Which VPN Router/adsl modem setup for stable site-to-site VPN?

Discussion in 'Cisco Small Business Routers and VPN Solutions' started by joby, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. joby

    joby LI Guru Member

    Hi All,

    Thought I'd see if anyone has any recommendations - I need a solid, stable site-to-site VPN tunnel solution (router and ADSL modem) for one of my clients, as we're having loads of problems with the rubbish netgear units I put in to try and save them some cash.

    I currently have a home to office VPN using an ADSL2MUE and an RV082 at each end, and the VPN is solid as a rock, but the RV082 is slight overkill for my client (and expensive), so my initial thought was to go ADSL2MUE + RV042 at each end (although I now find that the rv042 isn't simply an RV082 minus 4 ports).

    I see that the AM200 has replaced the ADSL2MUE - but as I have used the ADSL2MUEs for a while, I'm inclined to go with these as I know they work - any comments on the AM200, when used in bridging mode with a VPN router?

    Apart from the RV042, the only other routers that may fit the bill are the RVL200 and the WRV200 (which would be useful as I would not need a separate WAP at one of the sites). Both are cheaper than the RV, but most of the discussion I can find on these seems to be that they're not very good. Anbody using these and finding them reliable for site-to-site vpn?

    Sorry for the long post - any recommendations appreciated.
  2. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Network Guru Member

    If you're looking for "solid and stable"...I don't think you're going to find a good "off the shelf" solution for less money than an 082...IMO it's not overkill.

    Unless you're willing to build a *nix based router yourself for them..like IPCop, Endian, m0n0wall, etc. Then you'll have a box that performs like it cost 5 grand each..and rock solid!
  3. joby

    joby LI Guru Member

    thanks for that - no, I'll not be building a nix based box, mainly 'cos I dont know how!

    I guess you may be right with the rv082s - at least I'll be supplying something that I know works well from experience - was just hoping to be able to put something in that cost a bit less.

    any other opinions welcomed........
  4. DocLarge

    DocLarge Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    What's the extent of your client's business? For example, how many users/computers are in the office? Additionally, between the users, how many separate actions are they responsible for? When I say this, I'm asking "how many tasks" are required of one person (i.e., Fred does budget, sales, and marketing, Trisha does administration and personnel, Tyrone does I.T. and network security). Depending upon their functions, you need to look at how much time "each" person will spend on the network researching answers to do their jobs.

    Now, if your client's office isn't so intensive that each user is "crushing" the bandwith every second, then yes, you can achieve what you need with a WRV200, WRV54G, WRVS4400N, RVS4000, and even an RVL200. If you're going to be using Internet phone services, it's good to make sure you have a router that has QoS managment; if your folks are mobile, then vpn comes into play.

    In the long run, think scalability, however, if you're projected growth isn't seen as much in the next 3 - 5 years, you can get the job done with anyone of the above mentioned models. Personally, I'd love for the WRV200 to come into its own on the next firmware release, but I'm slowly developing a soft spot for the WRVS4400N...

  5. joby

    joby LI Guru Member

    Hi Jay - thanks for your reply.

    As far as my clients business goes, the remote site is just a small office with 4 users - they need to connect to a 2003 server at the other office (again, small with 6 users) to use Sage via RDP.

    So no major load problems in particular, I just want to put in a robust router-to-router VPN that will stay up 24/7 (or as near as possible), unlike the current solution which needs a nudge at least once every day or two. I'd happily recommend my current setup, but was hoping for something a bit cheaper.

    So, are you saying that you've used all of those models in a site-to-site vpn situation and you can recommend them all?
  6. russwmc

    russwmc Network Guru Member

    The last network I built used an RV082 as the hub and spoked to 5 RV042s. Two of the remote sites had 10-20 people. The system would run for months without any problem. One of the RV042s was in a hot location and periodically had a reboot issue in the summer. I am fairly certain that a RV042 as the hub would have been fine as well and had a spare for that purpose. Kept config files to load on the spare RV042 so that it could serve as any of the remote or central location (i.e. I had to set it up once as the hub).
  7. joby

    joby LI Guru Member

    thanks russwmc - that gives me faith that the rv042 are decent enough then - would still be interested in any further recommendations.
  8. DocLarge

    DocLarge Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    I've used the WRV54G, WRVS4400N, and the WRV200 as vpn endpoints and I can say the handle vpn enpoint duty effortlessly.

    Fine points:

    - no issues with the WRV54G other than it does not do NAT-T, GRE, or AES encrpytion, dhcp lease does not refresh on PPPoA connection (I'm on ADSL and I use an ADSL "ethernet" modem)
    - WRV200 sys log function is still dodgy, webgui loses connectivity periodically; dhcp lease does not refresh (ADSL issue like WRV54G)
    - WRVS4400N will not connect to internet if set for static if it's running on PPPoA connection by itself; phase II of vpn settings does not synchronize properly (can be overcome with a few extra steps), dhcp lease does not refresh (ADSL issue like WRV54G)

    Although I'm developing a special place in my cabinets for the WRVS4400N, I'm still waiting for the WRV200 to reach its potential (if you don't mind the rebooting every week or so because the gui drops out...)

  9. joby

    joby LI Guru Member

    Hi Jay,

    Thanks for the further info - very useful - sounds like they are not too bad then, but it just worries me that the there seem to be "issues" with these newer units (although hopefully future firmware will sort them).

    Having said that, the WRV200 does look very promising - when you say you need to reboot weekly, is that just to regain access to the web interface, or does the router have other problems at this point. This is the killer for me on this one, as I can't ask my client to be rebooting the router every week, just so I can get constant access to monitor things.

    I've ended up buying 2 RV042s and 2 AM200s, and I'm going to set them up in place of my RV082s and ADSL2MUEs for a week or so to test their performance - if that goes well then I'll install at the client sites - at least that way I know whether there are any other factors affecting things.

    Having said that, if anyone has any further comments, I'd be interested, as theres always the next client.........although If the RV042/AM200 setup works well I think I'd be best to stick to that in future, rather than dealing with more "unknowns".........


  10. DocLarge

    DocLarge Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    One thing I forgot to mention is that "all" of these routers have alternate egos when connecting to the internet via different mediums (See my post "It's the Little Things (Router Connectivity) for clarification). I'm now finding that the WRVS4400N, for example, runs fine when behind another ethernet router on a ADSL connection; on a pure "ethernet connection," such as cable modem, the WRVS4400N will probably perform better.

    In short, the medium you use to connect to the internet also plays a big part with how the router behaves.

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