TL;DR - Thanks Tom, you’re awesome and made me a better MSP.
I run a 1 person operation supporting about 10 - 15 small businesses in my area ranging from a single location with 2 users to 3 locations and 55 users. I’m relatively well versed in most things that SMBs need, but I always struggled with things like VLANs, Firewall Rules, etc. The larger clients have Barracudas or Sonicwalls, so I could just call support and tell them what I wanted. Other clients used their ISPs gateway and we all know how great they can be.
I never really had a good solution for something “in the middle”. It’s hard to sell a 5 person office a $2,500 Barracuda. The ERX / ER4 was decent, but I found myself spending hours trying to figure out CLI commands to do simple things like creating a VPN user.
pfSense looked like a great product with a lot of functionality and security, but I’ve never had formal training and VLANs, NAT, firewall rules, etc have always confused me. I wasn’t sure where to start and most documentation doesn’t provide the “this is why we do what we do” and beginning to end setup.
In comes Tom with his pfSense videos showing everything from what cable goes where, what buttons to click and most importantly for me, the “Why” portion of things. I took the plunge and bought a 2100 for my house. It arrived yesterday and I spent about 8 hours ripping apart my entire home network, creating VLANs, firewall rules, multiple DHCP servers, etc. Prior to that I think I had watched every Lawrence Systems pfSense video created in the last 2 years 3 times.
I was even able to figure out how my layer 2+ TP Link switches handle VLAN traffic thanks to one of Toms videos. I have it 90% functional and am so much more confident about this stuff than I was last week. Confident enough that I’d have no problem deploying this at a client site. I’m actually excited about VLANs as opposed to being terrified of them like I was last week.
I know I’m rambling, but without Tom’s videos, I would have been lost. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for teaching me how to do these things so that I can better assist my clients with hardware selection, security and functionality.
I greatly appreciate you spending the countless hours to make not only content, but PHENOMENAL content. I didn’t know you had a Patreon page until today.