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VoIP over VPN dropping daily

Posted on 2006-06-05
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Hello All,

Our office has recently installed a Comdial MP5000 phone system with the intentions of distributing CONVERSip EP300 SIP Endpoint phones to several of our remote branches to, of course, use the VoIP features. The problem is that I have sent two of these phones out after finally getting them to work and they are dropping the VPN tunnel constantly and phones are crucial to our business.

Here is the current network layout:
Office: Full T1 -> Netgear FVS318v3 -> Comdial MP5000
Remote Sites: DSL (768k up/down) -> Netgear FVS318v3 -> CONVERSip EP300

I understand that the Netgear routers aren't the most reliable things ever. When I began to set this all up however, I was informed that it wasn't a huge deal considering that at most I would have 6 outside phones. Does anyone know of any specific settings I need to look at to get this thing up and running for more than one day at a time? If a change of equipment is necessary, any suggestions? I see a wide array of high-end VPN routers but if I am going to have to justify spending roughly 4-5x of what I originally did I need to make sure they are flawless.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:grizzles
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by:grblades
grblades earned 150 total points
ID: 16833254
VoIP will send a high volume of small packets but this should not cause a problem. I think your best approach will be to replace the Netgear devices with alternative routers.

I would get a couple of Cisco 1800 series routers. Which specific models you get will depend on which interfaces you need (dual ethernet, ADSL or T1 for example)
This should solve your reliability problem but also importantly will enable you to configure QoS on the VPN connection so that you can prioritise the VoIP data. This will enable the voice quality to remain high even if the VPN is heavily used.
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Rob Williams earned 600 total points
ID: 16834055
The Netgears do have a keep alive feature on the VPN auto policy page. I have seen this help with some other routers, however I have had lots of problems with Netgear as well. One client was instructed to download a beta firmware update that you can schedule a nightly reboot of the router. That to me indicates serious problems when you have to add that as a feature.
I have 1 client with 6 IP phones using the Linksys RV042 VPN routers, and they have had great success, but there is no question using Ciscos would be by far your best choice.
Make sure before spending the extra money it is not the ISP connection that is being lost rather than your router. I have used IPMonitor to try to isolate where the connection is lost. It can be set up to monitor various IP's and log dropped connections. I usually set it up to monitor a local device, the router's LAN IP, the ISP's gateway address, an Internet IP, such as your ISP's DNS, and a device on the remote site (other end of VPN tunnel).
http://ipmonitor.tsarfin.com/download.html
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by:shepimport
ID: 16865917
Look into edgemarc, adtran or intertex... they all have VPN tunnels specifically desined for VoIP traffic... they will offer a garantee of service

Edgemarc 4200 would be my recomendation

http://www.edgewaternetworks.com

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by:Rob Williams
ID: 16963557
Thanks grizzles,
--Rob
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