 2023

The most reputable open-source firewall software distribution based on FreeBSD is called pfSense. A dedicated firewall for the network is created by installing the software on a physical computer or virtual machine. Anyone can manage it without having any prior knowledge of the underlying FreeBSD system because it can be configured and upgraded through the web interface.

Through Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure Cloud services, pfSense router and other virtual appliances expose your apps and connection to licensed users anywhere. a network of your personnel, clients, business partners, and other parties that allows them to share resources via site-to-cloud, cloud-to-cloud, and virtual private connectivity.

You may plan, build, implement, run, and manage the appropriate IT strategy to improve the way you do business with the aid of this solution, which was developed specifically for professionals. You can concentrate on managing your business as it delivers an effective solution for computer safety, high availability, and firewall conversions. The finest security solution is pfSense, which has every one of the vital resources and services needed to supply a full experience.

Top 15 Best pfSense Alternatives You Should Check Out In 2023:

1.  Azure Firewall

Another well-known firewall that offers superior security for on-premises, hybrid, and multi-cloud systems is Azure by Microsoft. Azure is renowned as the firewall that offers corporate businesses safe, forward-thinking solutions.

It is a cloud-native network firewall that gives commercial companies three different kinds of security. Azure Firewall Basic, Azure Firewall Standard, and Azure Firewall Premium are some of them. They all meet various network capacities. The major reason pfsense download I choose Azure is that there is no lengthy configuration required.

You can also obtain network traffic filter rules that regulate various IP addresses and sources. Its unlimited cloud scalability capability is admirable since it can adapt to various network configurations and traffic surges.

For cloud settings looking to reduce infrastructure and energy costs while increasing operational effectiveness, Azure is the ideal firewall. Azure is particularly helpful for developers because it enables the use of open-source technologies for app development.

You can also decide whether to allow or disallow access to a particular website category. Azure offers a helpful threat intelligence feature that may identify harmful domains and then warns the user as a result. Azure’s ability to accept numerous IP addresses via its SNAT and DNAT capabilities gives it an additional advantage over most firewalls, including pfSense.

2.  IPFire

Check out IPFire if you require an open-source network firewall to replace pfSense. It is a Linux-based firewall that is free, cutting-edge, powerful, and incredibly versatile. IPFire is one of the greatest solutions for both small and large-scale businesses because of how straightforward it is to use. Your network system is shielded from malicious attacks by DoS websites and online hackers by its firewall engine.

The Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) included with IPFire examines all internet activity on your network. It keeps an eye on network traffic, spots any suspicious activity, notifies the user, and instantly stops the action. I particularly enjoy IPFire’s web proxy feature since it allows you to filter web content and allow or deny particular websites that are ideal for colleges and universities.

To connect to distant sites, IPFire can also be used as a VPN, which is very helpful for remote access. A further benefit of using the IPFire firewall is that, in contrast to opnsense vs pfSense, it comes with additional add-ons that offer extra capabilities.

One benefit of these add-ons is that they transform IPFire into a Wireless Access Point. Additionally, they offer file, print, and backup services. For instance, you can inspect, recover, and back up useful network data using IPFire’s Bacula capabilities. To browse the internet anonymously, use its Tor add-on feature.

3.  SonicWall

Due to the advanced protection, it provides for both small and large business companies, SonicWall’s next-generation firewall (NGFW) is included on our list of the top pfSense alternatives.

SonicWall shows that it only provides high-performance firewalls for any network system and has been certified as the highest-level firewall by ICSA labs. To stop cyberattacks, it gives you security, visibility, and control over your network. One of the reasons I appreciate this firewall device is that it is reasonably priced and offers a variety of solutions to satisfy different security requirements. Small and medium-sized groups can choose from SonicWall’s SOHO/TZ series firewalls.

For major businesses with high-performance security systems, it also provides the NSA series firewalls and NS sp firewalls. Finally, the NSv Series Firewall offers cloud security for environments that use multiple clouds and hybrid clouds.

