PfSense with PPPoA



  • Hi all,

    I've been having problems running lots of torrents and browsing at the same time. My old router losing packets I think. Anyway, I build a pfSense system and this instantly solved what 3 cheap routers couldn't. Fantastic!
    Unfortunately I'm swapping ISP's from Bulldog to Sky. With bulldog I used a network modem in bridging mode to access bulldog via PPPoE. Previous attempts with using a router to connect and psSense as the firewall still caused the above problem.
    My Sky Broadband was activated today. They send you a modem, pre-configured to work with their service which uses PPPoA. So my choice is to either use their router and retire my pfSense box (and possibly bring back my old torrent problems) or figure out a way to access Sky Broadband with a network modem or the current router via pfSense without the modem or router causing the above problems.

    Has anyone successfully done this or had any experience with accessing a PPPoA service via pfSense?

    BTW. pfSense reported over 7000 state table entries when it was working correctly, I can only guess that cheap routers cannot handle this many states, but this is only a guess.

    HELP! Please, Sky is cheap and ADSL2+ and I don't want to go back to Bulldog! I have 14 days to cancel.

    Stu



  • I have heard that the built in PPPoE client works for PPPoA situations as well but have never verified it myself.

    It's worth a try atleast…



  • Excellent thanks. I can indeed connect using PPPoE. I'm now back bridging the connection from my modem to pfSense and the browsing response is excellent again.

    Getting the password out of the Sky router was not as easy, they hide it from you. Probably for this exact reason, and customer service said they do not give this information out. Lucking I found a little site that helped me extract it. I hope they don't notice I'm not using their router  ;)

    Anyway, many thanks.

    For the other Sky subscribers on this list, if you want to do the same just mail me and I'll let you know what I did.

    Thanks

    Stu



  • Awesome!  Glad that its working for you.



  • Just an after thought here, this is the same problem I had 2 weeks ago I found out.  Qwest said they only support PPPoA and not transparent bridging or PPPoE, while they don't support it, apparently there server doesn't really distinguish between PPPoverATM or PPPoverEthernet.  Qwest modems inherently seem to have some dns issues, so I was glad to find this out, sorry I didn't report on it sooner.



  • Just out of interest, why doesn't pfSense support PPPoA? Is it a technical difficulty or has it just not been implemented yet?



  • @StuartPM:

    Just out of interest, why doesn't pfSense support PPPoA? Is it a technical difficulty or has it just not been implemented yet?

    Did you read the above posts? Looks like PPPoE works for PPPoA installs too? Did you test it?



  • PPPoE works fine for me over my PPPoA line. Hopefully it will continue working when they upgrade the line to ADSL2+ which will happen in a couple of months.



  • As far I as understand it you are just adding extra encapsulation, that's why the MTU of a PPPoE connection can only be 1492, only thing I'm not sure about is if the DSL modem re-encapsulates it before it ships it off to the ISP.  At any rate it seems to be working well for both of us.  You should know that at the moment dual PPPoE interfaces aren't supported on the wan side of things.  Most your run of the mill routers support PPPoE, I have plans to try and set them to send user/pass and just statically configure the IP on the pf wan interfaces.  I've tried some other configurations, if that doesn't screw up the routing tables I think it should work fine.  We'll see what happens



  • @Justinw:

    Just an after thought here, this is the same problem I had 2 weeks ago I found out.  Qwest said they only support PPPoA and not transparent bridging or PPPoE, while they don't support it, apparently there server doesn't really distinguish between PPPoverATM or PPPoverEthernet.  Qwest modems inherently seem to have some dns issues, so I was glad to find this out, sorry I didn't report on it sooner.

    I can confirm this.  I have been using Qwest for the last 17 months using pppoe and the modem [Actiontec GT701-WG] set to transparent bridge.  It has worked great until about a few weeks ago my download rate was cut in half, supposedly because they don't support pppoe.  I wired the modem directly a win2k box and put the modem back in pppoa, my download went back to what it was before.  The m0n0wall mailing list suggests pptp, i'll be testing that an other solutions later today…



  • @BlackTopBurning:

    @Justinw:

    Just an after thought here, this is the same problem I had 2 weeks ago I found out.  Qwest said they only support PPPoA and not transparent bridging or PPPoE, while they don't support it, apparently there server doesn't really distinguish between PPPoverATM or PPPoverEthernet.  Qwest modems inherently seem to have some dns issues, so I was glad to find this out, sorry I didn't report on it sooner.

    when transperantly bridged there router should hold the atm interface up on there network and bridge that with the ethernet interface on the otherside.
    pppoe and pppoa are no differnet from a authentication point of view. atm has a larger overhead than ethernet and pppoa allows the binding to the atm interface(should be able to tranverse a larges subnet poor discription for ethernet over atm ideas) just like pppe binds to the ethernet interface.
    the only real issues should be related to
    (1) service tags on ppp connection maybe differnet service tags for differnet classes of service
    (2) mtu changes getting over bandwidth restrictions
    (3) some isp related change that is ubiquitous.

    i would not think that pptp would work, pppoe and pppoa dont use IP the your lcp requests and ip inside the ppp packets. whereas pptp is something completely differnet



  • well here is my story…

    i have been running my alcatel 510v4 for about 3 years in bridge mode with m0n0wall / pfsense / astaro firewalls all in pppoe without any problems.  8)

    till last sunday evening about 11 pm no internet any more... no matter what i configure it wouldn't work. i have build a brand new firewall with pfsense, new cables, new firmware for the alcatel (i haven't touch that box for over 3 years!), phone calls with my isp efhbroadband (worse support i ever, worse then grease monkeys) nothing was solving my problem. i used ethereal to capture traffic but there was no traffic what so ever coming from the isp network. the only wya to get internet back was reconfiguring the alcatel to become a pppoa box.

    yes you read is correct i can not use pppoe any more that means also i can not use m0n0wall or pfsense any more to create my connection.

    so please is it possible to create a pppoa client on the wan interface?

    bear in mind my original set up was running for years without any problems using pppoe till last sunday i didn't had any internet other then on my work...

    oh, according my isp efhbroadband they didn't change any thing... where did i hear those stories before... let's think oh never mind.


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