WAN Drops every day

  • Hello,

    I am running the latest beta of PFSense 2 (late July builds). I have 1 x WAN and 1 x LAN. My ISP is Time Warner Cable. About 6 weeks ago I started to get regularly disconnected from the internet. A reboot of the modem and then of PFSense would get me back. I spoke with Time Warner and they tested the modem and then eventually swapped it out, but the problem remains. My attention is now turned to PFsense. I did a factory reset and all seemed ok for 3 days. Then it went again. Now its going every day or so. When I log into PFSense the WAN interface says

    I'm not sure what to do now, I considered going back to PFSense 1, but I'm not even sure the issue is with PFSense. Has anyone seen anything like this, or is there an easy way to tell if the connection drops due to the modem, line or router?

    Any advice appreciated, its driving me nuts


  • Does the modem provide any event logging capability? Is it enabled? Does it provide any clues

    Does the pfSense event log provide any clues? (From the web GUI select System -> Status logs.)

    How does the pfSense WAN interface get its IP address (static? DHCP? PPPoE?)

  • Hello,

    The Pfsense WAN gets it IP from DHCP (from the ISP). I can get modem logs and certainly PFSense logs - next time it happens I will post what I can find. They don't mean much to me!


  • @nojstevens:

    the WAN interface says

    It's been a while since I had cable internet, but isn't that the address that a Motorola modem will give you via DHCP if you've hit your public IP address limit? For example, if your provider allows you 1 IP address, when you first plug in the modem and connect your router to it you should get a public IP address. But if you now unplug your router and plug another router, or your computer directly into the modem it will give it the address of Now power-cycle the modem and it will forget your first router's MAC address and give a publicly-routable IP address to whatever you next plug into it.

    So maybe the modem is seeing a MAC address change on your pfsense WAN for some reason? Are you using proxy arp or bridging? Something else that is known to cause this?

    A look at the logs will be good.

  • Sods law, it didn't drop last night - but I'm sure it will again soon.

    Clarknova - you are correct, the address is the device address of the modem, I can go to that IP in my browser to get to the web config for the modem. If for some reason the DHCP allocation is not received by the router it defaults to that IP. If I power cycle the modem when it does this, the router still stays at - I need to powercycle both the modem and the router to get a DHCP address back.

    I have not switched on proxy arp or bridging from its default factory state.

    One item I haven't mentioned is that I have a AT&T Microcell which is between the modem and the router, but that has been there for 6 months now without issue.


  • It shouldn't be necessary to power cycle the pfSense box to get a DHCP lease renewal. Clicking on the appropriate Release button on the Status -> Interfaces page, then the corresponding Renew button on the same page should do the trick.

    Caveat: I just tried this on my pfSense box which runs version 1.2.3 and it rebooted - which accomplishes the same thing (DHCP renewal) but takes a bit longer. I don't know if there is a strong correlation between the DHCP Renew and the reboot.

  • I wondered that yesterday when I saw the release button. Next time, as well as grabbing the logs, i will try that. Driving me mad it is….

  • As I recall, if the modem was giving me a address, the lease was very short, like under a minute, in which case pfsense should be getting a proper address very shortly after you reboot your modem. Obviously this is not the case for you.

  • I also have time warner/brighthouse.  I'm not sure this is helpful, but…

    When it was installed, they wanted me to connect up my computer (notebook) to test it.

    After the tech left, I added my firewall in and it had problems getting a connection.  I had to check the mac address of my notebook and add it to  interfaces-WAN-MAC address before pfsense could get a valid IP address.

    Or call time warner/brighthouse and tell them you have  a new computer and can't get an IP address and ask them to reset from their end.

    If you all tech support, get htem to do a full test including signal and noise levels and see if they can have diagnostics monitoring and reporting issues back to them from their, in the house, modem.


  • @clarknova:

    As I recall, if the modem was giving me a address, the lease was very short, like under a minute, in which case pfsense should be getting a proper address very shortly after you reboot your modem. Obviously this is not the case for you.

    Not necessarily - the first thing any DHCP client will try is to renew the existing lease when it has one, which the modem will likely accept, and it'll keep on renewing that IP indefinitely.

    nojstevens - Your issue isn't related to the firewall at all (any DHCP client would have the exact same issue, it's just taking what it is being assigned), something is causing the modem to assign it an IP rather than one from the ISP. I suspect it's related to your microcell, it's probably picked up your public IP, leaving any other device stuck with a lease from the modem. As for it not doing that initially, initially your firewall won the race to get the public IP. Unpredictable things will happen with a setup like that. Put the microcell behind the firewall, power cycle the modem, don't plug anything else between the modem and the firewall's WAN, and you'll likely be set.

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