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Vonage - Motorola VT1005 -> Linksys WRT54G Router -> Port Forwarding

Posted on 2004-08-02
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Last Modified: 2011-08-18
We have been using our Vonage service behind our Linksys router for a while now, but call quality has been poor.  Vonage has suggested we put the Motorola VT1005 right behind the cable modem and then string our existing Linksys router behind it.  This is great for the VoIP service, however, now I am faced with a confusing and difficult setup for the port forwarding we were using on our Linksys network.

We have a few web servers, and other applications running on our internal network that we need visible to the Internet. On the Linksys unit, I simply setup port forwarding for the specific application ports to go to the appropriate internal IP address.  Now, the Motorola VT1005 is introducing another layer of Network Address Translation.  The Motorola unit is 192.168.102.1, while our Linksys network is 192.168.245.x (and we cannot easily change this).  I tried setting up port forwarding for the appropriate ports on the Motorola unit to go to the WAN IP address of the Linksys router (which is now 192.168.102.100), but that did not work.  I also tried setting up the WAN side of the Linksys router as a DMZ to the Motorola unit, also without success.

Is there a better way of doing this?  It appears we need the QoS (Quality of Service) features from the Motorola unit to achieve proper voice quality, but we also need the port forwarding capability of the Linksys WRT54G (which is an 802.11g router with 4 LAN ports).  I just cannot figure out how to get both at the same time!
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Question by:eentc
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by:eentc
ID: 11730661
Is there anyone out there in VoIP land that might be able to help me?  This is the first time I've ever posted a question and not had any kind of response.  Did I actually stump the experts here?  Does anyone need any further clarification of my question?
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peter_benton earned 500 total points
ID: 11773274

Questions:
1) Do you have a phone line and a sperate fax line through Vonage?  (There are different settings for a Fax line than a phone line VOIP=Voice over IP, FOIP=Fax over IP)

Several steps to take....

1) If you have a seperate Vonage fax line, call Vonage and ensure they have reduced the packet size as small as possible (Helps)
2) Carefully choose the firmware for your linksys (Two previous versions did not work correctly with the motorola device)  I use the "improved" version from sveasoft
 http://linksysinfo.org/modules.php?name=Downloads&d_op=viewdownload&cid=3
3) Also ensure Vonage has updated the firmware in your Motorola device (New one as of a week ago) which will "help"

but.... realize that vonage is a VOIP provider, not a FOIP provider....  

Until Vonage truly supports the T.38 Fax protocol.... http://resource.intel.com/telecom/support/releases/winnt/sr511/docs/htmlfiles/iptugnt/0917-05-48.html  You will have hit or miss faxing.

But if you follow the steps above, you can put the motorola behind the WRT54G and have fax service just as good.... :)
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by:eentc
ID: 11775982
The problem I am having is how to get the ports forwarded correctly so we can publish applications to the Internet such as a web server and other server applications.  I need some TCP/IP advice with having the applications behind a second router. I thank you for the information you provided but it does not address the real problem I am having.
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by:peter_benton
ID: 11776471
You should put the motorola back behind the router and use port forwarding as you did before...  Try the steps I mentioned to improve your call quality...

after you move the motoral back behind the router (And forward the ports for the motorola... do you have those settings?) and upgrade to the improved sveasoft firmware, you can then use the wondershaper software to implement the qos function and throttling needed to both have good call quaility and internet access...

http://www.broadbandreports.com/shownews/38267   <----follow this thread.

That will fix, I know from painfull experience.....

Let me know if a) you need the vonage port forwarding settings and b) a good tech at vonage to talk to....

Peter
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by:nestoru
ID: 11783878
Hi there, try this:
1)Configure PPOE connection if  dsl modem (insert user and pass there). If cable try similar approach looking for the specific documentation. In any case insert rules for port forwarding for the IP of the router
2)Put a hub or a simple splitter in the ethernet port of the modem.
3)Connect to the hub(splitter) both linksys router and Motorola. Be sure to configure the router to forward to correct internal IPs the packets received for each port.
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by:eentc
ID: 11784419
nestoru: I do not think that would work (splitting the ethernet at the cable modem) because then there would be no way to control the bandwidth on the VoIP service.

peter: I am going to try your suggestion on moving it back and trying the sveasoft firmware (I tried it in the past without success, maybe it has improved).  The last time I tried the sveasoft firmware I was unable to get the WAN port working so I was without any Internet access until I put the original firmware back in place. It's going to take me a few days to get around to this but I will reply back with my status once I try it again.

I did call Vonage and talked to them about this issue and we may have identified another possible problem. It appears that our phone may be incompatible with the Vonage service. I did not believe that until I tried a different phone and it did not have the same problem. We are using a GE/RCA 4-line phone, with 3 landline phone lines and the Vonage line.
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by:peter_benton
ID: 11785355
Good luck!

