PPPoA using USB ADSL Modem?



  • Hi,

    Does pfSense support USB ADSL modems using PPPoA (needed in the UK)?

    If so, how stable is such a setup?

    I ask because I have a Soekris NET5501, with two USB ports that might be used for a dual-WAN setup without tying up two of the four Ethernet ports.

    But I am a bit suspicious of USB devices: and maybe USB ADSL modems are now getting too old to support modern ADSL standards, e.g. ADSL2+ and Annex M.

    Thanks for any info,

    • Martin.


  • pfSense doesnt support any modem currently.
    It only supports PPPoE authentication on the primary WAN.

    If you're concerned about using up too many ethernet ports.
    A VLAN-capable switch allow you to have as many interfaces as you want, with only a few real physical NICs.



  • Ah, thanks for the clarification.

    Yet another option for anyone following this.. There's a PCI ADSL modem that presents itself as a RealTek Ethernet port.  This device can be used as a router, or operated in Bridged mode (i.e. as a modem).  I haven't tried it myself, but presumably pfSense would see it by virtue of it emulating an Ethernet port that BSD supports.  http://traverse.kd85.com/



  • Cool card.
    Looks interesting.
    Yes this card will work.



  • I have similar problem.
    I need to connect to adsl line with USB ADSL D-link (dsl-200) modem.
    There is message after modem plug in:

    ugen0.2: <globespan inc.="">at usbus0
    but no valid vlans

    Hardware:
    Old celeron laptop with one USB and no free pcmcia slot.

    Any chance to get it to work?</globespan>



  • On reflection, I thought maybe USB was too flaky to give a solid connection - and FreeBSD has always been slow to add support for all but the most common USB devices.  Also, the USB ADSL modems don't seem to support modern ADSL connection types.

    But, I've had good results with PPP on pfSense using Ethernet ADSL modems:
    http://martins-random-notes.blogspot.com/2009/09/using-ppp-over-uk-adsl-using-pfsense.html

    I've also used the Traverse Viking PCI ADSL card with good results in Monowall (as I was after IPV6 support):
    http://martins-random-notes.blogspot.com/2010/05/traverse-viking-pci-adsl-modem.html

    Hope this helps…

    • Martin

  • Netgate Administrator

    Hi Martin,
    Nice blog, lots of handy info on there.
    I'm currently setting up a similar set of components. For years I ran IPCop with the traverse pulsar adsl modem and it was a great setup but it doesn't support adsl2 and when my local exchange switched over it all stopped working.  :(
    Since then I have been running a d-link router (with Routertech firmware) but it's nowhere near as capable or stable.
    I'm now hoping to switch to pfsense but can't run the newer traverse modem as I've no pci slots. So it's pppoa modem time. I was under the impression that the Draytek (100, 110 or 120) is the only device that offers true pppoa to pppoe bridging? you seem to be saying you had success with other (cheaper!) hardware.
    Any advice?

    Steve



  • martin42, thx for reply!
    But …
    1.
    @martin42:

    But, I've had good results with PPP on pfSense using Ethernet ADSL modems:

    Actually it works like this with monowall, but id like to use one device with battery (see N.2)

    @martin42:

    I've also used the Traverse Viking PCI ADSL card with good results in Monowall (as I was after IPV6 support):

    I use laptop - there is no PCI slot :(



  • @stephenw10:

    I'm now hoping to switch to pfsense but can't run the newer traverse modem as I've no pci slots. So it's pppoa modem time. I was under the impression that the Draytek (100, 110 or 120) is the only device that offers true pppoa to pppoe bridging? you seem to be saying you had success with other (cheaper!) hardware.
    Any advice?

    The Draytek Vigor 120 worked really well, and it's pretty cheap now (at least in the UK).

    The Billion BiPAC 5200 wasn't bad.  It might have been as good as the Draytek if I'd given it more time to stabilize on my line.

    I wasn't impressed with the D-Link DSL-320B as the firmware didn't look very finished, though it might have improved by now.

    Out of the three, the Draytek seemed the best bet, especially as it claims to support ADSL 2+ (including Annex M if I remember correctly).

    In the end I switched to the PCI ADSL card as I thought it would be nice to have one less box.



  • @NOX:

    I have similar problem.
    I need to connect to adsl line with USB ADSL D-link (dsl-200) modem.
    There is message after modem plug in:

    ugen0.2: <globespan inc.="">at usbus0
    but no valid vlans

    Hardware:
    Old celeron laptop with one USB and no free pcmcia slot.

    Any chance to get it to work?</globespan>

    Does anyone have an answer?

    ugen is a "generic USB device" driver. Support for your device is not built into the kernel.

    So what now?



  • Zani: I suspect you will have to arrange support (or do it yourself) for the writing of a FreeBSD device driver for the USB ADSL modem. This could be quite difficult if suitable specifications for the modem are not readily available.

    It would likely be more cost effective (and much quicker) to replace your laptop by something more suitable.

    An alternative might be to use a VLAN capable switch as a "port multiplier" for your laptop, effectively giving you more NICs. This would depend on the laptop NIC being "VLAN capable".


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