USB Wifi card to use as AP, which hardware?



  • I want to make my own wireless router with pfsense, and I know that pfsense (or freebsd) has good support to atheros chipset in PCI, but I don't know if is the same on USB devices.

    Also, I have a LOT of problems finding some USB wifi dongle with atheros chipset here, so if you can tell me which another chipset works in AP and Monitor mode on pfsense, would be great.

    Thans a lot



  • I found in a local store the CNet CWD-854 USB, it seems to use RAL driver, do you know that card?



  • pfSense uses the FreeBSD operating system and device drivers. You can read the FreeBSD man pages at http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi
    The device drivers have man pages and the man pages for the wireless device drivers generally state it if the device driver supports operation in AP mode.

    The FreeBSD ral driver supports PCI devices based on Ralink chipsets. The FreeBSD ural driver supports USB devices based on Ralink chipsets. The Cnet CWD-854 is listed as a supported device and the man pages mentions operation in HostAP mode.

    One thing to be cautious about: Sometimes network device suppliers change the chipset without changing the model name. Hence the fact that your preferred device is listed as supported doesn't necessarily mean that every device with that model name will be supported. Maybe your local store will let you return it if its is not recognised by pfSense.



  • I think the D-link DWL-G112 USB works fine. I have tested mine.



  • I still have problems with the cnet device, it reboots the machine after a while, the more data transmited, the sooner it reboots :( if i don't use the wireless, then nothing happens :(



  • Is there anything reported on the console before the reboot? A panic report?



  • yes, this one
    (attached as image)




  • This is a kernel problem generally caused by some code attempting to derefrence the NULL pointer. These are often quite difficult to debug without a crash dump. Sometimes they are difficult to debug with a crash dump. In this case its probably up to the FreeBSD developers to fix the problem and you would be doing the community a service by lodging a FreeBSD problem report at http://www.freebsd.org/support.html

    I'm not able to recommend any quick solution except use an Atheros based wireless PCI card. There are quite a few brands using the Atherose PCI wireless LAN chipset. I can recommend the TP-LINK TL-WN651G because its given me trouble free service for the past 18 months.



  • I found that working with same USB dongles but in a computer with intel chipset nothing fails, but on another computers with via chipset, it fails…. it appears that via usb chipset or drivers have problems....

    do anyone knows about this?



  • This could be a difficult problem to debug.

    My pfSense box has a VIA chipset (CLE-266). My WAN interface is a USB 1 (12Mbps) ethernet. I've not had this sort of problem.



  • umm, maybe the CPU? the box I use is mini-itx via with via cpu also….

    i will test on a via motherboard with AMD cpu....



  • @wallabybob:

    This could be a difficult problem to debug.

    My pfSense box has a VIA chipset (CLE-266). My WAN interface is a USB 1 (12Mbps) ethernet. I've not had this sort of problem.

    Hi, Could you please let me know if there is any config I should do to get a USB ethernet working as a NIC.

    I have a USB wifi dongle (Atheros chipset), and it is just doesn'r pop in the web interface menu



  • @mrcola:

    Hi, Could you please let me know if there is any config I should do to get a USB ethernet working as a NIC.

    I have a USB wifi dongle (Atheros chipset), and it is just doesn'r pop in the web interface menu

    As far as I can tell there is no FreeBSD support (and hence no pfSense support) for Atheros USB devices. There is FreeBSD support for some Atheros PCI devices. There seems to be general agreement that the Atheros PCI devices work well. (That has been my experience.)



  • How about zyd drivers

    [i386,amd64] The following devices are known to be supported by the zyd(4) driver:

    Belkin F5D7050 v.4000

    I have got this one as well

    http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=zyd&sektion=4&manpath=FreeBSD+7.0-RELEASE

    Cheers RW



  • @mrcola:

    How about zyd drivers

    But you want to use it as an access point!

    The FreeBSD man pages (accessible from http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi) don't list Access Point mode as one of the available modes.

    Sorry I didn't treply to your earlier question about USB NICs. My pfSense box has a Jetway mini-ITX motherboard with a onboard VIA NIC[LAN], a daughterboard with a Realtek NIC [OPT1], a USB NIC [WAN] and an Atheros PCI card [WLAN bridged to LAN].

    The USB NIC is recognised by the udav driver with no tweaking on my part. The USB NIC is a USB 1 (12Mbps) part but that is unlikely to be a limiting factor in my configuration because my ADSL modem rarely reports speeds greater than 6Mpbs download and 1Mbps upload.



  • @wallabybob:

    This is a kernel problem generally caused by some code attempting to derefrence the NULL pointer. These are often quite difficult to debug without a crash dump. Sometimes they are difficult to debug with a crash dump. In this case its probably up to the FreeBSD developers to fix the problem and you would be doing the community a service by lodging a FreeBSD problem report at http://www.freebsd.org/support.html

    I believe the problem is the same as http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=119945.  It has been fixed long time ago in OpenBSD-current (see the URL), but I suppose the patch didn't make it into FreeBSD.  Is there a hope to include it in pfSense, because FreeBSD developers don't seem too worried about this particular problem?


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