Wireless WAN

A wireless card in a firewall running pfSense® software can be used as the primary WAN interface or an additional WAN in a multi-WAN deployment.

Interface assignment

If the wireless interface has not yet been assigned, there are two possible choices: Add it as an additional OPT interface or reassign it as WAN.

Before starting, create the wireless instance as described in Creating and Managing Wireless Instances if it does not already exist. When working as a WAN, it must use Infrastructure mode (BSS).

To add the interface as a new OPT interface:

  • Browse to Interfaces > Assignments

  • Select the wireless interface from the Available network ports drop-down below the other interfaces

  • Click fa-plus Add to add the interface as an OPT interface

To reassign the wireless interface as WAN:

  • Browse to Interfaces > Assignments

  • Select the wireless interface as WAN

  • Click Save

Figure Wireless WAN Interface Assignment shows an Atheros card assigned as WAN.


Wireless WAN Interface Assignment

Configuring the wireless network

Most wireless WANs need only a handful of options set, but specifics vary depending on the Access Point (AP) to which this client interface will connect.

  • Browse to the Interfaces menu for the wireless WAN interface, for example Interfaces > WAN

  • Select the type of configuration (DHCP, Static IP, etc.)

  • Scroll down to Common Wireless Configuration

  • Set the Standard to match the AP, for example 802.11g

  • Select the appropriate Channel to match the AP

  • Scroll down to Network-specific Wireless Configuration

  • Set the Mode to Infrastructure (BSS) mode

  • Enter the SSID for the AP

  • Configure encryption such as WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) if in use by the AP

  • Review the remaining settings if necessary and select any other appropriate options to match the AP

  • Click Save

  • Click Apply Changes

Checking wireless status

Browse to Status > Interfaces to see the status of the wireless interface. If the interface has successfully associated with the AP it will be indicated on the status page. A status of associated means the interface has connected to the AP successfully, as shown in Figure Associated Wireless WAN Interface


Associated Wireless WAN Interface

If the interface status shows No carrier, it was unable to associate. Figure No carrier on wireless WAN shows an example of this, where the antenna was disconnected so it could not connect to a wireless network that was some distance away.


No carrier on wireless WAN

Showing available wireless networks and signal strength

The wireless access points visible by the firewall may be viewed by navigating to Status > Wireless as shown in Figure Wireless Status.

A wireless interface must be configured before this menu item will appear.


Wireless Status