Backup WAN with SIM card USB stick?

I’m thinking of setting up a backup WAN on my PFsense, using a USB stick for a SIM card.
I can get an “pay as much as you use” subscription, that would cost me close to nothing, but would be ideal for a “failover” backup connection …
… any ideas on how to set this up in PFsense, and which USB stick to use ?
P.S. I’m in Europe, so it needs to be the GSM standard …

Thanks in advance !

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Hi did this as a test one time, it was straight forward
plug in the stick was recognized straight away as a modem “3 Ireland Europe”
Then just setup your interfaces, gateways ETC and you can have fall over or route different types of traffic through whatever gateway :slight_smile:

Hi Pascal,

We use a cloudgate from the company called option.

For the WAN failover setup their is a great video:

I live also in Belgium :smiley:

I used this one:

A router and you just pop in the sim card… worked very nicely for me and… you know… its a router even if a cheap one.

In the UK here.

I had some cheapy usb dongle from t-mobile? (they changed name arround the time I got it)

It worked natively in pfSense, and had okay ish throughput, but it sometimes didnt pick up on reboot, and would always drop connection if it had any tilt. Get a quality stick and make sure it doesnt get knocked out. Its a shame that intenal USB ports are in a metal cage.

I’ve just ordered a TL-MR6400 from Amazon …
I only hope I can set it to “bridge” to avoid double NAT-ting …
… fingers crossed !

I already have failover at the moment (my main ISP is Telenet cable, and my backup ISP is Scarlet ADSL), but I want to dump the Scarlet subscription and replace it with a “pay as you use” SIM card …

Yeah same problem with the cloud gate sim router. It’s double NAT :frowning:

Let me know how it goes, i’m also interested :smiley:

i got this router, and put in the SIM card, but it doesn’t connect to the 4g …


it keeps saying “connecting” …

I’ve disabled the Wifi of the router

the 4g light on the device doesn’t light up (the power light, the LAN light and 2 or bars of signal strength lights up, but no 4G light)

I’ve put the SIM card in a phone for testing and it gave “3G” without a problem …

i’m in belgium europe, does that make a difference ?
does this router model work with european (Belgian) SIM cards ?

I’m a bit puzzled by this behaviour …

I used it in Hungary, with my phones sim card, and another prepayed one, and it worked. I remember full bars (it was 6 months ago, when I set it up). I got it out on the field now, transmitting some sweet LoRa Data, but I will go tear it down and check it again when I have some time to do it.

it seems to recognize the SIM but doesn’t connect …
is there smething I maybe forgot to do ?
very strange …

its fixed, the sim tried to connect to the wrong APN

If I connect this router to Wan2 of the PFsense, Wan2 will get an IP from it’s DHCP server
in my case because the SIM router is on
let’s hope it’s not double NATted (I unchecked NAT in the settings, so fingers crossed)
my LAN (from PFsense DHCP server) is …
So ny question is : will I still be able to reach the settings of this Router (, once the PFsense is “between” it and me ?
Do I need certain rules for reaching it, or is it simply impossible ?

I don’t see why not. if I understand correctly from the 4g modem’s point of view, your pfsense should be considered LAN so safe network. If you try the other ways, than pfSense will block it since it is considered WAN (thus unsafe). (Its pretty easy to allow the webconsole from the wan side too if you need to.)

because its configured as a failover, so its ignored untill the main isp goes down ? no ?

which rules do I need to make ?