ipfw, pf and ALTQ on outbound traffic? (or: "The net is slow when I upload!")

Andrew awd at awdcomp.net
Sat Mar 21 23:58:06 PDT 2009

Hi Jubal,

Jubal Kessler wrote:
> Greetings,
> Is there a general how-to, or a set of coherent instructions, for 
> shaping outbound traffic such that when I upload something over my 
> asymmetric cable-modem pipe, doing so doesn't completely kill my Web 
> browsing or any other attempts to use my Internet connection?
> (To put it another way: When I max out my upstream, and my upstream is 
> capped lower than my downstream, my downstream becomes useless and I am 
> forced to wait until the upload finishes before I can resume using the 
> downstream. This is a problem, and I'd like to solve it.)
> I have looked at various ALTQ + pf setups on the Web, but I have one 
> caveat. I use FreeBSD 6.4 on my home gateway, and it is also using the 
> default natd server, which relies on an ipfw divert rule. I don't know 
> if this matters, or if I need to switch from natd to a pf-based NAT setup.

Technically you could run both, for a while years back I was using 
pppd's nat, ipfw for the firewall and dummynet (for kids downloads and 
stuff or when they reached their monthly quota), and pf for altq on 

All working perfectly.

> Should I use *just* ipfw, or should I switch everything to pf (including 
> NAT services) and go from there?
> Thanks much,
> Jubal
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