Bandwidth through pfsense slower than direct access?

  • Hello,

    I have a setup with an ADSL2 modem going into a pfsense box. If I do speed test I get about 12-13mb down and 740-820k up while going through the pfsense.

    If I go direct into the modem and do a speed test I get 16-18mb down and up is around 720-750k.

    So it seems the up on pfsense is faster but its not enough to mention really but my issue is the down. That is a few mb diffrence.

    What can be causing this and how can I resolve?

    I have pfsense setup with failover to another cable modem but not doing load balance and all the traffic stays on the adsl2 line like it should. I do not have any traffic shape setup (I setup one to test but no diffrence so removed) and my rules are very few/simple at the moment.

    No drops showing on anything. My pfsense is a PIII866Mhz w. 512mb ram and intel pro 100 nics. (3 of them) and one onboard belken I will be using for DMZ in the future. I have all non-needed hardware disabled in bios so not many things are even sharing the same IRQ but whats with the slower download? I am lost.

    Oh, BTW, this shouldn't matter but I do have one IPsec tunnel going to a remote location a few miles away. Pings are low, 26ms and the traffic in the tunnel is low/idel 99% of the time…

  • Internet speed tests are very poor indicators of actual performance. Speed test servers are under extremely high load and hence provide inconsistent results, especially on connections as fast as yours. Then there are other factors you can't control or determine, like how much load your ISP's network is under.

    I would use it for a while and see how it goes. Try some very popular torrents, assuming your ISP doesn't rate limit Bittorrent traffic. Linux and BSD distros are good ones to test, I typically like to use Ubuntu torrents as a benchmark of real Internet throughput since there are typically hundreds of fast seeders.

    Your hardware is adequately sized, and nothing else you mentioned would cause any issues. Looks like you've done everything properly to get setup.

    One thing I would check is the Status -> Interfaces page for any errors on your interfaces.

  • I know what you mean about speed test but it is 100% consistant. If I do through pf box its 3-6mb slow down, every time. If I do a download of a file, its faster direct also, even from one of our own servers in another location that has no traffic.

    So I am lost?

  • Try changing the interface your wan comes in on.

  • Changing interfaces worked for me and I am using a vmware install.  On a dual wan setup I am getting 6mbs and 9mbs from my two connections.  I use the latest snapshot which has a traffic graph built in to help you monitor speed.

  • the VMware is what (in my opion) is slowing you down. if you run a dedicated machine
    the host machine will be under less load. and the nics will be physcally connected to the modems. (no software intervention)

    i just based this off of your 1st and last post.

  • even though your speed tests are consistent doesn't mean much. they are highly highly inaccurate.

    it is basically a guesstimate of your bandwidth. Adding another hop will change it's guesstimate.

    As was said, try a torrent or something else. I was using a p3 500mhz and i've maxed out a 100megabit wan connection. The webconfig was basically unresponsive but the connection worked.
    you should have no problems with actual throughput and latency

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