DNS, DHCP and settings

  • Hi,
    I am new to this and need some help. We have a PFSense router connected to a satcom system that is set up to provide DHCP.

    Under General Setup DNS Servers set to and
    Interface > WAN is Static with IP address of netmask of 24 and Gateway
    Services > DHCP Server > LAN Range is to

    The PF Sense is connected through its WAN to the satcom systems LAN. Again the satcom system is set for DHCP.
    Under DHCP server do I need to disable the DHCP server on LAN interface?
    Any suggestions?

  • Hello,

    I'm guessing your setup looks something like:  satcom router[LAN]->[WAN]pfsense[LAN]->switch->rest of your network ?

    If so, then your satcom DHCP will only ever see the pfsense box and that's OK.  Pfsense will assign DHCP for the devices on the LAN side as necessary, you definitely want that.

    You don't mention if this is actually working yet, have you set this up and tried it out?

    For the future, you might want to investigate if the satcom router can be put in some kind of "bridged" mode where it will provide the pfsense WAN NIC with a public IP address.  In that kind of a setup, the satcom acts as a "modem" (maybe a different term for your setup) only and pfsense does all the routing/firewall for your LAN.  The advantage of this setup is you don't have two routers in series which can make NAT and some routing issues more complex and tougher to debug.

    Can you give any more details on your setup, what kind of speeds/loads are you expecting, is this actually a Satellite based connection, how many local devices, etc.

  • divsys. You are correct the setup looks like you have it. The setup does work but i am worried about the satcom provider give another ip address and have things get messed up.
    The problem we have is when the system is shut down a for a few days and then the system is started again with the PfSense router starting well before the satcom which causes it to miss DNS settings - obviously this would take days to test the settings a few times so I thought I would ask on here.

    Yet this is actually a satellite based connection. Local devices can be up to 20. PfSense is also running a Wi-Fi card. These devices connect via Wi-Fi and they are typically apple iPads and Iphones with a few droids and PC's in the mix.

  • FYI the WLAN (Wi-Fi) is set to static at

  • Bit of a kludgy solution, but there are a few boot loader options you can set to delay the start of pfsense.

    If you go to Diagnostics->Edit File->Browse, look in "boot" folder for a file named loader.conf.  There should be a line that says "autoboot_delay="3".  This is a builtin start delay when rebooting pfsense just before the 2nd stage of the boot process begins.  You can increase this to build in a wait for the satcom to come alive, the value is in seconds.  You click "Save" to save you changes.

    Be careful when editing internal files! You can definitely muck things up badly in there.  I would suggest you take a backup before you start so in the worst case you could a fresh install and then simply restore the backup.

    Good luck  :)

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