Packet Loss

  • Hi, I am using PFSense on a box and have been experiencing Packet loss.  Once I notice the problem I reboot the box and it comes back up and is good for the rest of the day.  It then starts up again.  Do you think this is a hardware or software problem?  I thought most of the time packet loss would be hardware, but since it corrects itself after reboot for a while, it made me wonder

  • A software problem can cause the hardware to drop packets. For example, the CPU might be "too busy" to replenish the receive buffers for a NIC so the hardware has to drop a received packet because there is nowhere to put it.

    It would be useful to have more information: how do you know you are experiencing packet loss? ("Packet loss" could describe the scenario I described above but it could also describe TCP segments lost due to network congestion. This latter case should be expected, to a degree, and should not prompt you to reboot.)

  • I am pretty sure its the hardware.  My network is not busy and my CPU is rarely high.  I know there is packet loss  because of the quality graph in the RRD Graph section and if I ping google for a while I will end up with 20% packet loss at the end, sometimes higher.  I moved the cable from the router to my Desktop and tried again and did not experience the problem.  I also experience packet loss when the CPU is at 2% utilization.

  • well it was definitely a hardware problem, but I think the problem was with the wire.  Gig port to gig port with a long Cat 5 in between mixed in with a bunch of power cables.  I replaced it with a short Cat 6 and have not had a single ping lost in 30 min.

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Gig can be finicky when it comes to that. Was it Cat5 or Cat5e? You really need 5e or 6 for gigabit. 5 (as you've seen) might work if you're lucky, but not very well.

  • Yeah, it was Cat 5.  I did not realize I even had Cat 5 laying around, but with the Cat 6 cable everything is still working well.

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