Pfsense for Satellite Links??

  • I'm setting up a pfsense router with two NICs, a 802.11n (unfortunately, it currently only works in 802.11g mode), and a externam 4 port ethernet hub. I'm putting squid on it and I've got a 160GB hard drive that I'm going to use for its cache. I'd like to install a advanced proxy cache upate proxy thing… if thats even possible, so that I can cache updates. An then it would be nice if I could get youtube videos to work. For that, I'm thinking of buying a package ( for $10 and that's supposed to make it so that I can cache youtube videos as well as other videos, and online media (like mp3).

    My question is, do you guys think there is anything else I can do with or without pfsense to make life easier for us?? We have Hughes Satellite Internet and we pay $129 per month for a 2MB signal and are allowed 500MB/day to download. If we go over the FAP limit then we get SLOW internet for at least 24 hours. We have hughes because we are in a location where there is no DSL, Cable, Fiber Optics, etc. etc.

    I think the first thing I'd like to do is tweak squid so that it works at optimum speeds. I think that to do that I need to understand what I need to set the minimum and maximum download file size at...right? While I would love to have speed, we also need to save on bandwidth.

    A thought I had is that maybe I could make a internal DNS server, most likely on another computer. I would wonder whether this would work beings that squid caches DNS??

    Is there any way that I can tweak pfsense/squid and/or build another server, or change our computer settings, to make live with satellite easier?


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    On the Advanced settings page there is a setting for firewall optimization that will cause it to hold states longer, which may improve functionality on high-latency links like satellite.

  • you could also increase you squid cache and set it up to cache videos (search the forum, its been discussed, pm me for the link if you cant find it, I have it somewhere and will look for it and post it)

  • Yes, that and caching updates too. I've been wondering though… in pfsense, when I'm setting up squid, it says that a lower minimum object size makes for a faster system, but larger objects improve bandwidth. So, I'm not sure what to set it at as we need both bandwidth and speed, although probably bandwidth more than speed.

    If what you're talking about is cachevideo then yes, I know about that and thats on my todo list. As soon as I get this Sata hard drive to work so that I can have a cache, I'll get that setup. Although, it looks like they charge $10 for this package. Thats too bad. I think it might be worth it though.

    It would be nice if I could have a seperate hard drive to cache update files, and use a different method other than squid. I'm thinking this:

    However, I do not think that is supported, or even works for that matter... on pfsense. But it would be nice. Then again, not really needed if we download updates in the middle of the night.

  • the system (pf) would be slower with a larger cache, but in your situation you want  faster Internet, as long as pf is on box with a proc at or above 800MHZ you should be fine with concern to system speed.

    the video cache i was talking about is done by you, you have to edit squid's files, takes about 15 minutes to do, and its free, i went looking for it and the post has been deleted (was on a diff site).

    search the forum about having a drive dedicated to squid, its been done.

  • for your hard drive (read it on another thread:,21294.0/topicseen.html) is it sata? if so you need to check the sata settings in the bios, make sure its set for ide mode and not raid, i have run into this problem and changing the sata functions to ide fixed the issue.

  • I have a 1.8Ghz CPU, and 2 GB of ram, so I should be alright.

    Yes, its sata. I've not even been able to get the BIOS to read it. And pfsense does not mount it. And then even if it was mounted, I don't know how to partition it. So, I got  a lot of work to do. I've read online and it seems other people have had this same problem with this hard drive. The way my setup is, I have a 6GB IDE hard drive and a 160GB Sata Hard Drive. The sata drive is connected to a sata controller card. And its just not working. I'm thinking maybe I should update my BIOS, or install openBIOS. However, I do not know if that will help it or make it worse.

    As far as the videos, if you do it manually without the cachevideo thing, would it be able to cache all videos and mp3s and such, like this cachevideo thing does? The cache video is supposed to work on youtube, google, facebook, etc. etc. Not just youtube.

    I'll keep reading the forums…



    I've done a lot of tests... and it looks like my sata controller card is bad. I think I need to forget about the sata and go with these IDE hard drives that I have. I've got two IDE hard drives, one 40GB and one 60GB. The forums do talk about configuring squid to use one of the hard drives, but is there anyway I can configure squid to use them both at the same time???

    It seems that the speed improvement of IDE and sata for our small network, is not much of a difference.

  • it would only do videos, mp3s would be something you would have to do.

    i found the tutorial by google (about 20 minutes of googleing)

  • Do you have a link? If not, I'll do more searching ;).

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