host that virtualbox vm pfsense is running on drops connections

  • Set up:

    • Host - Ubuntu 18.10
      ** Host has a total of 4 NICs (2 on MB, 2 on PCIe)
      *** The 2 NICs on the PCIe have static IPs of for pfsense guest interfaces (NIC 1 & NIC 2)
      **** Both NICs are set to bridged in Virtualbox w/ adapter type "Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop (82540EM)" in promiscuous Mode "Allow All"
      *** The other 2 NICs that are on the MB (NIC 3 & NIC 4) are set to DHCP for the Ubuntu host.
    • Virtualbox Guest - pfsense 2.4.4-RELEASE-p2 (amd64)
    • Switch is Netgear GS105 1 G

    ISP router > guest pfsense WAN (NIC 1) > guest pfsense LAN (NIC2) > switch > AP & back to host on MB NIC 3.


    • The host drops all connections intermittently, ping (hostname or IP), ssh, https, etc.
    • Other nodes connected via AP are NOT experiencing drops.
    • On the host, if I disconnect the CAT cable and connect the host to Wi-Fi, I don't experience any drops. I don't want the host connected via Wi-Fi due to double NAT issues.


    • I've switched out the cables to both the switch and to MB NIC 3;
    • I've connected the host to MB NIC 4;
    • I've tried connecting directly from NIC2 to NIC3/4, all had the same outcome.

    Other Info:

    • No power saving options are enable on Ubuntu host.
    • Prior to setting up the virtualbox pfsense I had a SG-2220 that was connected directly to NIC 3 and never experienced drops like this.

    Any ideas for additional troubleshooting as to why the host randomly drops?
    What to look for in pfsense or on the Ubuntu host?

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