free pfSense+ for home use

Hey all,

I just read that Netgate are offering free upgrade from CE to Plus for home users.

What do you think - any catch?

Yea Here is the link to the license: Evaluation Agreement

  1. License. Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, Netgate grants Evaluator a non-exclusive, non-transferable, royalty-free license, without the right to sublicense, to examine and use the Products solely for the purpose of an Evaluation of the Products solely for the Evaluation Period.

  2. Term and Termination.

5.1. Evaluation Period. The Evaluation Period and any extensions thereof, shall be agreed in writing by the parties hereto.
5.2. Termination. Netgate may, on written notice, and at any time, terminate any Evaluation Period prior to expiration, with or without cause, in Netgate’s sole discretion. Evaluator’s license to use any Product terminates automatically on expiration of the Evaluation Period, on Evaluator’s breach of the license conditions or restrictions stated in these Evaluation Terms, or upon Netgate’s written termination notice.

5.3. Effect of Termination or Expiration. Upon termination or expiration of the Evaluation Period, Evaluator shall immediately discontinue using Products and at Netgate’s request, uninstall and/or destroy all copies of the Product. If Products have been provided in tangible form, Evaluator shall ship the Products for return to Netgate within three (3) business days of termination or expiration. Further, Evaluator will certify to Netgate, upon request, that Evaluator is no longer in possession of Products or any copies of the Products.

5.4. If Evaluator continues to use the Product beyond the Evaluation Period without the prior written permission of Netgate, Evaluator agrees that this Evaluation Agreement shall automatically be converted to a one (1) year license agreement (which shall automatically terminate at the end of such one year period unless the parties agree in writing otherwise), obligating Evaluator to pay to Netgate a license fee that is the same amount as that paid by other similar licensees to Netgate at that time for use of the Products for a one (1) year licensed period. If this Evaluation Agreement is converted to a one (1) year license agreement, the Netgate Terms shall control over the terms of this Evaluation Agreement in the event of any material conflict between the Netgate Terms and the Evaluation Terms. The parties agree that because quantifying the losses from Evaluator’s continued unauthorized use of the Product is inherently difficult, the conversion of the Evaluation Agreement into a one (1) year license is not a penalty, but a reasonable measure of estimating potential revenue and damages, based on the parties’ experience in the software industry. The terms of this section 5.4 shall survive the expiration or termination of the Evaluation Period.

6.5. Netgate makes no commitment to release a generally available version of a Beta Product or Pre-release Product. If Netgate does release a Generally Available version of a Beta Product or Pre-release Product, it may differ materially from a Product evaluated under these Evaluation Terms and there may not be an automated update path from a Beta Product or Pre-release Product to the Generally Available Product.

7.1. Evaluator agrees that it will only use Products in a non-production environment and not in a live environment. Evaluator shall install and uninstall the Product as instructed by Netgate. Evaluator shall not relocate Products without the prior written consent of Netgate. Evaluator shall provide the necessary test equipment for performing any Product evaluation as agreed by the parties. Software provided by Netgate may contain tracking and/or disabling features.

7.2. Evaluator agrees to provide Netgate personnel full and free access to the Product, including remote access, subject to the Evaluator’s security regulations, for the purpose of observing the testing and performance of the Product.

7.3. Evaluator shall, at no cost to Netgate, cooperate with and assist Netgate personnel in the testing process, including providing information regarding the functions and operation of the Product, test results, and the verification of Product documentation. This information will be provided to Netgate through Evaluator’s participation in regularly scheduled meetings with Netgate that may be conducted by telephone, in person, or other means mutually agreed upon by the parties.

I’ve read the terms. Honestly they sound like they could change the terms at any minute.

That exact word caught my eye - evaluation. It is not clear to me what is their intention for the future of the product. Also on their subscriptions page I see this for the Community Edition:

Support on pfSense CE installations not available after 12/31/2022

For me that means that they will end the CE this year and will only offer the plus version. The big question then might be will that evaluation copy for home users stay available for unlimited use or they will put a time limit for actual evaluation and would expect then users to switch to a paid version.

What are people’s thoughts around this, look at Opnsense more?

One thing I would miss is pfBlockerNG for OPNsense. And I actually like the top menu bar better than the left. That’s just my navigational preference.

This will need to be verified as it goes against what they said when they first rolled out the + version. If they mean direct support will end vs. still having the CE version and having your support through the forum from other users. the community made this product what it is, taking that away like so many other “open source” software packages will be unwelcome. Recently went through this with another open source project, the owner even went to the extreme of deleting all past code, and doing it with no or little warning.

OPNsense might be something that we move to if pfsense goes to paid only. And since this has come up in the past, maybe it is time for all of us to start looking at this other project and preparing or just straight out move over. I fear the writing is on the wall, but we keep hoping it is just graffiti.


That means TAC support ends then, according to some netgate named person on reddit.

By that thread, the unofficial word is that CE will still be available and still be supported by forums members, at least up to 2.7 that the netgate person unofficially says he is working with (as beta).

I think I still want to get an opnsense system up to explore, seems like a logical choice to have a backup. Maybe I’ll toss it in a VM and set up an internal network behind opnsense.

Seems like I also should shake the money tree and see if I can get my company to shell out a bit for paid + for work. If I could ditch the thoughts of “buying” Creative Cloud I’d have the money available, but I think we are still going to go forward with CC.