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skifast1
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Joined: Jan 28, 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:50 am    Post subject: Recent Vonage config change? VPN and choppy audio issues.. Reply with quote Back to top

Hi all - After several months of clean, clear Vonage service, in the last couple of weeks we've had multiple callers tell us our audio is becoming very choppy & garbled. It appears to happen every 10-15 seconds in a call, and it lasts for about 5 seconds before going back to 'normal'.

Further, my wife uses an F5 VPN (Firecall) connection for work, and this stopped working right about the time we started experiencing the choppy audio. Her IT group at work informed her that a recent 'F5/Vonage' compatability issue had been identified but they haven't provided any more detail since.

I'm not asking for a fix (though I see the SB5120 may be suspect from other threads), just wondering if there have been any firmware/protocol updates from Vonage that might help pinpoint the root cause. Thanks!

Our setup:
ISP: Comcast 6Mbps/386Kbps
Modem: SB5120
Router: Dlink DIR-655
Vonage adapter: Dlink VTA-VR - hardwired to router
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trekologer
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Joined: Dec 04, 2005
Posts: 350

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Since your Vonage device is not the first device in your network after your internet modem (and the VTA isn't a router either), it has absolutely nothing to do with your VPN problem.

The description of the audio problem suggests an intermittant packet loss issue. The Motorola SB5120 is suspect. The D-Link DIR655 is as well. It contains a stateful packet inspection firewall. Try disabling that and disabling application layer gateway. Otherwise, you will need to perform diagnostic troubleshooting on your internet connection, such as a ping test, while experiencing the trouble.
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skifast1
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Joined: Jan 28, 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for the tips trekologer - I had given the VTA top QoS priority, but that obviously isn't helping and I wasn't aware of the packet inspection firewall in the router. I'll be curious to see what the folks at my wife's office come back with - the notion of a VPN/Vonage interference still doesn't make sense to me
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bngdup
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Joined: May 22, 2007
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

As was already said, your VPN issues have absolutely NOTHING to do with Vonage.

Your wife's IT dept just doesn't know whats wrong or doesn't want to explain so they made up some BS to placate you while they work on it.

Vonage is just some other internet traffic on the connection and doesn't interact with your VPN any more than any other service running through your modem. Its just an easy target for all kinds of IT groups since nobody knows how it works.

Your Vonage service sounds bad because your internet service overall quality is declining. You would not blame your car for traffic on the highway would you?
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skifast1
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Joined: Jan 28, 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Follow-up - Should all application layer gateways be disabled or just a particular type, e.g. type SIP? I read that Comcast recently agreed to stop shaping Vonage traffic, not sure if this is of relevance. Thanks
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VonTechMgr
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Joined: Jan 02, 2008
Posts: 656
Location: NJ

PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The ALG in the newer D-Link routers is very powerful. It does more harm then good depending upon the services that you run. My recommendation would be to disable the ALG completely along with the firewall. Do some testing and see what works best for you.

Things you want to take note to. What changed over the last months when issue occured? Did you just add the DIR-655 to your network? Did you make any setting changes to it? Did you upgrade your firmware on the DIR-655? Have you connected the VTA-VR directly to the modem just for testing purposes to see if issue persists?

Your description does sound like it could be ALG or actually SPI related. If the audio issues are on each and every call and the pattern is the same, your router may be inspecting packets based upon specific applications and discarding packets every 10 seconds for one reason or another.

As for packet shaping over the Comcast network, this is a misconception. The deal between Vonage and Comcast has nothing to do with packet shaping. What occured was that Vonage added a Comcast IP link to their border routers. Vonage broadcasts their ASN to Comcast networks so that Comcast customers will now be able to route through Comcast all the way to the edge of the Vonage network instead of having to traverse any 3rd party handoffs between Comcast and Vonage. This allows Comcast provide priority for all UDP traffic between them.
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skifast1
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Joined: Jan 28, 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for the info on Comcast/shaping. I I've narrowed it down to the router config:

The Voip diagnostics come back clean (packet loss, ping latency, etc)

Interesting results when turning off ALG completely (i.e. all 4 types) - dial-tone is there, but incoming calls don't ring through and outgoing calls do not 'ring' on the handset (nor do they ring at the destination). I haven't yet pinned down the permutation as to which 'type' is the differentiator for choppy vs broken service.

Putting the VTA in the DMZ resoves the issue, but is obviously not the preferred solution.

The only recent changes to the DIR-655 itself were to upgrade the firmware to latest (v1.20) and set the channel width to 20/40 (as opposed to just 20) as part of moving both my own PC and my wife's laptop from 'g' to 'n'. The PC was a simple PCI card, the laptop was via a new bridge (both D-Link).

FYI, there is a wireless phone in the house but it operates at 5.8GHz
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