PfSense Plus 21.02 Released


The latest pfSense FE has been released to pfSense Plus 21.02

Looks like a lot of big changes under the hood!

More to read about:

Some key points of interest:

3. What happens to pfSense FE?

pfSense FE - the historic fork of the pfSense open-source project that Netgate has pre-installed on its appliances, and via public cloud service providers - will be replaced with pfSense Plus. Existing Netgate customers running pfSense FE will be able to upgrade to pfSense Plus from the user interface.

11. Can I get pfSense Plus for my own hardware or virtual machine?

Today, pfSense Plus 21.02 is only available on Netgate appliances, AWS, and Azure platforms.

We plan to make pfSense Plus available for use on 3rd party hardware and select virtual machines by June 2021, if not sooner.

There will be a no charge path for home and lab use and a chargeable version for commercial use.

Read the complete Netgate pfSense Plus FAQ here.

So it looks like there is now going to be a large divergence between CE features and Plus features; as currently the only way to get Plus to buy pfSense hardware.

:point_down: :point_down: :point_down: Thoughts below on this change :point_down: :point_down: :point_down:


I believe this will just bring incentive to refine opnsense as a full featured free and open competitor to pfsense plus


Huh? Seems like these 2 statements contradict each other.

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I added a ‘currently’ to the first one to provide clarity, thank you for that catch.

The 3rd party one I think means they will eventually allow other companies to ship non-Netgate stuff with Pfsense Plus preinstalled.

As the stuff for homelabs and building it yourself will be Pfsense CE and not Pfsense Plus.

They did have this to say about it:

9. Does this mean Netgate is abandoning its open source heritage?

Absolutely not. Nothing has changed about our strong belief in, and commitment to, open source software. This is best expressed by specific evidentiary statements:

  • We are proud of our long heritage of giving back significant financial sponsorship, engineering and test resources, and upstreamed code to numerous open-source projects. Our project list includes Clixon, DPDK,, FreeBSD, Free Range Routing (FRR), Linux, pfSense, and strongSwan.
  • Netgate currently employs or contracts many developers with roles in the FreeBSD, pfSense, Clixon, and VPP/ projects. Their contributions and responsibilities include development, administration, maintenance, release engineering, and foundation board membership. These developers, and many more at Netgate are regular contributors to these projects.
  • Netgate directly co-sponsors feature work. Very recent examples of contribution include kernel-resident WireGuard, QAT and EIP-97 crypto-offload, Intel i225 Ethernet drivers for FreeBSD, and a VRRP plugin for’s VPP.
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From my understanding, it seems that they won’t be bringing ARM support to the community edition (or at least anytime soon), and future features with further deviate away from pfSense FE/Plus. Bit sad about that.

I’m pretty alright with it since most of the business services I probably don’t need.

I’m glad the CE will live on as intended.

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I’m definitely glad that CE will live on, but still disappointed that ARM likely will never be supported.

My SG-3100 is ARM.

But it’s a Netgate appliance so …

Understand why they’re doing it, been a happy pfSense user for years.

I tried opnsense a couple years back, but it just seemed way less mature and functional with a less logical UI.

Sounds like plus will be available for home and lab use at no charge as well? i.e., moving forward, for free home use you’ll still be able to run the full version of pfsense, its only if you’re in a commercial environment where the paid version will get more features it seems.

On balance I think I’m happy with this. I can run full fat at home for free, work can pay for proper support for the licensed version and if I need something quick and dirty/not massive feature set required, with no budget at work I can run CE.

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Upgraded to 2.5 with no issue other than a second reboot needed to gain access to the world.

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Has anyone checked out Wireguard? I’m all hyped up since learning about it from Ryan.

Reading more sort of makes it feel “next gen” compared to OpenVPN I use right now.

My use case would be more for remote access to NAS and pushing offsite backups.

Oh yeah, I really excited to use WG on my router.

@Novasty just upgraded his pfsense box and set it up and he said the process was flawless.

Yeah wireguard is kinda neat. It’s only a very small subset of what pfsense does tho.