Can I use pfSense in a Pi as a bridge between to networks?

  • My brother's bought a Mitsubishi Outlander. And it has a totally idiotic setup to set the timer for the warmer: It creates it's own wifi without any connection to a mobile network, and you have to be on that to connect to the car with the app. My Volvo has a mobile network, so I can warm it up from anywhere, but Mitsu has for some strange reason chosen this dumb stuff. Worse: The range is like shit. And having to go out in the morning, half an hour before you plan to drive, to connect to the network and warm up the car sort of defeates the purpose of getting out and then jump straigth into a warm car!

    So my thought was to connect the car's network to his home network using a wifi client of some kind (I can use an old Asus range extender I have laying around) with the LAN port connected to a power line LAN from the the garage and into the house, and finally have a Pi there with pfSense that connects the car's network to his regular wifi setup with rules that sends the app that way, maybe even having the pfSense box between the DSL modem and his wifi router. Is that possible? To me it sounds like the car works like a router, only without an Internet connection, so it would be like bridging two routers, I guess.

  • I believe what you’re talking about with the car is an ad-hoc wireless network. And, with the Pi, it doesn’t have the correct innards to run the pfsense software.

  • Netgate Administrator

    You can have something act as a wifi client and connect to it, sure. And that could be a RPi but not one running pfSense.

    You could have pfSense connect directly via a wifi card of some sort or via something else like the wifi extender. pfSense will route between those subnets no problem.

    Seems surprising the car cannot connect as a client itself. Also doing everything locally via wifi is not necessarily bad. It won't stop working because Mitsubishi shuts down the service. It won't download malware when the server gets hacked. Other IoT reasons!

    Edit: Of course if you can't even change the wifi password that doesn't bode well. 😬


  • I thought pfSense was working on the Pi, since Gonozopancho did it, but I guess he didn't make a how-to. ;) OK, so that's out. As for ad hoc network I had even forgotten that the damned thing excisted, from back in the 90's when it was actually in use! ;) I agree that if it had been a cowboy car factory (like so many electric car companies now) it could be a problem, but Mitsu has been around for a long time, so I wouldn't be more scared about them stopping the service then Volvo doing it for my car. And malware is not really a thing with simple stuff like setting the heater, but with a Tesla I agree it could be a problem.

    I will take the extender out there some time during next week and see if that picks up anything, thanks!

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