Most RELIABLE WWAN Failover?

  • Hi all!

    I have been on the hunt for the most reliable wireless WAN failover for pfSense.  To date I have used two USB modems (I'll find the make and model numbers later), a Netgear Nighthawk M1 MR1100, and a D-Link DWR-921.  All have failed!  The USB modems seem to give up after about 15-20hrs of operation (or standby), the MR1100 just locks up and needs rebooting after a few days and sometimes resets its configuration or shuts down its LAN port (2 tested), and the only DWR-921 I tested had a faulty sim card slot so I ended up sending that one back.

    Has anyone had solid reliability from any type of 4G LTE WWAN device?  I am trying to espouse this for our company and all of its clients, but I am constantly doing warranty calls on them and making no money!  Please help!

    Please tell me the make and model, your configuration, how long you've had it running, any issues you've had with it (either with the setup or random things that have happened since setup), how often it gets used (no point mentioning it if your WAN never actually goes down), and what speeds you can typically expect from it.

    Many thanks everyone!!  8)

  • I heard 3G via Huwei USB Sticks (i think) i have heard good things about the Fail Over options, granted, no the best options, and would require some serious configuring for Fail over Reliability, Bandwidth Mgmt etc.

    Hope this helps.

  • Try this:
    Netgear LB1110:
    Netgear LB1111:

    LB1111 is the same as LB1110 but with PoE.

    It is simply a 4g/LTE bridge with an Ethernet port. So pfSense can use it as gateway (primary, failover, load balancing).
    You don't need to tinker around with USB and any other stuff. Just plug'n'play  ;)

  • Thanks @zanthos, looks good but it's not for sale in our country, probably because it doesn't support our exact frequency bands in Australia.  Even still, it's quite expensive - I was hoping for something cheap with USB because it won't be used very much, only for failover.

    Anyone got experience with USB 4G LTE modem as failover?

  • Netgate Administrator

    Support varies enormously between devices. Generally older devices are more likely to work. Check the list first:

    Newer LTE devices with higher speeds are less likely to work. Critically there is no QMI support at all (AFAIK) in FreeBSD so any device that only supports QMI cannot work.

    pfSense itself works best with devices that support a PPP interface as the code can deal with those disappearing. Devices that appear as a USB Ethernet NIC can work well but if they are unplugged whilst still assigned pfSense will not boot correctly. It asks you to re-assign the interfaces at the console as one of them has vanished!

    Something that terminate the connection in an Ethernet port as already suggested will always work well (assuming that doesn't fail itself!). It looks like they are available:


  • Not available in AU yet.  Clicking "Buy now" gets you a "Coming soon" message.

    There's a thread on Whirlpool.

    Perhaps Netgear are doing conformance testing.

    It seems like it would be an expensive solution when you factor in the rip-off mobile data plan costs.

    EDIT:  JB HiFi seem to be selling it for $200

  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    It seems like it would be an expensive solution when you factor in the rip-off mobile data plan costs.

    OP asked for most reliable.

  • @Derelict:

    OP asked for most reliable.

    Fair enough  :)

  • This is a very reliable piece of hardware:
    It handles 3G/LTE with MiniPCI-E modules which you can install on your own, based on what frequencies are at your location (pull one out from some laptop, for example).
    It's got two ethernet ports and also built-in WiFi, casing has reserved SMA mount hole for external antenna mounting if you want to (either buy on eBay or pull from a dated home router).
    It runs OpenWRT so you can do anyting with it: just bridge the LTE interface (QMI, USB Ethernet and PPP supported) with one of the Ethernet ports and plug that into pfSense.
    There's a battery and no-battery version of the device, so you can choose depedning on your needs.

    They say it's industrial grade, I confirm that because I'm using one since almost 1 year.

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