pfSense Gold Subscription

Author Topic: How to connect pfsense WAN to a wireless access point  (Read 1050 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline DrClutch

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
How to connect pfsense WAN to a wireless access point
« on: June 19, 2017, 06:39:24 pm »
Hi,

I'm trying to get my pfsense box to connect to my network to work as a bridge, like this: (( WIRELESS ACCESS POINT )) <---> PFSENSE BOX <---> Switch with devices attached.

There is NO way to connect any cables from the PFSense box to the access point, the connection MUST be wireless.

Is there a way to connect the PFSense box I am using as the WAN interface to the Wireless Access Point?

I have 2 USB wireless cards, the mobo NIC and a PCIE NIC

(I'm also new to pfsense :P)

Any help or referral to a solution is much appreciated!

Offline s_mason16

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 43
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
Re: How to connect pfsense WAN to a wireless access point
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2017, 10:48:56 am »
Hey DrClutch,

I've read your dilemma, and think I understand. I've (poorly) drawn out a network map for you that I think is what you have and how to fix your problem. I think you need another wireless device, specifically for bridging. and set it up in like an ad-hoc or similar fashion with your existing WAP. See the attached image and let me know if it makes sense.

I reread and forgot about the part where you do have other wireless adapters. typically i think those would work, but from what I've read wireless on pfsense is garbage.

Hope this helps
« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 10:52:23 am by s_mason16 »

Offline scottkemp

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: +0/-1
    • View Profile
Re: How to connect pfsense WAN to a wireless access point
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2017, 11:40:14 pm »
I would also like to know the steps, the details about using wireless as a WWAN to a AP that requires at minimum password to sign on. I live in Hotels, I constantly am traveling. I generally do not get a room anymore that has wired Ethernet to plug a router/firewall into. I usually have at least 3 or 4 laptops and a client laptop to use with this one connection as I need my private LAN between my machines. I fixed up a HP Thin client with pfSense 2.3.4-RELEASE-p1 and it is imperative I am able to configure the settings in the web interface to connect to the access point as my firewalls WAN port. All the articles and YouTube videos I watched all centered around making a AP with an attached Wi-Fi card or something like that. I should have done this 2 years ago when I bought a gold membership but i became so busy I didn't follow it up. So then it should be as easy as STEP 1, STEP 2, STEP 3... The WiFi card is available in the WiFi tab after I add it under "Interfaces Assign", I use run0 (some MAC Addr), Mode BBS, Description (Internet WWAN). Next I go to the OPT1 settings, WHAT do I configure here under each section? General the network is open and there is a login page that is not much problem, but how do you configure if password is required to connect to the AP OR if the AP is at the client site they will have certificates and generally user/pass with enterprise radius authentication???  A BIT OF HELP HERE FOR THE SCENARIOS WOULD BE GREATLEY APPRECIATED, i KNOW i AM NOT THE ONLY ONE IN THE WORLD WHO WANTS TO CONNECT MY WAN PORT TO AP BY WI-FI built into my pfSense machine!  THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 11:56:37 pm by scottkemp »
Scott Kemp
Principal Consultant
MRO Consulting Services of Texas
713-550-4088

Offline johnpoz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14407
  • Karma: +1334/-199
  • Not a pfSense employee, they cannot fire me...
    • View Profile
Re: How to connect pfsense WAN to a wireless access point
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2017, 08:07:24 am »
You may not like this advice.. But to be honest if your lively hood is travel around and wanting to leverage local wifi networks as your wan, etc.  Pfsense most likely not the best suited product currently.  You should prob look into something like a cradlepoint.  There are other cheaper "travel" routers as well.

This is designed to easy use wifi as your wan.  Along with - and here is the big plus!  Cell connections as the wan - so you can just pop in your sim or sims even on some model with multi carrier support,  etc.  It can plug into wire as well, etc.. With all the connection options for wan and the built firewalling and switching capabilities they make for great devices to drop into a location that needs internet now, or for someone that travels a lot and needs a device that can connect to many different options.

Sure you could build your own with pfsense as your router/firewall.  Use of a cellular modem, wifi device to connect to the wifi in the area, etc.  But this does not seem to be pfsense goal in creating something that is easy to connected to multiple wan technologies.

