How to get 802.11n AP on capable Wi-Fi adapter?



  • I've got Trenda W522U bual band Wi-Fi adapter with RT3572 chipset that is capable of 802.11n at 300Mbps (theoretically).
    But when configuring access point in pfSense UI I can only select between 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11a (5GHz).

    What should I do to get 802.11n working and why it doesn't work out of the box?
    I suspect driver on Linux is similar, since it also shows the same standards in Network Manager GUI.

    ifconfig run0_wlan0 list chan:

    
    Channel   1 : 2412  MHz 11g          Channel  11 : 2462  MHz 11g
    Channel   2 : 2417  MHz 11g          Channel  36 : 5180  MHz 11a
    Channel   3 : 2422  MHz 11g          Channel  40 : 5200  MHz 11a
    Channel   4 : 2427  MHz 11g          Channel  44 : 5220  MHz 11a
    Channel   5 : 2432  MHz 11g          Channel  48 : 5240  MHz 11a
    Channel   6 : 2437  MHz 11g          Channel 149 : 5745  MHz 11a
    Channel   7 : 2442  MHz 11g          Channel 153 : 5765  MHz 11a
    Channel   8 : 2447  MHz 11g          Channel 157 : 5785  MHz 11a
    Channel   9 : 2452  MHz 11g          Channel 161 : 5805  MHz 11a
    Channel  10 : 2457  MHz 11g          Channel 165 : 5825* MHz 11a
    
    

  • Rebel Alliance

    https://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=run&sektion=4

    CAVEATS

    The run driver does not support any of the 802.11n capabilities offered
        by the RT2800, RT3000 and RT3900 chipsets.



  • @ptt:

    https://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=run&sektion=4

    CAVEATS

    The run driver does not support any of the 802.11n capabilities offered
        by the RT2800, RT3000 and RT3900 chipsets.

    Thanks , this explains why I'm not seeing 802.11n.

    So much pain with Wi-Fi… do you have an idea if this is going to be fixed/implemented or at least whom to ask this question?


  • Rebel Alliance

    Sorry, i have no idea…

    Also i prefer to use a "Real AP" instead USB/PCI/PCIe adapters....



  • @ptt:

    Sorry, i have no idea…

    Also i prefer to use a "Real AP" instead USB/PCI/PCIe adapters....

    I know most of people here say so, but I believe the only real reason I see these answers is a terrible state of Wi-Fi on FreeBSD and even on Linux it is not so good on modern kernels.

    Anyway, thanks for you help, will try to find a driver maintainer or someone else to investigate what I can do about this.


  • Rebel Alliance

    No, it is not just about the Driver/Support

    It is about "where" you can "mount/install the "Real AP"  versus "Where you can Mount/Install you pfSense with the USB/PCI/PCIe adapter"



  • @ptt:

    No, it is not just about the Driver/Support

    It is about "where" you can "mount/install the "Real AP"  versus "Where you can Mount/Install you pfSense with the USB/PCI/PCIe adapter"

    My machine is Mini-ITX and generally comparable in size to the large consumer-grade wireless routers with multiple antenas, also I plan to use detachable antenas, so cable can be used if needed to put them further from the box itself. So in my case location is not a concern.


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    Even cisco is stopping wireless interfaces. They now build in an access point and connect to it with gig-e internally. There is really no reason to deal with wireless APs at an interface/driver level any more it's just not worth it. Connect one to an ethernet port. Solved problem.



  • PCI/PCIe/USB wifi adapters are now mostly "black box" devices that rely on vendor provided firmware for operation. If you have any problems with the device or the provided firmware on your not so common operating system like FreeBSD it's tough luck, the vendor could help you with debugging the problems but it very certainly requires that you sign an NDA with them and you can't publish any of the results of your work in form of improved drivers with source code.

    Linux gets away with this by "brute force" reverse engineering, they have so many more people working on the kernel and drivers that eventually the secrets of the devices are revealed. In some cases the hardware vendors do provide their own drivers for Linux because Linux still has some weight as a buzzword and providing drivers for it can been seen as good publicity.



  • dont get your hopes up with pfsense (rather freeBSD) when it comes to wireless support, youll get almost nothing.

    I know some people run 2 different VM with this case, 1 for PFsense and 1 for their favorite Linux distro (I recommend OpenWRT since its minimalistic and has broader driver support specially wireless).

    I used to have issues with atheros based chipset with freebsd, it throws a bunch of beacon errors like well it can flood the entire log file with this in a single day. Not to mention that wireless dropouts is sooooo common. Of course having the same wireless card with OpenWRT and all issues are gone almost immediately.

    tl;dr pfsense wireless is not going to get better, you better get a dedicated AP and save your self from headaches.



  • Well, my point for having Wi-Fi in pfSense itself is not only about hardware, but also about having software that will actually be updatable for years with all of the security patches that are needed in the world we live.

    My 2 previous wireless routers were TP-Link and Asus ones and I was always running custom firmwares on them, because there was issues with stability, features and security on both of them. And eventually third-party developers stop doing releases at which point I'm switching to nightlies and then the whole development freezes and device is inherently vulnerable forever.

    pfSense for me is an OS that I can put on hardware and update it constantly for many years while occasionally swapping some parts (like replacing Wi-Fi card with newer one in 5 years). Consumer-grade hardware is a security nightmare IMO and I wanted to avoid using it even just for Wi-Fi connectivity. I'm fine with paying a bit more for it, I'm fine in investing time into reporting bugs and even fixing some myself (have already one PR pending review on GitHub).

