6 Best VPNs for pfSense in 2023

pfSense has been serving all kinds of personal and SMEs' Wi-Fi requirements for the past few decades. Yes, be it your home or office, this firewall/router software 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.

The primary focus of a VPN is to encrypt the flow of data on your network, as well as change your IP address according to the server you connect to. This makes your data unreadable to hackers, greedy ISPs that sell your browsing info, as well as any government surveillance.

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

As a side benefit, you also get around the usual VPN device limits, as your pfSense router only counts as a single device. That said, a capable pfSense VPN is an ideal solution for large households and smaller businesses with plenty of gadgets lying around.

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. So, you'll need the best VPN you can find today without making any compromises.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the best pfSense VPN services based on our hands-on testing and research. On top of that, we'll show you how to set up a pfSense VPN while answering some crucial questions along the way.

Without further ado, let's get started!

How to Use a VPN with pfSense Routers

Using a VPN on a pfSense router can be a bit more complicated than just downloading and installing a dedicated app on other devices. Here's what you need to know:

  1. Get a reliable VPN that supports pfSense (we recommend ExpressVPN).
  2. Access your VPN account dashboard on the provider's website.
  3. Download the provider's OpenVPN configuration files.
  4. Follow the VPN 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. Make sure to check that out if you need more details on how to set up a pfSense VPN.

Best pfSense VPN Services

You might know that pfSense only allows you to set up OpenVPN connections (IPSec is possible, though much more complex to set up). As such, you need to subscribe to a VPN that will offer OpenVPN configuration files for your pfSense router. Preferably, the provider should cover a host of different countries and have thousands of servers capable of unblocking the content you want. Advanced features such as obfuscation, double VPN, and others are a plus.

We’ve researched and tested 60+ VPN services that claim to provide pfSense support. That said, here are the 6 best VPNs for pfSense:

  1. ExpressVPN - Our #1 Rated pfSense VPN
  2. NordVPN - Most Secure pfSense VPN for Privacy
  3. CyberGhost VPN - Most Capable pfSense VPN for Streaming
  4. Surfshark VPN - Best VPN for Unlimited Simultaneous Connections
  5. PureVPN - Best Budget- & Router-Friendly VPN
  6. Private Internet Access (PIA) - Best pfSense VPN for Advanced Users

1. ExpressVPN - Our #1 Rated pfSense VPN

Editor's Pick
Servers
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Kindle
Nook
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
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Roku
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ExpressVPN is the best pfSense VPN because of the server reach and online security it provides. With thousands of servers in 94 countries, this VPN can help you acquire an IP address from almost any location on your pfSense router. These servers are specially optimized for privacy, streaming, and gaming and fully support P2P traffic.

Moreover, ExpressVPN uses AES-256-bit encryption keys to make your traffic data unreadable to third parties. Its OpenVPN protocol works amazingly to grant your online traffic safe passage. As a result, your ISP can’t throttle your connection, no matter how extensively you’re using the Internet or on how many devices.

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. Hide your VPN traffic and fully unblock the Internet no matter where you are in the world.

Finally, we'll add that ExpressVPN comes with reliable 24/7 live chat support. Also, there are no risks involved as you get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

PROS

  • Fast servers in 94 countries.
  • Independently audited no logs policy.
  • Automatic obfuscation on all servers.
  • Unblocks most services.
  • 24/7 live chat support.

CONS

  • Limited customization.

2. NordVPN - Most Secure pfSense VPN for Privacy

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Countries
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Windows
Android
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Chromebook
Chrome
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PlayStation
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Nintendo Switch
All game consoles
Chromecast
Parallel Connections
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Panama-based NordVPN is currently one of the most technologically advanced VPN services available on the market. It has servers in around 60 countries that offer high speed and unlimited bandwidth to help you stream or game without any lag.

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.

It also uses military-grade encryption to protect your online traffic. The best part is that NordVPN can suggest the best server for any location - based on user load, ping time, and distance from your physical location. As such, you can get the best server available while downloading the OpenVPN file for your pfSense router.

Like any other best VPN for pfSense, this one also has 24/7-available live chat support, coupled with a 30-day money-back policy.

PROS

  • High-performance servers.
  • Proven no logs policy (audit).
  • Specialty servers available.
  • Unblocks most streaming sites.
  • 24/7 live chat available.

CONS

  • Fewer countries than competitors.

3. CyberGhost VPN - Most Capable pfSense VPN for Streaming

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Samsung Smart TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
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. They have thousands of high-performance servers in 90+ countries, rivaling providers such as ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access with their offerings.

Their servers are also optimized primarily for streaming content and will unblock a whopping 40 services from across the globe.

For a small fee, CyberGhost VPN subscribers can gain access to their NoSpy servers, self-operated by the provider at their headquarters in Romania. Great for privacy buffs who don't want their data being handled by third-party data centers. That, and these servers are faster than the ones on their regular fleet, which is always a plus.

Speaking of privacy, CyberGhost VPN provides quarterly transparency reports showing their dedication to not logging any of your data. Naturally, their service comes equipped with all the industry-standard security options fit for the best pfSense VPN.

If you pick a long-term subscription, you can count on CyberGhost's 45-day money-back policy. And in case of any questions regarding how to set up this pfSense VPN, you can contact its support 24/7 via live chat.

PROS

  • Servers in 90+ countries.
  • Strict no logs policy.
  • Frequent transparency reports.
  • Streaming-optimized VPN.
  • 24/7 live chat.

CONS

  • Advanced features priced extra.

4. Surfshark VPN - Best VPN for Unlimited Simultaneous Connections

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
Apple TV
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 covering 90+ countries. So, you can get an IP from a host of different locations for use on your pfSense router and unblock content from that region on any of your devices.

