VPN client computers hangs whenever network is down

Hi ;

All my users is equipped with CISCO VPN client 5.01 to work remotely as well as in the office. This is currently we are satellite office that need to be connected to our parent company overseas.

In the office , we have a dedicated 10Mbps internet line. Whenever user use this connection using VPN, everything works smoothly .

But when they are outside , they always complaining about their notebook hang for quite some time . (more than 10 minutes)

So I make my own test at home .

When I'm still connected to internet , I shut down my router . What happen was my PC hang for no reason . Only after i disconnect the physical cable , my pc start responding .
The same case happen if the internet line having intermittent connection .

What could be the problem ? and how to resolve it
chongbenkeeAsked:
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koudryCommented:
Hello,

There are various factors:

Factor 1: Operating System running on the laptop

Some OS may not work very well with the CISCO VPN client 5.01 or any other releases for that matter. In the past I did some tests on this and realised that you do not get the same result on all OS. So you have an issue of OS to CISCO VPN client release compatibility. To resolve this problem, you need further test. So some OS may need different version of the VPN client to give better result.

Factor 2: problem of bandwidth when out of the office

One known problem with VPN, is that it is bandwidth intensive. I don't know the exact figure but a considerable amount of bandwidth is dedicated to the encrypted data, so for example, if you WAN speed is 300Kb, VPN can eat up to 200Kb, so you are left with 100Kb. This is just an example.

So the response that people get on VPN while they are out and about, depends on how good the wireless link is.

Factor 3: DSL / Broadband modems / routers


You may also have a problem of compatibility with the modem being used. I once tested SpeeTouch 330 (like this one http://www.mythbox.co.uk/showimage.php?image=modem&back=gallery ) with Cisco VPN.  This must be with Vista running Cisco VPN client. I had all sort of problems with it.

So the answer to your question is not simple. If you can post more information on OS of the laptop and the name of the modem / router you use at home, I may try to find out a bit more about the Cisco VPN client release + OS + modem compatibility.  But I think you also have a bandwidth problem when people are out and about.

Thanks.

Koudry
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chongbenkeeAuthor Commented:
Ok. The OS is XP and the modem/router model will be Dlink 2640 or even on Linksys. Since its quite hard to pin point the exact cause, is there any possibility that we can know what contribute to such problem. For example, installing a tools that will capture things happens in the background . If there is, what will be the tools.

For me, it seems that whenever there's a line drop, it looks like the laptop NIC seems taking all the resources doing something ( this is just my guess) and only release it(things come back to normal) if we pulled out the physical cable.
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koudryCommented:
Hello,

You do have a compatibility issue between the Cisco VPN client and the OS of the laptop. And there may also be a problem of compatibility between the OS of the laptop and the modem being used. There are many things at play here.

Before going into troubleshooting with a tool of some sort, we need to establish if there are known issues with the version of the Cisco VPN client and the OS of the laptop. A good place to start is the release note of the Cisco VPN Client version that you are using. Do you have access to this information?

Thanks.
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koudryCommented:
Hello,

I am wondering if you could check the Cisco VPN client version to be sure because version 5.01 quoted on your post, does not appear to exist. I am attached a list.

Thanks.
Cisco-VPN-Client-v5.doc
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chongbenkeeAuthor Commented:
here's my client version. vpn client
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koudryCommented:
Hello,

Thanks for the info on the version of the VPN Client you are using. It is the last one on my list, so I will take a look and dig out the release note. I will get back to you later.

Thanks.
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koudryCommented:
Hello,

I took a look at the release note for the Cisco VPN Client 5.0.01.0600 (@ http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/security/vpn_client/cisco_vpn_client/vpn_client500_501/release/notes/51client.html) but cannot see anything obvious. I understand you are using XP which does not seem to have as many bugs as Vista. But please take a look and see.

I am now going to search around your modem and the VPN Client to see if I can find anything.

Thanks.
 
Cisco-VPN-Client-5.0.01.0600-rel.pdf
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koudryCommented:
Hello,

There is some info on DLink + VPN Client problem @ http://www.talktalkmembers.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-13934.html. The problem appears to be ISP specific in this case, i.e. TalkTalk. It also looks like the version of VPN client is 4. One interesting concept here is that of firmware, so it will be interesting to know if you will need a new firmware for your modem to support the Cisco VPN client.

