NIC Assignment LAN vs WAN



  • I’m new to pfSense.  I’m liking it so far.

    I’m working with older equipment that I have on hand right now.  AMD 1.2 Ghz, 512MB Ram that has onboard realtek 10/100 nic.  I also have 2 PCI cards both 10/100.  Trendnet (realtek) and Intel Pro.  My current needs are basic no vlans etc just connecting to cable broadband in a home environment.  I have a Gige Switch behind the router for the rest of my LAN and I have a WAP off that switch.  So the pfSense router is only for my internet traffic.

    What is the best way to orient my NIC’s?  I’m assuming the onboard Realtek should be a last resort and I should use the Trendnet and the Intel pci cards.  That’s what I’m currently doing anyway…

    Is there a logical or good reason as to the assignment of these cards?  LAN/WAN...  Do I want to put the better Intel card on the WAN or the LAN side for optimal performance?  Does it make any difference?

    Thanks for helping a noob.



  • If you're running pfSense as a simple firewall then it won't matter much. If you're using Squid or another proxy then put the Intel on the LAN.



  • That's how I had it set up.  Until I get a gigabit card probably a Intel Pro Dual.  I am using squid.  Thanks for the input!



  • Just out of curiosity, what is wrong with the onboard card? What makes an add-in realtek better than the onboard realtek? You've got me wondering about my deployment at work now. I'm using an older Dell PE 1650 with a pair of onboard gigabit cards (network is 100 meg though). The onboard cards are Intel I think but could be Broadcom. I am running snort on it now (dual cpus and 3 GB of RAM), should I use add-in cards or are my onboard ones ok?



  • @JoelC707:

    Just out of curiosity, what is wrong with the onboard card? What makes an add-in realtek better than the onboard realtek? You've got me wondering about my deployment at work now. I'm using an older Dell PE 1650 with a pair of onboard gigabit cards (network is 100 meg though). The onboard cards are Intel I think but could be Broadcom. I am running snort on it now (dual cpus and 3 GB of RAM), should I use add-in cards or are my onboard ones ok?

    Realtek NICs stink, on-board or otherwise.

    Intel > Broadcom > Everything else.



  • I'd agree that the 10/100 Realtek cards aren't good (and some define low end), but their Gbit cards are ok (not amazing, but I've had no problems with mine).


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