Realtek NIC question and wireless network segregation



  • Hey guys building a cheap system for my parents so I can site to site VPN with them. I bought a T630 plus which comes with a Realtek nic but I also have a dual Intel nic.

    My question is how important is segregating the wireless network? I can either use one intel NIC for Wan, one for Lan and just plug the wireless access point into a switch and not use the Realtek. Or I can connect the wireless access point to the Realtek nic and segregate the wireless network.

    Not sure if it is better to not use the Realtek at all as I am not sure how important the segregation is. They are older and have less than 10 devices on on their network.

    Any help would be much appreciated.



  • Forget the RealTek NIC, use a smart switch with VLANs.



  • I already bought them a dumb switch and a quad port intel NIC, i didn't realize I bought the wrong size NIC and it doesn't fit into the small pc. Kind of don't want to spend much more money on this. If I was going to buy a smart switch, would i be better off selling my 4 port nic and buying another one that fit? I was so happy to get the Intel Nic with a yottamark that i didn't look at the size :(



  • @xman111 said in Realtek NIC question and wireless network segregation:

    I already bought them a dumb switch and a quad port intel NIC, i didn't realize I bought the wrong size NIC and it doesn't fit into the small pc.

    What do you mean it doesn't fit. If you need a low profile bracket, those you can get for cheap on eBay.

    Kind of don't want to spend much more money on this.

    Then you should do your research before you spend money. Also buying a dumb switch when a smart one costs only a handful of bucks more isn't really smart either.



  • the 4 port network card is very wide so it doesn't fit in, I just totally overlooked it.

    ya the dumb switch I just bought was before I decided to get them pfsense. I just bought it as the 5 port one was getting full.

    ya, i made a few mistakes this time, also I am in Canada so everything is harder and more expensive to get.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Try the Realtek NIC for the wireless. You might find it works just fine with no issues.

    If you see watchdog timeout warnings in the system log you can try the alternative Realtek driver which solves that for most people. The throughput will be less than an Intel card but how much do you need for wifi?

    If you have remote access you can reboot the firewall if the Realtek locks up solidly if you need to.

    Steve



  • @stephenw10 thanks for the reply.

    if it is flakey for my folks, I willl never hear the end of it 😁.. I think I will just return this card and buy a proper Intel quad card that fits.

    now just trying to get a legitimate and not a knockoff.



  • @xman111 said in Realtek NIC question and wireless network segregation:

    I think I will just return this card and buy a proper Intel quad card that fits.

    The Intel quad cards don't vary that much in size, at least if they are genuine Intel cards, as they are designed to be used in a server not a thin client. They also need decent airflow.



  • @xman111 I concur with Stephen and, for what it's worth, can tell you that I've been running two pfSense machines with Realtek NICs (but using the driver here) for years with no problems. I also wonder though how necessary it is for your use case to segregate the wireless network. For a small home network it's probably overkill unless you want to do it just as an academic exercise.



  • here is the picture of the two cards. one is a dual port nic, the other is the quad that I bought by mistake.

    network2.jpg

    I am starting to think it may not be worth segregating the wireless at all. My parents have only one computer, i have a backup Unraid server there, and one firetv box, that is all that is wired. Also a couple wireless devices and when my kids are there, they use the wireless as well. I definitely don't need the academic exercise as my network is all segregated at home, just want it simple and easy so i don't get a ton of calls and emails about problems.

    It really was just so i can run a point to point VPN between my 2 servers and the two homes.



  • Ok so this looks like a very old DELL NIC, and yes they are huge and power hungry. Get an HP NC365t, or an actual Intel i340-t4 or i350-t4.



  • thanks Grimson! Just don't want a knock off :)



  • If your 2 port card isn't a knock-off then you can use it together with a little smart switch like this one: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B008ABLU2I/. Return the quad card, and depending on what you did pay for it the money will likely be enough to pay for such a switch. Just keep away from cheap TP-Link switches, as they tend to have issues with VLANs.



  • good call Grimson, thanks!





  • @xman111 said in Realtek NIC question and wireless network segregation:

    would this one be ok?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/323683685632?ul_noapp=true

    Yes, the NC365T is a very good NIC and the price seems to be OK for a used one. I obviously can't vouch for it's authenticity just from seeing an eBay page.



  • thanks Grimson, he said it is from an HP server pull and he is in Canada so that is perfect. Now I will return the switch for a smart switch and have many options.

    I ordered this stuff while i was on a cruise ship and my mind was elsewhere. :)



  • @xman111 said in Realtek NIC question and wireless network segregation:

    Now I will return the switch for a smart switch and have many options.

    Good choice, you never know when they decide to buy some wonky IoT device that you better separate from anything else.



  • yup, for sure, thanks again for your help!


Log in to reply