How to add a DSL modem to pfSense ?

  • Hello. Now that I am the proud owner of a pfSense firewall-router, which works for me in my home environment, which still provides to me causes for personal training in technical territories which were alien to me before and which I am proud of, I look around to cover weak links in my network arrangement. The industry for switches and WIFI access points seems rather alive, resourceful and competitive. No question of weak link there. But the same is not obvious on the market for DSL modems, where ISPs appear to me to rule as masters.

    Can a DSL modem function be added to a pfSense device ?

    Alternatively, is there a pfSense-equivalent project under way for DSL modems (opensource, possibly freeBSD and rather demanding in terms of the performances, line-state-monitoring and security it can provide) ?

    Thank you very much for any indication.  :) :) :)

  • Hello, I think, you can of course add your DSL modem to pfSense. First you have to put your DSL modem into Bridge mode and disable DHCP server in it and then add your PPOE credentials in pfSense. We have created this method in Mikrotik and have never tried it in pfSense, but I think, steps should be normally the same.

  • Thank you emammadov. I am glad to read that, the solution for adding my own modem works also on a pfSense device the way you describe. I have it set up with an old Thomson Speedtouch modem on my SG-1000 microfirewall. This thread ("How to access my Thomson Speedtouch modem web GUI through my SG-1000 microfirewall" <;topicseen#msg784762>) describes more of it.

    I apologise if my original post was not clear enough. I own three modems and am amazed by the low quality of these devices. Of particular importance for a DSL modem sitting at my home and facing my ISP's understatements, is to be able to evaluate the quality and performance of the upstream DSL line, which my ISP will never tell or admit.

    1 - They may not admit that the line is defective: if they do not want to correct it.

    2 - They may not admit the line is excellent, to instead keep on deliberately throttling the bandwidth from their end in an attempt to lure the customer into a more expensive contract, with the ISP's supplied modem and stuff.

    Currently, I am experiencing situation 2 after the installation by my ISP of a device in my village to reduce my DSL line's length from 4700 m down to 700 m.

    My stats, today, are as follows:

    Modulation:ADSL2 PLUS

    Annex Mode:ANNEX_A

    Downstream Upstream
    SNR Margin: 17.3 7.8 db
    Line Attenuation: 14.2 7.9 db
    Data Rate: 10271 1022 kbps

    Note the enormous SNR margin of 17.3 decibels. I would gladly bet my modem could synchronise at the SNR margin of 6 db, which is the normal target for SNR Margin at the ADSL2plus modulation. This could result in a stable downstream data rate of around 20000 kbps (almost double the current 10271 rate). But my ISP throttles the bandwidth from its place and denies doing so, possibly for commercial reasons. If I consent to purchase an expensive contract with VoIP and pay-TV, they swear the bandwith will magically be liberated. Legally, this stands for a tie-in contract: plain illegal where I live.

    With such a line, with a VDSL modulation, which my line is now declared to be capable of, I could reach the 50000 kbps data rate. Worth doing something !

    It may even be possible that other ISPs play the same dirty tricks to their customers (tie-in contracts), who knows ?

    Rather that wasting my time in litigating, my desire is therefore accessing a good modem, ADSL and VDSL capable.

    Hence my question 1 (is a pfSense appliance a modem or able to become so with a package);

    Hence my question 2 is there an open source DSL modem project underway, capable of allowing a high level of security and capable of line-state-monitoring.

    TIA for suggestions, even speculative.  8) 8) 8)

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