Single PC failover scenario
I have a Windows 7 PC with the Ethernet port connected to the internet via a typical cable modem/router set-up. I also have a wireless broadband USB stick that I use on my laptop. I also use it on my PC as a backup if and when by cable broadband connection goes down. I can do the fail over manually, first by disconnecting the network cable, then activating the wireless management software. About two minutes later I'm back on the internet. Now here's my question. Can I use pfSense to automate this fail over? I presume I would need to have both connections active but by default only the wired connection is used to communicate to the internet. When the cable modem connection drops off for whatever reason I need the PC to fail over to the wireless one. I have no need for other users on my LAN to access the internet in the fail over scenario. So, I don't need to bother with a separate PC with multiple NICs, which I understand is one of the primary uses of pfSense. For my idea to work pfSense must somehow detect when the cable modem connection is down. I presume this in one of it's features. Am I on the right track, or am I wasting my time and should use the other method?
You can do this with pfSense but there are some things you should be aware of:
1. Not all USB broadband devices are supported, check the forum.
2. pfSense will ping the gateway of each interface continually to check that it's still up. This could eat into your data allowance if you have one so you might need to disable it.
3. pfSense is a complete operating system designed to be installed on separate hardware so when you say:
I have no need for other users on my LAN to access the internet in the fail over scenario. So, I don't need to bother with a separate PC with multiple NICs
you will in fact need either dedicated hardware or run it virtualised.