Following the server update, I thought it was time to update the network.
Historic view of the network:
- Earliest network, circa 1998 – 9600 bps ntlworld modem dial-up
- First cable modem, circa 2000, from memory, 1Mbps speed. As I was working from home, I installed a firewall (3M), switch (10 Mbps), a WiFi access point and Ethernet to a couple of computers.
- The speed increased as various upgrades from ntl were provided. At some point it exceeded 10 Mbps, at which point, I relied on an ntlworld cable modem also acting as router and WiFi access point. Time passes…
- Circa 2014, Virgin Media hub 2 had endless problems. Reverted to cable modem sans router/wi-fi, with separate router, being a Western Digital MyNet 600. Cisco AP added. Ethernet to garage and shed. 100 Mbps switches throughout.
- Updated server. Update Virgin media service to 200 Mbps. Hence the need to update my network infrastructure as the WD router was 100 Mbps only.
So this is the starting point for the new infrastructure:
- VM modem providing 200 Mbps, not acting as router or access point
- Single Ethernet cable to garage hosting my sparkling new server
- Cisco AP, and Western Digital AP re-usable
- 1 Gbps 48 port switch in the house
I installed pfsense on my server in the garage to handle firewall/router activities.
I bought a netgear 8-port managed switch, and used the cable to the garage as a trunk to carry the WAN connection on a VLAN. That means if I do a speed test from the house to Ookla, for example, the WAN traffic traverses the cable to the garage twice, once on a VLAN destined for pfsense running as a virtual machine on my server, and once one the way back to the client device running the speed test (Windows 10 PC in the house). I suppose this might eventually become a bottleneck, but at the moment it is not.
I also reconfigured the Cisco AP to support VLANs, and provided additional VLANs from the router to support secure and guest traffic via two SSIDs. Guest network managed by rules in the pfsense firewall to prevent access to the secure network.
I re-used the WD MyNet by installing OpenWRT v18. This allows a similar setup to the Cisco AP, except that its switch doesn’t allow a single port to support both tagged and untagged traffic.
I also set up OpenVPN on pfsense to support remote access to the network.
The final result:
200 Mbp+ observed on Ookla from house PC.
1 Gbps between all wired devices (except MyNet).
Cisco AP and MyNet both supporting two networks for secure and guest access.