VirtualBox running my wifi network. Is this even posible?



  • First I would like to say that I really have no idea what I am doing and if this is even possible  :-\

    What brought me here?
    I stumbled across a YouTube video (pfSense: How to Turn an Old PC into an Epic Router) and thought WOW! That sounds like it is worth doing, but I don't have an extra computer to use….. Then I found some more videos on using Oracle VM VirtualBox to run pfSense off your main computer. This shouldn't be too hard  :o
    After 2 days of trying different things, loosing the whole network, getting it back, the girlfriend getting annoyed that she can't use the internet, I have come to the conclusion that I really don't know what I am doing (I kind of knew that before I started, Shhh don't tell the girlfriend)

    What am I trying to do?
    I want to use pfSense..... Durrr! I'm thinking the network would look something like this.
    Modem/Router ---> VirtualBox ---> pfSense does its magic ---> Modem 2 set up as access point.

    What I have done so far?
    VirtualBox:
    Running pfSense, Type BSD, Virsion FreeBSD (64 bit)
    Network Adapter 1, Bridged Adapter, Intel Pro/1000 MT Desktop, TP-LINK 450Mbps Wireless N Adapter (Modem 1)
    Network Adapter 2, Bridged Adapter, Intel Pro/1000 MT Desktop, Broadcom NetLink (TM) Gigabit Ethernet (Modem 2 AP)

    pfSense:
    WAN  -> em0 -> v4/DHCP4: 192.168.1.110/24
    LAN  -> em1 -> v4:            192.168.2.1/24

    Modem 2:
    Local IP Address, 192.168.1.240
    DHCP, Disabled

    Problems?
    If I have it set up like this I can't access pfSense UI or Modem 2 UI.
    If I have Network Adapter 2, as  TP-LINK 450Mbps Wireless N Adapter, then I can get into pfSense UI
    If I connect my PC wifi to Modem 2, I can access its UI
    (I think I am missing something here)

    Any help would be great  :D



  • The reason you can access the router interface is because you have a double NAT situation going on .

    Trust me when I say setting it up this way is going to be difficult . Not only are you attempting to run a double NAT but you want to use your wifi in bridge mode to supply wifi to everyone else which is going to be awful.

    You should consider looking for a crappy desktop , even a pentium 3 found in the garbage will do…maybe your grandmother left her old computer in the attic , go get it!

    If you absolutely cannot do this and need to use the laptop , I will reply with how-to instructions .



  • Yeah, na, fair enough. If you say its too hard Ill believe you  :) I was mainly doing it for something to do anyway. Ill see if I can dig out a computer from somewhere and give that a try.



  • A follow up question…..
    Would it make a difference with how it is set up? For example my computer has 2 Ethernet ports. So my original idea was to run 2 Ethernet cords from my modem to PC, then have my TP-LINK 450Mbps Wireless N Adapter as the access point. Would that make any difference?
    Or is the problem that Windows connects to the modem, and then pcSense connects to the modem, making Windows connect to it twice?



  • Do you want pfSense to be your main firewall and router? Is the "modem" you have a router or does it connect directly to your home router?



  • Both modems are modem/routers. My yes to make it my main firewall and router. That way I would have better Antivirus, bandwith control, also the cashing.
    My thinking is, in my house we have 4 computers running Windows 7, also Xbox, Wii U and other wifi devices. So the cashing for windows updates is what got me interested to begin with.
    The main reason I would like to set it up on VirtualBox is because my computer is on almost all the time anyway, so I thought I would be better having everything run through my PC then setting up yet another computer and having to find a spot for it.



  • @MattyT84:

    Both modems are modem/routers. My yes to make it my main firewall and router. That way I would have better Antivirus, bandwith control, also the cashing.
    My thinking is, in my house we have 4 computers running Windows 7, also Xbox, Wii U and other wifi devices. So the cashing for windows updates is what got me interested to begin with.
    The main reason I would like to set it up on VirtualBox is because my computer is on almost all the time anyway, so I thought I would be better having everything run through my PC then setting up yet another computer and having to find a spot for it.

    Welcome a'board  ;D

    (Liked your 'I have no idea what I am doing': I was there too, and still consider myself the eternal noob  :P ).

    It seems generally accepted security practice that you have a dedicated machine to run as the main security appliance for your network. That way eventual crap that ends up on your Windows pc after visiting playboy.com ( ??? ) can not 'worm itself' into a bug in your virtual box, all the way down to the pfSense virtual machine. This is the same sort of logic as that it is frowned upon if you want to run additional, non-security software, on a pfSense box (think things like freeNAS, a mail server, a torrent client, and so on).


  • Netgate Administrator

    @MattyT84:

    If I have it set up like this I can't access pfSense UI or Modem 2 UI.
    If I have Network Adapter 2, as  TP-LINK 450Mbps Wireless N Adapter, then I can get into pfSense UI

    Where/how are you trying to access these?
    It is possible to do this as you originally outlined it's just very easy to get it slightly wrong! Are you familiar with VirtualBox?

    Steve



  • Speaking of Virtualbox, don't upgrade to 4.3.14 as it's horribly broken.  Anyone running any kind of AV solution on Windows is having a problem either starting VB or starting any of their VMs.  Rolling back to 4.3.12 fixes the problem.