Reasons, why pfSense has become a popular open-source firewall/router solution, are pretty obvious. Whether you want it for your home or enterprise, it is an ideal software that allows you to program an entirely tailor-made secure router.
In addition, it’s scalable, adaptable, and dynamic; you can set up numerous subnets and can also take advantage of various add-ons that increase the customization options. Although pfSense has a built-in security mechanism, getting the best VPN for pfSense is always a good idea.
The primary function of a reliable VPN is to carry out data encryption and manage the flow of your internet traffic. It also modifies your local IP address in accordance with the remote server you are connected to. VPN encryption makes it impossible for hackers, ISPs, as well as government agencies to read your data. Whereas, by changing your local IP address, you can easily bypass the geo-restrictions enforced by streaming platforms in your country, and access your favorite content.
This guide will help you find the best pfSense VPN options based on our extensive research and testing.
Quick Overview – Best VPN for pfSense in 2023
Here is a quick overview of the best VPN for pfSense in 2023:
- ExpressVPN: The best VPN for pfSense. Offers 3000+ servers in 94 countries, loaded with advanced features, fast speed, and the latest encryption protocols. Offers a user-friendly configuration for pfSense.
- Surfshark: The best budget-friendly VPN for pfSense. Provides 3200+ servers in 100 countries at a highly affordable price. It comes with cutting-edge encryption protocols and offers unlimited simultaneous connections.
- NordVPN: The best secure VPN for pfSense. Offers a staggering amount of 5500+ servers in 60 countries. Known for its industry-leading security features and powerful encryption protocols.
Why Do You Need a VPN for pfSense?
Given the fact that pfSense offers a native security mechanism, you must be wondering why you need a separate VPN for your pfSense router. A VPN offers supplementary protection to pfSense by adding more encryption layers to your internet traffic and sensitive data. Although pfSense software is frequently updated, routers are prone to malicious attacks by hackers and cybercriminals, so a threat is always looking.
A pfSense VPN encrypts your entire internet activity, including your traffic, user data, and history, routing through your router. This encryption makes the data unreadable in the form of random numbers and text, and even if a cybercriminal manages to get hold of your data, it will be of no use to them.
Apart from data encryption, a VPN can also come in handy for bypassing geo-restrictions imposed on online content, especially streaming websites, which are blocked otherwise. As soon as you connect to a remote VPN server, the internet traffic is rerouted through the server located in your desired country/region before reaching the website or web service servers you are trying to access.
Another plus point of using a pfSense VPN is that data encryption and rerouting make it impossible for anyone prying on your online activity like your ISP or government authority, to find out where your internet traffic is going to and coming from.
Comparison Table – Best VPN for pfSense in 2023
Before we take you along for an in-depth analysis, here’s a comparison table highlighting the key features of each VPN provider:
|OpenVPN data encryption||AES 256-bit||AES 256-bit||AES 256-bit|
|Activity logs||Strict No-logging||No data logging||None|
|Devices Supported||Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, Wi-Fi routers, Smart TVs||Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, macOS||Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, macOS|
|Total number of servers||3000||3200||5500|
|Deals||$6.67/mo (Get 49% Off + 3 Months FREE on its 12-Month Plan)||$2.05/mo (Get 84% + 2 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan)||$3.49/mo (Get 57% Off + 3 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan)|
|Chat Support||Available 24/7||Available 24/7||Available 24/7|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 days||30 days||30 days|
In-Depth Analysis – Best VPN for pfSense in 2023
After thoroughly analysis multiple VPN providers, we brought you the in-depth analysis of the best VPN apps for pfSense in 2023:
1. ExpressVPN – Best VPN for pfSense
- Compatibility with pfSense: Yes
- Servers: 3000+ servers in 94 countries
- Data Logging: A no-logging policy that is audited independently
- Simultaneous connections: 5 devices
- Money-back guarantee: 30 days
ExpressVPN is arguably the best VPN for pfSense because of its versatile features, robust speed, top-notch security, and extensive server reach.
The provider offers 3000+ servers in 94 countries with tens of thousands of IP addresses, which help you obtain an IP in almost every location worldwide. Its servers are optimized for speed, privacy, online streaming, and gaming. You can also download any torrent with ExpressVPN as it supports P2P traffic.
Using ExpressVPN, you can prevent ISP throttling, hence, getting unlimited bandwidth, which results in fast speed. In fact, one of the fastest VPNs currently available in the market, and that’s evident from the ExpressVPN speed test results, which gave us a rapid downloading speed of 89.64 Mbps and an uploading speed of 84.64 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection.
If we talk about security and privacy, you’ll get the latest AES 256-Bit encryption, with support for OpenVPN protocol, which helps you configure ExpressVPN on pfSense. In addition, the VPN obfuscation feature is turned on automatically which enhances your privacy. This VPN is compatible with Windows, iOS, macOS, Linux, and Android. Moreover, you can also easily configure ExpressVPN on a router.
ExpressVPN comes with excellent unblocking tools, which help you access popular streaming platforms, including Netflix, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Hulu, and many more.
