Mar 18 2013

pfsense gateway grouping

Why didn’t I do this sooner? I have two (wireless) Internet connections here at home: one through Cybermesa and another one through CNSP (yeah, Santa Fe ISPs do not care about their web presence 😉 ).

My main router in the garage has two network interfaces. One of them receives the Cybermesa connection and the 2nd interface is serving the home network. This router is also running pfSense.

Up until this morning the CNSP connection ended up serving a wireless access point, which I could reach from the house.

At any time you could either be connected to Cybermesa or CNSP, but not both of them at the same time.

gateway-grouping

The router happens to have a wireless card built-in. This card is usually used to create an access point directly on the router. I never used it, because I already had a different wireless network setup. However that card can also be run in “Infrastructure” (BSS) mode, which allows pfSense to use a wireless signal just like another cable, DSL, etc. connection.

That coupled with pfSense’s “gateway grouping” allows me now to connect to both ISPs at the same time from the same router. The result is a load-balanced dual connection with fail-over capabilities or in other words: when one connection is busy, the other one is used. If one connection goes down, then all traffic is automatically routed over the other connection.

And the most beautiful thing is that it happens for all devices in my home without any further modifications.

Yep – I’m a geek sometimes …

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