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Learn pfSense with online courses and programs

Secure your network with pfSense, an open-source firewall and router solution. Online pfSense courses can provide learners with skills to implement flexible, advanced network security features.

What is pfSense?

pfSense is an open-source solution that includes software based on FreeBSD — a Unix-based operating system known for its security and scalability. Learning how to use pfSense can help organizations build custom security solutions at a fraction of the cost of commercial security packages. You can use pfSense to create firewalls and cloud-based networks for businesses of all sizes.Footnote 1

As technology continues to evolve, cybersecurity needs also evolve. More organizations are seeking custom security solutions with advanced features like the ability to set up a VPN, monitor intrusion detection, and shape traffic.

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pfSense tutorial curriculum

pfSense coursework may cover a broad range of topics to help learners become familiar with firewalls and basic security principles such as:

  • Terminology

  • Use and purpose of firewalls

  • Role of cryptography

  • Social engineering and how it’s used in phishing attacks 

  • Critical thinking for cybersecurity

Once you learn basic networking concepts, more advanced courses may cover in-depth knowledge of the FreeBSD operating system, including:

  • Command-Line Interfaces (CLI)

  • Text-based configuration files

  • Common networking protocols (TCP/IP, DNS, DHCP, and VPN)

  • VLANs and other virtualization technologies

  • Web-based user interfaces

  • General IT troubleshooting and problem-solving skills

Expand your knowledge of cybersecurity with edX. Discover a wide range of learning formats to accommodate your preferences, including accelerated boot camps, as well as comprehensive bachelor’s degree programs. For more advanced learners, pursuing a master's degree may help you advance in your current field or switch to a new one, while busy professionals in leadership positions may benefit from executive education courses. Find the learning format that suits your needs.

Explore jobs that use pfSense

Expertise in pfSense can open doors to a variety of career opportunities.  pfSense skills can be helpful for roles like:

  • Network administrator: This position is responsible for the configuration and maintenance of an organization’s network. Common tasks may require you to configure hardware, install software, monitor network performance, troubleshoot network problems, and provide technical support to network users.Footnote 2

  • Security engineer: This professional focuses on the security protocols and threat landscape of an organization’s systems, network, and data. Common tasks may require you to conduct routine assessments, develop policies and procedures to maintain security protocols, provide training and education to users, and monitor for active threats and potential weaknesses.Footnote 3

  • IT consultant: An IT consultant is typically a third party with specialized knowledge hired by an organization to assess technology infrastructure and provide solution-oriented strategies for improvement. A pfSense course can help IT consultants gain functional expertise in custom cybersecurity solutions.Footnote 4

  • DevOps engineer: This expert creates software applications, often with a focus on business process automation. In addition to new software creation, DevOps team members might also test, implement, and troubleshoot their programs. pfSense expertise can help developers round out their skill sets to include the development of security applications for custom networks.Footnote 5

  • Penetration tester: A penetration tester is a specialized part of the security team designated to employ hacker techniques in an attempt to proactively identify vulnerabilities. Specific experience with pfSense environments can provide important security systems with context for these roles.Footnote 6

  • Cybersecurity analyst: An analyst reviews data and implements strategies ultimately designed to strengthen an organization's security. Typical tasks might require you to monitor network security, perform incident response, conduct risk assessments, and file compliance reports. A pfSense course can provide important context that helps a cybersecurity analyst better understand custom security environments, like their capabilities and inherent weaknesses.Footnote 7

How to use pfSense in your career

Many businesses use custom security solutions to protect their most sensitive data. At the heart of these solutions, you may find pfSense — an open-source solution primed for customization.

For example, you can use pfSense wireguard to create a virtual private network (VPN) protocol that establishes a secure connection between devices.Footnote 8 These connections have become essential in security protocol maintenance in the age of remote work.

VPNs are just the start. pfSense can also be used for:

  • Firewalls

  • Router configuration

  • VPN connectivity

  • Intrusion detection and prevention

  • Bandwidth shaping

  • DNS servers

  • DHCP servers

  • Captive portal features

A pfSense course in a cybersecurity boot camp can help IT professionals advance their careers. They can learn in-demand skills that help employers meet critical cybersecurity needs.

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