Slow Download Speeds After Moving to PFSense

  • Hello all,

    I was previously using a Linksys AC router and receiving 150mpbs by 20 mpbs speeds. But due to me hosting a webserver from my home I decided to increase my firewall protection and go with a PFSense firewall. However, I wanted to test it out to ensure it is suitable for my needs before purchasing a standalone unit to run PFSense on. So I have installed PFSense as a VM on my SuperMicro server.

    I'm able to get it up and running without much issues however, ever since I've removed my old Linksys and started using PFSense, my download speeds at stuck at 17mpbs rather then the 150mpbs I was receiving before. (and now it should actually be more like my full 200mpbs speeds, due to Linksys hardware limits which is one reason why I was trying to upgrade to PFSense) This is with a blank PFSense configure mostly.

    I do have my modem in bridge/pass-through mode so all traffic is being handled directly by the PFSense firewall. WAN is a DHCP address so no static info is needed to make the WAN function properly.

    I thought the issue may have been with the broadcom netxtreme gigabit NIC I had in my server. So I went out and purchased an Intel Pro/1000 Duel Port 1GB NIC and reinstalled PFSense using this NIC instead. But I'm still receiving the same problems.

    I figure my server may have come into question. However I don't know how, because the server specs are far beyond what is required for a PFSense unit.

    My server is the following:

    Supermicro X8DA3
    Intel Xeon E5520 @2.26GHz X2 (2 processors)
    32GB UCC Memory
    Raid 10
    Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard

    I'm using Hyper-V for my VM platform. I have installed PFSense using the VM guide including correct settings for my NIC interfaces (which shows is correctly configured as I would have no internet access at all if it wasn't).

    Settings I have dedicated to my PFSense install is the following:

    4 Cores
    4gb memory
    40gb hard disk space

    I have read online that some users had issues with bridged mode on the router with PFSense but that doesn't make sense to me as a normal firewall configuration for ANY firewall should be to place the ISP modem into bridge/pass-through mode to allow the firewall to handle all the traffic and avoid double NATing. I do not believe that is my issue. (plus it works fine with the Linksys router in the same mode).

    I followed the tweak guides and have increased jumbo and standard NIC frames etc… and disabled the recommended settings for my NIC just to be safe. I have also played around with MTU settings. No changes.

    Any ideas?

  • The first thing I would check is your system load under "System Activity" when you're doing your speed tests. High interrupt load or kernel usage would indicate a driver related issue. Did you check your speed before making any changes? PFSense should work out of the box with most standard networks. One mistake people make is installing PFSense then immediately running in and messing with settings before benchmarking. Always benchmark first.

  • Thanks for the tip.

    As I stated before there was no changes made, it's fresh out of the box config.

    However I figured out the problem. The documentation for setting up in Hyper V states to use legacy network adaptor settings. I changed it back from legacy to regular and it jumped back up in speeds.

    Everything is running fine now.

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