Re: Slow WAN traffic to FreeBSD hosts but not to Linux hosts---how to debug/fix?

From: Paul Mather <>
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2023 19:31:49 UTC
On Jan 30, 2023, at 5:25 PM, <> wrote:

> On 1/30/23 14:17, Paul Mather wrote:
>> TL;DR: When working from home, I can max out my residential 200 Mbit network connection when downloading from remote Linux hosts at $JOB but only manage about 20% of my max residential connection speed when downloading from remote FreeBSD hosts at $JOB.  When at $JOB, both FreeBSD and Linux hosts have no problem saturating their GbE connections transferring between each other.  Why is this and how can I debug and fix it?
>> I have a 200 Mbit residential cable connection (Xfinity, 200 Mbit down/~10 Mbit up).  I've noticed recently that I can easily get 10--20 MB/s download speeds when transferring data from Linux hosts at work but when I try to download that same data from the FreeBSD hosts I use the speed usually tops out at 3--4 MB/s.  These are Linux and FreeBSD hosts that are on the same subnet at work.  Transfers from the FreeBSD hosts at work (within-subnet and within-site) are fine and match those of the Linux hosts---often 112 MB/s.  So, it just appears to be the traffic over the WAN to my home that is affected.  The WAN path from home to this subnet is typically 15 hops with a typical average ping latency of about 23 ms.
>> The FreeBSD hosts are a mixture of -CURRENT, 13-STABLE, and 13.1-RELEASE.  I had done some TCP tuning based upon the <> <> tuning document (, but removed those tuning settings when I noticed the problem but the problem still persists.  The only remaining customisation is that the 13-STABLE has "".  (I notice that -CURRENT now has this as default so wanted to try that on 13-STABLE, too.)  The FreeBSD systems are using either igb or em NICs.  The Linux systems are using similar hardware.  None has a problem maintaining local GbE transfer speeds---it's only the slower/longer WAN connections that have problems for the FreeBSD hosts.
>> It seems that Linux hosts cope with the WAN path to my home better than the FreeBSD systems.  Has anyone else noticed this?  Does anyone have any idea as to what is obviously going wrong here and how I might debug/fix the FreeBSD hosts to yield faster speeds?  My workaround at the moment is to favour using the remote Linux hosts for bulk data transfers.  (I don't like this workaround.)
>> Any help/insight is gratefully appreciated.
>> Cheers,
>> Paul.
> sysctl
> I would set "htcp" on the server and home computer to improve through in your type of situation.

I did not mention this explicitly but part of the "some TCP tuning based upon the <> tuning document" I mention having done (and then removed) was to use the "htcp" congestion control algorithm.  I restored the use of "htcp" at your suggestion and notice it does improve matters slightly, but I still get nowhere near maxing out my download pipe as I can when downloading from Linux hosts at $JOB.  Switching back to "htcp" on the FreeBSD servers improves matters from 3--4 MB/s for bulk downloads to 5--6 MB/s (with some variability) based upon several test downloads.

The clients at home are a mixture but typically are macOS and FreeBSD.  My home setup uses OPNsense 23.1 as a gateway, using NAT for IPv4 and Hurricane Electric for IPv6.  (I'm using "htcp" CC on OPNsense.  I'm also using the Traffic Shaper on OPNsense and have a FQ_CoDel setup defined that yields an A/A+ result on BufferBloat tests.)  The remote servers at $JOB (both Linux and FreeBSD) are on the same subnet as each other and not behind a NAT.  I have been doing the download tests over IPv4 ("curl -v -4 -o /dev/null ...").