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Author Topic: What are the benefits of 'Bridging' (and pfsense)..?  (Read 968 times)

snadge

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What are the benefits of 'Bridging' (and pfsense)..?
« on: February 10, 2019, 05:39:43 PM »

As time goes on I see more people starting to use 'dual' setups, usually with a xDSL Modem and Wireless Router, I know you can set these devices up without bridging, so I have to ask...what are the benefits of bridging? the info I have read says that it's beneficial as they can share resources..?  but to what extent or capacity are resources shared?

also, while Im on:
pfsense.. is a 3rd device required for this? or can it be integrated into a dual-setup? - also, what are the benefits of running a 3rd party firewall over the one built into most devices?

thanks in advance
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j0hn

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Re: What are the benefits of 'Bridging' (and pfsense)..?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2019, 06:23:47 PM »

In bridge mode I can setup my modem and just leave it alone.
As it only handles the xDSL link once it's configured there is nothing else to change.

My router handles the PPP, DHCP and wireless.
I can make changes to the router as often as I like without worrying about it rebooting and triggering DLM.
Any time I used to modify any of the settings on a combined device it would cause the device to reboot/resync.

The availability of routers is much better than that of combined modem/router combos.

The choice of good combined units with a decent xDSL chipset and advanced routing features/good WiFi isn't great.
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snadge

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Re: What are the benefits of 'Bridging' (and pfsense)..?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2019, 08:43:31 PM »

In bridge mode I can setup my modem and just leave it alone.
As it only handles the xDSL link once it's configured there is nothing else to change.

My router handles the PPP, DHCP and wireless.
I can make changes to the router as often as I like without worrying about it rebooting and triggering DLM.
Any time I used to modify any of the settings on a combined device it would cause the device to reboot/resync.

The availability of routers is much better than that of combined modem/router combos.

The choice of good combined units with a decent xDSL chipset and advanced routing features/good WiFi isn't great.

thanks for the quick reply J0hn,

cant you achieve all that without 'bridging' them though?
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j0hn

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Re: What are the benefits of 'Bridging' (and pfsense)..?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2019, 09:38:35 PM »

Then I lose the ability to control DHCP and control/terminate PPP/IP from my router.
It can introduce things like double NAT.

My router is more powerful than any modem/router combo I've owned.
I'd rather the router did DHCP, IP.

I only want the modem handling the xDSL link.

That's how OpenReach started FTTC with the ECI modems and HG612.
Personally I think they should have continued this approach.
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snadge

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Re: What are the benefits of 'Bridging' (and pfsense)..?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 05:43:02 PM »

Then I lose the ability to control DHCP and control/terminate PPP/IP from my router.
It can introduce things like double NAT.

My router is more powerful than any modem/router combo I've owned.
I'd rather the router did DHCP, IP.

I only want the modem handling the xDSL link.

That's how OpenReach started FTTC with the ECI modems and HG612.
Personally I think they should have continued this approach.

I must be missing something as I'm under the impression you can control DHCP/IP even if they aren't 'bridged'..? 
can't you simply connect one router to another and just having wifi disabled on the one you want to use as a modem? (the modem router1 LAN to wireless router2 WAN) ..and do this without having to change settings so that the two devices are 'bridged'

As you can tell I have no experience with bridging routers
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j0hn

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Re: What are the benefits of 'Bridging' (and pfsense)..?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 05:54:44 PM »

If it isn't bridged then modem does the IP/PPP.
DHCP can be done separate by the router, but I want the better device to do the whole lot.

I see no reason why anyone would have a separate modem and router and not bridge them.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 05:56:58 PM by j0hn »
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snadge

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Re: What are the benefits of 'Bridging' (and pfsense)..?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 07:39:39 PM »

If it isn't bridged then modem does the IP/PPP.
DHCP can be done separate by the router, but I want the better device to do the whole lot.

I see no reason why anyone would have a separate modem and router and not bridge them.

people who aren't that technical but want to use a different wireless router perhaps?

I thought that you can simply connect them together and turn off WiFi in the one you want to use as a modem, only ever connecting to the wireless router, however I just tested it for myself using a Plusnet Hub One (router) connected to my Zyxel (modem) and got no results, even when trying to bridge them following this guide and now Im more confused...lol...doesn't take much, maybe I got them the wrong way around, the hub1 had DHCP OFF and IP was 192.168.1.254 - zyxell DHCP ON with range 192.168.1.1-192.168.1.250 so the hub1 was outside the network range...sounds backwards to me that?
 I should maybe try with a different router as the PNH1 is crap to start with.
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Chrysalis

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Re: What are the benefits of 'Bridging' (and pfsense)..?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 07:46:50 PM »

Everyone has their own reasons but here are mine.

