Introduction to pfSense

I was looking to learn some security, starting with firewalls. I began with iptables on Linux and got something basic set up for the server itself. Then I wanted to learn an open source firewall, and came across m0n0wall, pfSense, and Smoothwall. Looking at the feature set, I decided to try pfSense first.

Installation was dead easy if you have ever worked with even a basic operating system install. I did nothing fancy and stuck with defaults wherever possible. I read no installation guides and just followed instructions. I was up and running quickly.

I needed to do the following: (1) simple NAT and port forwarding, similar to what home routers do; (2) one to one NAT from external to internal IPs; (3) simple load balancing on traffic coming into the LAN; and (4) run some SIP traffic though it to multiple servers on LAN and keep a connection state so that the server which handled the connection first keeps on handling it without problem.

I have been able to learn and configure the first two without problem. The other two I have yet to work on. As I work, I will post guides so that others may learn as well. This post was just an introduction for me and you.