PPPoE connection drops periodically

  • We have an ADSL2-internet connection with a Thompson speedtouch 516v6. The 516v6 is running in Bridge mode and pfSense creates the PPPoE connection to the internet provider. The 516v6 and the pfSense HW are connected through a direct ethernet cable.

    Now, about every four to six hours (without being really reproducable) the PPPoE connection drops. When this happens, I see the following in the pfSense GUI in the interface status:

    WAN-Interface (sis1)
    Status: up
    PPPoE:  down (Connect)

    When I click on "Connect", nothing happens. For it to work again, I have to power off the 516v6 and then the connection comes up automatically.

    For me, this looks like an error in the 516v6, but I have some doubts because of two facts:

    1. The 516v6 works only in Bridge-mode, therefore does not do any auth. In a case  as above (no connection to the internet) but prior to restarting the 516v6, the ADSL line is still up (the LED on 516v6 is showing), and our provider tells me on the phone that there was no connection loss on the ADSL line. Therefore, it has to bee something on an upper layer?

    2. The logfile entries in pfSense tell looks like pfSense thinks the ethernet link is down. Could it be that the ethernet interfaces between our pfSense hardware and the 516v6 have some incompatibility? I have the entries in the logfile (last entries when we don't have any connection)

    php: :DEVD Ethernet attached event for sis2
      check_reload_status: rc_linkup starting
      kernel: sis2: link status changed to UP

    php: :DEVD Ethernet detached event for sis2
      check_reload_status: rc.linkup starting
      kernel: sis2: link state changed to DOWN

    I have pfSense "1.0.1-embedded". Any hints would be appreciated. Thank you.


  • This might be the SIS NIC or the cable.
    Try a new cable first, swap the NIC if the problem still exists. SIS NICs aren't known for rock solid performance. Intel and some older 3com NICs (like 905B) are.

    On the other hand, I have to reboot my bridging ADSL modem once in a while for this exact reason. PPPoE link is down, the rest looks alive.
    IIRC, there are many problems with Thomson SpeedTouch modems on other Inet forums.

    If changing cable and NIC doesn't help, throw in another ADSL modem. Or do that first if you can easily get hold of a spare one.

  • Thanks for the info.

    We could now replace the Speedtouch (with another Speedtouch) and it seems that it works better now, because the internet connection stayed up all night without manual intervention. So I think that it really was a hardware problem with the original Speedtouch, and not with the firewall.


  • Good to hear!

    Keep us informed if further problems arise.

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