Have a burning question? You're likely not alone! Check out our FAQ's for some clarity on our most commonly asked TNSR® software questions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is TNSR?

 TNSR logo-2



TNSR® is Netgate’s a high-performance software router.  It is designed and built from the ground up, using open source software projects including Vector Packet Processing (VPP), Data Plane Developer Kit (DPDK), Free Range Routing (FRR), strongSwan, Clixon, YANG data model and more.  


TNSR software can scale packet processing from 1 to 100 Gbps and beyond on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware - enabling a number of secure networking applications to be delivered for a fraction of the cost of legacy brands.


TNSR can be deployed as a bare metal image, VM, or bundled with a Netgate appliance.


It can be managed by CLI or RESTCONF API - the latter enabling multiple instances to be configured and managed via orchestration.

How is TNSR software different from pfSense software?

Simply stated, the pfSense project is an open-source firewall software distribution, and TNSR is a high-performance software router.


pfSense software has been in use since 2006, and covers a wide variety of secure networking solution needs. TNSR software is much newer, and to date has been more targeted in its secure networking solution coverage.


While it is entirely possible and plausible that some secure networking use cases can be addressed by either product (albeit with dramatically different performance), TNSR software is not positioned as a “pfSense software replacement”.

For a more comprehensive comparison visit our dedicated TNSR vs. pfSense software page here

Will TNSR replace pfSense?

pfSense software will continue to be developed and supported. TNSR software is meant for users with greater throughput, more stringent traffic needs, and / or prefer multi-instance orchestration management over single-instance GUI management.

Will there be a Community Edition of TNSR?

There is no plan for a free (Community Edition) version of TNSR software. There is, however, a trial version of  TNSR software. You can get more information about a trial here and pricing here.

How do I know what hardware is required to run a Bare Metal Image?

Netgate provides a hardware compatibility list (HCL) in our TNSR documentation here.


A bare metal image can be purchased here.

How does software licensing work?


At the time of appliance shipment or bare metal image purchase, the annual subscription software license start date begins and runs for 365 days.

CSPs have their own controls in place for pay-as-you-go and annual subscription license management.

Is TNSR beneficial to any existing pfSense software users?

pfSense software users appear in every vertical, and every size / type of organization. Many are likely to remain content with pfSense software for some time. But others, have asked for more than it is designed to provide. TNSR software has been out for a year and has been adopted by customers who needed to solve high-bandwidth (40-100 Gbps) routing and packet filtering problems. TNSR software serves as a product for users with more modest performance requirements - but still beyond the capabilities of pfSense software. Below. we’ve outlined a few use cases where we believe pfSense users may benefit by moving to TNSR software:


As a home user…

  1. I have an edge router, firewall and/or VPN appliance equipped with 1 or 10 Gbps NICs. But, the software cannot perform packet processing functions fast enough. This means I am underutilizing my hardware and/or network connection speed.

  2. My internet connection now has to deal with more application traffic owing to work at home, household users who are big gamers, an increased use of VoIP, etc. I’ve noticed some performance degradation, specifically slower response time. I’d like to claw that back.

  3. I’m really not a big pfSense package user, I just want raw speed for the buck. I built my own appliance. I know the exact access control list (ACL) configuration I want. I just wish I had high-performance firewall software that could keep up with my appliance.

  4. I run a homelab. By definition, I can never have too much bandwidth. More importantly, I’m really curious about advanced networking capabilities and want to dive into APIs and Python programming - a necessity for tomorrow’s network engineers. I cannot do that with pfSense software.

As a Small to Medium Business (SMB) user…

  1. IoT has led to many more devices using my network uplink, and we are starting to get complaints from our users that things aren’t as fast as the used to be.

  2. We bought a new security gateway with 10 Gbps uplinks, but our firewall software cannot run at even 10% of that speed.

  3. More and more of our inter-site traffic is sent over IPsec. We know that leads to a sharp throughput decline. Regardless, we still want to use our high-speed links more extensively.

As an Enterprise user…

  1. We have to have high-speed IPsec connections between our business locations. The same goes for corporate and remote office links to our data center and cloud instances. 1 and 10 Gbps speeds are de rigueur for us. We’ve spared no expense on for the fastest hardware. We need secure networking software that doesn’t cause it to sputter under load.

  2. Intellectual property protection is everything for us. Tight control over each employee and contractor’s application access is a must for us. When a risk is identified, we must be able to administer access control changes in an instant. IT automation is critical.

As a Service Provider…

  1. We are running out of IPv4 address space. We need a scalable, performant way to translate large volumes of IPv4/IPv6 addresses.

  2. We face severe competition, and must constantly find ways to cut cost and add services quickly and easily. We see open-source software as essential to our long term viability, but do not want to be saddled with having to productize it ourselves.

What performance can I expect with TNSR?

TNSR has outstanding packet per second (PPS) and Megabits per second (Gbps) throughput. Exact performance will, however, always depend on software release, underlying hardware, and of course, the type of traffic.

See our performance page below for a list of criteria to consider, our latest test setup and results:


How do I manage TNSR?

TNSR can be managed via Command Line Interface (CLI), RESTCONF API (an HTTP-based protocol that provides a programmatic interface for accessing data defined in a YANG data model), or Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).


Available commands and capabilities are chronicled in our documentation.


CLI detail can be found in our documentation here:



RESTCONF API detail can be found in our documentation here:



SNMP detail can be found in our documentation here:


Do you provide API examples?

Yes. A growing number of API code modules are already written and openly shared in our documentation here, including the ability to choose exact syntax by TNSR software release.

How can I get a Trial or Evaluation version of TNSR?

There is no longer an “Eval” or “Trial” version of TNSR. You can evaluate TNSR Home+Lab, a free subscription offering that functionally identical to TNSR Business, but can’t be upgraded or patched.


You can access TNSR Home+Lab by going to the subscription page  and clicking the register button. All you have to provide is your first name, last name, a valid personal (for home use) or business (for lab use) email, and an organization name (if not for personal use). We also have to ask you to agree to read and abide by our eval agreement and GDPR compliance recognition. Then, you’ll receive a link to the Home+Lab instance via an automated email workflow.


That email workflow will also provide instructions on where to learn about installation, configuration, forum support, etc. We will not badger you from an email or otherwise outbound sales process. We will drop a couple of emails early on (just to see how the experience is going for you, so we can continually improve the overall user experience), and, we’ll drop one last email 30 days before the free subscription expires.

Did we not answer your question?

Did your burning question not appear on our FAQ list? Reach out to us directly and we will be happy to answer your questions. 
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