pfSense vs simple Router

Network management can be quite amazing for the end user – believe me. I could see it during the last days as I have had to replace one of the old Zyxel routers. For being able to manage the traffic I have decided to use the pfSense firewall as it’s able to do NTP, DNS, Proxy services and DHCP.

Since I have replaced the old router, most users think that we have upgraded the Internet connection, which isn’t true at all – but how come?

The reason for the ‘speed gain’ they experience isn’t magic at all. The local DNS Server caches many requests that would be directed to the ISPs nameservers. That way DNS requests are handled much faster and the client knows which way to direct his requests to.

A local proxy server takes care of some web objects by caching them. As they are already known in there, they’re not downloaded from the web again. They’re delivered from the cache instead. As other people might block traffic by downloading huge files, I have implemented slight traffic shaping too which allows us to slow down the big packets of downloads, leaving more bandwidth for the important tasks on the network.

As you see – that’s no magic. Just some network management.

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