[SOLVED] Can this network arrangement work (PFSense)

Hello all,

Very grateful for any help, but would this arrangement work?

It’s only my little office, I just wondered about the FreeNAS server not being directly connected to the managed switch.

Thanks in advance.


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Are you planning on using any VLANs?

Sorry, I should have mentioned that.

No VLANs intended at the moment.

You should be able to set up an interface as a LAN then get an IP from it. I have precisely this setup, it was the default LAN when configuring pfsense. However, I have a managed switch also connected to pfsense running vlans.

I suspect that you can get your managed switch to work if you use a different subnet, but it is a guess.

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While you can route storage traffic through pfsense, I would not recommend it from a design stand point as it can create bottlenecks in network performance.


That’s really handy, thank you @neogrid . I’ll see how it goes and go from there. It’s mainly only me in the office, but eventually I would like to use VLANs - but that’s a long way off and in a different and more flexible building (I rent). :+1:

Thank you Tom, really appreciate your contribution - I’ll keep an eye on the potential bottleneck.

If I was staying at these offices for any length of time, I would prefer to have the FreeNAS machine directly attached to the switch, especially as I had successfully setup LAG on it (before attaching PFSense). Final network config will be as it should.

Thanks again and keep up the good work (on and off YT) :+1:

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Unless he is using a Netgate SG-3100 device where the 4-port are switched together (i.e not distinct ports like any normal firewall box) by default - so FreeNAS and worstations would all be on the same subnet and pfsense would not police the traffic and thus not bottlenecking anything.

But as you said, it is not a good design in general and FreeNAS should be directly connected to the managed switch.

What he could do if pfsense doesn’t have a set of switched ports, use a longer Ethernet cable and connect FreeNas into the managed switch.

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Thank you @pjdouillard , very kind of you to contribute, you’ve reinforced the need to do the job properly. I looked into this further tonight and it seems there’s just enough of a hole diameter through the wall to feed 4 cables through. This is the current ‘Room 2’:

So I’m now going to have:

Room 1: FreeNAS server, PF Sense (fed directly from the router), Switch
Room 2: Workstations, router

I’ve made a mistake on that sketch, as the router is in Room 2.

Thanks again folks.


So just to clarify, I think it’ll be like this now. I have a 70Mb’ish internet connection if that’s helpful to know - no 1Gb around these parts! (UK)