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pfSense Firewall Training

pfSense Firewall Training

The pfSense Plus Fundamentals and Practical Application certification course is a multiple-part exercise designed to help you manage and maintain your network using pfSense Plus as one of the core elements. This course will allow you to take part in a self-paced, online study of relevant materials followed by a multiple-choice exam and proctored, real-world scenarios using virtual interactive lab environments if you elect to get certified.

The training curriculum covers all the most widely used portions of the base system. We talk about common usage scenarios, deployment considerations, step-by-step configuration guidance, and best practices for the deployment of your pfSense Plus firewall. Further, the videos also cover the advanced topics of Multi-WAN, VLAN’s, High Availability (HA), and other essentials. When it’s over, you walk away with practical skills applicable to the real world.

Click the “Curriculum” tab above to get started with the free coursework. Once you feel you are ready to get certified, you can start the process.

 Prerequisites: Attendees should have a basic understanding of networking and firewalls. A basic level of familiarity with pfSense software is strongly suggested.

The pfSense Plus Fundamentals and Practical Application certification course is designed to help you manage and maintain your network using pfSense as one of the core elements. This certification will allow you to take part in real-world scenarios using virtual interactive lab environments. You will be tested on basic networking concepts as well as specific functionality within pfSense Plus.

Once you sign up for this course, you will receive an e-mail with your login credentials and further instructions. You will have up to 90 days to take the exam and complete the virtual lab segments of the certification.

The Process

It is important to understand what to expect when forging the path to certification.

Once you have completed the self-paced videos and reviewed the supplemental training material, you are ready to begin!

When you have made the payment for the certification, you will receive an email with a link that will take you to the course. From there, you can begin the 90-question multiple-choice exam. You will have 60 minutes to complete this event. You will be required to score 75% or above in order to graduate to the lab portion of the certification.

If you successfully complete the exam, you will then schedule your lab assignment. This is a two-day event covering nine labs. Each lab session is limited to 20 participants and is on a first-come-first-served basis. Please schedule your lab days when you know you will be able to dedicate your full attention to the exercise.

You should receive an email from the instructor 24-48 hours prior to the start of your first lab day. This email will contain instructions on how to join the classroom and documentation on how to complete the labs. If you do not see this email the day before your labs start, please contact with your name and email address so that we may follow up. You also should check your spam folders to ensure it wasn’t lost.

On day one, you will complete labs 1-5 and pause. The instructor will grade your progress. If you pass, you will be allowed to continue to lab 6. When complete, the instructor will grade lab 6. A passing grade means you can return the following day to complete labs 7-9.

Upon completion of labs 7-9 with a passing score, you will have achieved your certification for pfSense Plus Fundamentals and Practical Application!


Training materials and certification are offered in English. Fluency in written and spoken English is required.

System Requirements

Computer: PC or Mac
OS: Windows, OS X, Linux*
Browser: Recently updated Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari
Installed Software: PDF Viewer, OpenVPN Client (PC or Mac), VNC client**, an SSH client.
Hardware: Headset with microphone

Netgate Products

pfSense Plus and TNSR software. 100% focused on secure networking. Available as appliance, bare metal / virtual machine software, and cloud software options. Made stronger by a battery of TAC support subscription options, professional services, and training services.

The pfSense® Project is a free open source customized distribution of FreeBSD tailored for use as a firewall and router entirely managed by an easy-to-use web interface. This web interface is known as the web-based GUI configurator, or WebGUI for short. No FreeBSD knowledge is required to deploy and use pfSense software. In fact, the majority of users have never used FreeBSD outside of pfSense software. In addition to being a powerful, flexible firewalling and routing platform, pfSense software includes a long list of related features. The pfSense software package system allows further expandability without adding bloat and potential security vulnerabilities to the base distribution. pfSense software is a popular project with millions of downloads since its inception and hundreds of thousands of active installations. It has been proven successful in countless installations ranging from single computer protection in small home networks to thousands of network devices in large corporations, universities and other organizations.

Project Inception

pfSense software was forked from the m0n0wall open source project in 2004. m0n0wall was focused specifically on providing a firewall/router for embedded devices and was sized for limited hardware resources. Initially pfSense software aimed at providing a firewall/router solution with an expanded set of capabilities on larger PC and server style hardware. pfSense software has continued to evolve over time, providing firewall, router, VPN, IDS/IPS, and more capabilities that work well on hardware from small home office size devices to large service provider size servers.

The pfSense® software distribution is compatible with most hardware supported by FreeBSD.

Current versions of pfSense software are compatible with 64-bit (amd64, x86-64) architecture hardware and Netgate ARM-based firewalls.

Alternate hardware architectures such as Raspberry Pi, other Non-Netgate ARM devices, PowerPC, MIPS, SPARC, etc. are not supported.

Hardware Compatibility

The best way to ensure that hardware is compatible with pfSense software is to buy hardware from the Netgate Store that has been tested and known to work well with pfSense software. The hardware in the store is tested with each release of pfSense software and is tuned for optimal performance.

For home-built solutions, the FreeBSD Hardware Notes for the FreeBSD version used in a given build of pfSense software is the best resource for determining hardware compatibility. pfSense software version 2.6.0-RELEASE is based on 12.3-STABLE@ef1e43df92c6.

Network Adapters

A wide variety of wired Ethernet Network Interface Cards (NICs) are supported by FreeBSD, and are thus compatible with pfSense software. However, not all NICs are created equal. The hardware can vary greatly in quality from one manufacturer to another.

The best practice is to use Intel NICs because they have solid driver support in FreeBSD and they perform well. Most hardware sold in the Netgate Store contains Intel NICs.

Of the various other PCIe/PCI cards supported by FreeBSD, some work fine, others may suffer from instability or poor performance. In some cases, FreeBSD may support a particular NIC but specific implementations of the chipset may be lower in quality or have poor driver support. When in doubt, search the Netgate Forum for experiences of others using the same or similar hardware.

When a firewall requires the use of VLANs, select adapters that support VLAN processing in hardware. This is discussed in Virtual LANs (VLANs).

USB Network Adapters

USB network adapters of any make/model should not be used due to their unreliability and poor performance.

Wireless Adapters

Supported wireless adapters and recommendations are covered in Wireless.

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