I am using the firmware and have throttled all my DHGP asssigned IP's to 80% upload and download speeds and my vonage (which has a static ip outside the throttled range) works much better.  I still get some burbles sometimes, but hanging up and reconnecting fixes it...  someday it will be perfect!
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by:eentc
ID: 11788351
I just read somewhere that ISP's are actually working on figuring out how to increase upstream bandwidth, which will definitely improve VoIP services. That will lead us closer to perfection. In the mean time, thank you again and I will keep you informed of my progress.  If we're not able to get around to it soon, I may close out the question and re-open it again in the future with more specific questions.
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by:peter_benton
ID: 11788646
just glad to help...  I also spoke to someone from vonage who is testing a new linksys adapter that looks very promising, more features and much better integration with the other linksys products....  But we'll have to wait for now!
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by:eentc
ID: 11912241
I think a Linksys adapter will definitely have some promise. I wish there were a way to handle my original request, which is to forward ports through more than one router. I guess noone has any clues about that still? I'm still waiting for a convenient time to reconfigure the hardware to swap the router and vonage locations on the network, but I still think there has to be a way to get it working in the current configuration with the Vonage device up front (we have not had many voice quality issues with the Vonage router where it's at--first). Hopefully, more vendors will start including QoS features in their routers now that VoIP is becoming so popular. Having to use 3rd-party firmware is still a little scary and risky to me.
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by:eentc
ID: 12079055
I switched the Motorola and Linksys routers and am back to the Motorola adapter behind the Linksys. I think at this point, I will try either the sveasoft firmware or the new Linksys VoIP router when it becomes available (which looks to be very soon). The new Linksys router will have QoS functionality built-in. I wish Linksys would just add QoS to the WRT54G firmware so we did not have to use 3rd-party firmware.
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by:CougarCrossing
ID: 12378398
Original question:  The simple bandwidth sharing feature of your Linksys linux router with hacked svea firmware seems the cheapest and most elegant  solution.  From what I have heard it should work. (If you give it highest priority and port forward to it).  Then other clients will not be downstream of the motorolla and so not affected by another layer of NAT.

Additional question: Port forwarding through other routers was asked for only if you could not continue to use the linksys.  If however you do wish to port forward through several routers for additional reasons, maybe you can simply port forward from router to router to client.  This might be simpler than dealing with the static (or dynamic) routing issues.  

Other noteable options for your situation:  High end router, same router with high end switch, high end software, cheap linux box, increase upstream bandwidth (typcial bottleneck)

Personal background:  I am in a situation where I use a Linksys routerwith VPN endpoints (no linux).  I also have another Avaya IP phone which I use through a tunnel. Thus I cannot put the motorolla vonage prior to the router.  A solution for me was to disable the NAT translation on the motorolla so it becomes a pass-through switch.  Then my lineup is linksys VPN router, Avaya IP phone -swith pass thru, Motorolla VPN -switch pass thru, simple network switch, clients.  (I have not recieved confirmation from vonage yet that the Qos still works on the motorolla with the NAT disabled but this is how the Avaya works).  I increased my cable from 3000/250 to 4000/375.   I changed my Avaya codex.  I would have preferred to keep the gateway centralized, but did not want to have to move back to my Cisco router.  I moved to the linksys vpn to match other tunnel setups.  

Hope this helps!
   

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by:CougarCrossing
ID: 12378409
Somehow I missed that the an answer was accepted long ago. I am glad to see it appears to ahve been the correct one.   But hope this helps anyone else searching the knowledge base for this problem.

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by:eentc
ID: 12477005
An update to this: We're considering upgrading our MTA to the Linksys WRT54GP2, so I'll report back when we've had a chance to try it out. It's got the Quality of Service (QoS) feature, so it should make a difference. We're still using the original WRT54G and still having a tough time with call quality. We're just not willing to try the sveasoft firmware since it's not officially supported by Linksys.
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by:peter_benton
ID: 12478104
Hey, good luck!  You should really think about the sveasoft firmware....  There are thousands of users improving the open source code, verus the 1-2 people working at linksys on older products. The public firmware is rock solid, has many more features than linksys will ever add and it's free!

My calls have never been more clear on vonage even while downloading/uploading and other users surfing the net!  I can manage it all via the qos....
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by:eentc
ID: 13199651
I never got around to buying a WRT54GP2, but I do have better news. Linksys recently introduced a new firmware update to most (if not all) WRT54G routers that has built-in QoS capability. I have set this up at both home and our office, and it appears to work great! You have choice of filtering by physical port, MAC address, or application/port, and I have set the Motorola router MAC address to be the only device with QoS high priority. So far so good! I think I can officially say I finally have a solution!
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by:irmecs
ID: 23250197
Every one these "experts" missed the point.  it's not a voip or foip issue, it's port forwarding for the vonage device, duh!

He needs to know which range to forward, then perform QOS on the assigned ip of the VOIP device
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