1 - Isolation, you have specific equipment for specific roles, you can isolate e.g. when diagnosing problems.  So e.g. when I make changes to my firewall/router, I dont lose my vdsl sync as the modem is isolated and can stay up and running.  All my reasons probably to some degree are based on isolation but will list them separately.
2 - All in one devices are usually not the best tool for everything, so e.g. the best tool for been the modem, the best tool for been a firewall, the best tool for any filtering you want to do, the best tool for any QoS you want to do, the best tool for any auditing you want to do, and so on.  The hg612 e.g. was good as a modem, but as a router/firewall, its capabilities were very basic.  The zyxel and billion devices I have now used as modems simply are not capable of doing everything I want from my router/firewall.
3 - Security, feature updates, the vast majority of consumer broadband devices sold have limited lifespan in terms of support from the vendor.  So I choose to use a solution that is actively developed and looks like will carry on been so for many years to come.
4 - Reduced costs of changing internet technology, if I switch to cable or say 4g, the cost is minimal, just the modem itself needs changing.  Instead of buying an entire new router, and its not just the cost of the hardware but also the cost of my time configuring it.  Basically I have standardised the router/firewall part of my network which will stay the same no matter which internet technology I use.  Only the modem part is swapped depending on provider. e.g. when I used 4g during my vdsl outage I plugged the phone into my pfsense unit and simply set it as the gateway for all my internet traffic, that was it.  Note ronski still uses pfsense when he changed from VDSL to cable.

These are based on the question why do people use dual devices?

If you more meant why do people use bridging instead of double NAT it is to keep the networking clean, with double NAT, the traffic has to be processed twice within your LAN, which can introduce performance issues, brokenness, and configuration headaches.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 07:50:59 PM by Chrysalis »
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snadge

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Re: What are the benefits of 'Bridging' (and pfsense)..?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2019, 08:23:56 PM »

If you more meant why do people use bridging instead of double NAT it is to keep the networking clean, with double NAT, the traffic has to be processed twice within your LAN, which can introduce performance issues, brokenness, and configuration headaches.

exactly what I meant and thanks for the explanation...and thanks for the info on why it's better to go dual.

Does pfsense require a third device? or can it be incorporated into one of the other devices?

also, does the 'double-NAT' method always work?
just I could not get it working on Zyxel 8924 LAN<->Plusnet Hub One WAN ... nor could I get it working trying bridging methods following this video, I could connect to the PNH1 and it would list the PC in the network map twice, CABLE (disconnected, had Zyxel's MAC) and WIFI (connected, had PC's NIC MAC), I tried various things and still could not get it to work - not important as I don't need it, I just wanted to educate myself and better understand it so I can help others correctly.
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Chrysalis

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Re: What are the benefits of 'Bridging' (and pfsense)..?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 09:14:29 PM »

pfsense can be installed onto any device that basically meets the FreeBSD min requirements, you will need enough storage space, and compatible hardware.  But I cannot think of any consumer routers that meet these requirements.  Often the problem is as well is the drivers required for these devices to function, they may be propriety closed source drivers not made publicly available in which case they could not be included in something like pfsense.

Also you may struggle to find something that has wifi capability as well, so I actually use 3 devices.

My modem
My firewall (pfsense)
My LAN switch/wifi access point (asus ac68 which was my router before I moved to pfsense)

But your zyxel would be able to act as a lan switch and wifi access point on top of been the modem I would think.  As I know with my zyxel you can isolate the bridge mode ethernet port, and have the other ports act as basic LAN ports.
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snadge

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Re: What are the benefits of 'Bridging' (and pfsense)..?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2019, 07:31:04 PM »

just been watching the pfsense youtube videos, very interesting, thanks for educating me on it all as Ive learned quite a bit  :)
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boost

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Re: What are the benefits of 'Bridging' (and pfsense)..?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2019, 11:41:22 PM »

xDSL is fickle.

Those who are chasing the highest levels of performance and reliability will always split out the roles.
If you asked me to quantify the benefits under standard operating conditions then the results would probably make me look a bit silly but it would irk me to have it any other way :D
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