Jetway wireless problems…is there something better



  • Hi everyone,

    i've been using pfsense for just over a year now, running on a jetways like this one:

    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Mini-ITX-pfSense-Firewall-WAN-LAN-Router-VPN-Jetway-NF9D-2550-5x-GbE-LAN-/200837853469

    first let me say it is very nice to NOT have 'turn the router off and on again' be the go-to solution to network problems.  now i am almost always sure that if there is a network problem, the pfsense box isn't the source.  pretty sweet.

    I wanted this configuration for dual wan + wired lan and wireless lan.  The wireless doesn't seem to register for pfsense, so instead i attached another router just for wireless. Since only 3 of the LAN ports work with pfsense, this means i have 2XWAN + 1 LAN which is both wired and wireless at once.  not what i originally intended, but it works.  For reference, this is for a business application, i run the firewall, NAT, WAN failover/failback (which is awesome!),  logging, about 20 simultaneous connections (SIP, wired and wireless workstations)…that is about it.

    my question is, would something like this: http://store.netgate.com/ALIX2D13-DIY-Kit-Red-Unassembled-P174.aspx work for 2XWAN 1XLAN and 1Xwireless?  Would the lesser specs (slower cpu, smaller HD) be fine for what i run?  is there something else i should consider that has built-in wireless at the jetway's ~$400 price tag

    Your advice is much appreciated,

    martyrX

    EDIT: wrong link to the netgate.


  • Netgate Administrator

    I assume the box has a wifi interface but pfSense didn't recognise it? What is it? You could always replace the minPCIe card with something that works with pfSense.

    You say only three interfaces work. Which version of pfSense are you running? I would expect all 5 to by recognised.

    What bandwidth are your WANs? The Alix box is limited to ~85Mbps total throughput.

    One option, if you can't get all 5 NICs working,  would be to use VLANs to separate your wireless and wired traffic. Your current wifi access point may support that already or you can use a cheap managed switch like the Netgear GS108T.

    Steve



  • steve, i'll get back to you with the info in what is in that box, i am not with the box right now.  looking into it further, i see that the ALIX is probably not quite what i need in terms of power, the APU2 should be sufficient.

    reading it, i see i didn't ask very good questions in my OP…maybe i should just delete this post and start a new thread.  the real question i need answered is: what is a good pfsense wifi solution for ~30 users?  I want something i can buy and implement over and over again...i need a go-to solution for the many businesses I service.

    I have had a terrible time with wireless, shoddy connectivity (even with multiple APs, multiple SIDs, using different channels, etc) but admittedly i haven't tried the cisco ~$3000 solution. but this is why i am using pfsense in the first place: it functions well, especially for the price.  it is the wireless that is getting me down.  certainly no fault of pfsense itself, but rather poor choices i have apparently made so far in choosing prosumer level wireless junk (netgear, linksys, dlink).  did a bunch of reading last night and i'm thinking of trying ubiquiti, but will that be yet another failed attempt?

    i'd love to hear about wireless SMB solutions that people who run pfsense have tried with great success!


  • Netgate Administrator

    Ah, in that case I'm probably not going to be much help to you. The Ubiquity wifi hardware almost always gets favourable reviews here on the forum though. They have a central management utility that can be included in pfSense though the last time I looked into that it was way out of date and reportedly of limited usefulness which is a shame. I believe there was a how-to on the Ubiquity forum.

    Edit: Yes, way out of date:
    https://community.ubnt.com/t5/UniFi/Tutorial-UniFi-3-1-4-running-on-pfSense-2-1-RC/td-p/539534

    Steve



  • thanks steve, i'll give ubiquiti a try.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Like I say don't take my word for it.  ;)
    Large scale wifi is not something I've ever dealt with.

    Steve