Is it likely a regular USB-NIC will work?



  • Like for example this one
    http://www.webhallen.com/prod.php?id=74052

    Or this one
    http://www.webhallen.com/prod.php?id=70205

    I dont know if they need special drivers and support in pfsense, or if its just automatic in some way since its USB :s

    I'm planning on installing pfsense on my old webserver hardware (VIA EPIA 800MHz Mini-ITX) but it only has two NICs built in, and I would like at least one more interface.
    It has a pci-slot but no way I can fit a regular NIC in that small box, I'd have to cut the "metal-bar" you usually secure the card with in the back, and also cut some in the chassi to get it out…might as well try something like that I guess but if USB is totally safe and no downside that would be easiest.

    Thanks :)



  • Short answer is that it would be a bad idea.

    What about low profile?  Desktop Adapter Intel Pro/1000GT Bulk - Low profile
    Or get a vlan switch if you nic supports it.
    or both



  • Oh, there is a standard for low-profile pci cards?
    I had no idea…
    Anyway the opening in the back doesn't have any room for anything coming out from that pci-port :D
    So I'd have to cut and saw and whatever to get something out there anyway......I wonder if theres some need for a connection to the chassis, like some sort of grounding the card, like when you screw your NIC/GFX/Sound/whatever card in place, or if its just for physical securing and really not needed electrically :s

    And yeah I have a VLAN-switch and plan to use VLAN which seems to work with the VT6122 but the other built in NIC seems to be a VT6107 and I find nothing about it anywhere so in worst case I'll just have one NIC and you dont get much routing done then :D
    Anyway three physical interfaces is fun, at least noone can hack the VLAN then if you're on the paranoid side ;)

    But ok then, USB-NIC ain't something magical that works everywhere....rather the other way around.



  • The FreeBSD hardware release notes at http://www.freebsd.org/releases/7.1R/hardware.html list the Linksys USB200M as supported by the axe driver and the Belkin F5D5055 (not the F5D5055ED on the linked web page) as supported by the axe driver also.

    That said, I also wouldn't recommend USB NICs for anything other than a temporary solution. I've been using one for some months and have been less than impressed with the reliability of the physical connection in the compter USB socket. I suspect the weight of the ethernet cable pulling the adapter down is stressing the connector on the motherboard. Apart from that the adapter seemed to lock up a few times over the hot summer. (It has behaved better in the recent cooler weather.) In the not too distant future I'll probably buy myself a VLAN capable switch and use VLANs to provide multiple interfaces



  • @wallabybob:

    The FreeBSD hardware release notes at http://www.freebsd.org/releases/7.1R/hardware.html list the Linksys USB200M as supported by the axe driver and the Belkin F5D5055 (not the F5D5055ED on the linked web page) as supported by the axe driver also.

    That said, I also wouldn't recommend USB NICs for anything other than a temporary solution. I've been using one for some months and have been less than impressed with the reliability of the physical connection in the compter USB socket. I suspect the weight of the ethernet cable pulling the adapter down is stressing the connector on the motherboard. Apart from that the adapter seemed to lock up a few times over the hot summer. (It has behaved better in the recent cooler weather.) In the not too distant future I'll probably buy myself a VLAN capable switch and use VLANs to provide multiple interfaces

    Ah ok, good to know, thanks :)

    Yeah buy a VLAN-switch, I have the pretty cheap:
    http://www.netgear.com/Products/Switches/AdvancedSmartSwitches/GS108T.aspx

    It works well with M0n0wall….wasn't 100% crystal clear how to get it all going, but after some hours it was all running.
    Now the M0n0wall box died so I'm looking for another solution....thats why I'm asking about my EPIA-box and NICs for it.



  • I have a dual WAN setup on a supermicro board. I didn't have anymore PCI slots for extra NICs so I used a gerneric USB NIC. I cannot remember the company right now since I am at work, but it works perfect.

    I have actaully had good results using the USB NIC.



  • @tommyboy180:

    I have a dual WAN setup on a supermicro board. I didn't have anymore PCI slots for extra NICs so I used a gerneric USB NIC. I cannot remember the company right now since I am at work, but it works perfect.

    I have actaully had good results using the USB NIC.

    Have you tried this NIC with "real" load and not just for homeuse where it doesnt matter if you're limited to 10Mbit/s?
    ;)



  • Turns out my tiny ALIX-box with m0n0wall is still going strong…it was just the adapter that shorted out some way, trying another one and the machine works :)
    Thanks anyway for the answers :)



  • @GruensFroeschli:

    Have you tried this NIC with "real" load and not just for homeuse where it doesnt matter if you're limited to 10Mbit/s?
    ;)

    I have not   :( I guess its only good for small use.


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