In future, Netgate will market the commercial version of the pfSense firewall distribution under the name pfSense Plus. In addition to the rebranding of pfSense Factory Edition to pfSense Plus, the company is shifting its development priorities more in the direction of business customer offerings. Netgate plans the first release of pfSense Plus with version number 21.02 in February 2021. pfSense Plus will initially be available only on Netgate devices or virtualized via cloud providers AWS and Azure. Support for third-party devices and selected virtual machines will be added in June 2021 at the latest.
The first release will be similar to the pfSense Community Edition, in the future the closed pfSense Plus will deviate from the open code base. Netgate declares that it will continue to sponsor the community project and provide resources. A free pfSense Plus option for home users is also promised.
Exclusive features for pfSense Plus customers
The planned pfSense Plus 21.02 is based on pfSense Community Edition 2.5, but has exclusive features like hardware accelerated IPsec via Intel QuickAssist (QAT) or EIP-97. In a FAQ, Netgate gives an overview of planned features, including a new dashboard, support for 802.11ac.
Customers already running pfSense Factory Edition, for example on a Netgate device or virtualized at a cloud service provider such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, can easily switch to pfSense Plus. The price for new pfSense-Plus installations is the same as the existing Factory Edition prices. The network specialist delivers new Netgate devices with pfSense Plus ex works.
Responsibility in the community
Netgate justifies move with customer demand for network features whose implementation broke with existing open source base design. The company places most of the responsibility for further development of the open source strand on the shoulders of the community: "If the community decides to integrate new features, test them, document them, and release packages, then of course there will be progress beyond Release 2.5 In addition, provide."An overview of the planned changes is available in the form of an FAQ on the Netgate website.