Speedtest from the pfSense dashboard

First let me start to say that running speedtest from a pfSense box should not be best practice for business use. And trouble shooting on a business implementation should not need this widget. However for the home user that understands that he is using all his bandwidth during the test and puts strain on the pfSense box CPU during the test as well. Having a quick way to test from the pfSense box it is fine to have this feature. And yes i am aware that most of the time you want to run a test through pfSense from a client on your LAN but that does not validate the reason to deny people the choice to have the function on pfSense.

Most know about the existing FreeBSD package for speedtest-cli. However this package is not a official implementation for this test and is even limited in functionality due to a demand from speedtest.net. Limited that it chooses 10 servers to list and to connect to which might not be the best servers for you. (your milage may vary i was very unlucky and got stupid servers in my list of 10). And you cannot force to test to another server not on this list of 10, it will not accept other server ID’s. Also because of the way it’s implemeted it can be that hard on low end CPU’s that it cannot test high bandwidth connections correct.

I made a widget (open source ofcourse) that you can install together with the official speedtest-cli from speedtest.net. So you can run a speedtest with just one click on your pfSense dashboard. There is a full install and uninstall instruction available so you can remove it again if it is not wat you want after you tested it.

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@LeonStraathof many thanks for this! I’ll test it out. I think some people in the developed world don’t understand how bandwidth can fluctuate so much with ISP’s in the developing world and how having a simple speed test (assuming robust hw) that can run daily in the early AM when the network is not under strain can give useful troubleshooting data or alert you to an issue. With more fiber installs in our area, speeds have been more consistent, but we still get odd speed ISP profile changes occasionally that of course would impact QOS settings. Thanks again.

Thanks for the response, i see a lot of traffic at Github so that must mean a lot of people are interested. But short words from actual users is the thing to keep you motivated to build stuff.

I want to throw this out there. It is not recommended to run speed tests directly from the firewall itself. It causes higher CPU utilization and stress on the firewall causing inconsistent tests.

It is recommended to run the test from a separate pc so the router can operate properly and only handle the traffic and not the demand of the test itself.

I already mentioned it in the original post at the very beginning, so yeah i agree with you that you should use this function with care. I made it because some home users like me have parts of their internal network (wifi far from the access points in my case) slower then their internet (1Gbit fiber in my case). And i have had issues with the ISP and want to do a quick test from my phone for example that is not capable of testing above 500Mbit even when next to the accesspoint. In a business case i would only use this during initial setup or troubleshooting and you are required to test from the router for some odd reason. If there is no real need to hit the test button i recommend not trigger the test, the wiget will show the last recorded test in that case. I also will not build any cron task or anything that will test at set intervals, if you really need to do that i recommend setting up something from a proper client. I do disagree that this test give inconsistent results, the used original test uses far less cpu resources then the non official speedtest-cli that is broken anyway. I can confirm that a single core vm running on a i7-3770 (a cpu from 2012) can test a 1Gbit connection just fine. If you have less horsepower as a single core of a 12 years old processor and faster internet connection then you will have more performance issues anyway.