How do Load Balencing Pools Work?

  • I've been playing around with pfSense for a few days now, and I have read the doc on multi-wan in 1.2.  My question is, in that doc they setup 3 pools(first load balencer, then wan1failtowan2, and reversed), but they never use the second and third gateways when creating rules.  When a connection fails does it just go to the next pool on the list or are they just not using those two pools in this doc?  In other words if I want everything to go out WAN1 unless it fails then go out WAN2 would I only need one pool or would I need two?



  • The pools are only used if you specify them as a gateway in a firewall rule.
    For what you want to do, you would only need one pool.
    Multiple pools would be used if, for example, you had a DSL and a Cable connection, and wanted to split traffic on them. You could create a rule for smtp and point it to DSLfailstoCable, another rule for http with the gateway a load-balanced pool, and the default rule using CablefailstoDSL.
    That way mail would use the DSL line unless it was down, web browsing would round-robin between the lines, and everything else would use the cable unless it was down. The pools avoid having mail broken if the DSL fails, which would happen if you just used the DSL gateway in the rule.

  • That is what I thought, but I have a machine with pfSense setup with 2 wan connections(DSL and Cable) and I originally setup just one pool "WAN2 Fails over to WAN1" both wans have public static ip addresses and monitor their gateways address.  Only a single firewall rule that is "LAN to any use WANFailover Gateway".  As long as both connections were working everything works, but if I unplug WAN2(primary) I lose all connection to the internet(ping, http, etc.), checked Load Balence status and it shows WAN2 offline and WAN1 online.  I thought maybe for some reason if the primary on a pool fails it goes to the next pool on the list, so I setup another pool(the reverse of the first one) and everything starts working again(primary is still unplugged), no other changes on pfSense, If i delete the pool i just created I lose internet again.  I've deleted and recreated it several times just to make sure and everytime it was the same. Any ideas?

    Also one more thing, if you have a constant ping going out to the internet and you lose primary connection, is that ping supposed to switch to the backup also and continue working.  It doesn't with my setup but if I stop the ping and restart it, it will work again.

    Thanks again!

  • Just to be sure….
    Before you started with load balancing did you test both wan's as gateway?

    As this
    set gateway as wan1 unplug wan2
    test for 5 min
    set gateway as wan2 unplug wan1
    test for 5 min

  • I tested the gateway as default before I started but not WAN2, so I just tested both, and both work fine.


  • Not to Hijack but i have the same excat issue.
    Where you have to restart the ping or web browser when there is a hot plug event or outage on either line.
    so if there is a solution i will be implementing also.
    i am running version  1.2-RC2 built on Fri Aug 17 17:46:06 EDT 2007

    also in my pools i have the static ip's monitoring ip's 2 hops down stream.


Log in to reply