Internet dies when a torrent is on.

  • Every time I use torrent in pfsense, all Internet stops sans torrent. The state table size rises to 7000+/30000 suddenly when running a single torrent even with 20 or less connections and the memory rises to around 70-80%. The state table isn't full but still the Internet stops for all computers including the computer that's running a torrent except for the torrent itself.

    I have not port forwarded utorrent's port but utorrent's light does turn green after some time.

  • bump.

    Anyone has any idea why this is happening?

  • Rebel Alliance

    Check your torrent client software

  • what are the specs of your pf box ?

    try disabling 'required encryption' in your torrent client.

  • I'm using the latest version of utorrent.

    Will try disabling encryption. Thanks for the inputs.

  • What you describe sounds like you're running out of states, double check your RRD graph after it comes back to life. Encryption wouldn't have any impact on that. What pfSense version are you running, what functionality do you have enabled, what are the specs of your hardware (especially RAM, 70-80% of what?), any other details that would be helpful?

  • What hardware are you using? I got the same behaviour when running Soekris 4801 with both OpenBSD and pfsense but that is expected since the hardware is not very powerful and torrents are draining the resources very quick (lots of states are created and deleted in high speed).

    // rancor

  • In addition to running out of states check your task/global throttling settings in uTorrent. I always have to limit my upload speed, if I let tasks eat all they can particularly in the upload side I won't be able to surf. Also keep in mind, especially with torrents, the faster you download the more it will utilize your upload sending ACKs and other responses back out to the peer/seed to send the next piece. I've got 6/512 here through Bellsouth DSL and even limiting my upload in Bitcomet to 10 KB/sec (512k upload should get me around 64 KB/sec) I can max out both directions. Bitcomet won't show more than 10 KB/sec upload like it's supposed to but with multiple tasks or one fast task I can still flood both directions and choke out other things on the network. If you are seeding or don't want to limit your upload speed in the client try configuring the traffic shaper. Your torrents will still get full speed when they can but if something else with a higher priority (almost anything really) it will take a back seat.

  • Changed the pfsense rig to an Athlon X2 processor with 2gb ddr2 ram. Adjusted the states to 120000 (for 2gb) Utorrent still kills the Internet. Anything else that I could have missed here?

  • Did you check the setting in utorrent I asked about? If you let it have free reign over your connection, particularly the upload this is normal behavior for torrents. Nothing you can do but throttle utorrent down some or turn on the traffic shaper and de-prioritize torrent traffic.

  • Yes I have. I lowered the torrent upload to around 20kbps and it still stopped the whole Internet which can only be fixed by a reboot. What I want to do is to prevent the Internet from stopping even if there is a torrent running with a limited upload and a limited download. I find it odd that a torrent can affect pfsense this much.

  • Starting to sound like your ISP rate limits you into oblivion when you start hitting P2P. Run a constant ping on your WAN IP from your LAN and see what that looks like when you start up a torrent. If that stays steady with 0 loss, then you're passing traffic fine and it's upstream.

  • When the modem is directly connected to the modem, I'm getting normal torrent downloads. When I connect it to pfsense, I get the Internet stoppage.

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    Sure its not just killing your dns forwarder?  I run torrents through my pfsense box all the time, and its sure not any sort of power box. Its an OLD p3 800Mhz, with 256KB of ram on a 6GB HDD – OLD!!!

    And I scream with multiple torrents all the time, I see like total 1.8MB down quite often, have my upload in utorrent client limited to 132KB about 1Mbit, since my upload after powerboost ends is only about 2Mbit

    I run unbound on my pfsense letting it do all the dns to roots.  Im currently running
    2.1-DEVELOPMENT (i386)
    built on Thu Jul 14 01:23:35 EDT 2011

    With a gitsync as of this morning.

  • The DNS Forwarder is indeed on, almost all computers that are connected use Pfsense's assigned DNS.

    Is a DNS required? I landed in this place and the existing pfsense already has a DNS. All the computers are also connected to its DNS.

    We are using PFsense for an Internet cafe btw. The timer software that we're using doesn't even require a DNS to connect to the "server".

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    Dns kind of required to to use the internet though huh ;)

    Heres the thing you forward to where for dns??  p2p can generate a SHIT LOAD of DNS, some little routers dns can not handle it.  And there you go no dns = no internet browsering.

    Simple test, when you running a torrent from some client, flush its local dns cache

    ipconfig /flushdns

    now try and ping some stuff, say, other websites you like to go to, – do they resolve an IP in quickly?  Or does it say unknown host?

    C:\Windows\System32>ipconfig /flushdns

    Windows IP Configuration

    Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.


    Pinging [[b]] with 32 bytes of data:
    Reply from bytes=32 time=34ms TTL=52
    Reply from bytes=32 time=34ms TTL=52

    Ping statistics for
        Packets: Sent = 2, Received = 2, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
        Minimum = 34ms, Maximum = 34ms, Average = 34ms

    Pinging [[b]] with 32 bytes of data:

    We are not so worried if they respond to the ping or not, but that they actually resolve to an IP (dns)

  • So disabling the DNS is a no go. Are there any other solutions for this?

  • There's no way you're killing your DNS forwarder, even if someone was intentionally throwing absurd numbers of queries to it on a slow system. The only time I've seen or heard of overloading the DNS forwarder is creating a recursive loop (i.e. set it to query another DNS server, and set that DNS server to query it, so every request loops infinitely) which is impossible to do in the typical setup where you're using an upstream DNS server.

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    Who said anything about disabling dns??  You mean its not the problem?

    As to no way your killing the forwarder, that depends on what forwarder your using..  I would agree a real no, but for all we know they are pointing to a soho router in front of their pfsense box??

    I have seen it be an issue quite often, you normally do not run or even allow p2p in a work setup, so where you normally see this issue is a home setup.  Many homes have crappy ass soho routers that have 2MB of ram total and small portion of that is used for their dns forwarder.  So yeah you can kill the dns services on a soho router pretty easy when you start doing hundreds if not 1000's of queries for PTRs, etc.

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    Ok Im grabbing a big torrent right at the moment, not having any issues what so ever doing anything else on the web, maybe streaming video would be a pain since I pretty much have my download pipe maxed out.

    But as you can see from the speed graph on the torrent, its freaking screaming at like 1.8MBps, but not really even touching this OLD P3 800, 256MB ram, etc.  Now it puts a bit of a hit on my latency for pinging my gateways, but thats about it.

    Now you notice its got a few states going, but its not really over the top..  What are your states when your downloading?

    So its not pfsense that has the problem, there is clearly something else as your problem.  Now you notice my upload there on the pfsense graph is a hair over 1Mbps – this is about half my upload pipe after speedboost stops, with a I show about 25Mbps down and 4Mbps up - but speedboost from comcast makes that look better than my real pipe is.

  • @johnpoz:

    As to no way your killing the forwarder, that depends on what forwarder your using..  I would agree a real no, but for all we know they are pointing to a soho router in front of their pfsense box??

    That's very true, I was assuming a direct connection to the Internet with nothing else acting as a DNS forwarder when that's not known to be the case here.

  • @johnpoz:

    Now it puts a bit of a hit on my latency for pinging my gateways, but thats about it.

    Which is induced by the ISP's limit on your connection, not the firewall, all your traffic will have increased latency when your pipe is full.

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    Exactly, I expected that - just showing that its not pfsense not handling a torrent.

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