This is a release we have been waiting on, for what seems like ages. We finally have a pfSense CE 2.7 release a bit over five quarters past the pfSense CE 2.6.0 release. With it, we get a few new features, but there is a lot of upgrading that went on under the hood that we can be excited about.
pfSense CE 2.7 Released with Intel i226 Support and Other Enhancements
Perhaps the most noticeable change for STH is that pfSense CE is moving back to FreeBSD main with FreeBSD 14. This brings a number of new driver updates including the Intel i226-V which is the updated 2.5GbE NIC from Intel compared with the Intel i225-V generation.
Here is the list of highlights from the pfSense CE 2.7.0 and pfSense Plus 23.05.1 Release Blog (lightly edited):
- Captive portal and limiters moved from ipfw to pf
- UPnP and multiple game systems
- New gateway state killing options
- Improved Firewall/NAT rule usability
- Upgraded OpenVPN 2.4.6
- Upgraded PHP 8.2.6
- Moved to track the ‘main’ branch of FreeBSD with FreeBSD 14
- Deprecated older IPsec transforms
- Added support for ChaCha20-Poly1305 to IPsec
- Addressed issues with unbound crashes
- Added new packet capture GUI
- Added UDP broadcast relay package
One of the coolest features is the new Packet Capture GUI. Here is what it looks like:
We also found things like the simplified Firewall NAT Port Forward user interface:
The power is still there, it is just a bit cleaner and can make that feature easier for folks to use.
On the whole, Netgate, the company behind pfSense, has been pushing folks to pfSense Plus over the past few years in an effort to drive revenue. At the same time, pfSense CE is what gets folks onto the platform. This is very important since OPNsense has been slowly closing the gap with pfSense in terms of interest, partly driven by the adoption of new features. For those wondering, pfSense is still a much larger project, but we have seen interest in the projects dramatically shift on STH over the past 12-18 months.
For those using pfSense, we have already upgraded a number of platforms even back to the old Fanless Intel J4125 4x i225 we reviewed over a year ago and it still works, along with typical Intel embedded CPU lines. So far systems have been upgrading without issue.
Resources to Learn More and Download pfSense CE 2.7.0
If you want to see more about what is new, check out the release notes.
If you just want to get pfSense, you can either upgrade your current system (if it is configured properly pfSense CE 2.7.0 will show up with an update check) or you can just download it here.