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  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Posts
    6

    Default untangle vs opnsense + sensei

    Apologies if I posted this in the wrong spot. I was looking at buying a untangle home sub vs going with opnsense + sensei. It seems like price point is about the same at a $1 per device for filtering. Mostly wanting to compare the web filtering between the two and wondered if anyone had any opinions . Currently have two kids at home and was looking to setups some rules to curb browsing habits when I am not around. I was using Pfsense but netgate has left a bad taste after a few issues over the years so looking to jump ship.

    Right now doing the 14 day trial on a spare pc with a xeon e5-2630 v2 and 16gb ram. Assuming that is enough ooph for untangle. Any opinions/advise/suggestions is welcomed.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Untangler
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    66

    Default

    Note:
    Have evaluated opnsense + sensei last year only for a few days. using untangle home license for several years. So this is not a granular comparison between the two.

    web/application control are roughly the same for both products. Chose untangle because:
    * found the integration of the modules or apps are more cohesive since it's made by the same vendor which makes it almost like an appliance. So the looks and configuration for all apps are the same.
    * sensei on the other hand, is a third party addon for opnsense. Last time i check, you need to update sensei manually. All apps including untangle itself are updated automatically.
    * More comfortable with Linux (untangle) compared to freebsd (opnsense).
    * Better hardware compatibility in untangle because it's Linux based.

    Here's my take. Whichever you choose, you can't go wrong with either.
    Last edited by balrog; 08-13-2021 at 12:07 AM.
    tlchappell likes this.

  3. #3
    Newbie
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    Aug 2021
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    6

    Default

    ahh gotcha...kind of like untangle is a one stop shop and done. Vs opnsense you are kind of bolting on the extras with 3rd party software.

  4. #4
    Untanglit
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    18

    Default

    OPNsense is wonderful but Untangle hits ticks all the right boxes for me. I was using Sensei for a while but Untangle just works and is easier to manage. It may not be as packed with functions as Sophos or the more... premium(?) options available and has it's quirks, but I'm not seeing myself replacing it anytime soon.

    If you just need filtering probably adguard or pihole would be enough.
    tlchappell likes this.

  5. #5
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    26,389

    Default

    OpnSense is a stronger layer 2/3 platform. Sensei is a nice upgrade, but in the end I don't have much of an advantage over Sensei vs using a DNS filter.

    When you swap back to Untangle you get WebFilter which is more powerful in basic features, and backed up with Untangle's Reporting... which is honestly legendary.

    Untangle is simply the more mature solution at this time. In the future? Who knows.
    tlchappell likes this.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  6. #6
    Newbie
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    Aug 2021
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    Default

    thanks for the info Ccdmnk and Sky-Knight!! I am a BA by trade so I am still learning all this network stuff. Its been a fun trip, but my apologies if I ask this wrong .....when you say DNS Filter vs Sensei..does that mean Sensei only does DNS filtering, kind of like how a Pihole/Adguard does? And Does Untangle do more of session based or application based Filtering? I.E. If the kiddos got smart and changed their DNS numbers Sensei would be unable to stop them where Untangle would still block them?

  7. #7
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    26,389

    Default

    No, Sensei works via direct session inspection similar to how Untangle's Web Filter works.

    Behind the scenes there's a DNS lookup to a special cluster that provides the categorization results. So yes, Sensei should be catching kids that subvert your DNS lookup chain. But the quality and control provided by Sensei feels a lot like those DNS filters. Web Filter by comparison is just more robust. I can do IP / SNI with WebFilter with a click and it seems to catch more stuff.

    Of course there's the final curve you see... OpnSense's logging is crap compared to Untangle's Reports. So I might just be detecting the differences in visibility.
    tlchappell likes this.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  8. #8
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Thanks for the clarity! Appreciate folks taking to time to explain that to me.

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