Use PFSense as a wireless client

  • I have most of my computers and equipment downstairs, including my pfsense box.  Upstairs I have a computer, an Xbox and a PS2 (plus a wireless laptop and pda, but I don't want to get wireless card for the computer, or get a 'gaming adaptor' for the xbox/ps2.  What I do have is my now retired D-Link access point (thanks to pfsense).

    My plan was to make the D-link AP act as the access point, and have the PFSense sence assoicate to it, but keep pfsense as the dhcp server and dns server, and have a wireless bridge of sorts.  I'd set up all the devices with static IP's with the gateway and dns server pointing to the pfsense.

    I've tried setting the pfsense to Infrastructure, which I'm assuming would make it associate to the dlink ap, but it's not.  Any ideas?

    I'm using RELENG_1_SNAPSHOT_03-10-2006, the wifi card is a D-link 520 which has worked great as an AP.

  • I would make it the other way around. Make the dlink a client of the pfsense. It's cleaner this way. If the AP doesn't have that option check for firmware updates. My old D-Link is able to run as Client too.

  • I agree, set the dlink in bridge(client) mode, that will get you what you want.

  • I wish I had that option, I have a DI-624 Rev C and I can't find that option anywhere in the GUI.

  • It's actually a router and not an accesspoint. I guess that's why it doesn'T support client modes.

  • Ok, but is pfSense able to run in client mode?

  • Yes it should be.

  • How do I make pfSense act as a wireless Client and connect to another pfSense that is my Access Point?
    Both AP and Client in Bridge mode.
    I want lan pc's connected to pfSense(client) to obtain dhcp ip's through the bridge from a lan pc on pfSense(AP).
    Using pfSense version:

    Thank you,

  • Try the following:

    [LAN with DHCP]–-------[WAN/pfSense/WIFI bridged to WAN in AP mode]    ) ) ) ) ) ( ( ( ( ( (  [WIFI WAN in Infrastructure mode/pfSense/LAN bridged to WAN]–---[Clients]

    Make sure you have filtering bridge disabled at system>advanced. Also note that in this configuration you will have to access the webgui by using the WAN IPs of both nodes. To make sure create pass any to any rules at all interfaces involved so you can configure the webgui coming from the WAN site of the pfSenses.

  • Thank you I'll try that.    I don't fully understand the different modes {AP,Infrastructure(bss?), & Ad-Hoc(ibss)} and their relations to each other yet.  So, one wireless pfSense unit in Infrastructure mode can connect to another pfSense unit in Access Point mode?  I haven't tried that combo yet.  I assume they are set to the exact same SSID, channel, and in 802.11g?

    Earlier today, I set both pfSense units with CM9 mini-pci cards in Ad-Hoc mode in 5.8GHz 802.11a and they worked flawlessly as a bridge.  However, when I set them both to 2.4GHz 802.11g something went wrong.  Web browsing was very slow; the pings were good when Not surfing, but pings went up into the thousands when I also tried to surf the web.  I tried several 2.4GHz channels with no change.  Any idea why it didn't work in 2.4GHz?


  • "infrastructure" is a wireless client that connects to an Accesspoint. Several clients can be connected to the same accesspoint but if the accesspoint goes down the clients are "blind". They can't communicate without the Accesspoint in infrastructure mode.

    In "adhoc" or "bss" mode each client is something like an accesspoint and client at the same time. Let's say you have 3 clients in adhoc mode, any 2 of them can communicate with the 3rd one being offline. There is no "master" that handles the communication like in infrastructure mode.

    And yes, wireless settings have to match at both ends besides the mode.

  • small note. In adhoc mode you can not use WPA.

  • I have an almost identical setup as thinair. I have a DI-624 wireless router connected to the internet in one room, and a wired lan in another room. pfSense is on the wired lan, connected as a wireless client, to act as a wireless bridge to the internet.

    With this setup all the wired computers have internet access, which is great. However I also wish to access the wired lan from my wireless laptop, at which point things turn not so great. I cannot ping pfSense (or any computers on the wired lan) from any wireless device, not even the wireless router. Also pfSense cannot ping the wireless laptop when both are connected wirelessly to the internet.

    Just to clarify:

    PING (when everything is connected)

    pfSense -> DI-624 & Internet [good]
    DI-624 -> pfSense [bad]
    pfSense -> wireless laptop [bad]
    wireless laptop -> pfSense [bad]

    Does anyone have any suggestions? I have enabled everything in the pfSense firewall, and disabled the DI-624 firewall entirely.

  • I just bought a used Linksys WRT54G for $15, reflashed it with DD-WRT firmware and use it as my wireless bridge.  If you're considering this just make sure it's a version 1-4 model, v5 won't work.

    It works well enough to stream pretty much any media off my server.

Log in to reply