Configuring multiple AP:s



  • I've successfully installed pfSense at home, a couple of friendes, and at my work.
    At work we have more than one AP and we plan aditional ones.
    To configure / reconfigure those can be quite tedious and I found this little nice thing:
    http://www.netgear.com/Products/APsWirelessControllers/WirelessControllers/WFS709TP.aspx
    And then it hit me:
    Is this something that could be accomplished with pfSense?
    It might already be someone out there with these thoughts?

    // Assar



  • The problem with controllers like this one is they have to be specifically set to control a certain kind of access point. Like that one only works with a couple of netgear APs. We have an Aruba wireless controller with 90 access points and they only work with an Aruba controller. There isn't any really good standard for wireless controllers so each vendor kinda does its own thing to lock you in. Some, like the Aruba one, tunnel all of the traffic back through the controller for a unified wireless network, while others just control the SSID names and encryption.
    One potential open source solution would probably be something with OpenWRT. I would suggest anything open source so you don't get locked into a vendor. We are getting screwed into the ground with support costs to get firmware and we can't do a thing about it without dropping the entire infrastructure.



  • I have several pfsense APs as well and would love if one could be a "master" and allow for seamless roaming from access point to access point without my having to have drop and renew an IP address as I get within range of another; actually I wouldn't even mind if I had to have the smarts on another box and have that intelligence centralized for a "Unified Wireless Network" as it is with Cisco, Siemens, Enterasys, Trapeze, Aruba, etc.  I'm not sure if that's really hard to do, and hence why they are in the business of providing, but I'd love to see the coordination of access points. It's not a big deal for most applications, but doing VoWLAN without it is impossible.  Seems that a lot of people have read this thread, but not much posting on this topic.  I've used DD-WRT and Open-WRT, but I don't think they offer anything like this either.



  • There is a bounty CMI - Central Managment Interface for pfSense devices - {Now $4,000}
    http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,13679.0.html

    I haven't set up wireless on pfsense but check out the bounty and maybe you could contribute to it if it does what you want.



  • Thanks focalguy, but seems more like central management and not central control.  I want seamless hand-off and it doesn't seem to be a part of the bounty whatsoever.  I only have 3 APs, so it's central management isn't much of an issue for me… but maybe I missed something.



  • Well maybe that's not helpful to you at all. I was thinking that if you could configure them all to be the same then they could hand-off to each other automatically. I'm not sure what that requires though so maybe it depends on the AP or the wireless card attached to pfsense.



  • I don't see why you would need to constantly have to access them via a central site.  You could just take the config of one and use that as a template and then just upload.  I have 12 AP's at a facility and did just that.  It has been 1 year since the deployment and I have never had to touch them.  I also thought it would be cool but after one year I am glad I did not waste my time investing in a centralized AP management solution.  Though your needs might be different.



  • hi

    my reply may be late, i am providing internet in a hospital compound for nurses, doctors, consultants and hospital's offices; ill discuss the wireless part:

    Group A of 3 buildings
    the 3 builing are connected to 16 port switch, then to corinex cable modem, then to my switch in server room, each building have 50 meters hall way and rooms are distributed on both sides of the hall way, i have installed 4 AP11B access points per floor, all nurses are comunicating with thier familly overseas using VOIP, PC2phone, phone serve… you name it, i also use my aserone notebook to move all over the building browsing and pinging the server with no time out from floor to floor, building to building.

    Group B of 2 buildings
    same as above, but due some limitation in laying down a cable between Group B and server room, i installed an omni antenna in server room sending signal to srroundings and to Group B buildings as well configuring both access points as bridge.

    Management building
    3 story building with access points all arround, the main switch of this building is connected to a bridte

    i hope this hels a little

    hadi57



  • @hadi57:

    hi

    my reply may be late, i am providing internet in a hospital compound for nurses, doctors, consultants and hospital's offices; ill discuss the wireless part:

    Group A of 3 buildings
    the 3 builing are connected to 16 port switch, then to corinex cable modem, then to my switch in server room, each building have 50 meters hall way and rooms are distributed on both sides of the hall way, i have installed 4 AP11B access points per floor, all nurses are comunicating with thier familly overseas using VOIP, PC2phone, phone serve… you name it, i also use my aserone notebook to move all over the building browsing and pinging the server with no time out from floor to floor, building to building.

    Group B of 2 buildings
    same as above, but due some limitation in laying down a cable between Group B and server room, i installed an omni antenna in server room sending signal to srroundings and to Group B buildings as well configuring both access points as bridge.

    Management building
    3 story building with access points all arround, the main switch of this building is connected to a bridte

    i hope this hels a little

    hadi57

    are you using 1 pfsense servr or something else ?



  • i am using 1 pfsense server in basic mode and nothing else attached to it.


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