Traffic Shaping in pfSense: Part Six

Traffic shaping in pfSense

The screen for raising or lowering priority levels of protocols in the pfSense traffic shaping wizard.

Traffic Shaping in pfSense: Raising and Lowering Protocols

The last configuration screen of the pfSense traffic shaper wizard lists many other commonly available applications and protocols. How you chose to handle these protocols are handled will depend on the environment that your pfSense router will be protecting. Mail protocols such as SMTP, POP and IMAP could be de-prioritized, and the end users might not even know the difference. Protocols that require low latency, on the other hand, like Remote Desktop Protocol, might have their priority raised, esepcially in a corporate environment. At home, you may consider multimedia streaming more important. Check the check box for other networking protocols, and then pick and choose from the list of protocols.

Each of the protocols listed can be given a higher priority, lower priority, or left at the default priority. if you enabled p2pCatchAll earlier, you will want to use these settings to ensure that these other protocols are recognized and treated normally, rather than penalized by the default p2pCatchAll rule. Press the Next button when you are done.

Now, all the rules and queues will have been created, but are not yet in use. By pressing the Finish button on the final page, the rules will be loaded and active. [NOTE: If you have problems getting traffic shaping to work, you might consider changing the queueing discipline. PRIQ seems to be the safest bet; I had problems getting CBQ to work using the wizard.]

Traffic shaping in pfSense

Displaying queue status in pfSense 2.2.4.

Traffic shaping should now be activated for all new conections. However, existing connections will not have traffic shaping applied to them, only new connections. In order for traffic shaping to be fully active on all connections, you must clear the states. In order to do this, navigate to Diagnostics -> States. Then click the Reset States tab, check the Firewall state table check box (if it is not already checked), and press the Reset button.

In order to be sure that traffic shaping is working as it should, you may monitor it by navigating to Status -> Queues. This screen will show each queue listedby name, its current usage, and some other statistics. The graphical bar on this page will show you how full a queue is. The rate of data in the queue is shown in both packets per second and bits per second. Borrows happen when a neighboring queue is not full and capacity is borrowed from there when needed.

External Links:

PF: Packet Queueing and Prioritization at

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