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 Severe IPfilter slowdown when FTPd in use
Author: Jeff Kyle 
Date:   19-12-01 03:20

I've got a FreeBSD 4.4 machine that I use as a NAT gateway as well as a web and ftp server. Generally it works just fine, but when someone starts downloading a file via FTP, the amount of data coming to my Windows PC via NAT dwindles dramatically. The easiest test is updating newsgroup headers via GrabIt, which shows the download speed, and comes from an ISP-hosted server, so it should be as fast as anything available. Generally, I can get 230-260k/sec updating headers, consistently. However, when someone is downloading a file, it drops to 30-60k/sec - and the FTP user tells me that they get no more than 30k/sec. So, there's a good 130k/sec or more of bandwidth that's unavailable. (When the user disconnects from FTP, bandwidth immediately jumps back up again.) The server is a 700mHz P3 with 256m of RAM, running a 4.3g Seagate Barracuda SCSI via an Adaptec PCI SCSI board, so that shouldn't be the problem... the slowdown actually seems worse since I recently switched to this platform, it was on a 225mHz Pentium MMX (overclocked) with 64m and throughput appears unchanged. Also, even during the slowdown, I can FTP files inside the LAN (10mbit) at 1100+k/sec, so I'm confident that the computer is plenty powerful for the task.

Is this a problem with my server? Is there something I can tweak? Or is it just my ISP (Road Runner) throttling back my download speed since it's probably getting close to the maximum upload speed?

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