Pfsense "steals" bandwidth

  • I recently upgraded to Comcast business class internet and I noticed something about my pfsense system, it "steals" some bandwidth from me.  Now I know there can be a few things at play here, but I wanted to ask a few things…

    A) Could a switch be causing the issue?  I don't really care about technical explanations, just real life experience - have you had it happen to you?  If so, did switching the switch (ha!) make a difference?

    B) Does pfsense age gracefully?  :)    I've had the same install for about a year now, running on my "slowest" computer (P4 3.0 GHz HT, 512 MB RAM) because that's the only one I had available to dedicate to the job.  Should I periodically wipe the drive and start anew?  I know pfsense is built on BSD, and I've never really had to deal with that on these types of OS derivatives.  Again, personal experience, do you find it helps?  I'm just wondering if maybe there's a few settings in the system left over from package install/uninstalls and various configuration settings that might be interfering.

    Lastly, I'm honestly not losing THAT much, but it's irritating to see that I'm still only getting 19/3 when I have a line rated for 22/5 and it gets that speed when I completely bypass pfsense and my switch.  (and for sustained downloads and uploads)

    Thanks for any ideas / thoughts.

  • A failing switch, faulty cabling, failing nic(s) could all cause your issue. What type of NIC(s) are you using in the pfsense box? Intel or Broadcom nics are generally preferred. I would have assumed that for something like 22/5 and a generic realtek nic the "loss" in a less than desirable nic wouldn't even be noticed (compared to the 100 mbps+ it would be capable of). For what it's worth I have 22/5 comcast business class at work. I've run it on 1.2.3 with an old Dell PE 1650 (dual P3 1.0's, pair of Intel or Broadcom nics, don't recall) with full bandwidth available to me. I recently retired that system due to it failing and replaced it with a PE SC420 (P4 2.8 HT, Broadom onboard NIC, realtek add-in) running 2.0 RC3 and get the same full bandwidth.

  • Yeah, I was kind of wondering if there wasn't more to the picture here.  I think I'll just give the whole setup an overhaul this weekend and see if that helps clear things up.  Thanks for the reply, gives me some ideas I hadn't considered yet.

  • This isn't Windows where it gets all hosed up over time and you have to blow it away. Unless you play with unstable packages that break something, the system will run forever the way it did day 1. Some have 5+ years uptime, and I see systems all the time with uptimes over a year, and versions installed over 5 years ago, not that I'd recommend not keeping up to date with new versions.

  • Did you enable the traffic shaper on the old connection and set it to those values by chance?

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