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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So that's what it's all about...
I've been using pfSense for two years in a business environment and have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book. As with many open-source projects, my knowledge of pfSense has come primarily from first-hand experience and gleaning from other users experiences in forums. While this has certain advantages, it can't compare to a formal, organized breakdown of the...
Published on November 9, 2009 by Michael J. Wise

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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't cover 2.x
Yes, it's a well written book, but there is no coverage of 2.x at all. The reason I bought this book was because the available information on 2.x is seriously lacking and with the changes between versions being significant in many areas, I have trouble 'translating' 1.x information to 2.x. I did find a few bits of information that were potentially useful. This book really...
Published 22 months ago by A. L. Holder


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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't cover 2.x, September 16, 2012
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This review is from: pfSense: The Definitive Guide (Paperback)
Yes, it's a well written book, but there is no coverage of 2.x at all. The reason I bought this book was because the available information on 2.x is seriously lacking and with the changes between versions being significant in many areas, I have trouble 'translating' 1.x information to 2.x. I did find a few bits of information that were potentially useful. This book really needs to be updated, or a second edition published, to cover 2.x, especially in matters regarding CARP.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So that's what it's all about..., November 9, 2009
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This review is from: pfSense: The Definitive Guide (Paperback)
I've been using pfSense for two years in a business environment and have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book. As with many open-source projects, my knowledge of pfSense has come primarily from first-hand experience and gleaning from other users experiences in forums. While this has certain advantages, it can't compare to a formal, organized breakdown of the product by people in the know and this guide delivers. I have had time to peruse the content and read in depth into several issues for which I could not find answers elsewhere. The discussion of various aspects of the platform goes beyond the simple setup model of other IT guides and actually discusses underlying dynamics, issues and their sources, and best practices beyond the vanilla setup. The writing is reasonable, even, and understandable. If you are using pfSense, this is an indispensable resource. I wish that I had access to this years ago as it would have saved numerous hours of development time.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have reference for pfSense!, November 9, 2009
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S. Christian (Carrollton, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: pfSense: The Definitive Guide (Paperback)
The timing of the release of this book comes at an excellent time. I have only been experimenting with pfSense for my home firewall for a few days now. I wanted something more powerful then the consumer solutions were able to offer and with pfSense and some old spare hardware, I have found my answer. I can now get many of the same features I expect from the enterprise grade firewall and router hardware I use at work, now at home for a tiny fraction of the price. I have spent the last 7 hours since receiving the book reading and going through the configuration steps on my firewall. Without this book to help guide me through the process, it would have taken much longer to get where I am now. I now have a decent understanding on how pfSense works and how to configure most of what I need. In a few more days, I should have finished reading the book and gone through the rest of the setup and configuration process and be up to speed with pfSense. I plan to roll pfSense out as a solution to several specialized needs at work and also for several tech savvy friends and co-workers that want something more then Linksys or Dlink can provide.

The book walks you through the process and explains what everything means and how it relates to the overall system. If you are currently using or thinking about using pfSense as a router/firewall solution, you need to check this book out. This book is going to save many hours of frustration and searching for the answers online. Two thumbs up! This is the must have reference for pfSense users!

-- Ubergeek / Systems Administrator
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Goldmine of Information, November 16, 2009
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This review is from: pfSense: The Definitive Guide (Paperback)
As one of the other reviewers stated, this book goes to the trouble of explaining why certain things work the way they do and what your options are when something isn't quite how you expected it. I have only read the setup chapter and browsed through some of the other chapters to see what is there. I have been using pfSense for over a year at work and am a huge fan of the system as it has remained a rock-solid application. I am very excited to use the book to help me improve the network as we implement VLANs and more.

For experienced administrators, I would recommend trying out pfSense and then buying this book when you see how many options are available to you. For new users, this is a great starting point and will walk you through the initial setup phase and choosing hardware so I recommend picking this up before you start. There is plenty of information for all in this book and it's a great way to help support the further development of the project!

*Update* 2/10/2011
I have read through the entire book now and it is all very helpful. I even started reading portions that I have no use for at the moment but knowing they are there helps me plan for the future. I am eagerly awaiting the release of pfSense 2.0 and even if some things have changed by then this book will still prove useful because it teaches you the fundamentals and is not afraid to go into the "why".

*Update* 1/11/2012
I now have been using 2.0 for a few months and although things have changed the book is still very helpful. Things may be in slightly different places but the concepts remain the same.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oustanding Resource, November 14, 2009
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This review is from: pfSense: The Definitive Guide (Paperback)
This book is well written. It pulls together the critical information you need to know when getting a pfSense router up and running. I love that they took the time to explain some of the basic networking concepts this makes it great for someone with out extensive routing and firewall experience. I especially like how they covered bandwidth shaping as a user of pfSense for the last two plus years this was one of my biggest challenges in getting settings the way I wanted them. The book was worth it for me just on that chapter alone. I am ordered several copies so that my support technicians can have it for reference as well. I have also recommended it to customers that we have built pfSense routers for. If you are using pfSenes this book is a must have resource. If you want to play with an open source router solution buy the book it makes pfSense a no brainer.

