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Author Topic: pfSense as a DSL Router  (Read 4935 times)

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Offline ncisi74

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pfSense as a DSL Router
« on: November 19, 2012, 05:31:17 pm »
Hi, I'm new to pfSense and the forums and was wondering if it is possible to use pfSense as a DSL router, like my ISP provided to me.

Thanks

Offline tirsojrp

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Re: pfSense as a DSL Router
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2012, 06:32:11 pm »
Hi, I'm new to pfSense and the forums and was wondering if it is possible to use pfSense as a DSL router, like my ISP provided to me.

Thanks

You could use a PCI ADSL Modem but they are quite exotic and most, if not all, use an internal nic to avoid compatibility issues.

Offline ncisi74

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Re: pfSense as a DSL Router
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2012, 07:08:21 pm »
Would you recommend PCI ADSL cards which would work with pfSense?
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 07:26:03 pm by ncisi74 »

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Re: pfSense as a DSL Router
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2012, 07:29:36 pm »
Would you recommend PCI ADSL cards which would work with pfSense?

None are supported.

Offline ncisi74

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Re: pfSense as a DSL Router
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2012, 07:57:16 pm »
So, then (and please excuse my newbieness) if I connect a pfSense appliance in between my pc and my current DSL modem/router will it use the pfSense firewall or will it use the firewall built into my standard issue crap router?

Offline gderf

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Re: pfSense as a DSL Router
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2012, 08:32:48 pm »
You need to put your ISP provided modem/router into bridge mode.

Offline wallabybob

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Re: pfSense as a DSL Router
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2012, 09:30:42 pm »
You need to put your ISP provided modem/router into bridge mode.
After spending some hours on each I was unable to get a Zyxel ADSL modem/router or a Billion ADSL modem/router to operate successfully as a modem (they were both fine as modem/routers) with pfSense and was frustrated by the lack of logging and diagnostic facilities on the modem/routers. I decided it was probably worth spending $20 to get a basic ADSL modem (no router function) rather than spend more time trying to get the modem routers to work just as modems. For a couple of years now I have been using a Tenda D820B ADSL modem successfully.

Reports in the pfSense forums indicate a number of readers have successfully made a variety of ADSL modem/routers work in bridge mode (modem only).

Offline stephenw10

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Re: pfSense as a DSL Router
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2012, 08:31:11 am »
Although there are no PCI ADSL modems that are supported there are cards such as this:
http://traverse.kd85.com/
This is effectively a SOHO router on a PCI card. pfSense sees it as a Realtek ethernet card so it doesn't need adsl specific drivers. You have to configure it in bridge mode as you would with an external router.

Many people will advise against putting a modem in your machine as it makes it far more susceptible to lightning damage. I guess it depends on your local weather and how much you want a one box solution.  :)

Steve

Offline Nonsense

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Re: pfSense as a DSL Router
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2012, 08:59:42 am »
Funny that you posed this question, ncisi74, as I have what some might now consider 'extensive experience' on the topic of using the Transverse Viking  PCI ADSL2+ modem card with pfSense.  The short answer is: if you tend toward being a masochist, go ahead and give it a try.  The reasoning behind my advising you in this way is that there is a steep learning curve for getting the modem to work with your pfSense box, both hardware- and software-wise; the device is not cheap (ca. $135.00 with shipping); it has to be ordered from Europe; it will generate additional heat in your pfSense box; and, as Steve already mentioned above, it increases your risk of lightning damage to your pfSense box.  Oh, and did I mention that the manufacturer of the modem has recently taken it out of production and no longer supports it via its web page?  You might want to save yourself a lot of grief and stick with using the modem that your ISP has already supplied to you (in bridge mode).

All of the above being said, here is what you would need to do to realize such an elegant build (be prepared to waste a lot of time and tear your hair out in the process):

1. Buy the modem from its reseller in Belgium via the link Steve gave above (if it still has it in stock) and wait two to three weeks for it to arrive at your doorstep in the U.S.

2. Install the modem via a PCI slot in your pfSense box's motherboard--I had to use a special riser card (for my 1U Supermicro chassis and motherboard) and buy a special adapter cable to supply 12VDC to the riser card in order to make the modem card operational.

3. Configure the modem for pfSense--it should recognize its adapter without any problem.

4. Telnet to the modem to set it up in bridge mode and change its VCI/VPI settings to conform to your U.S. ISP's requirements (remember, the card was made in Australia where the standards are different--this is not an "optional" step).

5. Configure pfSense to allow access to the browser-based GUI of the card if you would like to view its stats in real-time operation (I finally accomplished this somewhat daunting task last night after otherwise using the card sucessfully for over nine months).

Good Luck (you will surely need it).

 :D
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 09:20:56 am by Nonsense »

Offline ncisi74

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Re: pfSense as a DSL Router
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2012, 10:42:05 am »
So, with all of this in mind (and thank you all for your advice) I would have to purchase a separate modem because the bozo employee that set it up put me in a lease contract. So because I am leasing, and not owning the modem, I cannot alter ANY settings or they will terminate my internet service... Would any of you recommend any good modems to use as a bridge?

Offline gderf

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Re: pfSense as a DSL Router
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2012, 10:52:27 am »
Alcatel Speed Touch Home. Every one I have ever used was given to me for free or the for the cost of shipping. Many available on ebay. Cheap enough to have a spare lying around.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=alcatel+sth&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313&_nkw=alcatel+speed+touch+home&_sacat=0

Also very cheap on ebay is the Netopia 3347. Easily put into bridge mode. I use mine only as a wireless AP after I disabled the WAN port and DHCP server.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2047675.m570.l2632&_nkw=netopia+3347&_sacat=11176&_from=R40



Offline Nonsense

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Re: pfSense as a DSL Router
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2012, 02:23:06 pm »
Who is your ISP?  If it is Verizon or AT&T you should be o.k. purchasing a modem, but if you have some oddball ISP you will need to make sure its internal VPI/VCI settings are compatible with your ISP.

"[Modem] rental fees?"--ISPs are sure nickel and diming their customers these days.

Offline ncisi74

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Re: pfSense as a DSL Router
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2012, 08:31:27 pm »
I use AT&T Uverse, 16 mbps down, 2 mbps up (When I use my VPN, sometimes I get 5 to 6 mbps up...)

Offline gderf

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Re: pfSense as a DSL Router
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2012, 08:39:50 pm »
Uverse is not DSL. DSL modems will not work with it. You are stuck with using the equipment AT&T provided.

Offline stephenw10

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Re: pfSense as a DSL Router
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2012, 08:48:04 pm »
Uverse can use DSL between the Node and premises:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T_U-verse#Services

Steve