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PROBLEM

I have a very strange problem: my iPhone network seems to hang every few minutes. It happens in Safari, Mail, News, Twitter, Tweetbot, YouTube, and other apps. Here are some ways it happens:

  • when I Google search from the Safari omnibar (page load progress bar gets stuck at 15%, network activity spinner keeps spinning, followed often by a "Safari could not open the page because the server stopped responding"; oddly, Google autocomplete suggestions work perfectly while I'm typing the search query)
  • when I click a link in the search results (the page load progress bar gets stuck at about 30%)
  • when I try to refresh Mail with pull-down and release (the "Checking for new mail" message shows for a long time, even though my mail server is on the same LAN)
  • when I click on a story in News (blank page often followed by "you're not connected to the Internet")
  • when I click on a link in Twitter or Tweetbot

In all instances, I just have to wait a minute and everything is back to normal, until it happens again in 5-10 minutes, which is super annoying.

I have multiple wired and wireless devices connected to the network (and AirPort Extreme 802.11ac wifi access point) and this only happens on my iPhone. I don't think I'm losing wifi during these hangs, I suspect it's some kind of TCP/IP (DNS, IPv6, etc.) issue. I have an uncommon network setup:

Internet > cable modem > pfSense firewall > Windows Server (Mail and DNS server) > LAN switch > Airport Extreme

QUESTION

What is causing this?

What do I look for when debugging this using the Device Console, Xcode Instruments, or WireShark?

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