What is apinger and can I disable it?

  • I've just been looking at the traffic pfSense is generating and spotted a constant stream of pings going out to my next hop towards the internet. The traffic seems to be being generated by apinger which looks like something to alert me if the network goes down.

    Do I need this and if so can I calm it down so it isn't running all the time?

  • @digininja:

    Do I need this

    Maybe. The pings help determine if the monitored system is up, the link is lossy, congested etc


    and if so can I calm it down so it isn't running all the time?

    See System -> Routing, Gateways tab, disable monitoring or change the ping frequency. I suspect the Advanced item

    Frequency Probe
    This defines the frequency in seconds that an icmp probe will be sent. Default is 1 second.

    would be more accurately described by

    Probe Interval
    This defines the interval in seconds between sending icmp probes. Default is 1 second.

    (Strictly speaking, frequency has dimension time-1, interval has dimension time.)

  • Done that, thanks. It is a home connection so there is no need to monitor it, if it goes down I lose internet and either notice if I'm home and using it or don't notice or care if I'm out.

  • You might care if the connection quality degrades more and more. Status -> RRD Graphs, click on Quality tab might provide useful information for a service complaint to your ISP.

    My system has a "Probe frequency" of 10 which seems to keep apinger reasonably quiet but still gathers data for the Quality graph.

  • Luckily I've never had connection issues, I'm on fibre and get a fairly constant rate. I also never really knew about the graphs and certainly wouldn't have thought to use them but if I get problems in the future I'll turn it back on again to collect some data.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Is there some reason you need to prevent apingers pings?
    I have seen at least one user who's ISP demanded he stop pinging them for example.
    By the time you realise you have a connection problem it will be too late to start gathering data. You need good data from before the problem to compare it with. Also you will be able to pin point when your problem started.
    That's the sort of information that will help the techs at your ISP sort you out. If that doesn't work it will allow you to complain in a manner that says 'here are facts, don't bother using excuses just pass this to the top'.


  • No reason, I just don't see the point in sending a load of data that I don't need to.

    When I completely lost my internet connection last week, for the first time in over a year, when I called for support they asked me to turn the ethernet cable from modem to PC round as that often fixed connection issues. I doubt trying to give them a bunch of connection stats would mean much to them.

  • Rebel Alliance Global Moderator

    I can see increase the time interval - every second is a bit much.  Wouldn't 10 be ok?

    If you do the math, it does add up to a bit of Bytes per month.  Looking a 15 second capture (30 packets) I show 2340 bytes x 4 = per minute x 60 = per hour x 24 = per day x 30 = per month.  Your looking at 404MBytes per month..  And for me it also checks my ipv6 tunnel gateway so x2 your looking at 808MB per month..

    I love the graphs and yes they can be handy for seeing when there was an issue, etc.  So I would never turn it off - but changing it to every 10 seconds seems like a nice compromise.