A basic pfSense can run with 500 Mhz CPU with 512 MB RAM. So if you have an old machine available, you can try the installation on it if this is your first time installing pfSense.
Please note that pfSense 2.4+ only supports 64-bit CPUs
IMPORTANT: This guide only demonstrates the installation of pfSense. How to configure pfSense and how pfSense fits in to your network infrastructure are beyond the scope of this post. Check out Protect home network using subnets with pfSense as an example on how pfSense can help secure your home network.
- Modern 64-bit CPU at 1.0GHz+
- 1GB+ RAM
- 1GB+ Hard drive space
- 2 or more Intel PCI-e NICs
- for future compatibility (pfSense v2.5+), CPU that supports AES-NI encryption
You will need more powerful hardware if you have high Internet speed (100 Mbps+), a lot of video streaming or use more advance features.
Create USB flash drive installer
- download pfSense Latest Stable Version (Community edition)
- Architecture: AMD64 (64-bit)
- Installer: USB Memstick Installer
- Console: VGA
- click DOWNLOAD
- use 7-Zip to extract the .img from pfSense download (compressed with .gz extension)
- insert a free 1GB+ USB flash drive (DON’T leave any data. The drive will be formatted)
- install and run Rufus 3.4 (to create bootable USB drives in Windows)
- select USB Drive
- select pfSense .img file
- click START
- Boot the system using the USB flash drive.
- pfSense will continue the boot up process in couple seconds. It will take a while.
- when the Copyright and distribution notice shows up. Read and Accept.
- Install pfSense is selected by default. select OK
- select your keyboard map or use standard “US” default keymap
- Partitioning: just use the default Auto (UFS)
- Installation would start and only take a short while.
- hit Enter when the installation is finished.
- it Enter again to reboot
- when the screen turn blank, remove your USB drive to avoid booting from it.
- When pfSense boots up for the first time, it will automatically configure the first NIC as the WAN port and the second NIC as the LAN interface with gateway 192.168.1.1
Using pfSense Web Configurator
Connect your computer to the second NIC port. Your computer should automatically receive an IP address from pfSense DHCP server.
Now you would finish the initial configuration using Web Configurator.
- Go to http://192.168.1.1 at your browser
- Your browser may complain about the connection is not private (not https). That’s ok. Just proceed to the web page.
- Enter username ‘admin‘ and password ‘pfsense‘
The pfSense setup wizard will guide you through the steps. Click Next to begin.
- Step 1: Netgate Global Support. It would then offer you their support subscription plans. Click Next to continue
- Step 2: General Information. Customize the hostname and domain name if you like. Click Next.
- Step 3: Time Server. Set your timezone and click Next
- Step 4: WAN Interface. Use default settings. Click Next (scroll to bottom).
- Step 5: LAN Interface. Use default settings or enter LAN IP address of your choice.
- Step 6: Password. Set your admin password.
- Step 7: Reload configuration. Just click Reload
- Step 8: Reload in progress. Just wait.
- Step 9: Complete. Click Finish and you are all set.