Setting up PFSense as a switch or hub

  • I have an old computer that I have installed 5 nics and was wondering if it is possible to setup PFSense as a switch or hub that pulls the ip,s from the main router? I f so what are the settings. Sorry for the noob question.

  • Why not instead buy a 5 port switch, they're not expensive and will be a far better approach than trying to use a PC as a switch.

    You could bodge it by bridging all interfaces and disabling all firewalling and NAT, but it it'll be far more effort than it's worth.

  • I was trying to utilize what I have available and learn in the process. I know the switches are not that expensive it was for more of the knowledge than anything. Thanks for the replies.

  • I have it done I used Untangled. Awesome program

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    You can do it with bridging, no need to disable the firewall/nat. Bridging is ugly, but it can work for things like this.

    The downside of doing the bridging on a router like this is that you will lose a lot of speed potential over a switch, since the firewall has to process the packets that go between each port, whereas a switch will handle it locally with special-purpose hardware made for passing traffic between ports quickly.

    So yes, it can work, but it's likely going to be slow (even with Untangle), but if you are only using low-bandwidth applications it may be OK.

  • @jimp:

    So yes, it can work, but it's likely going to be slow (even far, FAR more so with Untangle)

    there, I fixed it.  ;)

    You can hack the sysctls to disable filtering entirely for if_bridge which will make it pretty quick, not nearly as quick as a switch though, you're going to be limited by the PCI bus using a standard PC. If you don't care about getting a lot of throughput between the hosts it won't matter.