Captive Portal performance issues - specifically with UDP



  • Oh pfSense gods please help me with my plight :)

    We have a video streaming device which resides in a vlan that where captive portal is active. We are seeing high frame loss (enough to make the video stream un-viewable despite it being around .5% of video frames) between this segment and the main LAN. We do not see video frame loss inside this network segment (where it doesn't pass through the pfsense firewall) but do high video frame loss when traversing the firewall. If I disable captive portal then things look great but when I re-enabled captive portal then video frames drop left and right.

    The streaming appliance is using the RTSP protocol (UDP video transport). The stream looks to be about 12mbps for the quality we're sending. All switching equipment are mid-level Extreme Networks switches with a minimum of 1G ports.

    If I re-enable captive portal and switch to using RTSP over TCP (TCP port 8080) then things look dramatically better but you can tell there are still some underlying network issues (lag, and still the occasional lost video frame).

    Pinging the video streaming device from inside the same vlan (no firewall but same number of switches) all ping times are <1ms with 0% loss yet pinging it from the main LAN I get an average 33ms with spikes up to 200ms! (still 0% loss) so clearly crossing the firewall is an issue.

    Running internet bandwidth tests from both segments said things are running well (pushing over 100mb x 100mb) and that's out across the internet yet somehow we can't push 12mb across firewall with captive portal enabled.

    It doesn't appear to be bandwidth (see above speed test) or CPU related (gui shows 1% CPU utilization when we see the issue on a 8 core x HT box).

    I have added the MAC address of the streaming device to the captive portal allow list and added it's IP to the approved list (although it didn't make a difference so I removed it).

    Anyone have any ideas? I need captive portal enabled on this segment (and yes there's an engineering reason to have this streaming device inside this network segment).

    My background: I've been running pfsense for about a decade and know my way around really well. I've also googled the heck out of this thing and came up with nothing.

    We're running Netgate XG-1537 hardware and pfsense 2.4.4-RELEASE-p2.

    Thanks in advance!



  • @AndrewDuey said in Captive Portal performance issues - specifically with UDP:

    We have a video streaming device which resides in a vlan that where captive portal is active

    The video device is on the same LAN as the the visiting user ?
    I that case the captive portal isn't event used to access this device.
    Can this device access the Internet ? It's gateway setup is correct ? DNS ?

    @AndrewDuey said in Captive Portal performance issues - specifically with UDP:

    I have added the MAC address of the streaming device to the captive portal allow list and added it's IP to the approved list (although it didn't make a difference so I removed it).

    Normally, the IP and or MAC of the server-type of device on a captive portal LAN should be white listed. In that case, it's like the captive portal isn't there for that device.

    Did you try to replace all AP's with pure wired connection ?

    There is no reason why UDP frames should be dropped.



  • @Gertjan Thanks for the reply.

    Most clients are inside the same vlan/subnet and you are correct, they don't pass through captive portal (or the firewall) at all. These clients work great.

    We do have a few clients that are outside the Guest VLAN/subnet on the main LAN. These are the clients that are connecting through pfSense to get to the Video server. When captive portal is enabled on the guest VLAN/subnet we see massive video frame drops (the video is nearly worthless). As soon as we disable captive portal, POW, it's great.

    We did this as an all wired solution and we are seeing these drops before even throw wireless into the mix.

    Thanks,
    --Andrew



  • What are the firewall rules for this VLAN ?

    Can't really help you with VLAN setup itself - but you can test this : hook up the AP on the LAN, and activate a captive portal on LAN. You see the same issue ?


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