    It is very unfortunate that this is not going to change any time soon and there is not even an interest in changing that it seems.

    Well, I'll think about putting 2 VMs, but it compicates things a lot more in terms of maintenance that I'd like it to be.


  • Rebel Alliance

    Why you don't just get an  Ubiquiti UAP AC / UAP AC Lite, and "enjoy"  ;)

    If "security" is a concern, install FreeRadius in your pfSense and use the UAP with "EAP"


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    ^ exactly you can get a AC lite from unifi for < $80, and can tell you they are very active in development of not only their firmware for the AP, but the controller software that you can run if you want to monitor and control your wifi.

    That cheaper than many soho wifi routers ;)  And now you can properly mount it and its POE as well.



  • @johnpoz:

    ^ exactly you can get a AC lite from unifi for < $80, and can tell you they are very active in development of not only their firmware for the AP, but the controller software that you can run if you want to monitor and control your wifi.

    That cheaper than many soho wifi routers ;)  And now you can properly mount it and its POE as well.

    Well, I can buy 802.11ac router for around $30 USD in my area with 2x2 MIMO (one of the cheapest ones), but it will require additional power supply and cabling to the pfSense box. In contrast for the same price I can get an adapter with 4x4 MIMO and no external cables at all (connected internally to USB 3.0 header). It is incomparably more convenient to have everything in one box, this is exactly why most people buy consumer wireless routers. And I don't have much area to cover, it is just 3 rooms and pfSense box is in the middle.

    Also device with PoE is nice in some cases, but for me this is even more devices and more cables everywhere.

    It looks like you're working somewhere at the enterprise and having lots of hardware with different software stacks is fine for you, but I'm dong this for home use and while can afford and maintain all of it, it is way more complex than I'd like it to be.


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    I have 3 unifi AP in my "home"  And its not very big.. 5ghz does not cover much area..

    Maybe its just that you have never actually had good wifi?  And are happy with such soho or card sort of wifi..  And like to have shit you always have to "fix"?

    Whatever dude I am not going to be able to help you with this sort of stuff - good luck through..



  • @nazar-pc:

    I've got Trenda W522U bual band Wi-Fi adapter with RT3572 chipset that is capable of 802.11n at 300Mbps (theoretically).
    But when configuring access point in pfSense UI I can only select between 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11a (5GHz).

    What should I do to get 802.11n working and why it doesn't work out of the box?
    I suspect driver on Linux is similar, since it also shows the same standards in Network Manager GUI.

    ifconfig run0_wlan0 list chan:

    
    Channel   1 : 2412  MHz 11g          Channel  11 : 2462  MHz 11g
    Channel   2 : 2417  MHz 11g          Channel  36 : 5180  MHz 11a
    Channel   3 : 2422  MHz 11g          Channel  40 : 5200  MHz 11a
    Channel   4 : 2427  MHz 11g          Channel  44 : 5220  MHz 11a
    Channel   5 : 2432  MHz 11g          Channel  48 : 5240  MHz 11a
    Channel   6 : 2437  MHz 11g          Channel 149 : 5745  MHz 11a
    Channel   7 : 2442  MHz 11g          Channel 153 : 5765  MHz 11a
    Channel   8 : 2447  MHz 11g          Channel 157 : 5785  MHz 11a
    Channel   9 : 2452  MHz 11g          Channel 161 : 5805  MHz 11a
    Channel  10 : 2457  MHz 11g          Channel 165 : 5825* MHz 11a
    
    

    I  am seeing the same  thing.  No 802.11n :(  it has have a  ton of problems joining 5GHz 802.11ac or 802.11n networks



  • @WiFivomFranMan:

    @nazar-pc:

    I've got Trenda W522U bual band Wi-Fi adapter with RT3572 chipset that is capable of 802.11n at 300Mbps (theoretically).
    But when configuring access point in pfSense UI I can only select between 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11a (5GHz).

    What should I do to get 802.11n working and why it doesn't work out of the box?
    I suspect driver on Linux is similar, since it also shows the same standards in Network Manager GUI.

    ifconfig run0_wlan0 list chan:

    
    Channel   1 : 2412  MHz 11g          Channel  11 : 2462  MHz 11g
    Channel   2 : 2417  MHz 11g          Channel  36 : 5180  MHz 11a
    Channel   3 : 2422  MHz 11g          Channel  40 : 5200  MHz 11a
    Channel   4 : 2427  MHz 11g          Channel  44 : 5220  MHz 11a
    Channel   5 : 2432  MHz 11g          Channel  48 : 5240  MHz 11a
    Channel   6 : 2437  MHz 11g          Channel 149 : 5745  MHz 11a
    Channel   7 : 2442  MHz 11g          Channel 153 : 5765  MHz 11a
    Channel   8 : 2447  MHz 11g          Channel 157 : 5785  MHz 11a
    Channel   9 : 2452  MHz 11g          Channel 161 : 5805  MHz 11a
    Channel  10 : 2457  MHz 11g          Channel 165 : 5825* MHz 11a
    
    

    I  am seeing the same  thing.  No 802.11n :(  it has have a  ton of problems joining 5GHz 802.11ac or 802.11n networks

    I ended up installing Alpine Linux on my router machine, then installed pfSense and LEDE in VMs under KVM and configured some networking.
    pfSense controls everything and LEDE is a dumb AP. This way it works fine, I even got 802.11ac mini PCIe adapter that is assigned to LEDE and it works great too.

    I'd like to have just pfSense without extra hassle, but it is not possible any time soon.


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