Netgate is offering COVID-19 aid for pfSense software users, learn more.


Welcome to The pfSense Book, written by pfSense® project co-founder Chris Buechler and coreteam member Jim Pingle. This book covers topics ranging from the installation process and basic configuration to advanced networking and firewalling using this popular open source firewall and router software distribution.

This book is designed to be a friendly guide to common networking and security tasks along with a thorough reference for the capabilities of pfSense software. The pfSense Book covers the following topics (and more!):

  • An introduction to pfSense software and its features.

  • Firewall design and hardware planning.

  • Installing and upgrading pfSense software.

  • Using the web-based configuration interface.

  • Backing up and restoring the firewall configuration.

  • Firewalling fundamentals including defining and troubleshooting rules.

  • Port forwarding and Network Address Translation (NAT).

  • General networking and routing configuration.

  • Virtual LANs (VLANs), Multi-WAN, and Bridging.

  • Virtual Private Networks using IPsec and OpenVPN.

  • Traffic shaping using ALTQ or Limiters.

  • Wireless networking configuration

  • Captive Portal setup.

  • High Availability using redundant firewalls.

  • Various network-related services.

  • Firewall monitoring, logging, traffic analysis, sniffing, packet capturing, and troubleshooting.

  • Software package and third-party software installations.

There is a Menu Guide at the end of this book with all standard menu choices available in the pfSense software WebGUI.


Chris Buechler

One of the founders of the pfSense project, Chris was also one of its most active developers. He has been in the IT industry for over a decade, working extensively with firewalls and FreeBSD for most of that time. He has provided security, network, and related services for organizations in the public and private sector, ranging in size from small organizations to large public sector organizations and Fortune 500 companies. He holds numerous industry certifications including the CISSP, SSCP, MCSE, and CCNA amongst others. His personal web page can be found at

Jim Pingle

Jim has been working with FreeBSD for nearly 20 years and professionally for the past 15 years. Now a full-time employee of Netgate, he provides global pfSense software support for customers, as well as software development and documentation. As a former system administrator for a local ISP in Bedford, Indiana USA, HPC Internet Services, he worked with FreeBSD servers, various routing equipment and circuits, and, of course, pfSense-based firewalls both internally and for many customers. Jim graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems from Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne.

When away from the computer, Jim enjoys spending time with his family, reading, playing board games and video games, woodworking, taking pictures, and being a television addict. His personal web page can be found at