What pfSense packages do you run / use & why?

Let's share details on what packages / configuration details you may are using to help share the knowledge.

I like the following packages summarized below.

  1. pfBlockerNG: Nice firewall module for blocking based on country and customization to expand on DNSBL for extra security.
  2. Squid: great for proxy, blocking of malicious systems, antivirus and WEB CACHING!
  3. SquidGuard: Great for killing off things like Ads and other such things based on categories from a number of available blacklists.
  4. Suricata: Good IDS/IPS package to get community available rules for alerting as well as you can create your own custom rules.
  5. Lightsquid: Reporting and monitoring of your squid transparent proxy details so you can bust someone for chewing up all the bandwidth.
  6. Darkstat: Overall network stats tool.

Been using pfSense for over 2 years now and will never go back to basic box store manufactured routers.


pfBlockerNG is great! I have to take a look at the other ones.

I have installed snort but I forgot why.... xD
Have to take a look on my old machine and the settings.

I setup PFblockerNG and it seemed to be working great for adblocking but then I did an update and things crashed on unit so I had to disable it. Have not taken time to repair service and get back into. I also need better hardware to run more packages and push pfsense capabilities in a home setting.

Founds some good notes on the pfsense forum for the expansion of services and blocking capabilities of pfBlockerNG for things like malicious DNS. Very worth it.

(Hopefully not derailing the topic)
I have run web caching in the past. How effective do you find it?
I was finding only a very small percentage of web hits were actually cached, mostly due to the dynamic nature of web pages and proliferation of https. (I didn't try using the https proxy). To the point of wondering if I really needed it.
I also never seemed to be able to verify the windows update caching was working.

It did seem to cache random things from PS4, TV, Steam etc which was interesting though.

With the proper configuration you can cache a number of sources and not cache the sites you don't want. At this point, I've got about 450GB of cached dynamic content. I'm ignoring some sites b/c we don't need it but others are a big plus, especially when it is those peak data times and the load on the network in the area can be noticeably slower than normal. It seems to give a big boost on most things we use from what I've noticed. I've teste it with large ISO downloads and have verified the pull from the cache is spot on and working as the download is not leaving the router. You can cache your fave content on YouTube/Netflix/Hulu/Amazon as well which ensures that the replay during peak time is still optimal. Even loading the content from social media sites seem to be faster and improved on load times.