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The world’s leading open-source driven firewall, router, and VPN solution for network edge and cloud secure networking.

Over seven million installs protecting homes, businesses, governments, educational institutions - directly or through service providers.

Get to Know pfSense Plus

pfSense® Plus software is the world’s most trusted firewall. Now on its 46th release, the software has garnered the respect and adoration of users worldwide - installed well over three million times. Made possible by open source technology. Made a robust, reliable, dependable product by Netgate.

Understanding Performance

pfSense Plus performance is a function of the underlying hardware platform (Netgate appliance, VM, cloud instance), the nature of your network traffic, and your desired level of security enforcement.

Each of the following factors can affect the throughput of your pfSense Plus solution:

Hardware Platform

The faster the CPU, and the more memory at its disposal, the more traffic a pfSense Plus instance can process.

Packet Size

Throughput is measured in Mbps or Gbps. But, a more important measuring stick is packets per second. Smaller packets translate to more packets per second, and larger packets translate to fewer. IMIX is a good real-world benchmark.


Encrypted traffic takes processing cycles, and encryption schemas vary in their impact on processing speed.

Security Enforcement

A light firewall ruleset will have far less impact on throughput than a heavy set of ACLs, Snort rules and content filters.

A Guideline: pfSense Plus on a Netgate Appliance

Given the above, we can't say what your exact performance will be. But, we can give you a benchmark for general competitive comparison. The diagram below shows performance figures for our largest appliance, the Netgate 1541, running iperf3 traffic through pfSense Plus 21.05.

For performance data on other appliances, view our Netgate appliances carousel.



Deployment Choice Also Impacts Performance


Netgate Appliance

Netgate appliances offer top price-performance with designed-in crypto acceleration and performance-tuned NICs. Further, each software release is fully feature and performance tested on each appliance model. See our convenient product comparison chart to select the performance that best meets your needs.


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pfSense Plus is available on a range of compute instances in both the AWS and Azure Marketplaces. Each has its own performance spectrum based on CPU, memory and network interface speeds.



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Virtual Machine

Some customers prefer to source their own hardware, and that is fine. There are plenty of options. If you are using pfSense Plus on your own hardware, just be aware that CPU, memory, NIC, BIOS settings and disk configurations can affect performance.