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Other broadband queries

Vodafone home fibre broadband VPN setting

VFCustomer911
2: Seeker

There was a VPN setting somewhere on a previous Vodafone router. I must have seen it as I vaguely remember getting involved in this discussion to see if I could make use of it to connect to my work VPN.

 

However I have got a new router from Vodafone since then and it doesn't seem to have the setting, having just checked.

 

Instead, I use Draytek Smart VPN Client for Windows. Essentially this bipasses the need for any special router if you set it up correctly. 

 

I can also connect to it virtually anywhere, regardless of what network I am on.

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VFCustomer911
2: Seeker

@choki21

Did you buy a VPN router and VPN setup support when you signed up to Vodafone or did you just buy broadband?

Why don't you go to the provider of the VPN and get them to set it up or recommend a compatible router?

All VPNs are different and there are many different ways to set it up. So don't expect someone to come along and spoon feed you the instructions. If you don't want to bother learning yourself then you'll need to pay someone to do it for you.

Support is for broadband support not custom VPN setups and configurations.

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bighammo69
2: Seeker

This even wasn't an option when I brought it?

 

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alrightson
2: Seeker

Can I also get the info to the broadband specialist so i can set up a vpn on my router please?

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alrightson
2: Seeker

Can someone from Vodafone please reply?

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Jayach
16: Advanced member

The only reply you will get from Vodafone on here is to be told to use social media.😒

What kind of info are you expecting to be able to give your broadband specialist? He/She should already know what is required, that's what makes a specialist.

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KeithAlger
16: Advanced member

I think the VPN settings on the earlier VF routers were there just to create a simple site to site tunnel - and failed miserably to do that.

 

The VF routers are pretty much the bare minimum functionality required, such that they can simplify customer support (and I'd argue they still fail on this).

 

*I have access to a small number of VPN connections via my Asus router.  With the Beta firmware I'm running I can direct individual connections to the VPN or not.  Just be aware that the sales pitch for VPNs is often overblown, improperly used they can make your connection MORE vulnerable, and if you don't have a perfect connection can cause issues with online gaming and live streaming!

 

**If I was happy with the other functionality of the VF router but needed VPN too, I'd not be looking to replace the VF router.  If I were doing this I'd probably be using a Raspberry Pi as a gateway, and running the easy to setup DietPi distro on it.  For the uninitiated, even that would still be a steep learning curve!

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VFCustomer911
2: Seeker

What do you need the VPN for?

If it's your work then get them to hire someone to set it up.

If it's for privacy then use the software based VPN or buy your own compatible router.

Vodafone home broadband just supply broadband. They don't set up VPNs for you or your business.

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VFCustomer911
2: Seeker

There's loads of routers available that can be used to set up a VPN with the functionality built in already. Why anyone would waste their time programming a raspberry pi to do that job is beyond me. I watched a short BBC program where the presenter showed a very brief summary of how they did it and I must say it looked like a totally pointless exercise. After you program it then you need to keep making sure it is patched for new security updates!

 

If we took that approach with everything then we'd be manufacturing our own doorbells etc. Instead of buying one for a tenner. Some things are just cheap to buy off the shelf and there isn't any reason in my mind why the average person needs to build their own router.

 

Problem on this thread is not the router but the lack of any knowledge that people have and the unrealistic expectations placed on Vodafone support.

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User0604
2: Seeker

After reading the posts here I can see many users are having the same issue I had with Vodafone. The simple answer is get a new broadband provider but that is often easier said than done.

 

As others have said, getting the VPN solutions working on a VF router appear to be a bit of a nightmare. It is actually worse than that because of reasons I set out below.

 

VF VPN solutions are L2TP Client, L2TP server, PPTP Client and PPTP Server. 

First off, PPTP is no longer considered secure and L2TP should always be used in preference to it.

 

VF provision of L2TP Server is actually L2TP with Shared Secret and from what I have read this does not work with standard iPhone, Windows or Apple L2TP clients, although at least one user has posted that they managed to get a site-to-site VPN working between two VF routers. This is not totally surprising as there are a number of other settings to do with security end encryption protocols that L2TP relies on. Without the correct settings, a client will not connect to a L2TP server.

 

Having said that, there two other issues with the concept of using VPN with VF router. The gigabox router I was trying to use will not allow VPN clients to acquire IP Addresses on the same network as the local LAN. THis means for instance that the local LAN for the VF router will be 192.168.0.x whilst VPN clients will use 192.168.2.x ( the built-in guest WifI network uses 192.168.5.x). 
Firstly, most home routers use either 192.168.0.x or 192.168.1.x for their local LAN. There is no way that a computer at home can determine whether an address at 192.168.0.123 is a device at the other end of the VPN or in the local LAN hence it cannot communicate with that device.