To me if I wanted a device that would make sure I could have a firewall/router/switch in 1 device and connect to pretty much any sort of wan I would look at cradlepoint..  Don't get me wrong I would suggest pfsense in almost any other setup.  But pfsense/freebsd wifi is not great and has no such integrated LTE support, etc..

In all your travels I would guess that having the ability to just jump on a LTE connection would be good option - many hotel wifi is just utter shit ;)
- An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.
- Please don't PM me for personal help
- if you want to say thanks applaud or https://www.freebsdfoundation.org/donate/
1x SG-2440 2.3.4_p1 (work)
1x SG-4860 2.4.2-RELEASE (home)

Offline scottkemp

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: +0/-1
    • View Profile
Re: How to connect pfsense WAN to a wireless access point
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2017, 08:23:57 am »
I'm not looking for advice on what is good or what commercial router to use, what I am looking for are the directions I asked for. In the meantime I have purchased a wireless bridge, however I really don't want to be lugging another piece of equipment around. I have tried several times to connect to various networks, the best way so far I have found is to call the adapter wan from the beginning on the console but I am missing some still on the authentication end, someone has to know as someone created the interface so why can't they share what they have in their head when they designed this beast and I'm wondering if they ever looked at how others have done it for example ddwrt allowing a scan then you can select the access point you want to use... Anyone??
Scott Kemp
Principal Consultant
MRO Consulting Services of Texas
713-550-4088

Offline johnpoz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14407
  • Karma: +1334/-199
  • Not a pfSense employee, they cannot fire me...
    • View Profile
Re: How to connect pfsense WAN to a wireless access point
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2017, 09:51:22 am »
Well good luck then.. Freebsd which what pfsense runs on wifi support is just crap to be honest..

Trying to help - The device I suggest is small, and also provides switch ports and MULTIPLE ways to connect your wan not just wifi.  For someone that travels a lot you would think cell access would be a huge plus.

But good luck in your quest..
- An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.
- Please don't PM me for personal help
- if you want to say thanks applaud or https://www.freebsdfoundation.org/donate/
1x SG-2440 2.3.4_p1 (work)
1x SG-4860 2.4.2-RELEASE (home)

Offline scottkemp

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: +0/-1
    • View Profile
Re: How to connect pfsense WAN to a wireless access point
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2017, 11:46:30 am »
So no one knows what the developer had in mind making a connection as Wan to a access point then.?
Scott Kemp
Principal Consultant
MRO Consulting Services of Texas
713-550-4088

Offline stephenw10

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11914
  • Karma: +467/-15
    • View Profile
Re: How to connect pfsense WAN to a wireless access point
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2017, 09:00:46 pm »
Almost certainly your issue here is that you're using a run(4) based device. I have one that works just fine as an access point but I have never been able to connect it as a client usefully. It sometimes connects but doesn't pass traffic. Not useful!

If you have a device that is capable of working, an older Atheros NIC for example, it should just be a matter of configuring in BSS mode with the settings required and making that the default gateway.

Steve


Offline Derelict

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9212
  • Karma: +1046/-308
    • View Profile
Re: How to connect pfsense WAN to a wireless access point
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2017, 09:24:07 pm »
Use something like a Ubiquiti AirMax to bridge between your ETHERNET WAN interface and the wifi.

You can try and beat your head against the FreeBSD Wi-Fi wall but don't expect a lot of sympathy or assistance. johnpoz summarized the current environment pretty succinctly. It's crap.
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Use this diagram to describe your issue.
The pfSense Book is now available for just $24.70!
Do Not PM For Help! NO_WAN_EGRESSTM

Offline scottkemp

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: +0/-1
    • View Profile
Re: How to connect pfsense WAN to a wireless access point
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2017, 09:37:20 pm »
I had hoped like I had said before back 3 years ago when I first got started with pfSense I gave up on the Wi-Fi side, maybe my expiations were too much for FreeBSD, I don't suppose anyone had thought of maybe making a pfSense installable package with other free Linux distribution bases or a package that could be installed on top of a paid version of RedHat Linux? as for now, I'm going to use my backup plan with the external bridge device and then I can enjoy the features I need while the ease of use with my embedded Ethernet ports in my firewall device. Thanks a lot for the assistance.
Scott Kemp
Principal Consultant
MRO Consulting Services of Texas
713-550-4088