Using ExpressVPN protects your entire internet activity with best-in-class encryption protocols, such as Protocol and Lightway Protocol. Furthermore, it prevents your IP and DNS information from leaking with its automated kill switch.
You can subscribe to ExpressVPN for just $6.67/mo (Get 49% Off + 3 Months FREE on its 12-Month Plan). Every subscription comes with 5 simultaneous multi-logins and a 30-day money-back assurance. Customer support is provided 24/7 via live chat.
Read our in-depth ExpressVPN review to explore more features and specs.
- Huge network of high-speed servers in 94 countries
- Top-shelf security features and encryption protocols for pfSense
- Automatic server obfuscation feature
- Unblocks the majority of geo-blocked websites
- 24/7 live customer support via chat
- 30-day money-back policy
- Costly subscription plans
2. Surfshark – Budget-friendly VPN for pfSense
- Compatibility with pfSense: Yes
- Servers: 3200+ servers in 100 countries
- Data Logging: Governs a stringent No-logging policy
- Simultaneous connections: Unlimited devices
- Money-back guarantee: 30 days
Surfshark is the best budget-friendly VPN for pfSense. It offers top-quality services globally at an extremely affordable price. It’s one of the best cheap VPNs in the market with industry-leading features.
The provider boasts a huge network of 3200+ servers located in 100 countries. With so many servers on the list, you can obtain an IP address from a host of different countries and easily spoof location on browsers and smart devices.
Surfshark puts no data caps on your bandwidth and provides you with a lag-free, bufferless internet experience. The Surfshark speed test gave us a clearer picture of its speed on a 100 Mbps connection. It managed to hit a fast downloading speed of 81.32 Mbps and an uploading speed of 76.12 Mbps. Such a fast speed makes it one of the VPNs for torrenting.
This VPN offers a slew of industry-leading security and privacy features. It deploys the latest AES 256-Bit protocol coupled with OpenVPN protocol, providing complete anonymity. Moreover, it operates with bare-metal and RAM-only servers.
Other features include a customizable Network Kill Switch, No-borders Mode, and a GPS spoofer that helps you bypass geo-restrictions of popular streaming platforms, such as Netflix with Surfshark, HBO Max, Disney Plus, Hulu, and others.
You can download Surfshark client apps for Android, Windows, Linux, macOS, and iOS. You can also set up Surfshark on a router to secure your entire network.
Surfshark frequently offers jaw-dropping discounts, and currently, you can subscribe to its long-term plan for as low as $2.05/mo (Get 84% + 2 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan) including a 30-day cash-back offer. Customer support via live chat is available 24/7.
Read our comprehensive Surfshark review for more technical details.
- Supports pfSense router
- Top-grade security features
- Fast and stable connections
- Built-in antivirus software
- Unlimited multi-logins
- 30-day money-back warranty
- Occasionally slow servers
3. NordVPN – Secure VPN for pfSense with Largest Server Network
- Compatibility with pfSense: Yes
- Servers: 5500+ servers globally in 60 countries
- Data Logging: No-logging policy with external audits
- Simultaneous connections: 6 devices
- Money-back guarantee: 30 days
NordVPN is the best secure VPN for pfSense because it offers advanced privacy features, security measures, and encryption keys. With top-notch protocols like AES-256-Bit, IKEv2, IPsec, and NordLynx, it’s one of the most secure VPNs in the market.
This technologically progressive VPN offers a huge network of 5500+ servers located in 60 countries. You have plenty of locations to connect to get an IP address in your desired location. It automatically connects you to the best server according to your current location.
NordVPN offers fast speeds coupled with unlimited bandwidth. The results of our NordVPN speed test clearly show the ability of this VPN to reach higher speeds. On a 100 Mbps connection, it managed to fetch us a blazing-fast downloading speed of 83.82 Mbps and an uploading speed of 44.64 Mbps.
You can download NordVPN client apps for all major operating systems, such as iOS, Linux, macOS, Android, and Windows. If you are looking to secure each device on your network, you can configure NordVPN on the router. Moreover, using its OpenVPN protocol, you can also configure NordVPN on pfSense.
In terms of security and the ability to unblock geo-restricted content, NordVPN has no shortage of handy features. It offers military-grade encryption, Onion Over VPN, Double VPN, and Obfuscated Servers. All these features encrypt your online activity, spoof your location, and help you unblock geo-blocked streaming services. You can access Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Peacock, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max with NordVPN.
NordVPN costs just $3.49/mo (Get 57% Off + 3 Months FREE on 2-Year Plan) with its long-term plan, which includes a 30-day money-back warranty and 6 simultaneous connections. Customer assistance is provided 24/7.
You can read our detailed NordVPN review for more technical insights.
- Offers support for pfSense
- Top-grade security and privacy features
- Reliable connections with fast speeds
- Huge network of 5500+ servers
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Fewer locations than its competitors
Methodology: How we choose the Best VPN for pfSense
Choosing the right VPN can be hard as it requires a lot of research and testing. We have tested 160+ VPNs to recommend the best VPN for pfSense. See the features below that we assessed to find the best pfSense VPN for you:
- Strong encryption: We chose only those VPNs that offer strong military-grade data encryption features like AES 256-bit, split-tunneling, OpenVPN, and WireGuard.
