BT Internet with 4G Assure
I have a BT ADSL connection. I'm NOT using the BT Router, I'm using a DrayTek Vigor130 in bridge mode to my pfsense firewall which is then handling the PPPoE.
I have a number of static IP addresses from BT as well.
BT have now sent me a G4 Assure USB modem (looks to be a HUAWEIMOBILE). I plugged it into the pfsense firewall but it's not being being detected, well the CD image on it is... and I ejected that with
cam control eject ca0
I'm wondering if anyone else has played with this a knows how to get the modem detected and then how to set it up for failover? I need the static IPs to route over to the G4 connection. I think it should just work when I define the routes.
it looks to be "Huawei E3372h" so install the "usb_modeswitch" package and issued the command:
usb_modeswitch -v 12d1 -p 1f01 -c /usr/local/share/usb_modeswitch/12d1:1f01
brings up a new network interface. with an IP of 192.168.8.100 and gateway of 192.168.8.1
I can connect to the gateway via http and see The Huawei status page.
however that's as far as it gets.. It's reporting that the "Connection Failed. The profile is invalid."
I'm wondering if the official BT router needs to push some configuration at it first.
The BT router probably doesn't use it in router mode but connects to it directly using mbim or similar. FreeBSD, and hence pfSense, can't do that. You may be able to find the connection details and use them to have it connect in router mode.
I've been looking at this, but as far as I can work out, the only way to get 4G Assure failover is to use the BT smart business hub. 4G failover also doesn't work when the hub is used in bridging mode. But it works fine for me in standard mode, in front of my pfSense, forwarding VPN ports through to it.
This config also has the advantage that BT can see into it for troubleshooting the connection, while you keep them out of anything confidential in the pfSense.
I still wish I was able to use the 4G Assure, plugged into the pfSense, and allow the pfSense to fail over to it. But I don't hold out much hope of that working, so I haven't wasted any family time trying! If you think about it, 4G is not designed to ever run in parallel with the fixed connection, so it is highly unlikely to resemble a bonded pair. Instead, so that the static IP traffic can be sent through the correct carrier (ie. EE, instead of Openreach), there is probably some kind of failover at BT's layer further upstream, that either reroutes traffic when Openreach drops out, or, more likely, when the dongle has negotiated a connection to EE and the hub asks for traffic to be routed to it.
While writing this, I am trying to troubleshoot a 9 month old new line over a new physical route which keeps losing connectivity, and the 4G dongle connects to EE, but usually fails to deliver internet connectivity. As you can imagine, it's pretty frustrating that contrary to BT's marketing, my experience of the 4G Assure service is not "reliable", it doesn't "always stay connected" and in all the times it has gone down, they have never proactively tried to fix anything ("We know instantly if your broadband has switched to 4G, so we can focus on fixing it.").
I had high hopes for 4G Assure, but we keep going round in circles. The next level is a bonded pair of physical lines.
Are they actually using a static IP that connects over both? Some sort of tunnel in play then?
I had assumed it was just two separate connections with failover.
Yes. This was useful for my main application, RDP over VPN. When it is working correctly, it fails over to 4G with the same IP(s) in 120-180 secs, and then reverts to fixed line smoothly after about 15-20 mins of stable connection. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's smoother than Dynamic DNS, and much cheaper than dedicated 4G with public IP. In principle, it's more resilient compared to bonded lines because bonded lines will usually run over the same physical route.
It would be possible to achieve by bonding the physical and mobile connections, but I very much doubt they do because they'd have to maintain the mobile connection . However, if they did, failover could be instant and they could bar the lines from being used simultaneously at the router level.
I have 10-20 simultaneous RDP users, who don't tax the bandwidth even on 4G, but do need continuous uptime. They don't complain at a couple of minutes of outage, but they do after about 10 minutes, and I've been getting too much of that and more.
I think it must run as a bridge in someway.. as I have 8 static IPs to my pfsense, and BT claim that they will all failover were I to use the official BT router. Not going to happen btw :).. I've the pfsense too much, and have no wish to add extra unnecessary hardware in the internet path. I have my Draytek 130 running in bridge mode and powered via PoE and thus on UPS working great.
@guyp Great that your connection is reliable enough not to worry about failover. I have no reason to suppose that your 8 static IPs won't fail over correctly. It just replaces your modem, so you don't have any "extra" devices in the chain.
Admittedly, my configuration is simpler than yours, with just one static IP and the BT hub doesn't need to address the devices directly on the pfSense's network; it just uses port forwarding to segregate them, and sends everything down one cable, with the pfSense in the DMZ.
This is the advised configuration if you don't have any services where there is more than one device working off the same port (eg. you only have one file server and one VPN server etc). In other words, if you can use the same IP for multiple services, then do so.
I don't know exactly how you would route the traffic with 8 discrete IPs and MultiNAT, but you have everything you need to try it out, and no downside!