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The key distinction between SonicWall and pfSense firewalls is that the latter has a straightforward configuration that gives it the upper hand. I particularly enjoy that SonicWall has a comprehensive analytics dashboard that allows me to see security concerns as well as manage several firewalls from a single interface.

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4.  Sophos

A high-performance firewall for virtual, cloud, and appliance cybersecurity is Sophos. It is constructed using an Xstream architecture that both safeguards your network systems and speeds up all application traffic. Because it has TLS 1.3 Decryption, which works with clever TLS inspection to eliminate significant internet blind spots for simple navigation, Sophos is a perfect alternative to pfSense.

Additionally, it offers extremely high visibility, enabling you to detect malicious traffic and security concerns and aiding in full control of your network. Powerful next-generation intrusion prevention (IPS) technologies included in Sophos stop illegal IP addresses from accessing your network’s data.

Furthermore, I appreciate how Sophos enhances hardware acceleration and provides intelligent traffic selection to manage traffic fluctuations on your network system. All connected apps are protected by its synchronized Security feature, which also synchronizes all user IDs and offers lateral movement security.

Along with a scanner that is always looking for viruses and malware, Sophos also includes a VPN capability that enables remote access to your network system. The best aspect is that Sophos protects your email in addition to other systems, so you never have to worry about complicated installations.

5.  OPNsense

Another user-friendly, open-source FreeBSD firewall that simultaneously functions as a router is OPNsense. The fact that it combines highly sophisticated functionality with an open-source architecture makes it distinct from other firewalls. First, the OPNsense firewall provides a live view of rejected and passed traffic and supports IPv4 and IPv6. Additionally, it includes a multi-WAN that allows failover and aids in balancing network load.

In addition, a web filtering system is available that enables access to, control of, and support for external blacklists to block undesired traffic. Additionally, OPNsense offers two-factor authentication, which is supported across the board, even for VPN access. Additionally, it contains a tool for detecting and preventing intrusions that get rid of CNC bots and Trojans. Using its ZeroTier plugins, you can configure your Software-Defined WAN in a matter of minutes.

In contrast to pfSense, OPNsense makes use of the Free Range Router project to provide OSPF and BGP plugins. Additionally, you have a choice of over 10 different languages thanks to the firewall. The fact that OPNsense has a more responsive and user-friendly user interface than pfSense default password, which even allows for a search option, is one of the key reasons it is a superior choice. A feature of the firewall’s encrypted settings also enables you to back up files to your Google Drive.

6.  ClearOS

Consider ClearOS if you require a free firewall to secure your network infrastructure. It includes various operating systems built from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux source code. As a result, it makes for the ideal IT administration solution for both small and large businesses, as well as for home network systems. The extremely straightforward user web-based interface of this firewall makes it quite simple to configure and turn on, even though it offers several complicated capabilities.

Its marketplace, which offers more than a hundred practical applications, and the operating system’s high degree of flexibility and security are also qualities I enjoy. It serves as an all-in-one server that enables you to manage many applications and requirements for any type of organization.

Another factor making ClearOS an excellent substitute for pfSense is its dependability; it offers superior security on par with that offered by more expensive firewall manufacturers. Additionally, it offers its users features for content filtering and intrusion protection.

Additionally, it provides more than 150 languages so that you may better comprehend the system wherever you are. Another feature of ClearOS that I appreciate is the Microsoft Active Directory Sync Application. The benefit of having centralized control over both on-premises and cloud-based network systems is undoubtedly this. Additionally, I appreciate that all integrated software on ClearOS upgrades automatically so I don’t have to worry about it.

7.  FortiGate

It is a respectable pfSense substitute that provides faultless security wherever the network is located. FortiGate is an NGFW that offers more than just threat prevention and decryption services; with the help of its cutting-edge technologies like 5G, SD-WAN, and wireless connectivity, you can build a secure network.

The AI-powered security performance of this security software is well-known for shielding on-premise, hybrid, and cloud environments against harmful internet attacks. The firewall gives optimal visibility, allowing you to watch the activity of all users, devices, and apps to monitor and prevent threats whenever they are accepted. The firewall also protects against unknown assaults because it integrates FortiGate IPS.

