Troubleshooting connection timeouts

  • Some months ago we installed pfSense in our school. Everything is fine for the most part, but sometimes there are connection-problems. It's hard to pinpoint but it seems those problems occur more frequently when several classes are working on the same website (e.g. MS Teams). Pupils start to get timeouts - mostly, but not always, just for this single webpage.

    Last time I checked the ping to pfsense itself on LAN was fine, but unfortunately I don't quite know where/what logs to check next. The situation is also not that easily reproducible. It would be greatly appreciated, If someone could point me in the right direction.

    Thank you,

    elko_sc (non native speaker)

    some further details:

    WAN speed: 50/500MBit
    HW: Kettop i5-7200u/8GB
    2 additional VLANs(with pfBlocker) - connection Problems also on non-
    pfsense-mostly stock configuration

  • @elko_sc It could be pfblocker causing the timeout problems.

    I'm assuming, since you said this is in a school environment, that pfblocker is some kind of requirement?

  • Thank you for the reply.
    pfBlocker is not active on the LAN (default VLAN) interface, it's only active on our Wifi-LAN-Interfaces (VLAN 11&12).

    But I will still try to deactivate it to test your theory.

  • We deactivated all VLANs, also pfBlocker. Still sometimes websites timeout. During this timeout the client is still able to ping the website, also other websites work just fine. After some minutes everything starts responding again.

    Most of the time this happens if multiple pupils connect to the same website - in that case it seems that also more clients are affected by this misbehavior.

    I know, it's hard to troubleshoot this kind of problem, but help would really be appreciated. Where can I look next, what tests would you propose to narrow down the problem?

    Thank you again,


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