Does WAN have to be a wireless NIC?

  • Hi,
    I'm trying to set up my pfSense box with my buddy and we both have two NICs in the machines that are in working order as well as compatible. Does the WAN NIC have to be "Wireless"? I would like to configure the pfSense box like this:
    my buddy: Modem -> pfSense box -> router -> PCs
    Me: Modem -> hub -> routers and server -> PCs
    is this possible?
    PLease help!

  • Hey there PCBuilder!

    I'm a bit confused as to the purpose that you built this pfSense box for. If you already have a Router in the loop, then are you using it as an additional layer of security or acting as an access point?

    Also, your Modem can only provide one IP Address, so I would not put a hub/switch right after it. Only one device is going to get that address (This is your public IP address).

    Should be something like this:

    (ISP) –-- Modem ---- pfSense ---- Switch/Hub ---- PCs

    Now, you can (Should not) have 1 wired nic and one wireless and make it an access point, but you will consume for WLAN bandwidth real quick since it is a shared medium.

    I would have 2 wired nics and 1 wireless if you need to have wireless. I never put a wireless nic in a pfSense box before so I'm not sure how security and authentication is handled. I took a cheap rosewill wireless router and setup as a switch & AP.

    Post your hardware and I think we'll have a better grasp on how to get you and your buddy all setup.

  • I built the pfSense box to cache my webpages, download windows updates to keep the latency down on my home server, and as an extra step in security. I built the one for my buddy in order for him to be able to use the pfSense as a DHCP server and as a caching machine. (his internet is ungodly slow)
    I have no time to finish this right now, i will as soon as i can sorry.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Please clarify your wireless question when you can, neither of your diagrams appears to show a wifi connection.  :-\


  • I am confused what to assign what in pfsense to have an input (from modem to pfsense) and what to have as an output (from pfsense to my server [as an extra security measure]).
    I have two wired NICs and one Wireless NIC. I am confused what to assign what in order for things to work.
    at this current moment i have the pfsenes box hooked up to a router (input through a wired card) and then the other wired card is an output to my PC.
    make sense?

  • Netgate Administrator

    Yes, that makes sense. The standard (default perhaps) configuration of pfSense would be two wired NICs. One assigned as WAN connects to your DSL/Cable router (or better modem) and the other assigned as LAN connects to your local machines that you want behind the firewall.
    There is no wireless requirement unless you need to have that.
    Of course pfSense is very flexible so there are many thousands of ways you could potentially connect things.  ;)


  • Thanks,
    I got that all set up and working, now what I want to do is make it to where my server is in control of DHCP and DNS (the computers connect to my server, then connect to the pfSense box) is this possible?

  • Netgate Administrator

    Yes. Just disable the DHCP server on the pfSense LAN interface (Services: DHCP Server:) and enable it on your local server. The servers DNS settings will have to be hard coded since it can't receive them from your ISP directly. That's not really a problem you can use your ISPs DNS severs or some public DNS like Google's or just use the pfSense DNS forwarder on the LAN interface.