USB Ethernet strange behavior


  • Hello everyone.

    I installed a usb dongle base on ASIX AX88772C chipset to my recently upgraded pfsense 2.1.5 The dongle was tested in windows boxes and ubuntu box and in both platform it performed stupendously. But in pfsense, after I assigned it as my internal LAN interface I could not connect to the webconfigurator page. It says Error connection time out. But strangely I can ping my pfsense box and I received a 192.168.1.100 given by the default dhcp and I can also ping my windows box from pfsense.
    I decided to invert the interfaces, so I set it as my WAN. Using Realtek from the motherboard it connect to pfsense webconfigurator  and I was able to configure some settings but I realized that I didn't have internet connection but strangely I have an public IP address in the interface, therefore my cablemodem is up and wan is up but I simple cannot route it thru.

    I would like to troubleshoot it myself but I need some guidance, thanx in advance


  • Strange behavior is pretty normal behavior with USB.  Its often a pain to make work well.


  • Thx!
    I think it is more like a driver issue.
    Found this:
    http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=axe&sektion=4&manpath=FreeBSD+8.1-RELEASE


  • I will tell you the same thing that I tell everyone that no one ever listens to.  Even if you have to switch hardware entirely to some other used computer or some cheap new one, use either built in NICs or PCI/PCIe NICs.  USB is just a pain and the performance will be lack luster at best.  I'd only use it if for some strange reason it was my one and only option.

  • Netgate Administrator

    I agree, usb nics are best avoided but since you already have it….
    Ping works, dhcp works, tcp doesn't. Try disabling hardware off loading features in System: Advanced: Networking:
    Are you seeing anything in the firewall logs?
    You could try a 2.2 snapshot that will have newer drivers.

    Steve


  • @stephenw10:

    I agree, usb nics are best avoided but since you already have it….

    My experience has been that they only suck under FreeBSD.

  • Netgate Administrator

    I have seen them suck under multiple OSs but yeah FreeBSD seems to promote particularly high levels of suction.  ;)
    I meant with pfSense really.

    Steve


  • @stephenw10:

    I have seen them suck under multiple OSs but yeah FreeBSD seems to promote particularly high levels of suction.  ;)
    I meant with pfSense really.

    Steve

    LOL
    Ok, so this is my pfsense box..


    it is a mini ITX case which is perfect for a small router and it comes with a 8x PCIe.
    So right now I'm using a intel nic, but as you can see I can't close the case  :(

    And here is the usb dongle

    Ok so the first thing I did was to try other firewall distros, don't know maybe I'll get lucky, but sadly that wasnt the case. The lastest distro of unTangle was even worse It. I can't even ping the damn thing.

    About the performance issue. My idea was to use it as my wan since I don't a fast internet connection, around 12mbps down and 2mpbs up so I don't think the dongle could be a bottleneck…  ??? right?


  • I'm not sure how many "MY USB NIC sucks" threads there will need to be before people see the trend.
    Its way more likely they won't work properly than that they will.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Did you try removing hardware off-loading options?

    At this point what you're describing could be caused by the wrong firewall rules on LAN. Nothing in the firewall logs?

    Steve


  • @kejianshi:

    I'm not sure how many "MY USB NIC sucks" threads there will need to be before people see the trend.
    Its way more likely they won't work properly than that they will.

    Yes I saw them, but still worth the try… if no one ask the question how the problem is gonna get solved.

    @stephenw10:

    Did you try removing hardware off-loading options?

    At this point what you're describing could be caused by the wrong firewall rules on LAN. Nothing in the firewall logs?

    Steve

    I disable it, but the problem persists… and there is nothing in the log that may indicate problem which is very very strange.

    I have a new approach, instead of installing directly I will try visualizing the firewall. Not ideally since it is not a powerful rig. MSI 7698 mini-ITX based on AMD E350 dual core APU with 16GB DDR3.
    First I tested was Proxmox VE wich is my favorite but has no luck make to recognize the dongles from the start.
    So I decided if the dongles works well in windows box maybe I can give it a shot a Hyper-V.
    So this is what I've been doing.
    But then I've got another problem. It's seems that pfsense doesn't play well with vm nic drivers either. But after googling a bit I found a tutorial and proof that it actually does work it just need some little tweaking.
    Here is the vid:

    Youtube Video

    right now I'm setting up the windows 2012 server r2 datacenter on an intel core i7 920 rig if it works I'll come back to the E350.

    cheers!


  • The best and cleanest thing to do is since you will most likely need both a router and a switch is to use a single NIC on pfsense as both WAN and LAN using VLANs and and VLAN managed switch.  It will be very functional, reliable and not ugly as sin.

  • Netgate Administrator

    @kejianshi:

    and not ugly as sin.

    ;D Yep, I would go VLANs also.

    You could try a different USB Ethernet adapter though. People are using them without problems even if many do exhibit 'issues'. Can you borrow one for a test?

    Steve


  • @stephenw10:

    @kejianshi:

    and not ugly as sin.

    ;D Yep, I would go VLANs also.

    You could try a different USB Ethernet adapter though. People are using them without problems even if many do exhibit 'issues'. Can you borrow one for a test?

    Steve

    @kejianshi:

    The best and cleanest thing to do is since you will most likely need both a router and a switch is to use a single NIC on pfsense as both WAN and LAN using VLANs and and VLAN managed switch.  It will be very functional, reliable and not ugly as sin.

    Hahahaha! you guys want me to ditch the dongle no matter what! hahahaha ok ok Let me try this hyperv thinggy and I'll ditch the fracking dongle! LOL
    Is there any guide about how to configure vlan on pfsense for one nic?

    cheers!

    [update]
    forgot!! the router died 2 weeks ago! a linksys rv082  :'(  I've been using pfsense as a router!! forgot about that! and I have a cisco SG100-24 unmanaged switch…. so...  :(
    I guess I need 2 nics for the time been

  • Netgate Administrator

    Like I say, if you have any friends who have usb ethernet dongles it might be worth trying them. I'd still go VLANs though.  :P

    Steve


  • I hope lots of people buy USB dongles instead of vlan switches.  Its entertaining.


  • @kejianshi:

    I hope lots of people buy USB dongles instead of vlan switches.  Its entertaining.

    Yes it is!

    Update
    Success!! Working in a VM inside a Windows server 2012 r2 with Hyper-V.
    Loaded the 2.2 beta version as recommended and found out that the new version support the hyper v nic driver (not the legacy one) which is pretty awesome!!!

    Later tonight I'm gonna test version 2.2 beta with a physical PC and see if the Asix dongle can be recognized. This mmethod was recommended before but sadly with work and family it is hard to find time to test it.

    Anyway the journey of making the freaking dongle work continues!!!


  • I'd still toss the USB NIC aside and use straight hardware with a vlan switch unless the usb dongle represents a significant investment.
    Reliable internet is just so much more important to me than a few dollars - unless you don't have those few dollars - In which case I totally understand you.