Weird speed problems

  • I'll preface this by saying that I've recently been having connectivity issues with my comcast connection.  I don't know if their dropouts are the direct cause, but I figure they could be related.  I also run OpenVPN with private internet access, but as you'll see in a second this does not appear as if it should be a VPN problem.  My contracted speed is 300Mbps.

    My problem is that when comcast IS working, my speeds on many sites are very slow.  This is a recent development, I just noticed a couple of days ago during which time I was also experiencing frequent comcast dropouts.  At first I thought it was VPN related, but it affects devices and sites that connect through the WAN and DO NOT go through the VPN.  For example, and are both whitelisted to bypass the VPN.  I know that the bypass rule is working because displays my comcast IP, not my VPN IP.  Comcast's speedtest does not display my IP, but since it's the fast one whether or not it's using the VPN seems clear.  Yesterday, in tests conducted seconds apart, was struggling to achieve 2Mbps while the comcast speed test was nearly 350Mbps.  This was through my pfsense box, but neither connection was routed through the VPN.

    As a check, I temporarily connected my PC directly to the cable modem.  Without my pfsense box or network in the mix, the same two sites are consistently near 350Mbps.  I originally suspected throttling or some sort of manipulation by comcast, but this test proved differently.

    My pfsense box runs on a dual-core Intel Atom D525 with 4GB of RAM.  In the past it has never had a problem with 300+ Mbps and it hasn't even broken a sweat doing so.  Normally I can achieve 300+ using the VPN and CPU utilization is less than 25%.  Of course I have rebooted both the pfsense box and PC, but this did not improve overall speeds.  Again, when up and operating correctly, the WAN interface does not indicate packet loss or other issue.

    Any ideas where to start troubleshooting?

  • How fast is everything going through pfSense with the VPN disabled?

  • I disabled the VPN NAT Rules, the VPN interface and the VPN itself.  After this the speed test results varied from 250 to 300Mbps.  Looks like the VPN has something to do with the slow speeds, even the sites that weren't using the VPN.

    It occurred to me that I recently updated from 2.3.4 to 2.3.4-1.  I might not have noticed the slow speeds until this latest mess with comcast.  If the slow speed was only on the VPN I might think it is a problem with the VPN server, but that seems unlikely given the effect on non-VPN sites.

    Could something have happened with the VPN client during the upgrade?

    If so, can I download or update the VPN client?

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