I've run into an issue that I can't seem to figure out, which is not surprising since I just started using pfsense a few days ago, but I was hoping someone could clear it up for me.
first, the setup.
cable modem wired to> pfsense box(older AMD dual core with 4 GB of ram and 2 gigabit Ethernet cards, both showing up and verified working with pfsense loaded.) wired to> TP LINK WA901ND Access Point(forwarding dhcp) wireless to> Netgear WNDR3700 V2 loaded with DD-WRT(dhcp server disabled but has a USB port which I had previously been using as my print server).
with the netgear not hooked up everything works fine, except of course that I cant share my printer out without using windows printer sharing and always having an account logged in and running on one of the kids PCs [which is just kind of a pain in the ass tbh]. the problem is that as soon as I hook up the netgear, seemingly no matter how I try to configure it, it knocks the rest of my network offline.
due to how my house is built and where the phone/cable outlets are located, there is only one place in the house I can have my cable modem. due to my fiancé and her aversion to punching holes in the wall, the truly horrendous speeds i get with powerline networking, and the nightmare of finding an 802.11N internal PCIE 1x NIC that works with pfsense(at least in my experience), I am unable to do anything but have my modem, pfsense box, and tplink AP in the same room. I need the netgear in another room of the house to function as an access point/print server if possible and preferably as a wired router for my kids PCs, or just as a print server if the AP part wont work. but again, no matter how I've tried to configure it, it always wreaks havoc on my network.
I was hoping someone with deeper networking knowledge/experience could shed some light on the appropriate way to keep all of the hardware where its at while accomplishing as many of my goals as possible.
the problem is that as soon as I hook up the netgear, seemingly no matter how I try to configure it, it knocks the rest of my network offline.
A bit more information would help. For example, what do you mean by "knocks the rest of my network offline"? does that mean you don't get any response to a ping directed at www.google.com from the pfSense console? Does it mean you can't access the pfSense web GUI? etc etc. Details like When I do … on a system connected to ... I get response ... when I expected to see ... would be much more informative than the executive summary.
Perhaps you have duplicate IP addresses, perhaps you have multiple WiFi access points using the same WiFi channel, perhaps you had a panic when some part of the network didn't behave as expected and you overstated the problem.