LTE modem and pfSense



  • Has anyone tried connecting pfSense to an LTE modem?





  • Actually, having thought about it and looked around for an LTE modem, I see that you can get them as PCIe cards, so maybe I could build my own pfSense box using a NUC and one of these cards and would not need a separate  modem.

    Does that sound feasible?



  • Probably no.
    Usually place where pfsense box sits is not a best place to signal reception quality.



  • Signal reception quality? I don't think this could be a problem — just use external antennas. There is a lot of antennas you can put elsewhere outside on the roof or wall.



  • @w0w:

    Signal reception quality? I don't think this could be a problem — just use external antennas. There is a lot of antennas you can put elsewhere outside on the roof or wall.

    So would it be feasible to build something like this using an external antenna?

    Presumably you could mount an antenna externally…



  • This is again depends on placing - you could not wire a 100 meter cable, attenuation will be to big.
    Also - you need to find a compatible PCIe LTE modem, this could be troublesome in some places, depending on your location  (don't forget different bands!)



  • @pan_2:

    This is again depends on placing - you could not wire a 100 meter cable, attenuation will be to big.
    Also - you need to find a compatible PCIe LTE modem, this could be troublesome in some places, depending on your location  (don't forget different bands!)

    I would be very much interested in building such a box, but don't know where to start…

    I guess I first need to find a PCIe LTE modem that works with pfSense - apparently there is quite a choice, but I'm not sure what  you mean by 'compatible'. Compatible with what? Also I need a box and a motherboard. I was thinking of some sort of NUC but haven't come across one which has an opening for an antenna.



  • Just came across this:-

    https://blogs.serioustek.net/post/2016/01/15/intel-nuc-external-antenna

    This for Wi-Fi…. can I assume the same approach would be feasible for an LTE modem?



  • @Balanga:

    @pan_2:

    This is again depends on placing - you could not wire a 100 meter cable, attenuation will be to big.
    Also - you need to find a compatible PCIe LTE modem, this could be troublesome in some places, depending on your location  (don't forget different bands!)

    I would be very much interested in building such a box, but don't know where to start…

    I guess I first need to find a PCIe LTE modem that works with pfSense - apparently there is quite a choice, but I'm not sure what  you mean by 'compatible'. Compatible with what? Also I need a box and a motherboard. I was thinking of some sort of NUC but haven't come across one which has an opening for an antenna.

    1. Compatible with FreeBSD/pfSense (drivers)
    2. Compatible with your service provider https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LTE_frequency_bands#Deployments_by_region


  • @Balanga:

    @pan_2:

    This is again depends on placing - you could not wire a 100 meter cable, attenuation will be to big.
    Also - you need to find a compatible PCIe LTE modem, this could be troublesome in some places, depending on your location  (don't forget different bands!)

    I would be very much interested in building such a box, but don't know where to start…

    I guess I first need to find a PCIe LTE modem that works with pfSense - apparently there is quite a choice, but I'm not sure what  you mean by 'compatible'. Compatible with what? Also I need a box and a motherboard. I was thinking of some sort of NUC but haven't come across one which has an opening for an antenna.

    Having acquired a 4G/LTE USB modem, I've abandoned the idea of using a PCIe LTE modem. I have it working under Windows because it comes with its own software which it installs. It's called Mobile Partner which is provided by Huawei and is described as Open Source Software, so I guess it could be built on FreeBSD. Maybe a FreeBSD version already exists….


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