pfSense is a free, open source customized distribution of FreeBSD tailored for use as a firewall and router. In addition to being a powerful, flexible firewalling and routing platform, it includes a long list of related features and a package system allowing further expandability without adding bloat and potential security vulnerabilities to the base distribution. pfSense is a popular project with more than 1 million downloads since its inception, and proven in countless installations ranging from small home networks protecting a PC and an Xbox to large corporations, universities and other organizations protecting thousands of network devices.
This project started in 2004 as a fork of the m0n0wall project, but focused towards full PC installations rather than the embedded hardware focus of m0n0wall. pfSense also offers an embedded image for Compact Flash based installations, however it is not our primary focus.
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It is supported by the open source community under the General Public License (GPL) which makes it Free to all to use. As with many LINUX distribution, pfSense does not take much to run. The minimum hardware requirements to use pfSense is a computer with the following:
- CPU – 100 MHz Pentium
- RAM – 128 MB
- CD-ROM for initial installation
- 1 GB hard drive
- Two Network Interface Cards
pfSense Basic Install and Setup
Download the latest version of pfSense
Boot your chosen PC with the pfSense CD. You will be present with the following “Welcome to pfSense!” screen. For our basic install of pfSense, you can press [Enter] for the default option.
If you can see the “Configure Console” screen, chances are there aren’t any changes you need to make to the console. Press the Down arrow on your keyboard to highlight the “<Accept these Setting>” option and press [Enter]
On the “Select Task” window, select the “<Quick/Easy Install>” and press [Enter].
At the “Are you SURE?” screen, confirm your decision to install pfSense by highlighting the “< OK >” option and pressing [Enter]. Any data currently on the first hard drive of the system will be destroyed in order to install pfSense
It can take up to 10 minutes for pfSense to finish this stage of the install depending on your hardware. pfSense is formatting your drive and copying the software to your system.
At the “Install Kernel(s)” screen, ensure “< Symmetric multiprocessing kernel (more than one processor) >” is highlighted and press [Enter].
At the “Reboot” screen, remove the pfSense CD and ensure that “< Reboot >” is highlighted and press [Enter].
After the system reboots, you will be presented with the initial “Welcome to pfSense!” menu. Press [Enter] to select the default
During the boot phase of pfSense, the detected network interface cards will be display which can be used by pfSense.
Since this is a basic setup of pfSense, we will not be configuring a “VLAN” so type “n” and press [Enter]
From the list of valid interfaces found by pfSense, type the name of the network interface card that will be connected directly to the Internet (cable modem, dsl, etc)
From the list of valid interfaces found by pfSense, type the name of the network interface card that will be connected to your internal network. This will serve as your “LAN” interface. Repeat this step for each additional network interface card listed as a valid interface by pfSense and will be use by the firewall i.e. wireless, DMZ, etc. Once you are finished, press the [Enter] to select nothing and move to the next step of the setup.
Confirm that you have selected the correct network interface cards for each interface on your firewall and type “y” and press [Enter].
Once you are complete this initial setup, you will be presented with the pfSense console menu. Your firewall is now up and running. We have finished all configuration steps required to be done from the pfSense console. You can actually disconnect the monitor and keyboard from the system (as an added security precaution) for all other configuration will be done via the web console.
Open up the web browser and enter the default PFSense IP Address, 192.168.1.1, Username: admin and Password: pfsense to get to the page as below
After successfully login to your pfSense firewall, you will be presented with the pfSense Status Dashboard which provides you with a summary of your system information along with the status of your interfaces installed. The dashboard is configurable and can include additional information about other components of your pfSense firewall.
From the System menu select Setup Wizard to start the pfSense setup wizard.
You should then be greeted with the pfSense setup wizard, click the Next button to continue.
Complete the “General Information” section
Chane to your local time zone.
WAN Interface configuration.
You need to authenticate to your ISP provider in order to access the Internet,
“Configure LAN Interface” screen
Reload of pfSense web browser – After configuring a new password, pfSense will require you login again with the new password. Click the Reload button to refresh the screen and login with your new password.
Now that we have successfully configured the basic setting in pfSense
Make Sure to check out awesome powerful package manager
and also Network monitoring
Next time we might do Snort IDS Setup