Quest 50 Mbps Fiber synchronous - can't tell

  • I just got a 50 meg dedicated fiber Ethernet port from Quest and I would like to use pfSense as the router/firewall but am having some trouble diagnosing the connection.

    • When I assign the pfSense WAN to the Quest IP/geteway - I get about 10 Mbps down and 6 Mbps up - using their speed test (much less than the 50X50 Mbps contracted speed)

    • When I assign the pfSense WAN to the OtherISP IP/gateway - I get about 16 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up - using the Quest test (exactly the 16X2 contracted speed)

    • What's more, when I plug my Windows 7 workstation directly into Quest and set the IP/gateway - I get exactly 50 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up (much less than the 50 Mbps contracted upload speed)

    I have pfSense in a VMware VM on vSphere 5 and the open-vm-tools installed. It has 2 vCPU and 4GB RAM, and never seems to use much. I am having trouble deciding who needs to fix the issue!

    • After all, If I connect Windows (physical box) to Qwest and get 50 down, I must be able to get 50 down - right?

    • And since pfSense (VM) can bring 16 Mbps down through my OtherISP, it must be able to go faster than 10 Mbps - right?

    • And since pfSense (VM) can upload at 6 Mbps on Qwest (Windows Physical can only do 2 Mbps!) - well, I just don't know!

    Does anyone have a helpful pointer?

  • Netgate Administrator

    First thing I would look for is an interface mismatch somewhere in the chain. Something may be set not to do auto-negotiation for duplex/speed. It may fall back to 10Mbps or maybe get many errors and far less speed.


  • Looked and tried 1000/full, auto and default. There are only two adapters in question:

    The Broadcom NetXtreme adapters in the ESXi 5.X and the E1000 adapter in the VM. I used the HP VIB to install ESXi (so the Broadcom is installed correctly) and I chose the E1000 (Gigabit) adapter as opposed to trying to use the VMXNET3 because I require support for VLAN's and such. Gigabit (1000 - Full Duplex) is shown in all adapters.

    Besides, I am only trying to get 50 Megabit (5% of a Gigabit), and I have CPU and RAM to spare, so I didn't think I would need VMXNET3

    -Still Puzzled

  • Thanks stephenw10, turns out you were right, but not in any way I would have anticipated!

    All my equipment was set-up right - but the Quest device would not allow auto-negotiation! Why, I don't know. I had to manually set 100 Mbps/Full Duplex to get inbound and outbound working.

    Now pfSense is a dream!

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