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perholmes
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:00 pm    Post subject: VPN and QoS (quality of service) solved! Reply with quote Back to top

Hi All,

I've spent a (really) long time trying to find a way to both get VPN access to our network from the outside, as well as keep the abitlity to have QoS. I've finally solved this, and I wanted to post it here, so it may help someone else in the same situation. This is solved with a Draytek Vigor2900 Router, which is an incredibly high-end router at $160 with router-features of a $600 router (www.guideband.com).

Basically, in order to get VPN, the VPN capable router normally has to be the gateway to the internet. If you put it on the LAN (behind the Vonage/Linksys router), you have to deal with VPN Passthrough, which is incredibly buggy in the RT31P2 for example. But even with a router that's supposed to do it right, VPN Passthrough is just screwy, and basically only works to allow a *single* user to *dial out* from within the LAN.

But moreover, even if your VPN Passthrough works, and this might be a surprise, most VPN routers don't work as a LAN device (behind another router), because the VPN features aren't accessible from the LAN-side of the VPN router, but only the WAN side. So if you hook it up to your LAN using its WAN port, you might be able to dial-in, but there's no network on the other side of it. And if you hook up the VPN router's LAN side to your LAN as well (so it's both hooked up on the LAN and WAN ports to the *same* network), you'll likely get a data-loop that'll ultimately take down your network, as many packets will be re-broadcast back into the same network. So that's not going to work either. The D-Link DI-804HV is the only not-ultra-high-end router I could find that allowed VPN access from the LAN side, but I could never get it to work.

Now, of course, Voip gets really messed if there's no Quality of Service (QoS) control, because things like internet-surfing hog the bandwidth, chopping up phone-calls. But in order for QoS to work, the VoIP-capable router must be controlling the internet connection. If the Voip router is just hooked up somewhere on the network, it's just a computer like anyone else.

So you have to have a router that has *BOTH* VPN and QoS, but they're extremely hard to come by. I almost took the plunge to buy a $600 router, because that seemed to be the level you had to get to to get both. But then I took another look at the Draytek Vigor2900, which I had initially dismissed because they didn't call quality-of-service QoS, but bandwidth-management instead.

Draytek is a Taiwanese company, and their routers are both really well done, as well as cheap. LinkSys is owned by Cisco, so they can never begin to compete with the higher-end products (even though they could easily offer the same features). But Draytek don't have the same limitations.

This Draytek Vigor2900 router is just incredible. Everything was solved within minutes of installing. But moreover, both the VPN and QoS implementations are really good. VPN allows every type of connection, both from a dynamic IP and static IP (many don't), and even has a special DHCP table for dial-in connection. But it also has dial-out for every protocol including PPTP (most Linksys/D-Link routers only offer IPSec connections for automatic connections, but I find IPSec way too hard to configure).

The QoS side allows a complex rule-set for which port-ranges/applications should get higher priority, and which maximum share of bandwidth when the pressure is on. I personally use QoS to control bandwidth on both Voip, as well as VPN connections, to give remote hookups to our 3Com NBX V-3000 phone system the highest priority.

In addition, this router has everything you're used to, but better. This is just some of the best money I've spent in a long time.

The company is at

www.draytek.com

www.draytek.co.uk

www.guideband.com

Best,

Per
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perholmes
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Hi, this is Per again,

By the way, some of the Vigor2900 routers also have built-in Voip capabilities, but I'm not confident that will work with the Vonage service. Get the Vigor2900 with no letter after its name (or the version that also has built-in Wi-Fi), and place the LinkSys RT31P2 on the LAN.

To configure the RT31P2 for operating as a LAN device, just hook up its WAN port to your LAN switch (or the Vigor2900 built-in 4 port switch), set it to Static IP, select an IP address (outside the Draytek's DHCP range), mask of 255.255.255.0, and set the gateway to the Draytek router x.x.x.1. You might even be able to set the Linksys's WAN port to Dynamic IP, which would then acquire an IP address via DHCP directly from the Vigor2900. I haven't tried it, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.

