USB tether my phone as a WAN interface for pfSense

Hi folks,

Im wondering is it possible to USB tether my phone on a separate interface and treat it as a WAN interface on pfSense. My phone would be plugged into a spare USB port on the pfSense box. This could be useful in down times with my ISP (they’re not often but do happen sometimes).

The phone shows a separate gateway and IP address, and respectively which are addresses within the RFC1918 private address range. Will this be an issue for a device to act as a WAN connection?

I’d like to test failover so I setup two gateway groups and set Tier 1 and Tier 2 priority alternating for each group.

I read somewhere that if the phone is removed from the pfSense box (ie via cable) and pfSense is restarted, that it has difficulty booting up because the interface isn’t available. I don’t intend to have my phone connected to my pfSense box all the time.

I guess I just want to know is this possible and is it safe to do?
Anyone know any resources on how to set this up safely?

Thank you for your time.

This a video which kinda goes through some of the process.

He also speaks about the restart issue of the ue0 interface not being present on the restart of pfSense if the phone is not connected.

I use a Netgear LB1120 LTE modem for pfSense WAN failover.

Interesting, are your IP’s (ie Gateway and interface addresses) for the LTE device private IP’s?

I put my LB1120 in bridge mode, thus gets assigned the IP address assigned by the carrier. Unless you pay your carrier for a public static IP address, the IP address is not public or static.

I feel like I need to do some experimenting with a spare pfSense box rather than my production system :grimacing:

LB1120’s for sale on evilBay. Lowest $50

Thats a pretty decent price, unfortunately Im in the UK.

Ah. You will need to find a LTE modem that is compatible with the UK bands, which is the LB2120-100EUS

For those in the USA, I would suggest looking at other solutions than a hotspot and comparing prices.

I switched to T Mobile home internet (at home) with one of their gateways and it has been pretty good so far. Biggest issues are CGNAT and my location is a far away city. If you just need to get out to the internet, this might be a good choice. $50 including taxes per month and I’m getting 150mbps down and around 50-60mbps up in the 50G radio and internal antennae (some people get far faster service). Plenty good enough for home and faster than Spectrum was offering until very recently. And more reliable than the Spectrum we did have, we were seeing outages every day to at least every week, and always when we had something important to accomplish.

I may eventually look into a different 5G device so I can get a few features back, the home gateway does not have bridge mode yet, so my home lab is going through many layers of NAT. But VPN back to my server at work is functioning just fine through all that mess. Server at work has a static IP.