It’s a pretty common issue. Realtek devices are inexpensive an prolific but they’re flaky and not recommended by most. Coupled with pfsense, one can have a pretty solid lab if you can get them working reliably. I went down the path of building out a new lab with a gigabyte box as a pfsense one-arm-router. I paired it with a managed PoE switch running a few Ubiquiti APs so I could power and pull networks from some IoT devices I was researching.
Every time my nic was under load, my WAN interface would go down. Reloading the interface was a quick fix but it was one needing a more permanent fix.
This was the solution: https://forum.netgate.com/topic/135850/official-realtek-driver-binary-1-95-for-2-4-4-release/19
Unzip & Place “if_re.ko” file in the “/boot/kernel” folder
Ensure ownership and permissions on the if_re.ko file are:
- chown root:wheel if_re.ko
- chmod 0555 if_re.ko
Add this line to “/boot/loader.conf”:
Once you reboot, you can run kldstat to verify the driver is loaded. Most folks were having issues with “smart quotes” on their copy-pastes.
This solved all the stability issues I was experiencing in my lab.