Looking to use pfsense with adsl, is this network setup I have in mind possible?



  • I'm looking to use pfsense on an old PC I have laying around (Intel e7400, g31m-es2c, needs ram and PSU) but I'm not sure if this setup I have in mind will work or not.
    The only(or main) reason I want to use pfsense is to have a cheap, almost free way to monitor my network to bits(heh).
    I'm trying out a new plan (and switching ISPs) but we're going to have a fair use quota of 200gb. The only 2 on this network are me and my brother but we both have far too many devices across too many OSes for me to even attempt to use software to monitor each device's use of data/bandwidth independently, something like a router with enough flash memory to do this job on ddwrt is also too expensive.

    So, anyway.
    What I have in mind is to use any modem to "extract" the Internet from my adsl line and take an ethernet cable from that into my pfsense computer to give it Internet access.
    But, there are a few issues confusing me.
    I'm gonna connect the cable coming out of the PC's second NIC into yet another router, but I don't want that router to do anything except spread the wifi signal for the network that pfsense should be managing. I don't want it to do any "routing" per se or any dhcp work, just give wireless/wired access to a network that I'm having my pfsense router completely manage, because I don't just want Internet access for the devices, I want each and every single device to be visible to pfsense so it can monitor it's data use by static LAN IP/MAC address.
    Also, if possible… Why use 2 routers? Hahaha.
    The first modem that would be giving Internet through a rj45 cable to pfsense, can't I use this one itself to give wifi access/signal to the network pfsense is handling? Or its wifi is gonna be useless?
    From just meditating googling and looking through my modems' options and all I have a few ideas of disabling dhcp on routers and having them 'send that job' to the pfsense PC and make it the dhcp server... Eh... Something like that.
    But yeah, you can see I'm not so good with explaining the technicalities but aside from these, are these ideas I have possible?
    Thanks in advance.

    P.S. Mods please excuse me if this is the wrong section, I looked around and it seemed like it was either this one or the general forum. If there's another one more appropriate please feel free to move it there or inform me. Thanks.



  • What you want to do is possible. There are a number of package s available for pfSense which enable traffic monitoring. I'm not familiar enough with each of the specific packages to know which is appropriate.

    In relation to the hardware I'm not familiar enough with pfSense's hardware requirements to comment.

    The first modem/router will just need to act as a modem in order for pfSense to do the job you want it to. If you use the WiFi on the modem then wireless traffic will bypass pfSense and the traffic won't be monitored. The modem will need to be put in bridged mode so that pfSense can manage the connection.

    The second router can be configured as a wireless access point which will disable the routing function and have it operate as you want it to.



  • @kesawi:

    What you want to do is possible. There are a number of package s available for pfSense which enable traffic monitoring. I'm not familiar enough with each of the specific packages to know which is appropriate.

    In relation to the hardware I'm not familiar enough with pfSense's hardware requirements to comment.

    The first modem/router will just need to act as a modem in order for pfSense to do the job you want it to. If you use the WiFi on the modem then wireless traffic will bypass pfSense and the traffic won't be monitored. The modem will need to be put in bridged mode so that pfSense can manage the connection.

    The second router can be configured as a wireless access point which will disable the routing function and have it operate as you want it to.

    About the packages, yeah I know of some already just from searching about. The few that come to mind right now are BandwidthD and Darkstat(I think that's what it's called…)
    Anyway yeah that's not the issue, I'm sure I'm gonna be able to manage if I can just get the pfsense router working the way I want it.

    I see, so just to be sure I understand you correctly, the first modem's wifi is gonna be pretty much useless, yeah? As in, even if I put it in "bridged" mode, pfsense still won't be able to "manage" any connections on that first modem's wifi?

    That seems to make sense, though it's a bit of a bummer I'm gonna have to use 2 routers and a PC for this, it's cheap enough to warrant the bother, and anything less seems too good to be true hahahah.

    Thanks.



  • @pwndealer:

    I see, so just to be sure I understand you correctly, the first modem's wifi is gonna be pretty much useless, yeah? As in, even if I put it in "bridged" mode, pfsense still won't be able to "manage" any connections on that first modem's wifi?

    Correct, you will not be able to use the first modem's wifi.

    That seems to make sense, though it's a bit of a bummer I'm gonna have to use 2 routers and a PC for this, it's cheap enough to warrant the bother, and anything less seems too good to be true hahahah.

    You could buy a WiFi card and let pfSense manage the wireless network. You would still then need to buy a network switch for your wired devices and you would be limited to Wireless N as I don't believe FreeBSD supports Wireless AC yet. If you already own two wireless modems/routers then nothing is really lost. If you only own one device, you could use your existing modem/router as the wireless AP, and then buy a single port modem without wireless which will be much cheaper than a full wireless modem/router (something like the TP-Link TD-8816 if you're using ADSL).



  • @kesawi:

    Correct, you will not be able to use the first modem's wifi.

    Alright. (y) Understood.

    @kesawi:

    You could buy a WiFi card and let pfSense manage the wireless network. You would still then need to buy a network switch for your wired devices and you would be limited to Wireless N as I don't believe FreeBSD supports Wireless AC yet. If you already own two wireless modems/routers then nothing is really lost. If you only own one device, you could use your existing modem/router as the wireless AP, and then buy a single port modem without wireless which will be much cheaper than a full wireless modem/router (something like the TP-Link TD-8816 if you're using ADSL).

    Nah it's fine, I'm pretty covered on that front hahaha I actually happen to own 3. The D-Link I mentioned and two Huaweis from some ISPs.
    Anyway, yeah, I'm covered on the router front but I was just wondering what my options are, that's why I wanted to know if I could use just one, if I'd have other uses for these spare routers in the future though I will definitely do what you suggested there, get any cheap arse 1 port modem just to act as an ADSL>Ethernet converter.

    Thanks a lot for all your help with sharing all this info mate, really, much appreciated. :)



  • @pwndealer:

    Thanks a lot for all your help with sharing all this info mate, really, much appreciated. :)

    Glad to be of assistance  :D


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