Overdrive Pro (4G USB) working but issue with removal



  • Scenario:  Our phone lines were down (for about a week) due to the recent hurricane.  I have a pay as you go device from Virgin Mobile, the "Overdrive Pro" that acts as a wifi hot spot and also has a USB tether option.  I decided to set it up as a backup connection and to share out the device on my LAN using PFSense on my Alix 2D3 and the USB Port.  [Note:  The Overdrive Pro device is available from Sprint and I think a few other mobile 3g/4g vendors]

    At first the interface wasn't accessible (hot plugged).  However, after I rebooted PFSense, with the overdrive pro on and attached, it was detected as a new interface.  I was then able to boot up, configure the interface in pfsense and enable it as a WAN gateway.  When I had it working well, I set up my main DSL connection as the default gateway and made the Overdrive a backup connection following the various multi-wan guides.

    Problem:  I travel and didn't want to leave the overdrive pro forever tethered to the PFSense box so I thought I could unplug it and leave the configuration as is, expecting that when I plugged it back in all would be good again.  And for a while, everything worked fine when I unplugged the device UNTIL I rebooted PFSense for another issue.  At that time the system wasn't coming back up.  Eventually I connected my serial port and used the terminal to determine pfsense was pausing during bootup because the interfaces had changed, and asking for direction.  At that point I think I messed up further by trying to reconfigure the interfaces in the terminal screen and pretty much made things worse.  I spent the better part of a day getting things back working with JUST my old DSL setup (Single WAN) and a LAN/WLAN bridged local connection.

    Question (TL;DR):  Is there a way to use a USB network card as a secondary WAN (on an ad-hoc basis) without having to manually reconfigure PFSense interfaces when it's physically connected/disconnected from the system hardware?

    On a side note, the http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Known_Working_3G-4G_Modems wiki page may be able to be updated with the Siera Wireless Overdrive Pro as being a working 3g-4g modem (or maybe it already is but listed under a different name/chipset).


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    It's not currently possible to keep it assigned and be able to unplug/plug it at will. We've had a few discussions about how to best handle that, and there is at least one open ticket covering some of the issues here http://redmine.pfsense.org/issues/593


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