Use WLAN as a "WAN" and have a WLAN connection?



  • I am wanting to use a pfSense installation as a way of receiving and sharing a wi-fi connection.

    My particular case is with a caravan installation - many caravan parks offer guests free WiFi.  I would like to have a pfSense installation connect to that WiFi and treat it as a WAN, and then create my own wireless LAN subnet.  So basically, I would connect my laptop via Wireless to my pfSense computer, and then the pfSense computer would be connected to the van park WiFi.  This would allow some firewalling (I don't trust "free" WiFi much!) and also allow me to have more than 1 device connected (e.g. two laptops or similar devices).

    Is this possible with pfSense?  I would be using a very small (itx-based) computer with USB WiFi adapters.

    (I would also like the manage the WiFi "internet access" with a 3G wireless modem, and have failover between those two sources of WANs, but that is another issue …).



  • Everything you describe is possible.

    Do you have this ITX system already?
    Otherwise the ALIX 2d2 would be a very good system for you. http://pcengines.ch/alix2d2.htm

    You can put 2 miniPCI WLAN cards into it and have one as WAN and the other as local_WLAN.
    You also have 2 ethernet ports so you can connect on one you local wired LAN devices and use the other as WAN to connect your 3G wireless router.

    In fact i had the exact setup working for 4 week out in the field….
    Primary WLAN as WAN (directional antenna over 8 km).
    Primary Ethernet as WAN2 with an UMTS-modem connected.
    Secondary WLAN with a Captive Portal to provide local WLAN.
    Secondary Ethernet for local wired clients.



  • @GruensFroeschli:

    In fact i had the exact setup working for 4 week out in the field….
    Primary WLAN as WAN (directional antenna over 8 km).
    Primary Ethernet as WAN2 with an UMTS-modem connected.

    Which WLAN cards did you use with the ALIX?
    Tried some CM9 labeled cards recently with different results. They are Atheros based but don't seem to be Wistron cards.
    I see RF levels from full down to zero and connection speeds from 54MBit down to nothing. There's nothing obvious that I see with my WiSpy that could cause this. Physically stable surroundings, no people walking around, but drifting as hell.

    Also, which 3G modem did you use and which version of pfSense to get it working?




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