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I like that FortiGate NGFW has a machine-learning function that enables you to create effective operations. This feature can be quite helpful in helping a technical team that is overworked. Additionally, it includes a network convergence capability that provides integrated networks with the best protection.

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8.  Untangle NG Firewall

A network security system that has been streamlined to meet the needs of any organization is called NG Firewall. It offers a single, modular software platform that meets the requirements of businesses with constrained IT budgets and resources.

The user interface of NG Firewall is web-based, responsive, and user-friendly, and it provides visibility choices so that you can see network traffic. With the help of this capability, you may actively stop viruses and hacking attempts before they reach your network system.

For the management of all encrypted online requests, malware distribution locations, and spam attacks, NG Firewall provides next-generation filtering options. The NG Firewall’s superior connectivity, which boosts productivity for the company, is another feature I appreciate. It becomes simpler to effectively manage all workforces, including on-site and remote activities. The firewall also guarantees Quality of Service (QoS), cutting down on overhead.

Most importantly, the NG Firewall may be installed in several ways, unlike pfSense. You have the option of using an NG Firewall hardware appliance or choosing your hardware as long as it complies with the NG Firewall hardware specifications.

9.  WatchGuard

Another pfSense alternative worth considering is WatchGuard. For all different kinds of businesses, the security software offers cutting-edge network security services. The ease of use of this firewall is among its most significant advantages. WatchGuard is incredibly simple to deploy and manage, from the moment of purchase to the point of configuration. I particularly appreciate its cutting-edge features, which open up a new door to digital security services.

Regardless of pricing, WatchGuard Firewalls has one of the fastest UTM performances. Its visibility feature, which enables you to monitor vast amounts of network data and find threats or suspicious activities on your server, is another feature I enjoy.

The cherry on top is that WatchGuard offers post-purchase customer service to make sure you’re happy with the functionality of the product. In particular for hybrid and cloud systems, it is the ideal firewall to build a secure organizational server.

A comprehensive roadmap of all linked devices and their varied behaviors is provided by WatchGuard. Additionally, it has a malware-scanning feature to check compressed files for sneaky viruses and defects. Most importantly, the software enhances WiFi performance and monitors usage data to generate thorough reports based on user settings and routines.

10.  AWS Network Firewall

Excellent network system security is offered by the AWS (Amazon Web Services) Network Firewall. You can manage network traffic by creating firewall rules, which is how it operates. Together with AWS Firewall Manager, AWS Network Firewall enables you to establish policies that apply to all of your Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) and network accounts.

I like that once these policies are established, you never have to worry about them again because you can always use them. Using AWS Network Firewall, you may build outbound traffic filtering to stop data loss and examine and manage network traffic.

Additionally, this traffic filtering feature prevents access to unwanted virus websites. Particular features of the software include domain name filtering, application protocol detection, and intrusion protection. Additionally, it works with AWS Organisation, AWS Kinesis, AWS Direct Connect, and AWS Simple Storage Service.

The main benefit of recommending AWS Network Firewall is that it is an excellent choice for people on a tight budget. It is an easy-to-use firewall with excellent functionality that gives you all the security you require.

11.  GFI KerioControl

A modern firewall called GFI KerioControl offers security services to small and medium-sized enterprises. It functions as a holistic threat management product that provides a thorough and long-lasting solution to all security issues. You can manage network traffic across all servers with the aid of the GFI KerioControl NGFW, which offers a traffic management solution. Additionally, you can manage inbound and outgoing communication using an application, traffic type, or URL.

Additionally, it has an intrusion protection tool that may identify and stop malware and online threats. The GFI KerioControl web content and application filtering tool, which keeps track of and regulates website categories and lets you accept or prohibit harmful websites, is another feature worth mentioning.

Trojans, malware, and spyware cannot access your network server thanks to the firewall. Additionally, it allows you to block peer-to-peer networks and shield your network from bandwidth-hungry websites.

