Slow Windows network after installing pfSense



  • I have installed pfSense yesterday successfully, and I'm very happy with it this far. Except that I'm having one problem.

    First some background: I have three Windows XP computers in my home network. The "My Documents" folder of each of the computer is mapped to a network drive running on Linksys NSLU2. This setup has worked very well until yesterday.

    Now the problem: after replacing Netgear FR114P, which was working as a router/firewall with pfsense, I experience the following symptoms on all Windows computers in the network:

    • starting up windows is very slow
    • opening Windows Explorer takes a really long time (>1 minute)
    • saving/opening a file or changing directories takes also a really long time

    I find this strange, because as far as I understand, pfSense shouldn't have anything to do with this, as all computer are in the same network and subnet in LAN. However, it would be a strange coincidence that these symptoms start to occur only after setting up pfSense. Do you have any ideas, if this could be pfSense related?



  • @gen-ik:

    I have installed pfSense yesterday successfully, and I'm very happy with it this far. Except that I'm having one problem.

    First some background: I have three Windows XP computers in my home network. The "My Documents" folder of each of the computer is mapped to a network drive running on Linksys NSLU2. This setup has worked very well until yesterday.

    Now the problem: after replacing Netgear FR114P, which was working as a router/firewall with pfsense, I experience the following symptoms on all Windows computers in the network:

    • starting up windows is very slow
    • opening Windows Explorer takes a really long time (>1 minute)
    • saving/opening a file or changing directories takes also a really long time

    I find this strange, because as far as I understand, pfSense shouldn't have anything to do with this, as all computer are in the same network and subnet in LAN. However, it would be a strange coincidence that these symptoms start to occur only after setting up pfSense. Do you have any ideas, if this could be pfSense related?

    Erm, this has nothing to do with pfSense.  An operating system bootup speed dependent on the firewall?  Maybe if you have tons of spyware that needs to phone home on bootup, but otherwise your chasing your tail thinking its pfSense.



  • @sullrich:

    @gen-ik:

    I have installed pfSense yesterday successfully, and I'm very happy with it this far. Except that I'm having one problem.

    First some background: I have three Windows XP computers in my home network. The "My Documents" folder of each of the computer is mapped to a network drive running on Linksys NSLU2. This setup has worked very well until yesterday.

    Now the problem: after replacing Netgear FR114P, which was working as a router/firewall with pfsense, I experience the following symptoms on all Windows computers in the network:

    • starting up windows is very slow
    • opening Windows Explorer takes a really long time (>1 minute)
    • saving/opening a file or changing directories takes also a really long time

    I find this strange, because as far as I understand, pfSense shouldn't have anything to do with this, as all computer are in the same network and subnet in LAN. However, it would be a strange coincidence that these symptoms start to occur only after setting up pfSense. Do you have any ideas, if this could be pfSense related?

    Erm, this has nothing to do with pfSense.  An operating system bootup speed dependent on the firewall?  Maybe if you have tons of spyware that needs to phone home on bootup, but otherwise your chasing your tail thinking its pfSense.

    According to my experience, boot-up time of Windows is depending on the network - for example, if there are name resolution problems etc. the boot-up time increases.

    But I guess you are right - I just posted this because it is a extremely strange coincidence: same symptoms, three computers, same time. Very strong circumstancial evidence. To close the case, I'll try hooking up the old firewall, observe if the same symptoms appear and report in this thread.



  • On a minimal LAN set-up, the pFsense box could be used as a DHCP server - and is used as a gateway.
    Of course, the gateway function includes a firewall - nat-device and all this related stuff.
    I do use 6 XP-Pro PC's behind a pFsense box - and response time is more than ok - and far more bether then low-cost SOHO box from Linksys and Netgear…. (We aren't even talking stability here.... it wins - hands-down).

    From what I understood, all your LAN stuff is hooked up to a switch - and the pFsense box is also on this switch.

    Take the conclusion yourself : if the Internet connection isn't available, the M$-soft get's slow to boot ???
    No way...
    It's true that M$-soft opens up 'some' connection when booting (I just love the latest Genuine Validation check "upgrade") - but one can control its behaviour very well - same hands-on actions are needed, thought.

    Know that pFsense ahs everything ‘on board’ to track down connections… It’s rather easy to find what’s happening…. And who is doing it…. ;)

    Anyway - just Ctrl-Alt-Del - and if the list of processes is longer then 30 items then start asking yourself "do I need all this 'crap' ?!"



  • @Gertjan:

    From what I understood, all your LAN stuff is hooked up to a switch - and the pFsense box is also on this switch.

    That's correct.

    Cable modem <-> pfSense box <-> switch <-> computers, nas devices etc.

    I have now tested switching back the Netgear router/firewall to replace pfSense, and amazingly, all the problems described in the first post disappeared. Just to verify the causality of this, I switched back the pfSense box, and none of the problems reappered.

    Conclusion: no idea what was causing this, probably I'll never find out. What matters is that everything works.


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