Adding 802.11n to pfsense

  • Is adding an external router the only option?
    Which router would you recommend to get a good wifi performance for a reasonable cost?

  • Don't add a router, add access points. pfSense is your router. I've been very happy with EnGenius/Senao products myself. Their EAP350 would probably be a good choice. The design is nice, and they're 802.3af and have good range.

  • Ups, I meant access point  :-[ I think that EAP350's 100mbit port would be too limiting for hd streaming or file transfer over wifi.

  • Netgate Administrator

    The bandwidth of HD streaming is wildly over estimated in many cases. The stream from a blu-ray is around 30Mbps (up to 40Mbps) and all on-line services are far lower than that. <10Mbps for 1080 youtube for example.
    The real problem is that you won't get 100Mbps over wifi even if it claims a much greater speed. That bandwidth is shared between all your wireless devices and is half duplex. You may get 100Mbps if you have a 300Mbps 802.11N connection and not too many cleints.

    Anyway you shouldn't have any trouble with 1080 streamed video. Of course YMMV!  ;)

    There is a great web page about this I read somewhere but I can't find it now.  :-\


  • If you find the link, please post it.

    In regard to 100mbit being a limitation I was refering more to file transfer than 1080p streaming.
    At the moment I am using a pci 802.11n card (mimo, 3 antenas) but it only runs in g mode since there is no support for n mode in pfsense/freebsd and I am not too happy about the signal coverage as well. I was told using a router/ap should significantly improve both problems.
    This webpage is helpfull, unfortunately some AP/raouters I am considering aren't on the charts/reviews:

    This looks interesting:


  • The 100mbit port is a non-issue. For one thing, you shouldn't run a 2.4GHz AP with a 40MHz channel width (required to get the 300mbps rating). Due to the 800ns guard interval to maintain b/g compatibility, your MAXIMUM PHY LAYER SPEED is 130mbps.

    You will never, ever, saturate a 100mbps LAN link with 20MHz 802.11n. Even a 40MHz channel could only saturate it under absolutely perfect radio conditions rarely, if ever, seen in the real world.

    It's a complete non-issue.

  • Ok, thanks for clarifiying.

  • No problem, also, I realized the EAP350 is gigabit. I haven't paid much attention because as I said it's more a marketing point than something that will ever matter in the real world. You'll need a power injector (or 802.3af switch) that supports gigabit (or use the power adapter, but honestly, if you're not going to do PoE don't get the one that looks like a smoke detector LOL) to allow 1000mbps. Like I said, though, it serves little point. Gigabit will matter with 802.11ac, but not with 802.11n (even 300mbps in the 5GHz band would be hard to saturate a 100mbps link with)

  • I'm also in the market for a good wireless N dual band access point. Small Net Builder's benchmarks has convinced me that to get the best wireless performance I should just buy a wireless router and go dd-wrt (which I am familiar with).

    The RT-N66U looks great, and it has dd-wrt support, even approved from ASUS. Might end up with that, but wireless AC is looking appealing too, might stick it out with my GN router till AC comes out.

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