Help WIFI setup with Atheros PCI card on pfsense machine!!!

  • Hi guys

    i have read different threads on the forum and made alot of tests but haven´t managed to get it working yet.

    My goal is to get this wifi card running as a wireless dhcp lan server to all my wireless devices to get access to internet.

    so here is my setup

    P4 intel 2.8GHZ with 2GB Ram

    4 PCI slots with the following setup

    1 WAN    RJ45 ( Main internet access setup as PPOE for my VSDL Provider 50mb) running OK
    2 WAN2  RJ45 (Second Link Cable Modem as backup internet)
    3 LAN    RJ45 (DHCP Server on LAN, which goes out to my 16 port switch where all my machines wired have access to the internet
    4 WIFI  Card (this is my new card added, it detects the card ok on pfsense, i have created a new interface, and selected all the wireless configurations using WPA mode and even selected static IPv4 with different  lan subnet from my main DHCP lan wired network ip´s, so it won´t conflict with the others)

    but my WIFI is not going up the link, on the dashboard i can see the new IP address created 192.168.xx.1 but with the red arrow DOWN, i have checked all my settings and i still don´t know what i am doing wrong, also when i try to scan the WIFI network on my Iphone or any other wifi device it does not detect it at all.

    Any ideas on how i should setup the wifi properly?

    thanks in advance

  • I am having the same issue, no body is replying to my thread either, I got this working once after having the same issue only trouble is I cant remember how I solved it.  :( :(

  • I find these cards rock solid once set up, but a bit finicky to get right and working in the first place. Things will probably get a lot better with pfSense 2.2.

    Firstly, what exact card do you have? Some are not supported as well as others. I have a PCIe card, AR9280 from memory.

    Here are my settings, if it helps:

  • Hi Legion, thanks for posting those images.

    Can you also post what your settings are for:

    • DHCP server (ie. is there a separate DHCP for the wifi and LAN segments? or does wifi use the LAN dhcp?)
    • How do you have bridging setup (assume simple LAN,WIFI).


  • I'm not at the pfSense machine right now but:

    • separate DHCP servers, because:
    • separate interfaces

    When I first started with pfSense I'm pretty sure I followed something like this:

    to bridge, but within a month or two I started again with a fresh install and created separate interfaces as I learnt how to configure it a bit more.

    So I have no bridge. I have LAN. I have wifi. I have several other interfaces. LAN is my "master" (with nothing actually connected, as it turns out) where pfSense resides (e.g. The other interfaces have their own separate IP ranges (e.g. 192.168.1.x, 192.168.2.x, etc). My firewall rules control how the interfaces are allowed to communicate, so there are explicit rules on each interface to allow pfSense services through to e.g.

  • Thanks. I have read that linky. It's from 2009 and seems to conflict with other posts. As always with firewalls, there are multiple ways to do things :) In this case, none involving the bridge method seem to work for me !

    I'll just go with the separate subnet approach then…or perhaps segments....

    I am using VLAN's as well for a separate guest LAN/wifi. The guest lan is tagged as VLAN 10...the guest wifi is not/can not be tagged and it seems you can not bridge between tagged and untagged. So, long and the short, I'll  need to do this via firewall rules anyway for my guest wifi network so I might as well do it for both.

    Thanks for the quick reply.

  • Seem to have managed to get this working now.

    The bit I did not get was that to bridge LAN and WIFI interfaces, I actually need a third interface (say OPT3) assigned - which is then assigned to the bridge. I renamed this OPT3 interface to LANWIFIBRIDGE

    So, I have three interfaces (excluding WAN interface):

    • I have a bridge (BRIDGE1) defined as LAN,WIFI

    • LAN -> assigned to the network port em0

    • WIFI -> assigned to the network port ath0

    • LANWIFIBRIDGE -> assigned to the network Port BRIDGE1

    • LAN has a static IP address (other interfaces ie. LANWIFIBRIDGE and WIFI are set to "none"). DHCP is only defined on LAN.

    • I have setup firewall rules to allow traffic between LAN and WIFI and LANWIFIBRIDGE.

    One thing, when you define all this, do not click apply until you have all the rules in place (incl firewall rules) or you may lose connectivity to the GUI.

    Still more to test, but seems to work. Hope that is correctly representing the steps and helps others who may struggle as i did with understanding this bit.

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