I've found that when uPnP is enabled in the Draytek, I didn't need to do a single port-forward for the Linksys to do an ET-phone-home to Vonage -- I just plugged it in and it worked.

To set up QoS on the Draytek Vigor2900 to allow priority to Vonage communications, set up a policy to give maximum bandwidth to the following ports:

TCP 5060-5061
UDP 5060-5061
UDP 10000-20000

I don't see why it shouldn't be possible to use ANY number of Linksys Voip routers behind the Draytek Vigor2900, because there are no port-forwards being done. But I haven't tried it.

Best,

Per
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cdase
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:30 am    Post subject: Awesome! Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for your post Per! You really put in the effort on this one!

I have almost been ready to pull my hair out with trying to get our LAN-LAN VPN to work with our Motorola VT1005 or Linksys RTP300 phone modem in front of our WRV54G VPN router. We tried all sorts of stuff with no sucess. Unfortunately, Linksys tech support is totally worthless, as they can't quite comprehend what I was trying to accomplish, much less provide a solution (Vonage Tech was even worse). They (linksys) don't even know that it can't be done. I would think you would have to talk to one of the actual product designers in order to get a confirming answer.

I shouldn't knock linksys too bad. I have relied on their products for several years and they are very reliable. As with most electronics company tech support, it's difficult to have a sea of people doing tech support which fully understand their products.

I have a Vigor2900G on the way and I can't wait to get it up and running. If it works, we'll get another, and we have to figure out what to do with our 2 WRV54G boxes.

Thanks again. I'll report back on how it goes.
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perholmes
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I'm really glad!

Per
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Vespucci
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I was looking at the spec sheet for the vigor2900, and I can't tell how it does its bandwidth management.

I don't know what the technical words are for this, but I'll try to describe it. One way is to divy up the bandwidth in a fixed fashion, so that port 1 always gets 50% of the bw never more or less, port 2 gets 30%, etc.

The other way is to give priority to the various ports. So port 1 always gets all the bw it asks for at the exclusion of all else, port 2 gets all it asks for from what's left over from port 1, etc.

I used an old Pentium 100 to run an OpenBSD router which allowed me to use the latter bandwidth management scheme. I could be maxing out my up/down streams with data and then get a phone call and not miss a packet. Unfortunately the router died. Sorry, this post is getting too long.

So . . . Does the vigor2900 let you manage the bw that way? If not, does the vigor let you do it in another way to accomplish the same thing? The importance for me is that I'm not in a position where I can permanently write off 30-90 kb/s.
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perholmes
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The Vigor 2900's bandwidth management is rule-based. So if you create one rule that contains all the ports and protocols you want to give priority to, you set them to grab 99% bandwidth if necessary. But if no bandwidth is needed, this is not a permanent allocation, just a guarantee for the protocols and TCP/UDP ports in your rule.

So it's not a fixed allocation, only a priority. And set to 99%, you're giving total priority to the protocols in your rule.

Best,

Per
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Vespucci
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Sounds great.

Any idea where to get a G model in the US?
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cdase
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I got my 2900G from DSL-Warehouse. $191.

http://www.dsl-warehouse.com/product_info.php?cPath=29&products_id=42
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cdase
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Still haven't actually received it yet. But it's on the way. Very Happy
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cdase
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Per,
Just curious. Many times when I make a call, I notice that when I finally hear a connection with the person I am calling, I actaully don't hear the first part of their "Hello." Or sometimes I miss it entirely and they have to say it again. Sometimes it makes them think it's a telemarketer! Just curious if you noticed this before you solved your bandwidth problem and if it went away thereafter.

Also, when someone gets my voicemail, does that require any bandwidth on my part, or is that a direct connection between Vonage and the caller? Occasionally callers have reported that my voice mail was a little choppy. Question

Thanks,
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