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With GFI KerioControl’s built-in VPN technology, you can additionally protect the local or distant servers for your company. In contrast to pfSense, GFI KerioControl has an Internet Link Load Balancing tool that enables you to divide Internet traffic among several links and control whether each link is active or not. The KerioControl firewall can be set up in a variety of ways. It can be set up as a virtual computer, hardware appliance, or software appliance.

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12.  VyOS

Similar to pfSense, VyOS is open-source software that provides unhindered internet access and comes equipped with a cutting-edge firewall. It is another security firewall that serves as a universal router and aims to “democratize how we access networks.”

A web proxy, DHCP server and relay, and a DNS forwarding option are some of the network protection services offered by the firewall. Zone-based firewalls, multiple NAT configurations, IPv4, and IPv6 are all supported by the VyOS firewall.

Additionally, it enables the use of common routing protocols like OSPF and BGP for extended, large, and small network communities. The network of your company can be linked to its cloud infrastructure using VyOS.

Numerous protocols are supported by VyOS, which does not call for per-tunnel licensing. The fact that VyOS is a unified platform that gives everyone in a network community access to its internal APIs is another thing to enjoy about it.

13.  GlassWire

For your network, device, and all data, GlassWire delivers security. You can use GlassWire’s Network Monitoring Graph to view what external networks are in communication with your PC thanks to its privacy and security safeguards.

Additionally, you may see the websites, networks, and IP addresses that your PC has connected to. GlassWire also notifies you when a network from an unfamiliar network connects to your server and allows you to keep tabs on the activities of those connected to your network system.

It also detects malware, spyware, viruses, bandwidth hogs, and hazardous programs and promptly limits their activity, giving you the option to accept or decline new connections. The fact that GlassWire Firewall notifies you when it notices odd changes in integrated programs or your PC is something I particularly appreciate.

Your data usage can also be tracked using its network monitoring tool, which also notifies you when you are approaching your data cap. I particularly appreciate that GlassWire enables you to design unique firewall profiles for various scenarios.

14.  Barracuda

It is boasted that this firewall offers network protection that is superior to that of next-generation firewalls. Barracuda offers thorough security for on-premises and multi-cloud systems, just like pfSense. This firewall is popular among businesses since it offers multi-layered security through the usage of cloud-hosted Advanced Threat Protection. Barracuda offers top-notch defense against persistent assaults with thorough sandboxing, static code analysis, heuristic and behavioral analysis, etc.

Ransomware and other alleged threats, such as Zero-day attacks, are detected and blocked. Millions of global data gathering points feed Barracuda, enabling the firewall to offer quick defense against relatively unidentified attacks.

It defends against worms, denial-of-service attacks, Trojans, spyware, SQL injections, and more. Barracuda can be set up in a variety of physical locations and on several cloud infrastructures, such as Azure, Google Cloud, and AWS. Additionally, it has SD-WAN capabilities that make connectivity management easier, especially when the firewall supports numerous connections to remote users and cloud platforms.

15.  Cisco Secure Firewall

A highly effective security solution, Cisco Secure Firewall unifies your network and safeguards all data, whether in a hybrid or multi-cloud context. It enables you to establish a consistent policy that applies to all linked systems and aids in setting priorities for crucial tasks. With the help of the secure firewall, you can simply detect harmful signals, obtain visibility and control over your encrypted traffic, and see what’s occurring on your servers.

It offers a distinctive workspace and enables you to protect your data wherever you are. Along with SecureX license entitlement, the Cisco Secure Firewall offers a comprehensive threat correlation methodology across your network communities and quick responses. Additional tools that facilitate easier policy management include the Cisco Secure Firewall Device Manager, Management Centre, and Defence Orchestrator.

Due to its sophisticated architecture, this firewall offers one of the most secure integrations. You can be guaranteed that every one of your users and applications will be safeguarded across various network groups.


All of these firewalls function admirably, but OPNsense stands out in my opinion. It offers several practical features designed to give businesses the best secure experience possible. Your security and network data are impregnable because of its plugin compatibility, user-friendly UI, two-factor authentication, and intrusion prevention features. We hope the above-reviewed alternatives may serve as inspiration for you.

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