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NetFixer
Freedom is NOT Free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

1 edit

[Equipment] !#$%&! VDV23

How in hell does Vonage manage to keep new customers past the 30 day money back period if the VDV23 is what they ship to all new customers?

For the past several days Comcast has been supplying very short DHCP leases (sometimes as short as one hour) because they are apparently doing some IP address reassignments.

I discovered that the new VDV23 that Vonage shipped me was rebooting every time it renewed its DHCP lease. When I looked at its connection log, I found that it had apparently been doing it all along but it just had not rebooted before when I was actively using the phone, so I had not noticed it. However, it became very noticeable for the past couple of days because of the short lease times. The first clue was a couple of dropped calls when it rebooted while I was on the phone. I then checked the connection logs, and also started to notice the reboot indications on the status LEDs every ~30 minutes.

And before everyone starts blaming Comcast, my old reliable RTP300 does not exhibit this bizarre behavior, nor does my Netgear router, or my Linux or Windows servers (there is nothing about doing a DHCP lease renewal that requires either a disconnect or a reboot...that process should be seamless and totally transparent).

At first, Vonage support had me try all of the things that I had already done (and a few totally stupid things that were totally irrelevant), and they also pushed a new firmware update, but nothing helped. After numerous back and forth emails to support, I finally got a definitive answer:

said by Vonage :

I would like to update that the Vonage device will reboot itself when WAN DHCP is renewed. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. If you wish you can continue to use Linksys RTP300 for your Vonage service.

Thank you for contacting us.

James
Vonage

What do customers who don't already have a decent Vonage compatible ATA do?

Actually, I don't mind at all using my old reliable RTP300 since (this bizarre problem aside), the VDV23 is a giant leap backwards in technology anyway (this reboot symptom is not the only thing that does not work properly, or is simply not available as an option compared to the RTP300). But it really pisses me off that Vonage forced me to accept this POS device (and pay a $9.99 shipping charge even though it was "free"). I only tried using it because I (mistakenly) thought that perhaps it had some new functionality or feature that made it better than the RTP300. Turns out that its only feature is that it is a cheap POS.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.


cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

2 edits

Now that I've read what issues you're having, i just looked at my system history.

Have a whole long page of this message;

Oct 25, 07:29:16 am Short in Line 1 Message [015] Phone port 1 may be connected to a faulty phone or phone line. Please plug known good phone using known good cable to green port 1.

I noticed a couple days ago that that outgoing calls weren't dialing correctly and when I received an incoming call that I didn't answer, I got disconnected.

I know it's nothing to do with your issue, but strange that I just started having this problem considering I have all relatively new phones as is phone line that is running to adapter.

Only posted as an incentive to myself to look into this issue more. FWIW, I have the VDV22.

Edit:
Figured out my issue. I was in the habit of just dialing the phone number and THEN hitting the talk (dial) button on cordless phones. Seems that was messing my adapter up. If I hit the talk button first and wait for dial tone, then dial number, everything is fine. Up until I added a new set of cordless phones, dialing the previous way had no effect.

Thanks for making me look at my system history on the adapter, netfixer. First time I've looked at that, I think, since you helped me get the thing setup correctly behind the router.
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NetFixer
Freedom is NOT Free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

1 edit
reply to NetFixer

I recently added a fax line to my Vonage account, and due to some provisioning problems, I had to use the VDV23 instead of the RTP300. To my surprise, the VDV23 has so far not rebooted during a WAN DHCP lease renewal. There have been three successful lease renewals (although the VDV23 does not explicitly log lease renewals...I can only infer the lease renewals because the lease expiration date/time is displayed on the VDV23's status page) and no reboot entries in the event log.

It is possible that Vonage pushed another firmware release to it, but I can't be sure because of the VDV23's limited event logging capabilities (plus the fact that I did not save a screen shot of its status page before I took it out of service so that I don't know what the firmware version was at that time). I did however, notice that the front panel status LEDs seemed to go through their bootup cycle several times before settling down when I first put it on-line. But that could have been a symptom of the provisioning problem that kept me from initially getting the fax line activated in my RTP300 instead of new firmware being loaded (there were some entries in the VDV23 log indicating initial problems activating the fax line).

