Cisco aironet and pfsense



  • Guys,
    this is my first time here so please bear with me. I currently have two cisco aironet 1600 that I am trying to setup with pfsense.

    I wanted to use one of them as a repeater for better coverage and then have the other connected physically to a nic interface (LAN) on pfsense box . The isp modem then connects to the other nic (WAN) on the pfsense box.

    The issue is I want to setup 3 multiple ssid with filtered access to the internet and lan. I know I can add a wireless interface to pfsense box to connect to the AP's but the pfsense box will be in a closet and I am concern about drop in connection which is why I wanted it to be wired. Any ideas will be appreciated.



  • The 1602's have great coverage so I don't think a closet would affect the range much, unless it's made out of solid rock or something.

    The best solution for you would probably be to buy a wireless controller, like the 2504, and let it control the ap's. In that case you could have up to 4 SSID's, and you'd get the same 4 SSID's on all ap's. You wouldn't need a bridge. Plus, you'd get roaming network - the controller will push your PC onto the ap that's closer to it, to get better coverage. And you'd get centralised control of both ap's which is handy. It'll cost you, but it's well worth the money if you can afford it.

    I'm not entirely certain but I don't think you can use the 1600 as a wireless repeater in the sense that it boosts the wireless signal from the other one.

    If you don't want to buy a controller, if I were you I'd place the two ap's for best range and coverage around the house (or whatever), maybe 20-50 meters apart depending on the environment, and then connect them both wired to a PoE switch (the Netgear GS108e is cheap) just to get rid of the PoE adapters, and then the switch to the LAN interface of the PFsense. You can setup the same SSID's in both ap's with the same password, and your computer should do "roaming" by itself in a sense. It's not really roaming, it'll just try and connect to the ap with better coverage if you reconnect to the network after moving it. But it's a cheap solution if that's what you're after.



  • I browsed through the config on one of those very briefly a while back and, if I remember correctly, they have VLAN support.  I don't know enough about them to be certain, but is it possible you could assign a different VLAN ID to each SSID?  Then you could filter the VLANs the same as you would if they were different physical interfaces.



  • @ryan29:

    I browsed through the config on one of those very briefly a while back and, if I remember correctly, they have VLAN support.  I don't know enough about them to be certain, but is it possible you could assign a different VLAN ID to each SSID?  Then you could filter the VLANs the same as you would if they were different physical interfaces.

    I was kinda unclear but my suggested config is depending on this, and so you are correct, they do support vlan. If one would like 4 different wireless networks it's kinda useless not to use vlans, or you'd simply have several ssids for the same network. The obvious way to do it is assign the ssids different vlans and sort them out in pfsense, with filtering and whatnot.