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pfSense: The Definitive Guide
The Definitive Guide to the pfSense Open Source Firewall and Router Distribution
by Christopher M. Buechler and Jim Pingle

This Definitive Guide to pfSense book corresponds to pfSense version 1.2.x from 2009. A second book from the same publisher, pfSense Essentials (ISBN 978-1-937516-04-8), is based on version 2.4.4 with features from older and newer versions.

Authored by pfSense developer Chris Buechler and pfSense consultant Jim Pingle, The Definitive Guide to pfSense covers installation and basic configuration through advanced networking and firewalling of the popular open source firewall and router distribution.

This book is designed to be a friendly step-by-step guide to common networking and security tasks, plus a thorough reference of pfSense's capabilities. The Definitive Guide to pfSense covers the following topics:

  • An introduction to pfSense and its features.
  • Hardware and system planning.
  • Installing and upgrading pfSense.
  • Using the web-based configuration interface.
  • Backup and restoration.
  • Firewalling fundamentals and defining and troubleshooting rules.
  • Port forwarding and Network Address Translation.
  • General networking and routing configuration.
  • Bridging, Virtual LANs (VLANs), and Multi-WAN.
  • Virtual Private Networks using IPsec, PPTP, and OpenVPN.
  • Traffic shaping and load balancing.
  • Wireless networking and captive portal setups.
  • Redundant firewalls and High Availability.
  • Various network related services.
  • System monitoring, logging, traffic analysis, sniffing, packet capturing, and troubleshooting.
  • Software package and third-party software installations and upgrades.

At the end of this book, you'll find a menu guide with the standard menu choices available in pfSense and a detailed index.

  • Price: US$36.50
  • Authors: Christopher M. Buechler and Jim Pingle
  • Editor: Jeremy C. Reed
  • Foreword: Michael W. Lucas
  • Cover design: Holger Bauer
  • ISBN: 978-0-9790342-8-2
  • Pages: 515 (paperback)
  • Publishing Date: October 2009
  • Book dimensions: 7.44 x 9.68 x 0.80 inches
  • Errata
  • Table of Contents: PDF
  • Cover photos

About the Authors

Chris Buechler is one of the founders of the pfSense project, and one of its most active developers. He has been working in the IT industry for over a decade, working extensively with firewalls and FreeBSD for most of that time. He has provided security, network, and related services for organizations in the public and private sector, ranging from small organizations to Fortune 500 companies and large public sector organizations. He currently makes a living helping organizations with pfSense related needs including network design, deployment planning, configuration assistance, conversion from existing firewalls, development and more. Chris is based in Louisville, Kentucky USA and provides services for customers around the world. He holds numerous industry certifications including the CISSP, SSCP, MCSE, and CCNA amongst others. His personal web page can be found at

Jim Pingle has been working with FreeBSD for over ten years, professionally for the past six years. Currently as a system administrator at HPC Internet Services, a local ISP in Bedford, Indiana, USA he works with FreeBSD servers, various routing equipment and circuits, and of course pfSense-based firewalls both internally and for many customers. Jim has a Bachelor's degree in Information Systems from Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne, and graduated in 2002. He also contributes to several Open Source projects besides pfSense, most notably RoundCube Webmail and glTail. When away from the computer, Jim also enjoys spending time with his family, reading, taking pictures, and being a television addict. His personal web page can be found at


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