Does VLAN traffic go direct between devices?

  • Please bear with me as I have a basic question I don't know the answer to and I have tried google.

    I know that when LAN devices are connected to a switch, traffic from Device A can go to Device B without needing to go via a router.

    My question is - what happens when Device A and Device B are on a VLAN and I have a managed switch? Does traffic between devices still go direct or does it have to go via pfsense? Or, does pfsense just 'tell' the switch if traffic is allowed without the data having to actually go via pfsense e.g. if A is a media server does the full movie data have to go via pfsense or does it go direct to B once pfsense says it's ok?

    I'm trying to do some capacity planning on my network and I'm trying to understand if I need another nic connected to the switch to cover LAN traffic on top of my WAN-LAN traffic that is set to increase as I get a gigabit connection.

    Thanks in advance

  • Netgate Administrator

    Either it all goes direct via the switch; if both A and B are on the same VLAN.

    Or it all goes via pfSense; if A and B are on different VLANs (different subnets) then routing between them is required.

    The only exception to that would be if the switch is layer 3 and can route itself.


  • Thanks - that makes sense and helps me plan upgrades

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