Does anyone with a VDV23 know if firmware release 3.2.11-0.5.1 is new or ancient? If it is not new, then I suppose it is possible that Comcast was doing something strange with their DHCP servers back in October (even though only my VDV23 had problems with it).

EDIT 12/27/2012:
Well I found the answer to the age of the 3.2.11-0.5.1 firmware myself. The evidence was in an attachment I had sent to Vonage support back in October when I was having the reboot problem. That is the firmware version that was pushed to my VDV23 at that time. I guess it is possible that Comcast was doing something non-standard with their DHCP renewals during that time frame which coincidentally caused problems for my VDV23 even though my other routers and my servers were unaffected.

The VDV23 has not rebooted during a lease renewal since I put it back into service ten days ago. The only thing that may have changed since that firmware version was pushed in October, is that I did a factory default reset before putting it into service this time. I am not sure that I did that after this firmware version was installed when I was having the reboot problem. So it is possible that this firmware version fixed the reboot problem back in October, but I did not know it because I did not do yet another factory reset at that time.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.



Jinx

@embarqhsd.net

How do you go about checking the system history on the VDV-23? I've tried using straight web access, but port 80 refuses connects. I'd love to get into the inner workings of this thing.



NetFixer
Freedom is NOT Free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

1 edit

said by Jinx :

How do you go about checking the system history on the VDV-23? I've tried using straight web access, but port 80 refuses connects. I'd love to get into the inner workings of this thing.

It sounds as if you may be trying to access it from its WAN interface instead of its LAN interface. The WAN remote access interface is disabled by default, so you will need to connect a PC to the VDV23's LAN first so that you can enable remote access.

The factory default LAN IP address is 192.168.15.1, the default (and only allowed) username is "router", and the default password is "router".

The place to setup remote access is under the Advanced Setup tab as shown below:






The DDNS setup which is also on that page is useful to allow you to access the VDV23 from the internet, since you can use a hostname instead of an IP address (which may change depending on how your ISP assigns your public IP address), but it is only useful if your VDV23 connects directly to your modem and is not behind another NAT router (or not connected to a "modem" that is actually a combination modem/router). DDNS client support behind another NAT router is another thing that the VDV23 can't do that the RTP300 handles with no problem.

With the above example settings, the VDV23 would be accessed with the url http://my-vdv23.dyndns-ip.com:9999

If you enable the WAN remote access feature I would suggest that you change the password to something a bit more cryptic than "router". The place to change the password is under the Basic Setup tab as shown below:




If the generic instructions above make no sense to you, please post back with some details of exactly how your VDV23 is connected to your network, and I can then try to provide some more explicit instrucions.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.


Jinx

@embarqhsd.net

Awesome thank you so much for the info. I couldn't find any of this on the actual vonage site (maybe I'm just daft?). How did you come about this information if you don't mind me askin?



NetFixer
Freedom is NOT Free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

said by Jinx :

Awesome thank you so much for the info. I couldn't find any of this on the actual vonage site (maybe I'm just daft?). How did you come about this information if you don't mind me askin?

Here are some Vonage VDV23 support links that might help you:

»vonage.com/support/files/pdf/VDV···uide.pdf
»support.vonage.com/app/answers/d···a_id/973
»support.vonage.com/app/answers/d···_id/1043

For me personally, I have been doing data communications, computer, and networking support since the early '60s. For the past 15+ years (before my retirement the first of this year), I concentrated on enterprise level integrated data and voice networks (you would recognize the names, but NDAs prohibit me from mentioning them). Setting up a Vonage ATA for me is like the difference between riding a bicycle and flying a multi-engine aircraft.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.


Jinx

@embarqhsd.net

Hmm maybe you're the one to ask if I'm on the right track or not? After tracking down my disconnect issues to my router (thanks to you ) I wanted to setup a small app of some sort so I could read the CallerID over the network.

I'm using winpcap and net::pcap with perl to get a programatic idea of how SIP and the vonage device work. I don't mind switching languages back to say Cpp if need be. But do you know of any examples of this on the net? The only one I've found really is vonagesniff.pl, which has become very outdated, but should basically work.

