Electronics

6 Best VPNs for pfSense Routers in 2024

By TechNadu Staff / December 20, 2023

Be it your home or office, your pfSense router ensures continuous Internet access to all your devices. However, a stable network doesn't ensure online security until you get the best VPN for your pfSense router. That's because the primary focus of a VPN is to encrypt your data, as well as change your IP address according to the server you connect to.

Changing your IP allows you to bypass Internet restrictions or get around geo-blocks to browse and stream content from all around the world. Adding a VPN to pfSense also prevents your ISP from throttling your connection, removing random slowdowns during video streaming and similar data-intensive activities.

Of course, not every VPN service is suitable for pfSense. Due to the way this open-source firewall allows you to create subnets and install add-ons - it’s difficult for any random VPN to provide coverage for such an advanced network connection.

That said, we'll talk about the best VPNs for a pfSense router based on our tests and research. We'll also show you how to set up a VPN on pfSense, explain the benefits of using a VPN on your router, help you choose the best pfSense VPN based on your needs, and we'll finish with a round of answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Best VPNs for pfSense - Our Shortlist

  1. NordVPN - Our #1-Rated Best VPN for pfSense Routers
  2. Surfshark - High-Speed VPN for pfSense with Lots of Servers
  3. ExpressVPN - Fully-Automated pfSense VPN with Obfuscation
  4. CyberGhost VPN - User-Friendly VPN with Specialized Servers
  5. Private Internet Access - High-End VPN for Experienced Users
  6. PureVPN - Budget-Friendly VPN for Reliable Privacy Protection

How to Use a VPN with pfSense Routers

To use a VPN with a pfSense router, you need to sign up for a VPN, access your dashboard, and then download your chosen server's OpenVPN files, which you'll then upload to pfSense. Here's our general guide on setting up a VPN on pfSense:

  1. Get a reliable VPN that supports pfSense (we recommend NordVPN).
  2. Access your VPN account dashboard on the provider's website.
  3. Download the provider's OpenVPN configuration files.
  4. Access your pfSense dashboard using a Web browser.
  5. Follow your VPN's setup process on your pfSense router.

We provide a detailed pfSense VPN setup outline towards the end of the article, including the instructions for each individual provider on our list. If you'd like to jump to it immediately, here's how to set up a VPN on pfSense.

The Best VPN for pfSense Routers in 2024

The best pfSense VPN must meet high-end requirements, most of which we discussed in our guide to the best VPNs. Most importantly, it must support OpenVPN connections paired with high-end encryption and provide a uniform dashboard from where you can download OpenVPN files for your pfSense router. It must also bring a sizable server fleet, with as many servers and locations as possible.

Next, you'll want obfuscation, especially if you're in a more restrictive country. There should also be a no-logs policy, ensuring that even your VPN doesn't know what you do online. On top of that, your chosen VPN must provide fast speeds and stable performance, especially since you'll set it up on a router (the source of your Wi-Fi network).

You'll also want enough simultaneous connections and support for various platforms, allowing you to use the VPN even when not at home. Customer-first support should also be there, such as 24/7 live chat support. And you can make your purchase risk-free by getting a VPN with a generous money-back policy (lasting 30 days, at least).

Based on the criteria above, these are the 6 best VPNs for pfSense routers:

1. NordVPN - Our #1-Rated Best VPN for pfSense Routers

Editor's Pick
Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Kindle
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Nintendo Switch
All game consoles
Chromecast
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

NordVPN is the best VPN for pfSense routers, featuring OpenVPN paired with AES-256, making sure your pfSense protects your privacy properly. It also has 5,900+ servers in 60 countries while giving you access to every single server's OVPN files.

In addition to that, NordVPN offers specialty servers (Onion-over-VPN, obfuscated servers, and double VPN) to bypass Internet censorship, hide your VPN activity, gain an extra layer of privacy, or unblock overseas content smoothly. Needless to say, this is a no-logs VPN as well.

We also need to praise NordVPN's performance. There isn't a big difference in performance between nearby and remote servers. So, you'll get plenty of options when setting up this VPN on your pfSense router, as your entire household will benefit from its ultra-fast speed.

NordVPN also gives you 6 simultaneous connections. And since it offers apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and more, you can use it on the go as well. We'll remind you that installing this VPN on a pfSense router counts as a single device only.

Like other reputable VPN services, this one also has 24/7-available live chat support, as well as installation guides for pfSense and other devices. Lastly, you'll also get a 30-day money policy no matter which of its subscription plans you pick.

