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VonageTPA
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Firstly, this website isn't run by Vonage, so you see it as it is. That said, most people who have Vonage live quite happily with it, and have no motivation to post. Those with problems have a motivation to post. Smile

The real problem is that people have no understanding of how their network functions. These Vonage routers are fine for web surfing,etc... BUT peer-to-peer programs are NOTHING like web browsing. Some of these programs generate 1,000 requests per SECOND and will bring many consumer routers & cable modems down because of the volume of traffic. Throw in an application like Voip into the mix and you're asking for trouble.

The WRT54G/GS routers do a very admirable job handling such traffic, but as you can see, aftermarket firmware is what most people use to get even this highly-rated router to handle the load. For comparison, I use a Baystack 460 managed switch here to do my QoS, and it does it beautifully. Of course, it costs $2,500, so it's no surprise that it handles this well. Even an el-cheapo managed switch with questionable QoS runs $500. So, you're asking this little Vonage router to do all of this PLUS Voip? Unless you're willing to pay a couple of hundred dollars for a Vonage adapter, don't be surprised that it doesn't have the capabilities of more expensive devices.

_________________
ISP: Varies depending where I'm at.
Vonage: Linksys RTP300
Router: IPCop 1.4.10
Phones: various
Total calls since Jul 24, 2005: 4,794 calls
Total Minutes since Jul 24, 2005: 25,552 minutes
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NateHoy
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Joined: Nov 01, 2005
Posts: 2257
Location: New England

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

markwi wrote:
No Vonage customer needs such a convuluted set up. I really don't care if my post gets removed or not but its my firm belief it should be kept simple as possible. Anybody looking at these forums lately will walk away confused and hurt Vonage as a whole. [..] My posts over time may not be all pro Vonage but the equipment offered is getting better and more stable. A simple setup with little cost to consumers is what people want and thats what it is suppose to be period.


Assuming that was directed at my post, I understand your point...

And, frankly, I completely agree with the belief that things should be kept simple.

And for anyone who has the spare bandwidth, they do not need to go through what I had to. If you always have 90k free upstream bandwidth (as probably the vast majority of casual Internet users will), then you'll never have a problem with the WRTP54G, the RTP300 or any other router that does not have effective QoS. They're great Vonage devices, and adequate routers for casual use, like most consumer routers are.

The simple fact remains, however, that QoS on the WRTP54G is not effective. If you don't need QoS, then that defect is not relevant. If you do, then it is. Simple.

I spent over a MONTH trying to make it work, and it does not. Rather than allowing people to go through the seven levels of Hell that I did, I'm posting what I know works...

My post is directed at people who ARE experiencing problems with their WRTP54G (or RTP300 for that matter) - those who are not fortunate enough to have a large upstream or who tend to use it more heavily. My ISP provides an advertised 256K which I have consistently real-world tested to below 200K. Vonage wants almost half that using "best" quality. My corporate VPN connection to my email client frequently wants to upload large files, and I frequiently use desktop sharing along with Vonage to hold teleconferences. When I try to do that, I used to get constant complaints of choppy audio on the remote side because the WRTP54G was completely unable to prioritize the voice data stream over the VPN data stream.

So, the Vonage routers lack effective QoS. It can be fixed by:

1. Throwing more bandwidth at the problem if you are lucky enough to have an ISP that allows you to buy it (mine throttles ALL plans at 256K upload, no exceptions).

2. Throttling all of your other upstream applications to "reserve" space for Vonage (my VPN client lacks that capability, so I lived in fear of doing anything when I was on the phone).

3. Using Vonage "bandwidth saver" to reduce Vonage bandwidth (even lowering to 30K didn't help in my case, and the audio quality was not good enough for conference calls).

4. Giving up and getting a router that has QoS. In my case, this $50 fix allowed me to continue saving $50 a month using Vonage instead of a POTS line. So it was money well spent.

5. Abandoning Vonage and going POTS.

So, for those who have tried options 1-3 and they have proven ineffective, I offer information on how to take option 4 instead of option 5.

