3 connections LB need help



  • Running PFsense 1.2.2

    I am really new to PFsense (please go easy).  I have been trying all of Friday and most of Saturday to get the LB up and running.  I really do not understand the interfacing with modems / routers section in the tut http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Multi_WAN_/_Load_Balancing  Since I don't understand this part I really don't know how to continue with the rest.  I have three modems.  Two of these modems are running at 15/2 speeds while my third is running at 10/1.  I noticed when in the services=>Load Balancer section that all three of my connections gatways are the same.  I realize that in order to LB you have to change the gateways to make them all different like in the tut.  But in that part of the tut they were really vague on how to do this.  I am guessing that you need to configure this with static addressing but they mentioned static and DHCP so many times I am not sure wtf they wanted me to do.  I am prob going to reset factory defaults and start all over but I need your help plz.  Dont blow me off.



  • Gateways are set in the interface setup screens.

    Ignore WAN3 for the moment.  Get WAN1 and WAN2 set up for load balancing first.  Once you've done that properly, (following the tutorial), you will at some point suddenly understand the logic behind the design and the additional steps to bring the third in will be intuitive.

    Not trying to be all guru mystic-ish, "and the answer will appear!", or anything, but the logic underlying the pfSense load balancing system is not readily obvious or understandable until you've actually worked through it completely, (troubleshooting and all).  Once you've done that the tutorial steps will suddenly seem painfully obvious, but trying to reach that point with the third WAN link in the equation will trip you up more than help.  Highly recommend leaving WAN3 out until you understand the load-balancing using just two links.



  • Thanks a lot for replying.  So far this is how I have set everything up.  I have made my WAN run in DHCP

    mode while my second connections has its own custom gateway due to me setting it up as static.  My

    only problem is that the connection that I have set as static is offline.  I noticed in one of the tuts it said

    to turn off DHCP in your modems settings.  I have done this and still no luck.  Is there something that I

    am completely missing??



  • If pfSense says it's offline then there's a reason it thinks so.  Could be a bad patch cable, typo in the config etc. or it could be an issue with the monitoring IPs:

    You MUST use different monitor IPs for each WAN link or you will have weird results.
      Also, as a crucial sanity check, use the diagnostics ping test to the monitor IP with the respective interface selected.  You'll see notes saying that the ping test doesn't work reliably in multi-WAN and this is sort of true, but the key here is that the monitoring system is simply doing a ping as well!
      Have seen some very illogical pseudo-failure modes that were resolved by using the diag ping to figure out which monitoring IP was "appropriate", (i.e. worked at all), for each WAN link.  There was no rhyme or reason to what did or didn't work but they were at least consistent and the system is rock solid once you've sussed out the right combination.  And having gone through the process on quite a few of these now I can safely say that it is necessary!  (At least as of v1.2.2).
      Also a tip - don't use the gateway as your monitor IP on any of them.  Too easy for the ISP to be having routing issues and you can't past their core so the link is functionally down even though you can reach the gateway.  So for each WAN link be sure to pick a (diag-pingable) public IP which is outside of that ISPs network.



  • Alright so I got 2 of the connections up and running.  In Status –-------> Interface all connections are online.  The only problem is that I see no boost in speed at all even though in theory my connection should have doubled.  Anyone know whats wrong??



  • Load balancing is per session, not per packet, (otherwise the servers you're connecting to could get really confused).
      You'll also find that a lot of servers will throttle sessions to some arbitrary speed.
      Best way to test is to find a fast download site with mondo bandwidth like one of the big Universities, (e.g. Stanford :), and then use a browser plugin that does multi-session downloads, (like DownThemAll for FireFox).  Then go grab an ISO or something and see what kind of rates you get.



  • Thanks for the tip! :)  I will try that


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