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Works well with AWS networking

  • By jstanley
  • on 03/16/2019

I used the pfSense Netgate firewall/VPN/Router to help study for the AWS Advanced Network Specialty exam. Simple to set up, I used it to build VPNs w/BGP between two VPCs and a remote network using pfSense on two sides and a VGW in the middle. The latest version supports VTI interfaces so you can use route-based VPN instead of policy-based VPN. Without VTI interfaces you can set up a VPN but BGP doesn't work as expected. I had no problems setting up VTI interfaces in the VPN configuration, installing OpenBGPD, and routing traffic using CloudHub VPN and BGP to connect the two VPCs and my remote network together.

In my opinion, the pfSense firewall was easy to set up and the interface is fairly intuitive if you're familiar with networking and security. I've used the community edition for a while and the AWS version has the same look-and-feel. There's also a number of open source options that can be added to extend the functionality of the product.

I think the only downside is the pricing. I wish the t2.nano and t2.micro were both priced the same. The t2.nano is great for a trial run. However, if you install any options you'll probably want something larger than a t2.nano and that will create a significant price increase. Then again, Netgate's pricing seems to be much lower than comparable products in AWS marketplace so it looks like it cost less to run than other products with similar functionality.

I would recommend Netgate pfSense if you are looking for a low-cost stateful firewall that is built using open source software and can do VPN and routing too.

  • By Audian Paxson - Netgate
  • on 08/27/2020

Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback, hope you crushed that AWS exam!