Beamforming, 802.11ad, MU-MIMO, 60ghz?

  • I'm looking at manufacturing a new commercial router, and I love the idea of using open source software like pfSense, but I'm wondering if there's a way to support beamforming and MU-MIMO and next-level 802.11ad technology like 60ghz/triband with pfSense. We could just partner with an existing manufacturer/developer, but I'd MUCH rather go open source if at all possible because of the rest of our ecosystem.

    I'm not the software developer, I'm just the business guy, so I don't know what I don't know. I've seen some people saying that pfsense isn't really as much of a router package as it is a firewall, but I'm just wondering where the deficiencies are and if I should scrap the idea of building with pfSense from the start.

  • FreeBSD wireless support in that regard is significantly lacking. No 11ad support at all, and even the 11n/g/a is suspect driver-wise at times. If you have a pile of money to put into wireless kernel development (and can find said developers), maybe a viable option.

  • That's discouraging.  :( I hoped pfSense would be a good place to start. Didn't really want to start from scratch or have to go to Cisco or Asus.

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    So what your going to place these "routers" all over the house for wifi coverage in 802.11ad… From what I am reading the range is so short and lack of wall penetration your going to have to be in ever room.

    That does not sit will with the term "router"..

    When it comes to wifi, yeah I would forget pfsense having anything to do with it other than the router/firewall/captiveportal to the network.. Use AP to get your wifi on the network, then use pfsense to route/firewall that network.

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Let APs be APs, and firewalls be firewalls. Convergence isn't all it's cracked up to be.

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    ^ exactly!!!  This desire to have some tiny box that does everything doesn't work well for wifi coverage.  Its always going to suck compared to properly placed AP(s)..  I am glad to see the pfsense store doesn't even offer the internal wifi cards as option on their appliances any more and only external AP..

    As we move to 802.11ad the option of 1 device that provides wifi access going to be useless unless your "router" is in the 1 room of your house you want wifi coverage in ;)

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