Random Loss Of Connection



  • I have one client, laptop on wireless, that at random times will not loss connection to the AP, but Windows 7 will show no Internet access and the infamous yellow triangle showing limited access, if the laptop disconnects and reconnects it will get Internet access again for a bit then the same issue. Troubleshooted the laptop wifi every which way, even have a new wifi module on its way to replace the existing one. I am looking for help in being pointing in the right direction to figure out if the FW maybe the issue since the AP is just an AP and DHCP, DNS and Firewall are all on the PFSense box. Just need a nudge to a place to start figuring out why one laptop has issues while one only a short distance away has no issues, the other laptop is brand new…Thanks for your help and patience!



  • Log onto the PFSense box, under Status > System logs, check for spooky messages at the bottom. They're timestamped, so check for messages within a minute or so of the connection dropping. Updating the software on the PFSense box (Status > Dashboard) and the AP (manufacturer website) might help. Get a tool like wifi inspector to check for wireless interference from other networks. My 2kW microwave pretty effectively jams 2.4GHz communication on the ground floor, but the PFSense box is none the wiser.


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    So when this laptop still shows it has wireless, can it ping pfsense?  Just having an association doesn't mean traffic is going to pass correctly, etc.

    If you can not even ping pfsense, then your not going on the internet.  Can you do dns lookup, use nslookup, dig, drill whatever your fav query tool is after you ping pfsense.



  • New symptom, connected, but when ping'in the GW (PFSense) the times are very high and until I disconnect and reconnect to the wifi I cannot get to the web gui. Planning on upgrading from 2.2 to 2.2.1 tonight. Will also upgrade the AP firmware.


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    When you say ping times are HIGH.. like what? 1000 ms, 100?  Can you ping or access your AP gui, turn off security to allow that from wifi for testing of your issue, etc.



  • Ping to the PFSense GW for that LAN are 500ms+, 1200, 1000, 735, 800, then before I upgraded sometimes I couldn't PING The GW (PFSense) at all, but still get on the Interwebs. Seems to be OK now after the upgrade. Ill post if it happens again. I do notice PING'ing my files server on the same LAN also gets high PING times, 500ms+ when normally I see 1, =1, <1, <2, =2.


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    If your seeing anything over 2ms on a lan there is most likely something really wrong.. Unless the box your pinging is really really busy..

    Is the pipe full, what switch, wifi?  Ping times via wifi can be a bit longer.. But not 500 ms, dude that is going to the other side of the planet and back, not to the server next to you.  Here I am in chicago and I get 130 ms to my box in Luxembourg ;)  500 ms to anything on your local network is just WRONG.. You have a duplex mismatch or something, your network is saturated with worm traffic.  The box your pinging is 100% cpu and answering ping is at the bottom of his things to do, etc.



  • Connection is

    Laptop(reinstalled wifi drivers)>AP(just upgraded FW)>PFSense(just upgraded to 2.2.1)

    I shall see if it continues.



  • I should mention it seems like its only the one laptop, next time or if it happens again I will check other devices on the same AP.


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    And what is the AP connection to pfsense - are you directly connected to nic in pfsense or switch?  If only 1 machine goes to shit while others are fine, then it sure not a mismatch on the duplex wired connection, etc.

    The high ping times could be something wrong with the wifi.  Something wrong with the laptop, etc.  Run a sniff what kind of traffic you seeing? Sniffing on the pfsense nic connected to the AP should tell you what kind of stuff its seeing.  Is there a broadcast flooding going on, is someone running p2p..  Did pfsense see the icmp and really take 500 ms to put it back on the wire? etc. etc..


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