Speaking of which, Surfshark doesn't limit how many devices you can link to an account - perfect for on-the-go mobile users.

Just like other VPNs on this list, Surfshark has no data caps, and it ensures a buffer-free Internet experience. Alongside that, all Surfshark VPN servers are bare-metal, which means no third party will ever have access to your browsing details.

In fact, Surfshark itself won’t know what you’re doing online as it follows a strict no-log policy, and all of its servers are RAM-only. Moreover, this VPN uses AES-256-bit keys for encryption. So you get complete anonymity on all of your devices after configuring its OpenVPN client on your router.

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

PROS

  • Automatic obfuscation.
  • Bare-metal servers.
  • Strict no logs policy.
  • No device limits.
  • 24/7 live chat.

CONS

  • Spotty connection times.

5. PureVPN - Best Budget- & Router-Friendly VPN

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 service can truly complement the comprehensive list of network customization features of pfSense, it’s PureVPN. From dedicated IP to DDoS protection and port forwarding, there are a handful of add-ons to consider when it comes to securing your online identity in the best possible way. The only downside is that all these add-ons are paid. 

However, that shouldn't deter you from accessing its thousands of servers in 75+ countries. Even if you’re not going for any feature additions, PureVPN has a plethora of services under its subscription plan only that ensure impenetrable online security.

Yes, it uses the highest-standard encryption protocol to safeguard your incoming and outgoing traffic to your router. The provider has also undergone an external audit to ensure that none of your data gets recorded. That means PureVPN is a good option if you already have a fast Web connection and want a security layer for your sensitive data.

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 30-day money-back policy.

PROS

  • Strong security options.
  • Certified no logs policy.
  • Servers in 78+ countries.
  • Great for media streaming.

CONS

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

6. Private Internet Access (PIA) - Best pfSense VPN for Advanced Users

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

Private Internet Access is a highly reputable US-based service. It’s the only one on this list that comes with 35,000+ servers in a total of 80+ countries. This huge server network allows you to obtain an IP from any corner of the world and bypass any pesky geo-blocks by configuring the OpenVPN client on your pfSense router.

PIA is among the best VPN for pfSense, especially for users in the US, as the provider has servers in all 50 states. All PIA VPN servers are specially designed for speed and security, whether it's for browsing, streaming, gaming, or torrenting. You can always find a low latency server with less than 20ms ping to connect your router and enjoy unlimited usage on all of your devices.

PIA VPN offers two different security levels, i.e., AES-128 and 256-bit encryption protocols. You can choose one for your pfSense router, depending on your security requirements. Their no-logs policy has also been proven in court twice so far, which is great news for privacy buffs.

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

  • Court-proven no logs policy.
  • Massive server fleet.
  • Open-source VPN apps.
  • Covers every US state.
  • 24/7 live chat support.

CONS

  • Best for advanced users.

Why Do You Need a VPN for pfSense?

You need a pfSense VPN if you want solid online security for your sensitive data and easy access to any type of Internet content on all your devices.

When it comes to home networks, configuring a VPN on your pfSense router will help you access region-locked games, movies, TV shows, and more, on gadgets that don't normally support VPN connections - such as PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, smart TVs, and other streaming/gaming devices.

Moreover, VPNs provide top-of-the-line online security, privacy, and anonymity on all Internet-supported devices - something that any privacy-conscious person should pursue. Using a VPN on your pfSense is the best possible way to achieve that. 

A pfSense VPN also offers complete protection against DDoS attacks, direct hacking methods (such as man-in-the-middle attacks), and identity theft. So, once you get started with such a VPN, you can browse freely without worrying about every danger lurking on the Web. 

How to Setup pfSense VPN

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to set up a pfSense VPN. We've also added individual guides for each provider, which you can find just below these steps.

  1. First, subscribe to a VPN from the list above (our #1 pick is ExpressVPN).
  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

You can't go wrong with the right pfSense VPN, whether you need one to protect your privacy, evade censorship, or gain access to streaming sites from around the world. Or maybe you were already eyeing one of our VPN recommendations but needed a way to bypass the sometimes limited device allowances.

Either way, ExpressVPN is our #1 recommendation for pfSense. Lightning-fast servers, the most extensive network, automatic obfuscation enabled on all servers, and the ability to unblock most online services you can think of. What's not to like here? And since you're setting up the VPN on a router, you don't need to worry about their device limits either.

FAQ

Can pfSense Run a VPN?

Yes, pfSense can definitely run a VPN. More precisely, pfSense can run any VPN connection built upon the OpenVPN protocol.

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 ExpressVPN for the best results.

Which VPN is the Best for pfSense?

ExpressVPN is the best option for pfSense on the market these days. You can configure ExpressVPN's OpenVPN client on pfSense and safeguard all your devices at once.

Does ExpressVPN Work with pfSense?

Yes, ExpressVPN works amazingly well on pfSense routers, and we highly recommend subscribing to this VPN (it's our #1-rated pfSense VPN). Just download their OpenVPN config files from your account dashboard and follow our detailed setup guide.

Does NordVPN Work with pfSense?

Yes, NordVPN works on pfSense just fine. It comes with highly secure servers and supports OpenVPN connections, which makes it an excellent option for any pfSense user.

On top of that, you can try NordVPN without any risk, as you're covered by its generous 30-day money-back guarantee.

Should I Use a Free VPN on pfSense?

No, you should not use a free VPN on pfSense. In fact, no free VPN service offers support for routers, which means they're not compatible with pfSense.

Which is Better for pfSense: IPsec or OpenVPN?

For site-to-site VPNs, network admins may choose IPSec to gain a boost in performance (when set up correctly). Meanwhile, OpenVPN is much easier to implement than IPSec, making it an ideal solution for home use on pfSense.

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

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