HughesNet Modem Not Assigning IPv4 address to WAN upon pfSense machine reboot.

  • I've installed pfSense on a fanless computer configured for WAN, LAN and WiFi and I have the WAN port configured for dhcp.  It works great in my workshop where the WAN interface is connected to my Debian Linux box that is configured as the router (iptables/dhcpd) for my building.  However, I am installing the pfSense computer at a remote location that must depend on HughesNet satellite internet service.  The remote location is using a HughesNet HT1100 modem that is connected to a satellite dish.  My problem is that, when the pfSense WAN port is connected to the HughesNet modem, the pfSense computer is not assigned an IPv4 address when rebooted.  The connection is shown as active with IPv6 addresses but no IPv4 address is assigned.  However, if I power cycle the HughesNet modem then it successfully assigns an IPv4 address to the pfSense computer.  The remote HughesNet installation is unmanned 90% of the time and must be able to function without human intervention.  So, I need to be able to remotely reboot the pfSense computer and have it come back up successfully connected to the HughesNet modem as its WAN interface and with an IPv4 address. I have also tested off-the-shelf router products from NetGear and Linksys that work fine with the HughesNet modem.

    So, in summary, my pfSense computer works great when connected to my Linux router.  Also, the HughesNet modem works great with off-the-shelf router products.  However, with the pfSense computer connected to the HughesNet modem then, upon rebooting the pfSense computer, it is not assigned an IPv4 address .  On the other hand, if I power cycle the HughesNet modem then it does successfully assign an IPv4 address to the pfSense computer.

    Does anybody have any ideas to fix this?  Any trouble shooting ideas?



  • This is normal behaviour with cable modems when changing MAC addresses.  You have to reboot the modem to get an IP.

  • Hello,

    Thanks for the reply.  I understand about having to reboot the modem when changing MAC addresses.  However, I am having to reboot the modem every time that I reboot the pfSense computer even though the MAC address is not changing since the pfSense computer has not changed.  So, I don't think that this is normal behavior.


  • Sorry, I was thinking about something else and somehow got it in my head that you were flipping back and forth between the Debian box and pfSense…

    Anything in the System log when it can't get an IP address?

  • I don´t really know why the pfSense must rebooted every time or why this should or must be done,
    but if you installing a Linux on a Raspberry PI 2.0 and then you set up there a USB Stick type modem
    with a pre-payed SIM card you could reach your goal together with a power plug with internal LAN port!

    Install the Linux on the RAPI
    Install the USB modem
    Connect the Hughesnet modem to the power plug with an internal LAN port

    If now the HughesNet modem must be rebooted you could go over the USB 3G Modem and through the
    RAPI to the power plug that is able to unpower and repower the plug where the modem is connected.

    Thats it.

  • Hi BlueKobold,

    Thanks for the reply.  I've thought of similar solutions where I put another router device between the modem and pfsense computer, however, I really don't want to introduce an additional component.  I would prefer to have everything work (as it should) with just the pfsense computer and HughesNet modem.


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