F Secure Sense in set-up with modem and wifi router

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F Secure Sense in set-up with modem and wifi router

Hi everyone, after a long wait I have now finally received my F Secure Sense ... but after unboxing I noticed that obviously back then when I ordered the device I had misunderstood one point: I was not aware that the F Secure Sense also serves as a secure WiFi router. So my original assumption around the set-up seems to not be accurate. I was expecting to build this set-up:

 

Modem (via my ISP) -> cable connection to F Secure Sense -> cable connection to WiFi router

 

All devices in household connect - as before to WiFi of my WiFi router, but are now protected by the F Secure Sense Firewall

 

However knowing now that the F Secure Sense is intended to be used as a WiFi router itself (and from the description only protects devices that are directly connected to its own WiFi) I am wondering:

  1.  Does having the F Secure Sense render my existing WiFi router useless?
  2. If no - what would a sensible set-up look like? Would e.g. my "original" idea of modem - sense - wifi router still work?
  3. If yes - what would happen if I went for a set-up of modem - sense and using the Sense's WiFi, but install my former WiFi router at some other place of my home as a repeater - would in that case the full protection still be guaranteed? (my assumption is yes it would, but prefer to doublecheck)

 

Your help and thoughts are very much appreciated. I have tried F Secure Phone Support already twice, but they couldn't help...

 

Thanks in advance.

Rio

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Former F-Secure Employee

Re: F Secure Sense in set-up with modem and wifi router

Hi,
 
That is correct, SENSE itself is a hardened WIFI router with added security features
 
For the best experience:
1) Use SENSE as your primary router device by setting your router in front of SENSE into bridge-mode and using the cable connection for internet connectivity.
2) Connect all your devices directly to SENSE (you can use a regular switch to extend the amount of physical LAN ports if necessary)
 
It is possible to use an another router behind SENSE and allow the traffic of those devices to flow through SENSE, but this scenario may have side-effects, such as SENSE not being able to recognize devices behind the secondary routers NAT. When new and unexpected devices connect they normally show up in the SENSE app, but you will lose this benefit if SENSE cannot see them.
 
Also depending how your secondary router is configured it may reduce the security of your network, depending on your encryption settings, password strength and other factors like security issues in that router's firmware. If your router has a true bridge mode, it should work without side-effects.
 
We have not extensively tested WiFi extenders, but extenders with true bridge mode should work and even give you visibility on what the devices behind the extender are doing. Similar caveats apply as with the previous statement about the security of ordinary routers.
 
It is not possible to use SENSE in bridge mode at the moment and should not be expected in the foreseeable future. Using SENSE as a bridge has negative consequences for many security usecases SENSE has been specifically designed for.
 
Hope this helps and clarifies some issues
 
Best Regards:
Simo Punnonen / SENSE QA Lead

View solution in original post

2 REPLIES 2
Former F-Secure Employee

Re: F Secure Sense in set-up with modem and wifi router

Hi,
 
That is correct, SENSE itself is a hardened WIFI router with added security features
 
For the best experience:
1) Use SENSE as your primary router device by setting your router in front of SENSE into bridge-mode and using the cable connection for internet connectivity.
2) Connect all your devices directly to SENSE (you can use a regular switch to extend the amount of physical LAN ports if necessary)
 
It is possible to use an another router behind SENSE and allow the traffic of those devices to flow through SENSE, but this scenario may have side-effects, such as SENSE not being able to recognize devices behind the secondary routers NAT. When new and unexpected devices connect they normally show up in the SENSE app, but you will lose this benefit if SENSE cannot see them.
 
Also depending how your secondary router is configured it may reduce the security of your network, depending on your encryption settings, password strength and other factors like security issues in that router's firmware. If your router has a true bridge mode, it should work without side-effects.
 
We have not extensively tested WiFi extenders, but extenders with true bridge mode should work and even give you visibility on what the devices behind the extender are doing. Similar caveats apply as with the previous statement about the security of ordinary routers.
 
It is not possible to use SENSE in bridge mode at the moment and should not be expected in the foreseeable future. Using SENSE as a bridge has negative consequences for many security usecases SENSE has been specifically designed for.
 
Hope this helps and clarifies some issues
 
Best Regards:
Simo Punnonen / SENSE QA Lead

View solution in original post

Aspirant

Re: F Secure Sense in set-up with modem and wifi router

Thanks. With a little manual work and some additional research I have now managed to set up - as suggested - Sense as my main WiFi router and my former WiFi router as an extender on another floor (connected via Ethernet to Sense). So far, all seems to work fine.

 

Should any issues occor I will update this thread.

 

/solved