Will it scare customers away? I don't know. It is intended to take someone who is ready to leave Vonage and Voip and tell them WHY they are having problems, and give them the tools they need to STAY with Vonage.

markwi wrote:
At times I wonder who is in control here on this site. Sometimes maybe a few here should just keep opinions to themselves instead of misinforming future and current customers of Vonage.


Dan Connor. He owns the site, and his userID here is "dconnor". You can feel free to report what you think is misinformation to him. Neither of us work for Vonage, by the way, but Dan does have a vested interest in keeping the site helpful.

Most of us are doing this for free in support of Vonage, because we like the company and want to help others have the best Vonage experience possible. The Vonage employees who do post here are doing so on their own time, for the same reason.

I'm sorry if ,as your post seems to imply, you feel that tested, repeatable, and provable results with the WRTP54G are "opinions" and "misinformation". I obtained that information with a LOT of sleepless nights, and a LOT of research. It is offered here to try and help others who are experiencing the same problems.

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
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Singlecoil
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I was having problems with my WRTP54G taking forever (20 secs or so) to connect to internet sites. The bandwidth test would show what I would suspect, but when you clicked on a link, it would take a long time to finally connect and download data. Bypassing the WRTP54G instantly fixed the problem. I then hooked up a D-link router to the cable modem and used it as a DHCP server, and set the WRTP54G to a static IP and allowed it to pass through the D-link router. This seemed to fix everything. I had some blocky voice calls when uploading files to the internet, however. I looked into the WRTP54G some more and noticed that the DNS 1 server was incorrect. I fixed that, hooked it back up to the cable modem, put the D-link router back on the shelf and everything seems to be working better now. I have cable modem service, and for some reason, my DNS 1 server was set to 10.0.0.1 which would be correct for DSL, I believe. I don't know if the WRTP54G came from the factory that way or not.
In a nutshell, if you are having the problems mentioned above, check the DNS servers of the WRTP54G.
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Singlecoil wrote:
I was having problems with my WRTP54G taking forever (20 secs or so) to connect to internet sites. The bandwidth test would show what I would suspect, but when you clicked on a link, it would take a long time to finally connect and download data. Bypassing the WRTP54G instantly fixed the problem. I then hooked up a D-link router to the cable modem and used it as a DHCP server, and set the WRTP54G to a static IP and allowed it to pass through the D-link router. This seemed to fix everything. I had some blocky voice calls when uploading files to the internet, however. I looked into the WRTP54G some more and noticed that the DNS 1 server was incorrect. I fixed that, hooked it back up to the cable modem, put the D-link router back on the shelf and everything seems to be working better now. I have cable modem service, and for some reason, my DNS 1 server was set to 10.0.0.1 which would be correct for DSL, I believe. I don't know if the WRTP54G came from the factory that way or not.
In a nutshell, if you are having the problems mentioned above, check the DNS servers of the WRTP54G.


Singlecoil -

Good call.

In my experience, the best way to handle DNS in the WRTP54G is to "hard code" your ISP's DNS servers (or anything in the range of 4.2.2.2 to 4.2.2.6, as these are public DNS servers) into the DNS fields on the WRTP54G. For some reason, I've found that the WRTP54G "forgets" about your ISP's DNS servers upon lease renewal, or at least it did on the 1.00.50, 1.00.52, and 1.00.55 releases. It might work better in the 1.00.58 release. I haven't tested it since my WRTP54G is now behind another router, and is acting only as a Vonage device for me.

Better still, take the next step and turn off the DNS Proxy. This will make each of your client computers do their own lookups, and frees up resources on the WRTP54G to handle your traffic a little better. Maintaining a DNS cache takes up router memory that coudl be better served routing packets and handling voice, especially since most computers have their own DNS caches on-board anyway.

