Can I use Pfsense with only one Wlan card?



  • Hello.
    When I first setup it always ask me to definite which NIC is WAN and which is LAN. Can I use a computer with only one wireless NIC for the job? Use pfsense as a client to connect one or more WAN, then produce an AP for use as LAN?
    Thank you.



  • Bad idea.
    How shall WAN and LAN traffic travel to/from that pfSense if there's only one WiFi card?
    Find a better solution with at least one wired interface.

    (Yes, I know, but …)



  • @jahonix:

    Bad idea.
    How shall WAN and LAN traffic travel to/from that pfSense if there's only one WiFi card?
    Find a better solution with at least one wired interface.

    (Yes, I know, but …)

    I think this shouldn't be that difficult, many consumer mini APs even have a function to be a client of a existing WIFI network and produce another different AP as host at the same time.



  • it might be not so difficult or perhaps it is complicated … i wouldn't know.

    it is a bad idea in anyways. don't do it.



  • @sam1275:

    I think this shouldn't be that difficult,…

    Ok then, where's your problem? Go ahead and set it up.

    Think about it:
    a 54MBit WLAN NIC has net approx. 25MBit throughput.
    Divide that in half for each direction and you get 12.5Mbit/s max speed under ideal conditions. And WiFi-land rarely is ideal.



  • You'll need one Ethernet NIC to get in initially and configure things, since the full blown wireless setup isn't possible via the console. Other than that, it should be possible to do what you're attempting. Assign an Ethernet NIC and IP at the console, then log into the web interface using that. Go to Interfaces>assign, wireless tab. Add two interfaces on ath0 there. Back to Interface Assignments tab, add both there. Then go to Interfaces>(interface name) and enable and configure the wireless interfaces.

    It's not something that's widely used, if it is at all. It should work, though I'm not sure whether it will reliably or at all. For the client VAP, you're best off with 2.2.2 (release coming in the next day or so, or latest snapshot @ snapshots.pfsense.org is fine and nearly identical), and leaving wireless Standard set to "auto" which means it's omitted from ifconfig (as it can trigger an ath driver bug).

    I would definitely leave a configured Ethernet NIC running in the system long-term, even if it's usually unplugged, in case you can't connect to wireless.



  • I think the problem with that approach is that you can't have AP mode and BSS/IBSS mode on a single ath0 card, even on a cloned wireless interface..It won't allow it.



  • I was wrong. Pfsense will allow you to create a cloned wireless interface with BSS while wlan0 is in Master Mode. I created a clone on my home pfsense wifi AP box and then assigned it to OPT1 with BSS and the minute i hit save -my wifi connection was lost and i had to go to the boxes console and roll it back using #15. Total fail as i expected.



  • It's allowed, a valid configuration in theory, and I have had it working that way in previous releases. What caveats may exist currently I'm not sure, there are definitely combinations of options that will break. For the more typical scenarios, I went through all the possibilities and added input validation to help avoid nearly all of that. For more unusual scenarios, might be a number of other possibilities that aren't covered.



  • Thank you everyone. I'll try it.


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