Why is it necciary to hook up to a switch?



  • Decided to look into better router solution for a fun of it. I have an old computer and an old wireless network card and though I'd try to make a pfsense router.

    I've looked at various tutorials and they all say a second Ethernet port is a must. One for connecting to the modem (makes sense), and one to connect to a switch(mmmm what?).

    Why can't the pfsense computer it self do the switching?? What is the point of making a pfsense computer if I still have to use a router in addition that could potentially bottle neck things? I must be missing a key concept here that no tutorials are explaining.


  • Banned

    No, you don't need any switch for wireless. Provided your "old wireless network card" works at all… You'd better get a proper AP.


  • Netgate

    pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch.

    I just paid almost $500/port for four 10/100 interfaces for some Cisco routers.  Router ports are expensive.  Get a damn switch.



  • @Derelict:

    pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch. pfSense is not a switch.

    Why is that though? Is there a hardware difference? I'd think the CPU of the computer would be able to handle switching.



  • it doesnt


  • Netgate

    Is there a hardware difference?

    Yeah like purpose-built ASICs in even the cheapest switches.  They switch in hardware, not software.  Even "real" switch performance starts to suffer when you do things with them that have to happen in the CPU.



  • @Derelict:

    Is there a hardware difference?

    Yeah like purpose-built ASICs in even the cheapest switches.  They switch in hardware, not software.  Even "real" switch performance starts to suffer when you do things with them that have to happen in the CPU.

    Ok, that makes sense. Thanks for you help!