PROS

  • Works great with pfSense.
  • Proven no logs policy (audited).
  • Specialty servers available.
  • 5,900+ servers in total.
  • 24/7 live chat available.
  • 30-day money-back policy.

CONS

  • Not all servers are obfuscated.

2. Surfshark - High-Speed VPN for pfSense with Lots of Servers

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
Amazon Fire TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Surfshark is another premium pfSense VPN that provides top-quality services worldwide. It owns a large server network of 3,200+ servers in 100 countries. When it comes to pfSense, you can count on OpenVPN connections with AES-256, which is the strongest possible combination for your router and any of your Web-connected devices.

If you need obfuscation, you'll find it here. Surfshark has a special mode that instructs the VPN to use smaller data packets, which is how it can bypass VPN detection mechanisms. On top of that, Surfshark itself won’t know what you’re doing online as it follows a strict no-log policy, and all its servers are RAM-only.

Ever since it became available, Surfshark has been known for its ultra-fast speeds. So, no matter if you pick a nearby or remote server for your pfSense router, you'll get to continue with your usual Web activities with no issues or slowdowns, including streaming, gaming, and more.

This VPN comes with an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. That means you can use it at home, as well as on any number of devices outside your home. If you travel a lot, this can be a great benefit, as you won't have to think about any installation limits.

In terms of support, you're covered well, as Surfshark offers 24/7 live chat. There are also plenty of installation guides and other helpful resources. You'll also have 30 days to test-drive the VPN, as dictated by its money-back policy.

PROS

  • Works with pfSense seamlessly.
  • Supports a range of routers.
  • Extra-fast performance.
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections.
  • 30-day money-back policy.
  • 24/7 live chat.

CONS

  • Spotty connection times.

3. ExpressVPN - Fully-Automated pfSense VPN with Obfuscation

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Kindle
Nook
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Nintendo Switch
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Chromecast
Roku
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

ExpressVPN supports OpenVPN connections and AES-256 encryption while offering a uniform dashboard that simplifies the installation. It also offers 3,000+ servers in 100+ countries, with manual configuration possible across the board.

Best of all, ExpressVPN comes with automatic obfuscation enabled on all servers. As such, it makes for the ideal pfSense VPN choice in restrictive countries like China, the UAE, and others. This is also an audited no-logs VPN, meaning no data collection is involved.

Based on our hands-on tests, ExpressVPN is among the fastest VPNs available right now. It introduces minimal slowdowns, making it ideal for routers. After all, you'll want a speedy VPN at the source of your Web connection without slowing down your Web-connected devices.

ExpressVPN supports up to 8 simultaneous connections. Aside from that, you get apps for practically any device, so you can use it on to go. That includes computers, handheld devices, streaming devices, and more.

Finally, we'll add that ExpressVPN comes with reliable 24/7 live chat support, in addition to plenty of installation guides and other resources. Also, there are no risks involved as you get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

PROS

  • Full pfSense support.
  • Servers in 100+ countries.
  • Audited no logs policy.
  • Automatic obfuscation.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • 30-day money-back policy.

CONS

  • Limited customization.

4. CyberGhost VPN - User-Friendly VPN with Specialized Servers

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Nintendo Switch
Samsung Smart TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Roku
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Although CyberGhost VPN doesn't have its own dedicated setup guide for pfSense routers (like other entries on our list), it's still a perfectly capable provider. It supports OpenVPN and AES-256, and there's also WireGuard if you go for its app. On top of that, you get 10,000+ servers in 100+ countries, which is a huge benefit over its competitors.

However, there's a significant drawback to this VPN. It doesn't support obfuscation, so we don't recommend it for users in more restrictive countries. Despite the lack of obfuscation, it can still bypass geo-blocks and can provide a leak-free VPN tunnel. It's also backed by a no-logs policy, so your privacy will be guaranteed on the Internet.

It's also quite fast and brings reliable performance. Some highly remote servers can introduce slowdowns, but you shouldn't notice any drops in speed in most cases. On top of that, you get support for 7 simultaneous connections, so you can use it outside your home as well.

We'll also mention that aside from pfSense, you can use this VPN on any device. That includes Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and more. However, since it offers no guides for pfSense, as mentioned above, you should have some experience with installing VPNs on your router.

You also get 24/7 live chat support, for any questions, at any moment. Lastly, CyberGhost comes with a 45-day money-back policy if you pick a long-term plan, which seems incredibly generous.

PROS

  • Servers in 100 countries.
  • Works with pfSense.
  • Great for bypassing geo-blocks.
  • 45-day money-back policy.
  • 24/7 live chat.