Offline stephenw10

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11914
  • Karma: +467/-15
    • View Profile
Re: How to connect pfsense WAN to a wireless access point
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2017, 12:48:53 pm »
'FreeBSD is not Linux' to quote many others before me.  ;D

So making it a package into a Linux distro would be a massive undertaking. Apart from anything else 'pf' does not exist in Linux. Some may argue that's a good thing.  ;)

I would expect you could get something working with the right wifi hardware but it might be a bit flaky. The scan for and attach to an AP code is not really there for example.

Steve

Offline k625

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: How to connect pfsense WAN to a wireless access point
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2017, 04:19:52 am »
I've been using pfsense for several years to connect to the AP as a WAN. Used old WIFI NIC Atheros AR2417.
2.3.4-RELEASE-p1 (i386) nanobsd (2g)

Try my method, maybe with other NIC it will work out as well.

For normal operation, three steps are required.

1. Make changes to the file /etc/rc.linkup

if ($ staticv4 === true && $ staticv6 === true) {
$ friendly = convert_friendly_interface_to_friendly_descr ($ iface);
log_error ("Hotplug event detected for {$ friendly} ({$ iface}) static IP ({$ ipaddr} {$ ip6addr})");
interfaces_staticarp_configure ($ iface);
switch ($ argument2) {
case 'start':
case 'up':
$ iface = get_real_interface ($ iface);
/ * NOTE: Do not generate event for OpenVPN since the daemon does that for us. * /
if (substr ($ iface, 0, 4)! = "ovpn") {
send_event ("interface newip {$ iface}");
}
break;
}
} else {
switch ($ argument2) {
case "stop":
case "down":
log_error ("DEVD Ethernet detached event for {$ iface}");
interface_bring_down ($ iface);
break;
case "start":
case "up":
log_error ("DEVD Ethernet attached event for {$ iface}");
log_error ("HOTPLUG: Configuring interface {$ iface}");
// Do not try to readd to bridge (4) has problems
/ * ******* My code * /
                                 $ realiface = get_real_interface ($ iface);
                                 if (! is_interface_wireless ($ realiface)) {
/ * ******* End of My code * /

interface_configure ($ iface, true, true);
                                / * ******* My code * /
}
                                 / * ******* End of My code * /

break;
}
}
}

2. Make changes to the file /etc/rc.newwanip

$ oldip = "0.0.0.0";
if (file_exists ("{$ g ['vardb_path']} / {$ interface} _cacheip")) {
$ oldip = file_get_contents ("{$ g ['vardb_path']} / {$ interface} _cacheip");
}

/ * ******* My code * /
$ realiface = get_real_interface ($ interface);
if ($ curwanip = $ oldip && is_interface_wireless ($ realiface)) {
log_error ("rc.newwanip: on interface: {$ interface_descr} [{$ interface}] (real interface: {$ interface_real}) IP address update not needed.");
return;
}
/ * ******* End of My code * /


/ * regenerate resolv.conf * /
system_resolvconf_generate (true);

/ * write the current interface IP to file * /
if (is_ipaddr ($ curwanip))) {
@file_put_contents ("{$ g ['vardb_path']} / {$ interface} _ip", $ curwanip);
}

3. Enter the required data into the WIFI interface configuration. It is IMPORTANT to specify a specific channel number if you use auto, there may be problems connecting to the desired AP in the presence of several APs.

BlueKobold

  • Guest
Re: How to connect pfsense WAN to a wireless access point
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2017, 12:45:06 pm »
- Assign one LAN port as WAN port
- set up a UBNT Nano Station or Nano Beam up to connect to the WISP
- connect the UBNT wireless device to the WAN port and all is fine running

Other may use a modem and here is a wireless AP or bridge needed, pretty easy to use, set up and
in the USA more common based on the many WISP companies.