Integrated ADSL Modem

  • Hi All!

    New to the Forum, pf Sense installed for 2 years and very happy with it! Never needed to post, found all answers for all questions here…

    Didn´t find an answer to this one so I decided to post the Question here:

    Why does pfSense need an external Modem? Everyone is used to these combined Modem / Router-Boxes every Provider sells / rents.

    Why can`t pfSense do the Modem-Part? Is it impossible to code, does it need too much CPU, does it need to be hard-coded? License fees for the code?
    It would be just a little nicer to have all the Dial-In done by pfSense...

    Just curious,

  • An ADSL bridge connects ethernet (or USB) to an ATM network. It's not a matter pfsense not having the code, it's a physical hardware requirement that can't be filled by software.

  • thank you, gderf!

    that's what i wanted to know and didn't find.


  • The closest thing would be a PCI card DSL modem, but they are very hard to find, and expensive. See:,32758.msg169359.html#msg169359

  • Would this one be supported:

  • Linux source code is supposedly available. But that doesn't guarantee it will compile on FreeBSD and work with pfsense. Even if this could be accomplished for current pfsense, that's no guarantee it will build and work with future versions.

    Even at that price, which is on the historical low side for such a thing, it's still more than what one can obtain an ethernet ADSL modem for.

    Both of these factors make this a poor choice, even it worked, IMHO.

  • Netgate Administrator

    I believe there was a report of that modem working correctly before.
    As it says on that page the card appears in pfSense as an ethernet card (Realtek RTL8100CL) so there are no fancy adsl drivers needed. What you have there is a standard adsl2+ chipset, such as you'd find in the cheapest modems, but mounted on a PCI card and configured in bridge mode. You have to configure it exactly as you would an external modem, via webgui or telnet. You are unlikely to find the included instaructions of much use at all but if you've done this sort of thing before it should be fairly easy.

    It's nice to have a one box solution but do you really need that? People stopped using PCI cable modems years ago because in the event of a lighting strike/power surge the whole box would be toasted. I've not seen that happen to an adsl modem (here in the UK) but it would be expensive.  ;)


    Edit: Yep, here's that report:,32900.0.html

  • I am in an environment where I want minimum power consumption, 12V DC operation (if possible) and so on. I looked around for a way to have the ADSL modem and telephone line connector built-in to the box I used as the pfSense router/firewall. I gave up! In the end we get various ISPs providing internet to the office/home by different means:

    • ADSL on telephone line,
    • WiMax or other wireless distribution with an antenna on our roof and an ISP-provided end-point routing/connection device,
    • cable/fiber or whatever with an ISP-provided end-point device

    All the ISPs end up giving you an RJ45 ethernet socket with data pouring in/out of it at the speed you pay for. So it turns out to be much easier to have the pfSense router/firewall with an RJ45 ethernet as its layer 1/2 WAN.

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