(I know this is a tad off topic, I'll be moving this to another thread if I'm not shooting in the dark)



NetFixer
Freedom is NOT Free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

1 edit

said by Jinx :

Hmm maybe you're the one to ask if I'm on the right track or not? After tracking down my disconnect issues to my router (thanks to you ) I wanted to setup a small app of some sort so I could read the CallerID over the network.

I'm using winpcap and net::pcap with perl to get a programatic idea of how SIP and the vonage device work. I don't mind switching languages back to say Cpp if need be. But do you know of any examples of this on the net? The only one I've found really is vonagesniff.pl, which has become very outdated, but should basically work.

(I know this is a tad off topic, I'll be moving this to another thread if I'm not shooting in the dark)

When I have had a need to intercept the SIP packets to a Vonage (or any) ATA, I have always used either a hub or a managed switch with a monitor port in front of the ATA. Unless you are doing your SIP packet captures that way, or from inside a custom built router that is in front of your Vonage ATA, I don't think you are going to be able to actually see any packets intended for the Vonage ATA. As for decoding the caller ID information from the SIP packets I have never tried to do that, so I can't offer any knowledgeable advice.

If caller ID is the only thing you are interested in intercepting, an alternative is to intercept the information directly from the Vonage ATA's FXS interface before it goes to your telephone(s). This requires that you have a PC with a caller ID compatible modem and a program such as YAC running on it. There are other programs that can do this, but YAC will also act as a caller ID server to send the caller ID to other PCs and to some TIVO boxes on your LAN (I have used this program in the past and it worked for me, but YMMV). My recollection from using that program was that if you want to see the caller's name displayed along with the caller's telephone number, you had to create a local YAC telephone directory with the names associated with the number (much as you have to do with most cell phones), but perhaps newer versions of that program are now able to automatically display caller's names as well.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.


NetFixer
Freedom is NOT Free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

2 edits
reply to NetFixer

Even though the reboot on WAN DHCP renew problem seems to have been fixed with the current 3.2.11-0.5.1 firmware, I have to still go with my original opinion that the !#$%&! VDV23 is a total waste of plastic and silicon (it is not even heavy enough to make a good door stop or paper weight).

I recently opened up a new Basic Talk account to replace my fax line. I am using an automatic fax switch to allow the new Basic Talk line to be used for both voice and fax (the price is the same as for the fax line, but it now has unlimited calling). Since Vonage insisted on sending me another VDV23 (and since I had to use two ATAs for the two separate accounts), I decided to go ahead and use both of the VDV23 boxes, and also use them as basic hardware firewalls in front of my two servers.

I discovered two very big problems with the VDV23 boxes:

1. They will reboot almost every time that there is heavy network traffic combined with an active VoIP call (voice or fax, but faxes were even more likely to cause a reboot). I tried this both with and without the servers behind the VDV23 boxes, and it made no difference. Both of the VDV23 boxes I have did the same thing, so it is not just a single defective VDV23 box.

2. Any time there is an active VoIP call, the IP throughput between the WAN and LAN interfaces drops to near analog dialup speeds. This was very consistent with both of the VDV23 boxes I have, and enabling or disabling QoS in the VDV23 made absolutely no difference. Basically that meant that the VDV23 boxes were useless as a front end firewall/router for my servers.

I am now back to using my old reliable Cisco RTP300 for one account, and my old Motorola VT2442 for the other account. Using those routers works perfectly; no reboots with heavy network traffic, and no noticeable interference with IP traffic to the servers behind them.

To summarize, the equipment configuration below works perfectly because the RTP300 and VT2442 are excellent ATA/router boxes:




The same configuration using VDV23 boxes (as shown in the network diagrams below) fails miserably.


VDV23 boxes used as firewall-routers
(DCS-network-diagram-Comcast-SB6121-FS105-VDV23(2)-AFX200-DualNIC_Servers-GS105S-)



VDV23 boxes used as standalone ATAs
(DCS-network-diagram-Comcast-SB6121-FS105-VDV23(2)-AFX200-GS105S-GS108E(DualVLAN))


The only minor point that the VDV23 has going for it, is that it does support NAT loopback (although its other router limitations makes that kind of moot). The RTP300 and VT2442 with the current Vonage firmware don't support NAT loopback, and require special entries in the server hosts file to compensate.
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