Diagnosing WAN Stutter



  • Problem:
    Every now and again, the WAN stutters. Webpages load only half way, and Skype calls are delayed or stutter and ping response times fluctuate!

    What I have:
    Standard dual core desktop computer running pfSense 2.0.1 with Intel NIC facing the LAN, Realtek NIC facing WAN. LAN consists of one Cisco switch, a DC (running DNS, DHCP, ADS) and a few laptops and desktops.

    Fairpoint Fiber, Static Business Line

    What I've done:
    I've tested the cabling between the computer, to switch, to router, to the ONT. All good, no noise.

    Using WinMTR, ran a timeless ping on yahoo.com for a week. Results are…

    First hop (my router), about 2% of ping requests failed, average response time 0ms, peaked at 20ms
    Second hop (WAN Gateway), about 5% ping request failed, response time average 8ms, peaked at 550ms
    Further hops are worse, and consistently worse. Max response time to yahoo.com was over 3000ms.

    Is there a better way to test this? I am all ears. My concern is that I can't even host a webpage with an unreliable connection. Thank you in advance!



  • Anything in your syslog when this happens?
    Status - > Interfaces: In/Out errors or collisions on your interfaces?



  • @mibovrd:

    Anything in your syslog when this happens?
    Status - > Interfaces: In/Out errors or collisions on your interfaces?

    Doesn't appear so. See below.

    Media 100baseTX <full-duplex>In/out packets 16727592/16650698 (12.68 GB/1.31 GB)
    In/out packets (pass) 16650698/12088477 (12.67 GB/1.31 GB)
    In/out packets (block) 76894/0 (7.00 MB/0 bytes)
    In/out errors 0/0
    Collisions 0</full-duplex>



  • I take it the LAN interface is similar, with no collisions, etc.
    Any mbuf errors in syslog? type in mbuf in the filter at the bottom. I had an issue with a realtek gig card that I added for an opt interface. I think my issue was running too many Gig cards on a PCI interface, and I had similar problems, a little more frequent than yours though. Need PCIe or x for Gig cards really.
    I would Google for the intel and realtek chipset models cards to see if there are any issue that might require tweaks, there are a few that have issues. More with Realtek than Intel, but intel has some too. I would try Google pfSense 2.0.1 + chipset model numbers and then FreeBSD 8.1 + chipset model numbers.



  • @mibovrd:

    I take it the LAN interface is similar, with no collisions, etc.
    Any mbuf errors in syslog? type in mbuf in the filter at the bottom. I had an issue with a realtek gig card that I added for an opt interface. I think my issue was running too many Gig cards on a PCI interface, and I had similar problems, a little more frequent than yours though. Need PCIe or x for Gig cards really.
    I would Google for the intel and realtek chipset models cards to see if there are any issue that might require tweaks, there are a few that have issues. More with Realtek than Intel, but intel has some too. I would try Google pfSense 2.0.1 + chipset model numbers and then FreeBSD 8.1 + chipset model numbers.

    Nothing shows up when I apply a filter for mbuf in Status: System logs: System

    Thank you for the input. I'll research more into the chipsets.

    Anyone use any other tools?

    I am running a SmokePing test as well. NY looks interesting, have a look.

    http://www.dslreports.com/r3/smokeping.cgi?target=network.0e4309b87aadaaef433745f5ccdd14ce

    Edit:
    Tests are done. Looks like route through NY is the worst. For the overall test through NY, it looks to be about over 2% packet loss. The others were slightly better.

    No, mbuf errors and the WAN interface doesn't show any errors.

    Based on this, it doesn't appear that the problem is on my end, but how can I be sure?

    Media 100baseTX <full-duplex>In/out packets 21190740/20936341 (17.38 GB/1.62 GB)
    In/out packets (pass) 20936341/14416830 (17.35 GB/1.62 GB)
    In/out packets (block) 254399/0 (29.57 MB/0 bytes)
    In/out errors 0/0
    Collisions 0</full-duplex>


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