CONS

  • No obfuscation.
  • No installation guides for pfSense.

5. Private Internet Access (PIA) - High-End VPN for Experienced Users

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Nintendo Switch
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Private Internet Access is a highly reputable US-based service with thousands of servers in 90+ countries. It's also the only VPN with servers in every US state. When it comes to pfSense, you'll get to configure a connection to any of those servers using OpenVPN and AES-256. On other devices, you can even use a lower-end encryption cipher for faster speeds.

This is a hugely capable VPN service with plenty of fine-tuning allowed. As such, it offers a way to obfuscate your data, giving you an extra kick when bypassing geo-blocks. It also offers a kill switch, the ability to fine-tune VPN protocols, and it's backed by a no-logs policy. Furthermore, all its apps are open-source, making PIA one of the most transparent VPNs.

By default, PIA isn't the fastest option because it defaults to a high-end configuration. However, you can optimize it for speed, making it ultra-fast and without noticeable slowdowns. Aside from that, PIA offers an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.

To install PIA on a pfSense router, you can follow its in-depth guide. However, you can also go for any of its apps, which work on computers, mobile devices, streaming devices, and more. That means you get complete protection, no matter if you're on your home Wi-Fi or not.

If you encounter any technical issues, you'll get to contact this VPN's support agents, who are available 24/7 via live chat. Also, all PIA's plans are backed by a 30-day money-back policy.

PROS

  • Massive server fleet.
  • In-depth pfSense support.
  • Open-source VPN apps.
  • Covers every US state.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • 30-day money-back policy.

CONS

  • Requires some optimization.
  • Best for advanced users.

6. PureVPN - Budget-Friendly VPN for Reliable Privacy Protection

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Chromecast
Roku
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

If any VPN can truly complement the comprehensive list of network customization features of pfSense, it’s PureVPN. It offers a whole range of protocols and encryption ciphers but sticks with OpenVPN and AES-256 for pfSense. You also get 6,500+ servers in 70+ countries, and most of those support manually configured connections on pfSense.

PureVPN offers a huge range of features, so it's no surprise that obfuscation is on offer. If you're a more advanced user, know that PureVPN also offers DDoS protection and port forwarding, but those are extra-priced features. What's not extra-priced is its no-logs policy, which has been audited just recently, as well as many times in the past.

In terms of its performance, PureVPN isn't the fastest option around. Still, you can expect relatively fast performance without drastic slowdowns, especially if you go with nearby servers. In other words, avoid hugely remote servers unless you use PureVPN's apps.

This VPN also gives you 10 simultaneous connections, with your router counting as a single connection only. That leaves you with 9 extra slots, so you can take advantage of PureVPN's apps as well. Speaking of which, they are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, mobile devices, streaming devices, and more.

Let's not forget that PureVPN comes with 24/7-available live chat support, supplemented by numerous tutorials and written guides. And, yes, it has a 31-day money-back policy.

PROS

  • Offers guides for pfSense.
  • Strong security options.
  • Certified no logs policy.
  • Servers in 70+ countries.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • 31-day money-back policy.

CONS

  • Advanced features priced extra.
  • Remote connections can be slow.

Best VPNs for pfSense Routers: Compared

NordVPN Surfshark ExpressVPN CyberGhost VPN PIA VPN PureVPN
Supports pfSense YES YES YES YES YES YES
Supports OpenVPN YES YES YES YES YES YES
Number of Servers 5,900+ 3,200+ 3,000+ 10,000+ N/A 6,500+
Number of Countries 60 100+ 100+ 100+ 90+ 70+
Obfuscation YES YES YES NO YES YES
No-Logs Policy YES (audited) YES (audited) YES (audited) YES (audited) YES (audited) YES (audited)
Performance FAST FAST FAST MEDIUM MEDIUM MEDIUM
Simultaneous Connections 6 Unlimited 8 7 Unlimited 10
Customer Support YES (24/7) YES (24/7) YES (24/7) YES (24/7) YES (24/7) YES (24/7)
Money-Back Policy 30 days 30 days 30 days 45 days 30 days 30 days
Get NordVPN Get Surfshark Get ExpressVPN Get CyberGhost Get PIA Get PureVPN

Why Do You Need a VPN for pfSense?

You need a VPN for pfSense to protect your digital privacy and access geo-blocked sites, as well as to optimize your streaming, gaming, and torrenting experience. Here's more info:

How to Choose the Best VPN for a pfSense Router?

To choose the best VPN for pfSense routers, make your pick based on its server network size, no-logs policy, VPN protocols, and performance. Let's explain:

How to Set Up a VPN on pfSense?