- A selection of Servers: Servers count matters also matter a great deal. Faster the speed a VPN will have, the more geo-blocked data and platforms it can unblock from around the world by bypassing geo-blocks successfully.
- A Kill Switch: Another must-have is a Kill Switch that a VPN should offer. If ever your VPN connection drops by any chance, a Kill Switch halts your online activity to prevent any data or IP leaks.
- A No-Log policy: No-Logs policy also comes in handy to keep your online activity anonymous. It is a vital feature to protect the users’ privacy and freedom to surf the internet without any fear.
- Device and platform compatibility: We ensure that the VPN services we recommend are compatible with pfSense and other major devices and streaming platforms. These recommended VPNs offer a detailed pfSense VPN setup guide as well for users’ ease.
- Reliable customer service: When setting up a VPN on your devices it is good to have a backup team on stand-by even if you are an expert. So that, if you face any difficulty, complete guidance can be provided. Hence we selected VPNs which offer 24/7 customer service that you can contact.
How to Setup VPN on pfSense?
The exact setup of a VPN on pfSense will vary slightly according to your VPN provider. Here’s a general pfSense VPN setup guide through which you can configure a VPN connection on your router:
- Subscribe to a reliable VPN service from our recommendations list. Our choice is ExpressVPN.
- Sign in to the website of your VPN provider, and download the setup file for VPN configuration for the location (server) you want to connect to.
- Sign in to the pfSense dashboard, and access System > Cert. Manager.
- Click on CAs and click on the Add option to add a fresh CA (certificate authority).
- Rename the CA as you want (for instance, you can use the name of your VPN).
- Expand the Method dropdown menu and choose Import an existing Certificate Authority.
- To add info for the Certificate data, go to the configuration files you downloaded, and copy the <ca> part.
- Click on the Save button.
- Click on the Certificates option, and select the Add button to register a new certificate.
- Rename the certificate as desired, and choose the Import an existing Certificate option from the dropdown menu under Method.
- To add the Certificate data menu info, go to the configuration files you downloaded and copy the <cert> data.
- To add the info for the Private key data menu, go to the configuration files you downloaded and copy the <key> data.
- Hit the Save button.
- After you have installed a new certificate, it’s time to add the VPN client. For that, access VPN > OpenVPN > Clients, and click on the Add button.
- Now you need to add the following data according to your VPN service provider:
- General Information
- User Authentication Settings
- Cryptographic Settings
- Tunnel Settings
- Advanced Configuration
- Once everything has been added and you have saved the preferences, it’s time to double-check that you have successfully configured OpenVPN. Head over to Status > OpenVPN. Under the Client Instance Statistics field, in the Status sub-menu, locate the word Up, which means the connection has been successful.
Note: Before setting up VPN on your pfSense, ensure you have already installed and successfully configured the pfSense router for basic traffic routing.
Can I use a free VPN with pfSense?
No, using a free VPN for pfSense is not the right choice and we do not recommend it. Free VPNs do not offer high-speed servers and will also throttle your routers’ bandwidth as well. Due to being free, these VPNs are always overcrowded and congested as a result you do not get an instant and strong connection.
Due to poor encryption protocols, free VPN apps leak users’ data and do not prevent any malicious malware from getting it. However, on the other hand, a premium VPN service gives a complete guarantee to protect your online activity and any personal data you might be using online.
Hence, we do not recommend a free VPN for pfSense and strongly advise using a premium VPN like ExpressVPN. It can provide all the high-end features you will need to secure your internet activity.
Best VPN for pfSense – FAQs
How fast is pfsense?
According to customer reviews and feedback, it is stated that another 35% have observed increased internet speeds with the new PFSense box.
Can pfSense run a VPN?
Yes, pfSense is compatible with VPN apps and can smoothly run a VPN. In fact, it can operate any VPN that is configured on the C language-based OpenVPN protocol.
Which VPN is the best for pfSense routers?
ExpressVPN is the best pfSense VPN to use as it provides a complete step-by-step guide to setting up VPN on pfSense. It is also loaded with high-end encryption protocols that are needed along with ultra-fast speed and an extensive server network.
Which is better for pfSense: IPsec or OpenVPN?
Both set-ups can be used with pfSense. You can choose IPSec for a site-to-site connection to get a boost of VPN performance (if it has been set up correctly). On the other hand, OpenVPN is much easier to configure and set up than IPSec, making it an ideal choice for a pfSense router for home use.
Complementing your pfSense router security with a reliable VPN is the best way to protect your network against any cybersecurity risks. Whether you want to safeguard your online presence and keep your data privacy intact, or bypass geo-restrictions of streaming platforms and evade censorship, a VPN can cater to all your needs.
In this guide, we have explored the best VPN for pfSense based on different aspects. ExpressVPN is a clear winner if we discuss the best pfSense VPN overall. Its blazing-fast servers, extensive network, server obfuscation, and powerful features to unblock geo-blocked content and websites make it a perfect match for your pfSense router.