Need PfSense 2.0.1 to connect to a wireless router via USB wireless adapter.



  • I live in a very rural setting. Internet is supplied to the ISP CSE located on my tower on a hill and then distributed by a 4-watt wireless router to me and two other neighbors. The signal is strong but normal wireless adapters do not have enough power to talk to the router on the tower. I and my neighbors have 1-watt USB wireless adapters that work well for that but would like to have more than one machine to receive internet. Can I have the 1-watt USB adapter act as the WAN interface and then have a second wireless AP on the OPT1 interface and have all machines get to the internet by accessing the local wireless AP?  How do I do it? I am not well versed in wireless networking so please forgive me if this is just a stupid question. Thank you in advance for your help.



  • @demoman357:

    Can I have the 1-watt USB adapter act as the WAN interface and then have a second wireless AP on the OPT1 interface and have all machines get to the internet by accessing the local wireless AP?  How do I do it?

    1. Yes
    2. Configure the interfaces in pfSense in the standard way. Default firewall rules on OPTx interfaces block access to other networks so add appropriate firewall rules on OPT1 to allow access to internet and block access (if appropriate) to "local" networks.

    Some special considerations for wireless:

    1. You should probably choose distinct channels, appropriately separated, for the WAN link and OPT1 link. What bands do they operate on? (e.g. 2.4GHz? 5.6GHz?)

    2. You should probably position the devices or antennas to minimize radiation from the WAN link into the OPT1 antenna and vice versa. Do either of the devices have attached external directional antennas? More power is one solution to the range problem but use of directional antennas can be a much more effective solution, especially if multiple wireless devices need to be considered. I have seen some USB WiFi adapters with connector for an external antenna but would need some further research to discover if any of them are supported in FreeBSD/pfSense.



  • Keep in mind that pfsense only supports a narrow range of usb wifi drivers.
    I tried a few from walmart and none worked so I was forced to buy a D-Link DWA-556



  • @ccb056:

    Keep in mind that pfsense only supports a narrow range of usb wifi drivers.

    Good point! When I read the original post I took it to mean the 1Watt USB adapter was working with pfSense but on rereading I see it says only that it was working.


Locked