HELP APPRECIATED** 3G/4G Modem as WAN Interface?!

  • Hi Guys,

    I currently have a PfSense router configured which i am using as a Virtual Machine within Hyper-V. This has always done me quite well and for the past 2 years has worked with no problems.

    I sometimes get outages on my WAN connection from my ISP and would like the ability to use a 4G SIM I have purchased a data plan on to use as another Interface within PfSense. This will mean that if my main connection drops out, i will be able to route traffic over this during the outage. I am looking for some sort of USB device which will allow me to connect it into the back of the machine which will have the SIM inserted. This then needs to be configured as an interface and i want to put it on a separate VLAN so that i can broadcast it from my Ubiquiti Access Points as another network.

    I guess what i am struggling with is what devices are compatible with PfSense that will allow me to achieve this, and also some guidance on how to add it as an interface.Any Help is widely appreciated!

    Thanks in advance,

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    I would really really really suggest you stay away from such cheap little usb devices. You should look into say a LTE modem, something more like this

    This will just allow for ethernet connection, so no need for any sort of specific support in pfsense/freebsd to use it.

  • Seconded, those devices might work in an emergency if nothing else is available but there are always some quirks about getting those devices to work under pfSense/FreeBSD because the manufacturers don't really care about supporting FreeBSD.

  • Hi guys,

    Thanks for the input, looking at some of the ethernet adapters you've supplied a link for, there is quite a large price difference between these and the USB ones. I was looking to spend no more than £30 on this adapter. Is there an alternative? It doesn't have to be 100% reliable as it won't be used on a permanent basis, if the internet goes down its only for a period of 10-15 minutes. So that is all i'll need to use it for.


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    Then I suggest you just plug it onto whatever desktop you want to use to get to the internet.. You prob have 2 chances of getting some cheap usb device to work in pfsense - slim and none ;)

    Sure have it.. Spend a few hours on it and the small amount of extra money spent doing it correctly is all moot.

    If your talking about 10-15 outage.. Just go get a cup of coffee or beer, have a smoke while its out vs wasting time on something that is not going to work, and if you can get it work will fail when you actually need it to work anyway.

  • Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the input, I do agree that Ethernet would be the best way to go. However, my server (which runs PfSense) is currently on a UPS so i was hoping that by using a USB device, this would allow me to still have an active internet connection to the server even if the power goes out. I did manage to find a device which i believe suits the bill perfectly as it offers an Ethernet output buy also runs on a 5V USB connection. I have attached the link to this below, i'm wondering what you guys think of the reliability of this device (as i know its cheapy-china stuff) and also how easy you think it would be to configure within PfSense?

    Also, i'm not sure where you guys are based but I will be using a Vodafone-UK SIM and just want to confirm that that would work with this device. I'm not great with LTE Frequency bands etc. So you guys may be able to shed some light on that before i go purchase it.

    Thanks in Advance

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    @caltommo said in HELP APPRECIATED** 3G/4G Modem as WAN Interface?!:

    how easy you think it would be to configure within PfSense?

    If it provides ethernet then there would be really nothing to configure in pfsense other than the interface to connect to. Why can you not just plug in say the netgear to your UPS? They also make a battery powered one that can run for like 24 hours on its battery. But its cost more..

    That china thing is only a few dollars less than the netgear one I linked too. I show the LB1120 on amazon for $102

  • @caltommo said in HELP APPRECIATED** 3G/4G Modem as WAN Interface?!:

    Is there an alternative? It doesn’t have to be 100% reliable ...

    You mean as unreliable as your main internet connection? Be prepared that it fails the exact moment your regular connection is down already.
    There is no place for cheap when you need a backup for failsafe operation. Or vice versa, if it has to be cheap then it's not needed.

    I had positive results with this device

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