pfSense router port upgrade

Published 23 June 2014.

Running all my internet traffic over a VPN connection provides some additional security and privacy, however I have noticed a few minor issues with a small selection of financial sites which deny log in attempts from certain blacklisted VPN connections. To solve this issue I needed to expose my WAN connection directly to my internal devices.

The problem was that the DQ77KB motherboard I used only provided two network ports so there wasn’t a free port to expose this ‘clearnet’ connection on. Reconfiguring the router every time I needed to log in to my bank obviously wasn’t an option so I had to look to add some additional network ports.


My motherboard provided a 4x pci-e slot so adding in an additional network card would have been easy, except the case I had chosen to use didn’t have enough room to mount an additional pci-e card.


The DQ77KB also offers a mini-pcie slot which is typically used for installing m-sata hard disks. I found a potential solution in the form of a dual port mini-pcie version of the Intel i350 network interface card made by Jetway





ripped the case and looked for a way to mount the ports in a reversible way. Sadly if not unsurprisingly there wasn’t enough room to mount the connection board as is. I considered splitting the connector board into two and mounting the ports individually into the case but that wasn’t completely possible either. I found room to mount one in the slot where the wireless antenna is usually located, but the second was obstructed by the motherboard itself.


In the end I admitted defeat, there just isn’t enough room to get two RJ45 ports into that case without resorting to some serious dremmel work. I’ve made do with a ghetto mount for now whilst I look for a case that can offer silent cooling and physically accommodate the additional interface card.