Skype and Pfsense `

  • Gentlemen:

    I have Pfsense 2.15 32bit running with no packages. When connecting for a Skype video conference the video is degraded, Skype message say "low bandwidth connection".

    we have a Cisco 891 and do not have any degraded video at all. I am seeking how to configure Pfsense to rectify the situation. I am new to Pfsense but like it and want to resolve the issue

  • Check your firewall logs to see what's getting blocked from them.  That's always the first step.  I don't know anything about Skype but this link may help

  • Netgate Administrator

    Ha, just read this hoping to glean some new insight. Just a link to my thread.  ;)

    What is there is still true though things have got better at taking care of themselves since 2.0. My multiwan setup functions fine with Skype without any intervention but only at the fallback failsafes. To get anything approaching decent video you ned to have a direct UDP connection between the two clients. To do that you need to be forwarding the incoming Skype traffic to the internal client either via a manual port forward or UPNP. If you choose UPNP then try to limit it's scope as much as possible with rules. If you have multiwan make sure 'sticky connections' is enabled and know that it doesn't work well with UPnP. It will only work with the default WAN and if you have 'default WAN switching' enabled things can get tricky.  :)
    In the Skype client enable the technical info screen so you can see what's happening. You need to see UDP (it can use TCP) and 0 relays. It does work better if it indicates local:good remote:good but I have no idea what that actually means. I've Googled for a while and found nothing noteworthy. My box at home recently changed from local:bad to local:good without me doing anything.  :-\


  • @stephenw10 - can you share some more detail to save me (and others) trying to sort out your clues:
    e.g. I would like to give a couple of people (=laptops with static-mapped IP in DHCP on LAN) good Skype performance for meetings.

    a) How do you setup the port forward from WAN into the relevant laptop and then where in Skype do you make settings so it finds and uses that port?

    b) Where do I find the technical info screen in Skype? (I just had a quick look in tools-options and it was not obvious to me)

    c) Has anyone found a way to limit the video to a particular max resolution/quality? (Skype keeps upping the quality as long as it can find bandwidth so suck up - I want to tell it wht is good enough and let other users get some internet bandwidth)

    Hopefully I have hijacked this thread in a way that will provide useful answers for the OP  ;)

  • Netgate Administrator

    Ah sorry, certainly.
    Firstly if you feel you can use UPnP without causing some security nightmare then just do that because with it enabled 'it just works'.

    Skype has a settings/preferences page that can be accessed in the application (in the Windows and Linux versions at least). In that it specifies what port it listens for direct incoming connections on and allows you to change it if you wish. Knowing that port you can then set a port forward on WAN for UDP traffic.

    The option to show info is in the Advanced section labelled 'Display technical call info'. In Windows you can also right click the video window to bring it up during a call but the Linux app seems slightly less…. polished.

    There doesn't appear to be a way of limiting the video resolution. I was pretty sure there used to be a bandwidth limit you could set but if there was it's gone now. There used to be number of hacks for forcing high resolution video by editing the config file. You might be able to that to force a lower resolution. You could always use a limiter in pfSense to restrict bandwidth.