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WRVS4400N Router settings for VPN

Posted on 2009-05-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have been trying to set up a vpn for a few days now. Not the least of my problems was the router     I was using only allowed pass thu vpn connections, so I bought a linksys wrvs4400 wireless vpn router. I configured it the best that I could but I still haven't forwarded any ports, what ports do I need to forward and where do they get forwarded to? The goal is to connect my macbook pro to the my home network via the internet. Also, should I use simply set up the vpn connection in the mac or do I need to get client software. How about on the windows side, do I need to use one of the computers on the network as the server or can I connect directly to the vpn router and be on my network? I have set up the external dynamic IP with a host and updater software and made all my interior computers, nas, printer static IP. Another problem is that I am not sure what the correct settings are for the vpn connection in the mac network setup. I assume the server address is the host name that directs to my network IP, but what is the "account name"?  Should this be set up as a PPTP or a L2TP considering I am connecting to windows xp computers. Obviously I don't know much about this, but I want to, so if there is someone out there with a good deal of patience I would appreciate it. Thanks.
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Question by:loyaldavis
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Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 24349200
The WRVS4400N gives you numerous options. It is difficult for us with so many options to outline the details for all, and the fact that you want to use a MAC limits these. Personally I am little or no help with the MAC. To outline the different scenarios:

-If you go to the VPN tab of the router you will see 4 sub tabs, the first being a summary of existing VPN configurations and connections

-IPSec VPN: this is used to either create a VPN tunnel between 2 VPN routers (site-to-site VPN) or use an IPSec VPN client. Though Linksys offers a simple IPSec VPN client, the QuickVPN client, outlined in the next section, this tab/section of the router requires a fully configurable VPN client such as TheGreenBow: http://www.thegreenbow.com/vpn.html
Instructions:  http://www.thegreenbow.com/doc/tgbvpn_cg_linksys_WRVS4400N_en.pdf

-VPN client accounts: This requires downloading the matching QuickVPN client from the Linksys site, installing it on the client machine and then configuring the VPN. This is a very simple configuration requiring only a user name, password, and exporting/importing a key from the router. Though this client is simple and works well, a lot of people seem to have problems getting it set up.

-VPN pass-through: This method requires you set up a VPN server such as Windows 2003/2008 or XP/Vista VPN server as the VPN end point, and then on the remote end configuring the built-in Windows VPN client. The router requires that PPTP-Pass-through be enabled in this section, and that port forwarding for port 1723 be configured to forward incoming VPN traffic to the server/PC selected as the VPN server. Port forwarding is only required for this type ofconfiguration (pass-through). For instructions see:
http://www.lan-2-wan.com/vpns-windows.htm

Where you are using a MAC, you are quite limited. I don't know of a compatible IPSec client but they likely do exist. The QuickVPN is not available for MAC's, but there are options for a PPTP pass-through VPN such as Digi-tunnel, though I have never used it. I belive MAC also has their own PPTP VPN client built-in:
http://www.gracion.com/vpn/
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by:loyaldavis
ID: 24349795
Mac has an L2TP over IPSec Client installed in the operating system, would that work for the VPN Client Account or does it have to be the QuickVPN?  Or can I use the mac PPTP Client to connect to the VPN router without having to do a pass through tunnel to a computer?  
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by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 24349827
The Linksys WRVS4400N does not support direct VPN connections using a PPTP or L2TP VPN client. The Linksys RV042/81 does, but I think they are the only Linksys with that capability. Using that client it would have to be a pass-through, but should be fine for that type of connection.
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by:loyaldavis
ID: 24350567
I think I would like to stick with a VPN router so that I still have access to the network if the server computer goes down plus what I really want to access is the NAS, which can't be used as a server. So, I guess the question now is, what VPN Wireless Dual router with L2TP and PPTP capabilities would work best with the Mac? Once I have the compatible router most of the problem will be solved. Any favorites?
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by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 24351205
The Linksys RV042 will allow access to a PPTP VPN with most standard PPTP clients. It is limited to 5 simultaneous connections, and sells for about $200 US. The other I am familiar with would be the PIX501, which I belive offers a MAC compatible IPSec client, as well as you can use a standard PPTP VPN client., and sells for about $500 US.
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by:loyaldavis
ID: 24361256
I purchased the Pix 501. It seemed to have the best user reviews and I like cisco's support over linksys, even though they are the "same" company. I will get back to you as soon as it arrives for some help setting it up. Thanks very much for all your help so far. There is sooo much to learn.
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by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 24362968
Cisco would always be my first choice.
There is a wizard that will walk through the VPN set up, though I don't recall if the wizard will do the PPTP. That might need to be done manually. Regardless, though I use Cisco's, I am not great at the detailed configurations. It might be best at that point to post a question in the Cisco topic area regarding the configuration.
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by:loyaldavis
ID: 24364458
Okay, sounds like a plan. As usual one change leads to many more. since the Pix 501 isn't a wireless, I assume that I simply need to plug in a wireless access point, but that will take up one of the 4 ports that I actually need for the wired equipment, is expanding the amount of ports as easy as pluging in a gigabit switch or is that a complicated issue as well.
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by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 24367454
You can simply add a switch to each port with no configuration changes.
Keep in mind the PIX's have licenses limits. Though you can have as many internal connections with access to internal resources as you like, out going connections to the Internet are limited by the license limit of the PIX. PIX's are available with 10, 50, and unlimited users, and are upgradeable.
You can also add an access point to one of the Cisco ports or to any port of the added switch.
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by:loyaldavis
ID: 24369842
Great, thanks. I was playing with the windows remote desktop because one of the things I want to do is use the windows quickbooks program on one of the PC's to do the company books,( I am losing my bookkeeper and can't afford another right now) and the RDC is pretty slow. So I started browsing the web for alternate solutions and after talking to a mac techie I found that I can partition the mac and install windows xp and my couple of windows programs that I need including the quickbooks, that will solve a lot of problems and then I could actually run a windows vpn client. This is one big puzzle with infinite possibilities, the only question is what will work best. I really appreciate all the advice you have given me.
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by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 24370224
If you want to access a remote PC, that is running QuickBooks, using RDC (Remote Desktop Client) over a VPN that is fine, but you cannot run QuickBooks locally and access a remote data file. The latter will have incredibly poor performance and could result is data corruption. QuickBooks and most data base programs must have the data residing on the same LAN, i.e. a 100mbps connection.

Using RDC to access a PC/server running QuickBooks should work well. I do it on a daily basis.
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by:loyaldavis
ID: 24374991
That's really good to know thanks.
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