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
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cabinlife
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Joined: Jan 17, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:46 pm    Post subject: WRTP54G phone line 1 light was solid now blinking Reply with quote Back to top

Hi,
I just joined this forum today. I have a Toshiba PCX1100U modem going to a Linksys EZXSS55W switch then to the WRTP54G router. I use the switch to connect the PS2 and the router to the cable modem. The problem I started to have is that the router started to drop connection where I had to cycle the router to regain connection. I then noticed that my Phone 1 light was not steady but was slowly blinking even though the phone was on the hook. I went through the Vonage phone troubleshooting which ended up with Vonage sending me a new WRTP54G router. I installed the router a week ago and the router worked great with the phone 1 light solid. Just this weekend I lost connection again and had to recycle the router. And now the phone 1 light is blinking again. My ISP is insightbb.com and show the router has not lost connection. Please help.
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VonageTPA
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Joined: Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 1715
Location: Florida (usually)

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:42 am    Post subject: Re: WRTP54G phone line 1 light was solid now blinking Reply with quote Back to top

cabinlife wrote:
Hi,
I just joined this forum today. I have a Toshiba PCX1100U modem going to a Linksys EZXSS55W switch then to the WRTP54G router....


Say no more! The Toshiba PCX1100U was one of the worst cable modems ever made. It doesn't handle any streaming of packets well. This problem isn't specific to Vonage, as I've seen it happen with web streaming, peer-to-peer filesharing, etc. Don't expect anything to work well until you replace that cable modem.

As an aside, most ISPs only assign you one IP, so using a switch directly after the cable modem is a no-no, as your computer(s) and Vonage router all will grab an IP for themselves. Now, connecting the switch behind the router would be fine, and your router will grab it's IP from the cable co, then will assign virtual IPs to all of your local devices. The Internet Service Providers are MUCH happier with the latter configuration.

_________________
ISP: Varies depending where I'm at.
Vonage: Linksys RTP300
Router: IPCop 1.4.10
Phones: various
Total calls since Jul 24, 2005: 4,794 calls
Total Minutes since Jul 24, 2005: 25,552 minutes
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cabinlife
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Joined: Jan 17, 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 1:02 am    Post subject: WRTP54G blinking phone light Reply with quote Back to top

Thank you for the fast response. I do have two IP's (one being a static IP for the router) to handle the switch before the router. I am wondering why the router phone 1 went from being solid to blinking with the phone on the receiver. As stated this is the second WRTP54G to do this.
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VonageTPA
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Joined: Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 1715
Location: Florida (usually)

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Some phone adapters will blink their Phone port light(s) slowly to indicate waiting voice mail. This should also be accompanied by a stutter dial tone when you pick up the phone.

_________________
ISP: Varies depending where I'm at.
Vonage: Linksys RTP300
Router: IPCop 1.4.10
Phones: various
Total calls since Jul 24, 2005: 4,794 calls
Total Minutes since Jul 24, 2005: 25,552 minutes
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mwmcclure
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Joined: Mar 07, 2005
Posts: 80
Location: Greenville, SC

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

NateHoy wrote:
4. Giving up and getting a router that has QoS. In my case, this $50 fix allowed me to continue saving $50 a month using Vonage instead of a POTS line. So it was money well spent.


I have not had issues with broken audio during calls but I do worry about it as I consume more bandwidth for more things. What $50 router did you buy that has QoS? I'd like to start looking into the idea.

- Mark

_________________
Happily using Vonage since May 2003...
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NateHoy
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Joined: Nov 01, 2005
Posts: 2257
Location: New England

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

mwmcclure wrote:
NateHoy wrote:
4. Giving up and getting a router that has QoS. In my case, this $50 fix allowed me to continue saving $50 a month using Vonage instead of a POTS line. So it was money well spent.


I have not had issues with broken audio during calls but I do worry about it as I consume more bandwidth for more things. What $50 router did you buy that has QoS? I'd like to start looking into the idea.

- Mark


Linksys WRT54G V4, which unfortunately Linksys chose to discontinue and replace with the WRT54G V5. I had to search pretty hard to find a V4 at the time, but I got lucky at my local Wal Mart and found one.

The WRT54G V4 is based in Linux and can accept aftermarket firmware that really makes it shine. The newer V5 is a quite adequate router now, from what I understand, but it is still fairly new and (in my opinion) rather unproven. I'd compare the current WRT54G to the Vonage WRTP54G - a good consumer-grade router.

Fortunately, the WRT54G V4 is not completely dead. Linksys re-released it as the WRT54GL. It goes for about $60-65 and is a really good router when paired with aftermarket firmware to take full advantage of its capabilities. When loaded with good aftermarket firmware, the router is more like the products of its parent company (Cisco) than Linksys. Wink

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
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