• Hi there,

    Was wondering if someone knows if PFSense can be set up to work as a DSL modem/router, and what hardware and PFSense configuration should be made.

  • It might, but it's not a common setup.  You'd need an internal DSL modem, like this one:

    Internal modems seem to have fallen out of favor though, and most of the ones I can find are pretty old (that one sues a PCI bus instead of PCIe).  I looks like FreeBSD has support for some internal DSL modems, but that may be the limiting factor.  The more important question is why would you want to?  External DSL modems are cheap and plentiful.  An internal solution would probably end up being significantly more expensive in the long run, and require a lot more work to set up.  What's your use case?

  • Netgate Administrator

    There is support for cards such as the Sangoma because they are effectively a complete ADSL router on a PCI card. They appear to pfSense as a network card and you configure them via telnet/webgui exactly as though they were an external device.
    Internal modems collected a bad rep in many areas for bringing lightning induced line surges directly to the router and destroying the whole thing. Not really an issue where I am but was for many.
    If you really want to create a 'one box solution' you might be better off getting a small ADSL modem, like the Draytek V120, and mounting it internally in some way.
    Personally I prefer having them separate as I can have the modem as close as possible to the incoming line socket with the minimum of connections giving the best line speed whilst having my pfSense box somewhere more central.


  • Just get the cheapest possible external ADSL modem that you know to be bridge capable. Much cheaper and easier than trying to wrestle with hardware that is usually only supported on Windows (with the odd ones that appear as network cards excluded of course).

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Looks like it's well covered in the thread but worth repeating in summary:

    Internal ADSL cards are:
    1. Difficult to locate/source
    2. Expensive
    3. Unsupported
    4. A bad idea from an electrical/surge point of view

    Working in PC repair years ago, I saw dozens of DSL modems fried over the years, and countless more entire PCs fried because of internal dialup modems. Replacing a DSL modem is probably on the order of $25-50, if that. Replacing your entire firewall (and the DSL card!) would be significantly more expensive. Surge protectors aren't perfect… It's not worth it.

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