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PFsense software on a laptop - a question about WiFi.


Formaleins

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Any knowledgeable people out there have any experience of running PFSense router software on a laptop? I have installed the latest software and added on a USB - Ethernet adapter to use as the second NIC. All of this is working fine and I am able to get it all running fine and configure all of the router settings using the GUI on my second PC.

The problem I have hit is trying to get the WiFi side of things to work. PFsense detects my onboard Ethernet connector and my USB Ethernet connector fine and is configured and working.

The problem I have is that PFsense does not detect the onboard wireless card. I believe it is a Realtek card which runs about 150MBPS, (The laptop is an older Lenovo Z480 Ideapad, around 2012. 

I have no idea why it is not detected, maybe it just is not compatible or is too old or whatever.

I have no problem buying an add on type USB-WiFi  adapter if it will work. Obviously I don't want to buy one if there is no chance of success.

 

If anyone has any information that may help me out with this it would be greatly appreciated. I would love to know if there is a way of getting the onboard wifi to work initially, just as a project to test it to make sure all is working fine. However, if anyone can suggest an add on card that would be compatible with my laptop (it has USB 3.0 Port) and also compatible with PFsense, I would be chuffed. Also, if you can suggest a reasonably powerful card that could provide a reasonable signal strength to cover an area of about 400m square, to give some decent wifi coverage in my house. - I am looking for something that can run 300MBPS or higher, preferably on the 5GHz. band and up to about AC2100 if possible.

 

Cheers.

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pfsense doesn't support most wifi adapters.

running pfsense on a laptop is not a preferred way.

 

may I ask why you want pfsense? configuring it will hurt your brain and cause hair loss.

openwrt / lede is similar to pfsense but easier (still too complicated for my taste, I prefer asuswrt-merlin) and it can work on x86 laptops.

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5 hours ago, muratremix said:

pfsense doesn't support most wifi adapters.

running pfsense on a laptop is not a preferred way.

 

may I ask why you want pfsense? configuring it will hurt your brain and cause hair loss.

openwrt / lede is similar to pfsense but easier (still too complicated for my taste, I prefer asuswrt-merlin) and it can work on x86 laptops.

Cheers, thanks for that about the WiFi. I will probably just try and pick up a cheap one to try my luck.

 

Open WRT and Merlin basically run on a standard router, which I no longer really have any spares anyway. I was running Merlin on my Asus router but to be honest, I ended up going back to the original Asus firmware as I was not that impressed with Merlin, especially the configuration of the USB drives. Was not impressed. ( Never looked at running either of these on a laptop - maybe worth a look)

 

I am using as laptop as it is just lying around doing nothing, basically a spare and a bit out of date. Putting Pfsense on here gives me an amazingly powerful router, way better than anything that I could buy for probably more than 10K Baht. I have just really been messing about with this stuff more as a hobby than anything else, just nice to try and keep the grey matter from drying up.

 

And yes, you are right about hurting the brain and the hair loss, but what the hell!

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You may want to try other linux firewall distros which might support your wifi chip inside laptop like untangle, clearos etc etc. pfsense is overrated and too complicated for most home users who doesn’t have hundreds of hours of training in network / routers etc.


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