Wireless Mesh with pfSense ?



  • Hi everyone

    I'm recently asked to deploy a 5 to 10 nodes mesh wireless setup to connect 500-800 clients simultaneously.

    The current gateway is a pfSense box doing outgoing LB to two ISPs.

    I have complete choice over the wlan cards / wlan hardware

    Thus the question, can 2.x be setup as a wireless mesh network ? (probably using Alix 2dX as AP's)
    Is there any guide / doc on the topic available somewhere ? (i couldn't find anything really relevant for a mesh network newb ..)

    If not, is there a commercial solution you guys used and worked with in the past that would be reliable enough ?

    Many thanks for your time and advices.

    r.



  • Don't bother with pfSense for wireless.  Use dedicated APs that are designed for this kind of work.

    Is this indoor or outdoor?  Have you called someone like Streakwave to get their opinion (mentioned by name because I've dealt with them before and they recommended some nice hardware to connect two of my buildings via wireless).



  • don't take peas to your nose but in this big setup I strongly prefer to use cwne or cwnp guy. They should have knowledge what is needed for this kind situations. From the mounting of the antenna to the legal requirements of eirp etc.



  • thanks to both of you for your replies.

    the setup will have to be movable & deployable on various event locations, that will mainly take place in europe, (.uk, .nl, .fr …)

    so i know there is probably no setup that'll match all situation, but at least, there must some affordable mesh network setup possibilities i could try
    (yes i looked into dd-wrt and open-wrt as a possibility ..)

    i should look into linksys products too, i was in a conference hall last week where each room had a linksys AP and was meshing the same network ..

    best regards

    df.



  • This sounds like a good candidate for Merkai. http://www.meraki.com

    Their APs can do meshing and are based upon their cloud controller. Simply plug the devices in and they will try to connect to the internet. As long as one device has a network feed the rest of them can either be in repeater mode or also have links. This makes it possible to have APs in places that you can't get a network cable to.



  • Consumer-grade APs like those supported by DDWRT and OpenWRT won't be able to support the number of users you want (80 users per AP) even under ideal conditions and even if those users were uniformly spaced.



  • @bman212121:

    This sounds like a good candidate for Merkai. http://www.meraki.com

    Their APs can do meshing and are based upon their cloud controller. Simply plug the devices in and they will try to connect to the internet. As long as one device has a network feed the rest of them can either be in repeater mode or also have links. This makes it possible to have APs in places that you can't get a network cable to.

    Whew…  Their stuff is expensive.



  • You could use also Cisco Systems wireless mesh devices, those are expensive. But the problem really is that like dhatz sayed consumer devices radios isn't capable doing such big amount of users.


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