Could you try installing one of the most recent versions of Cisco VPN client because I have noticed that the version you are using, is a little old. If you have a contract with Cisco, you should be able to download software easily and try other versions to see if you have the problem.

I will keep searching around your modem and VPN Client to see if I can find new info.

Thanks.
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koudryCommented:
Hello,

Please take a look at this question: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/System_Utilities/Remote_Access/VPN/Q_23006855.html

I am not able to see how the problem has been resolved but the problem was on Vista which I believe does not support this version of the Cisco VPN client. Strange enough, I think you may be experiencing similar problem. I am still investigating but I think you may get a better result by changing to a different release if possible.

Thanks.
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SkunkWerkzCommented:
Just a shot in the dark but do the VPN client PC's have network shares and network printers attached that when the VPN is disconnected are unreachable.  In the past I have seen issues with unreachable shares and printers hanging up Windows Explorer.

Try removing the network shares and printers and see if the problem goes away.
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koudryCommented:
Hello,

I searched the Internet but could not find a specific problem with the combination of Cisco VPN Client version 5.0.01.0600 + Windows XP + Dlink 2640 although I found a lot of articles on Dlink 2640 + TalkTalk + Nortel Contivity VPN Client.  However I do have a strong feeling that you have a problem of compatibility. One of the 3 components is problematic and I suspect this could be the router / modem which could be related to the ISP that you are using.  

It may come down to installing a firmware / driver on your modem but you first need to check with your ISP if there are issues of compatibility vis-a-vis the modem you are using and Cisco VPN Client software.

Depending on how easy it is for you to obtain the Cisco VPN Client software, I would advise you to try other versions, e.g. a newer version or a much old version. I am saying this because I have done a lot of tests on Cisco VPN client software  in the past and most problems I have come across, are around modem/router and laptop OS compatibility.

I am sorry I cannot be more specific.

Good luck.
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chongbenkeeAuthor Commented:
If alternatively I change all the user to use webvpn instead, will it make things better ? Is there any difference between client vpn and webvpn in terms of running application?
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koudryCommented:
Hello,

I think the difference is that the web browser will become your VPN client and you will have to follow the configuration required for this, but whether this works better or not, remains to be seen.

Are you able to try another Cisco VPN client version?  This would be the way to go, if you have easy access to the Cisco software download area. You need a CCO acount with Cisco for this.

Thanks.
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chongbenkeeAuthor Commented:
I do have CCO account but haven't check the latest version .Is there any ?
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koudryCommented:
Hello,

Below are the latest releases:

(i) VPN Client Software for x86 32-bit version of XP/Vista/Windows 7 - Microsoft Installer

--------------
vpnclient-win-msi-5.0.07.0410-k9.exe  
Log in Required Service Contract Required
Release Date: 05/OCT/2010
VPN Client Software for x86 32-bit version of XP/Vista/Windows 7 - Microsoft Installer
Size: 7814.00 KB (8001536 bytes)
--------------

@ http://www.cisco.com/cisco/software/release.html?mdfid=281940730&catid=268438162&os=Windows&softwareid=282364316&release=5.0.07.0410&rellifecycle=&relind=AVAILABLE&reltype=latest

(ii) VPN Client Software for x86 64-bit version of Vista and Windows 7 - Microsoft Installer

----
vpnclient-winx64-msi-5.0.07.0440-k9.exe  
Log in Required Service Contract Required
Release Date: 15/MAR/2011
VPN Client Software for x86 64-bit version of Vista and Windows 7 - Microsoft Installer
Size: 4909.00 KB (5026816 bytes)
----

@ http://www.cisco.com/cisco/software/release.html?mdfid=281940730&catid=268438162&os=Windows&softwareid=282364316&release=5.0.07.0440&rellifecycle=&relind=AVAILABLE&reltype=latest

As you have a CCO account, there is no harm taking a look and see if you get a more stable platform.

Thanks.

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chongbenkeeAuthor Commented:
solved by getting new client
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koudryCommented:
Hello,

Is it possible to have more information on the solution?

Is it correct that you had to install a new version of the Cisco VPN client? If so, which version did you have to install to solve the problem?

Thanks.
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