Pfsense+ and the future of CE

I was quite surprised to read that Netgate are rebranding their factory edition to “plus” and developing their product into a partially closed-source project. In short, I see this as Netgate no longer having any financial incentive to support pfsense CE and development of new features will ultimately end.

I’m wondering what your thoughts are on this. Do you think that there is enough incentive in the community to step in and take over - or have we already seen this happen with OPNsense, thus pfsense CE could stagnate?

Might be a worthwhile topic for a YouTube video, Tom!

I will be making a video soon, Serve the home has a good article on it.

They said the pfsense 2.5 is going to be released in February… I just finished upgrade one firewall to 2.4.5_1, uggg… It will have to wait until summer and I’ll test at home.

The hang up for me in un-official e2guardian which I use for filtering. No breaks this semester due to the late start.

By their released quotes. it would seem pfSense 2.5 might be the last release of CE excluding bug patches. All in all I kind of read it as – if you want new features you’re going to have to pay for them – if not stick with the old stuff.

Be interested to know their licensing price structure for sure.

No the blog post explicitly mentions a 2.6 release, which would be required for the future possibility of upgrading from CE to Plus.

we already anticipate there will be a 2.6 release in 2021 to provide 1) the necessary upgrade path to pfSense Plus for instance types beyond those already covered, 2) hardware support updates, and 3) bug fixes.

I’m sure they will have extra features in the plus version to entice people to upgrade. They may even take some features out of the free version to push an upgrade. We’ll have to wait and see how things go.

I can guess that they might remove things like vlans from a free version because anyone needing vlan support is most likely a professional user and can therefore pay for the feature. I’m sure there are a bunch of other things that “only” a “professional” user might want. That might extend to more than 2 physical interfaces, because again “only” a “professional” would need more than a WAN and a LAN interface.

Or just make it free for personal use which would then eliminate any business from using the free version (tougher to patrol).

And if they make it cheap enough, I could see a lot of us buying a license (for our hardware) just to support the work. I could sneak in a reasonable amount to my budget at work, but it can’t be very big. But I need to keep it on my own hardware, I’m not going to be able to get money for an XG-15xx series device.

My take on it was this. For two years I paid for Untangle at home. $50 a year. Well worth it. I switched back to PFsense for more granularity over blocking sites.
If they decided to charge a modest amount, I would be fine with this. Between Tom, and the community support, I managed to figure everything out, so I don’t think that I would need to pay for support.
And if I read it correctly, home users could switch over to pf-plus, but that won’t happen until summer 2021. Again, I am fine with it. Let them work the bugs out. Either way, I will be rolling into 2.5.
I need VLAN’s(way to much stuff on the network) that I don’t want talking to each other all of the time. And my Fitlet2 has 4 nic’s, two are unused. Sure I could pull the FACET card out, but then I have this card that I can’t use in anything but another Fitlet2.

According to this post from Dennis - Netgate at the bottom of the STH article they will release a version of Plus to home users:

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