How does pfSense compare to a hardware router?

  • Hi all. As my first post here, I just want to say that pfSense looks very good. I have tried ClarkConnect, IPcop and Smoothwall in the past. All have fallen short for one reason or another with me.
    My question is, how would pfSense running on a 1gig Athlon with 256MB ram perform compared to a D-Link DGL-4100?
    I have a Verizon DSL connection with 3mb/782kb speed.
    I run a Counter Strike:Source game server, do some Bit Torrent, download from newsgroups, (not all at the same time) and share my connection with 4 computers.
    My main goal is to have low ping times for gaming and have some good bandwidth control, QOS, or traffic-shaping.
    The D-Link has pretty good upload scheduling but no download scheduling and I'm not sure of it's capabilities when handling large number of connections and/or ping requests when running the game server.
    So if someone here who is quite familiar with all this can tell me which would perform the fastest with my needs, please do tell.


  • Since u installed all those other software before why don't you just install pfSense? give it a run and see if it measure up to your standards.

  • and maybe if you mention why ClarkConnect, IPcop, and Smoothwall fell short in your eyes, we can suggest whether or not that'll be the case here for the same reasons.

  • Yeah !!!

    Think so too !!!

    and pfSense kicks them all !!!  ;D

  • Well, ClarkConnect has too much "bloat" and the snort thing would sometimes block access to websites I was trying to download files from, even Microsoft.
    IpCop seemed pretty good, but didn't have enough tuning functions. The bandwidth allocation seemed lacking.
    Smoothwall just seemed like it hasn't changed in ages and is probably not being develpoed too much anymore.
    I want to have good Qos control, a nice GUI, control over the hardware somewhat and be able to see some stats.

    I did try pfsense for about two hours, but after trying the bandwidth control and finding that it did not work too well, I went back to the D-Link. With the D-Link, I could join a game of C-Strike, turn on my bit torrent on another machine and let it upload at full speed and my latency on the C-Strike game would not change.
    But, being the tweaker I am, I will probably try the beta 2 when it comes out. (I get bored and have to mess with something.)

  • hi,

    i am using censornet for over a year now to provide internet for 300 users, it is excellent except for the bandwith management, it seems not very good, and it is blocking outlook express and incredimail and some other aplications that drives my clients crazy. i just installed pfsense on one of my testing machines P4 2.8GH pc with 1 gig ddram and 120 gig sata HD. ll start trying it and see if it is better in bandwith management, caching, filtering and controling clients with mac adress and authentication way.

  • The having pfsense or any other software running vs the dlink will require more power given your current setup. I've found that the performance is good on setups well under those specs, only note: remember to use good nics…i've found pfsense will show if if a nic is bad pretty quick as is will drop packets/ping spikes if a nic is bad.

  • Absolutely.  Use Intel or 3com nics for the best experience… Atleast thats what I have found.  YMMV.