Bryant Zimmerman / Network Systems Engineer (ZK Tech Inc.)
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY THE KINDLE EDITION, June 29, 2011
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I have this book in print. It's a fantastic book, a gold mine of information.
For easy reference I purchased the Kindle Edition.
This was a big mistake. The book has NO table of contents, pages are badly formatted.
A waste of money.
If you want the book, buy the paper edition.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated and soon to be replaced by a new edition, November 23, 2013
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It is out of date, but at least there already is an update in the works. I would save my money and wait, I wish I'd known before I bought it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good to get perspective on where things came from., May 13, 2013
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This review is from: pfSense: The Definitive Guide (Paperback)
If I had to describe this book in one word, that word would be, "Outdated." SO much has changed in pfSense. If you need to get a pfSense install up and running, there are better resources online to help you. This book may give you a few nuggets of information that will help you, but by and large it just isn't relevant to version 2.

Do not mistake this as a slight against pfSense. pfSense is a wonderful piece of software, it's just that it still hasn't found it's style yet. For example, traffic shaping. In a current version of pfSense, the only thing that the traffic shaping system has in common with traffic shaping in the book is the location in the menu in which traffic shaping is located. After that, you're in a completely different application, and this book can't help you in the slightest.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on more than pfSense, March 31, 2011
This review is from: pfSense: The Definitive Guide (Paperback)
I have to admit that pfSense: The Definitive Guide (pTDG) caught me off guard. I expected the book to mainly discuss installing and using the pfSense firewall appliance, which would have been enough for me to enjoy the book. However, I was pleased to see coverage of many issues related to network security and firewall design and operation. For me, these features elevated the entire book to five star status. If you're interested in learning how pfSense can help your organization, and what it means to deploy firewalls, pTDG is the right book.

One aspect of pTDG that immediately impressed me was the level of detail in the book. I liked the section on sizing pfSense appliances in ch 2. Ch 4 includes very thorough commentary on time keeping issues with FreeBSD, such as sysctls for kern.timecounter. This section also demonstrated the value of pTDG to general FreeBSD users like myself. I learned a lot about the workings of the OS by reading how pfSense works.

Another area where pTDG shines is its discussions of general firewall design and deployment. Rather than just make recommendations on "blocking or rejecting," for instance, the authors explain why administrators might make their decisions. The book also extends beyond firewall issues, such as when it discusses VLANs in ch 10. I also appreciated coverage of related topics outside pf, such as client VPN setups for IPSec, PPTP, and OpenVPN in chs 13, 14, and 15 respectively. I especially liked the section on troubleshooting IPSec where the authors reproduced log entries from IPSec components.

When I got the book I wondered how applicable it might be to pfSense 2.0, which is in RC1 status as of this review. While I haven't tried RC1 yet, I was pleased to see many references to 2.0 in pTDG. For example, the authors note that while the 1.x series doesn't support TFTP, 2.0 will (and does, according to the RC1 feature list).

Overall, I highly recommend pTDG for those who rely on firewalls, VPN concentrators, and related network security systems as part of their overall defensive strategy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well organized and nicely written, December 16, 2009
By 
Nathan C. Smith (Des Moines, IA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: pfSense: The Definitive Guide (Paperback)
This is a really well written and organized book. It is much thicker than it appears in the product description. The book also covers a lot of basic networking which could probably have been skipped but is a nice addition and makes the book complete. I have not read the book cover-to-cover but have been skipping around chapters. pfSense is written in a very nice conversational style that makes it easy to read but still gets to the point of the section. It is a technical book you *could* read cover-to-cover.

The book contains a lot of comprehensive information about pfsense and also contains some journeyman information and practical experience about different hardware situations and implementations of pfsense features. In short, it is clear that the authors work with pfSense and are very familiar with it.

pfSense reminds me of the manuals you used to get with new hardware - they were complete and also instructive on different usage scenarios without being completely dry. This book could have been called "pfSense, the missing manual". I hope the publisher and authors will consider updating the book when it starts to get out of sync with the releases of pfSense in the future.

The whole pfSense community can be proud of this book, it should really help with marketing of the project and building acceptance of the pfSense project. If you are using or learning pfSense and would like a paper-based reference this book would be perfect.
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pfSense: The Definitive Guide
pfSense: The Definitive Guide by Jim Pingle (Paperback - November 1, 2009)
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