To set up a VPN on pfSense, you need to obtain OVPN files for your VPN provider, which you'll use to configure a new connection on your router. Follow these steps:

  1. First, subscribe to a VPN that supports pfSense (we recommend NordVPN).
  2. Once your purchase is confirmed, log in to your online account dashboard.
  3. Download the provider's OpenVPN configuration file for your desired server.
  4. Next, visit your pfSense dashboard and navigate to "System."
  5. Click "Certification Manager" and go to the "CAs" tab. 
  6. Click the "+Add" option next.
  7. Add the "Certificate Authority" information as mentioned in the OVPN config file.
  8. Once you enter all the details, click "Save."
  9. Move to VPN > OpenVPN > Clients, and hit the "+Add" button.
  10. Next, fill out the "General Information" page as per your network preferences.
  11. Head over to "User Authentication Settings" and fill in the required details.
  12. Configure the "Cryptographic" and "Tunnel Settings" pages.
  13. Do the same on the "Advanced Configuration" page as well. 
  14. Navigate to Interfaces > Assignments > +Add.
  15. Add a new interface for the VPN you're using and edit its "General Information."
  16. When done, click "Save" and move to Services > DNS Resolver > General Settings.
  17. Check all the Advanced Privacy Options and Advanced Resolver Options
  18. Next, navigate to Firewall > NAT > Outbound > Edit.
  19. Enter the required details on the "Edit Advanced Outbound NAT Entry" page.
  20. Save your changes and go to Firewall > Rules > LAN to update the details.
  21. When done, go to System > General Setup and fill in the server information.

Finally, your connection will be established, and you can check its status by following Status > OpenVPN. If the status says ‘Up,’ you’re all set to get started with a VPN on pfSense.

Note

This setup process varies for each VPN we’ve mentioned here. We recommend checking out the individual installation guides below to find out the exact steps you need to follow.

Final Thoughts

Despite its high-end functionality, pfSense can't encrypt your data or prevent trackers from seeing what you do online. However, using a pfSense VPN resolves those shortcomings - from protecting your privacy and evading censorship to unblocking sites. Still, you'll be using a VPN at the source of your connection, making it imperative to pick the best VPN for pfSense, as that's the only way to reap as many VPN benefits as possible without slowdowns.

That said, we recommend NordVPN as the best VPN for pfSense routers in 2024. You'll get lightning-fast servers, an extensive server network, automatic obfuscation, and the ability to unblock practically any website, putting it miles ahead of its competition. Also, getting started with NordVPN is easy, and you'll always have a reliable support team at your disposal.

FAQ

Can pfSense Run a VPN?

Yes, pfSense can run a VPN. More precisely, pfSense can run any VPN connection built upon the OpenVPN protocol. Newer versions of pfSense also support WireGuard.

Does pfSense Have a VPN?

Yes, pfSense does have a VPN option built-in. You're free to pick any commercially available VPN provider as long as it supports pfSense, which you can then set up manually. Based on our experience and testing, we recommend NordVPN.

Does pfSense Use OpenVPN?

Yes, pfSense uses OpenVPN, which is the safest VPN protocol currently available. That also means your chosen VPN must support OpenVPN manual configuration.

What VPNs Work with pfSense?

Only VPNs that offer OpenVPN configuration files work on pfSense routers. Any of our recommendations should work, but we recommend NordVPN for the best results.

How to Add a VPN to pfSense?

You can add a VPN to pfSense by accessing your router's dashboard. You'll need to set up a new OpenVPN connection manually by going to VPN > OpenVPN.

Does NordVPN Work with pfSense?

Yes, NordVPN works with pfSense. It comes with secure servers and supports OpenVPN, which makes it an excellent option for pfSense. You can try NordVPN with no risk, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. Here's how to configure NordVPN on pfSense.

Does Surfshark Work with pfSense?

Yes, Surfshark works with pfSense. It supports the OpenVPN protocol and gives you access to OVPN files needed to set up a connection on your router.

Does ExpressVPN Work with pfSense?

Yes, ExpressVPN works amazingly well on pfSense routers, and we highly recommend subscribing to ExpressVPN. Just download their OpenVPN config files from your account dashboard and follow our guide on how to set up ExpressVPN on pfSense.

Does Proton VPN Work with pfSense?

Yes, Proton VPN works with pfSense - but only if you pick its paid subscription. Proton VPN comes with a free tier, but you can't use it on pfSense routers.

That’s all! Now you know about the best VPNs for pfSense. If you have any questions, drop us a comment below. Thanks for reading!



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