Multi Lan Cards vs. Multi Vlans



  • What is the difference between 3 lan cards and 1 L3 switch with 3 vlans.  I am interested in the difference in security and ease of setup. Are there less rules for the lan cards vs. the vlans.

    Which setup is easiest and most secure?? I have a L3 switch and I have the Lan cards and the space in the server..



  • There isn't really a difference in security; however you will get more bandwidth if you use independent cards. Adding rules is the same because the VLANs are just treated like interfaces. The downside of independent cards is that you don't have the flexibility to add new networks as easily.



  • The best solution would be several cards trunked into the switch with the appropriate number of VLANS configured.

    Fast, flexible and convenient.

    But, it seems that this is impossible on pfSense as of yet. A hack is to bridge individual VLANs on each interface, but I continually run into problems trying to implement that. When you add two pfSense machines and CARP, that brick wall suddenly appears just in front of you.

    A single card with multiple VLANs works perfectly.


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