Even if the local LAN for the VF router was changed to be 192.168.5.x for guests. 192.168.6.x for local network and 192.168.7.x for VPN connections any machine that connects via VPN would have to be re-configured so that it 'knows' that 192.168.6.x addresses are at the other end of the VPN.


The VF router does not have enough configuration settings to overcome these limitations.

 

SOLUTION:

There are a couple of solutions but they all involve buying replacement equipment.

1) buy a a decent modem/firewall/router such as a Dreytek, Sonicwall or NetGear and throw the VF router in the bin. This involves programming the replacement router with VLAN ID to be able to complete the connection to the Internet.

 

2) Put the Vodafone router into BRIDGE MODE, connect your replacement router to the VF router and use the replacement router to create the internet connection. This, again, requires programming the replacement router but allows you to use different types of equipment such as Cisco or Mikrotik.

 

3) Create a DMZ on the VF router and connect your replacement router to it. The VF router will continue to provide connectivity to the internet ( and therefore you can still get support from VF for broadband issues) but the replacement router will handle the local LAN and VPN.

 

Personally, I like to use a Mikrotik RB951 and connect to the VF router as a DMZ. The RB951 provides great control over all aspects of setting up broadband and has a huge community who can help provide configurations.

 

The correct description for Internet access is:

The Internet - ISP Gateway - PPPoE Server - DSL - telephone line, fibre, cable - DSL - PPPoE Client -ROUTING - local LAN - wired device & WiFi Access - WiFi connected devices

 

Typically a 'Router' or 'Hub' is really a DSL Modem, Firewall and Router combined into one box but the operations of DSL Modem, PPPoE connection and Firewall/Routing can be split between different devices.

 

My RB951 solutions uses:

 

connection to ISP - VF Router (DSL modem and PPPoE Client) - LAN on 192.168.0.1 with DMZ connection to 192.168.0.2 to RB951 ( Router and Firewall and VPN server ) - local network on 192.168.101.1.

Using this setup has a number of benefits:
Connections to the VPN can be put on the same network as the local LAN hence remote computers can correctly access any resources on the local LAN such as printers, other computers, servers etc.
The VF router is not modified in any way and a device can be connected to it direct rather than via the RB951 hence I can always get support from Vodafone if I suspect there is a problem with the DSL, PPPoE or cabling into the premises.

I know the L2TP server built into the RB951 supports all windows clients, MAC, android and LInux devices.
The RB951 allows extreme control over all aspects of networking so I can easily set up various security configurations.

 

 

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KeithAlger
16: Advanced member

Just how exactly does one PROPERLY put the Vodafone HHG2500 or THG3000 modem/router into bridge mode?  As far as I am aware, neither of the two common VF supplied modem routers include any fully functional means to put them into bridge mode.

 

Not having access to a THG3000, I wasn't aware that it had the VPN option in it's menus.

 

When it comes to using a VPN as a site to site bridge the issue with subnets is a standard VPN one and not anything specific to do with the VF equipment.  Other than the networks using different subnets, all that is usually required is changing the subnet mask (192.168.0.0/16 should work).

 

*I like the idea of using Microtik devices, but for the uninitiated, they fall very short in the ease of use stakes.

 

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Jayach
16: Advanced member

@KeithAlger wrote:

Not having access to a THG3000, I wasn't aware that it had the VPN option in it's menus.

It doesn't

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KeithAlger
16: Advanced member

Didn't think it did. Though I keep pondering the idea of buying one from eBay, just to pull it apart.  I actually suspect that using the Microtik router, you could with the correct settings connect it to the VF modem/router Lan port to Lan port, and create a false gateway that would get various VPN connections working.  The concern with the Gigabox is that VF Lan to Microtik Wan, thanks to the way the VF mobile data network is configured, would actually be tripple NAT!

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Jayach
16: Advanced member

Gigabox is the name Vodafone.ie give to the THG3000 router. As far as I can ascertain it has the same firmware so should be identical.

https://deviceguides.vodafone.ie/vodafone/gigabox-windows-10/specifications/

The device you are referring to is, I believe, the GigaCube.

GigaCube – the alternative to home broadband from Vodafone

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Cynric
10: Established

The Gigabox help page shows the ability to change Wi-Fi channel number, which we ordinary folks do not have.

 

https://deviceguides.vodafone.ie/vodafone/gigabox-windows-10/basic-use/change-wi-fi-hotspot-channel/

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Jayach
16: Advanced member

Yes, but I think that has just not been updated, we used to have it.

When I was conversing on here with an Irish Vodafone user I'm sure he confirmed he couldn't get those settings either.

Edit: If you take a look at this post, you can see he has the same firmware as us, and can't change the channel.

https://forum.vodafone.co.uk/t5/Other-broadband-queries/Gigabox-file-and-printer-sharing-problems/m-...

The firmware in those help pages is XS_3.4.14.06

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Jayach
16: Advanced member

@Cynric

If you're interested I've attached a Gigabox user guide I found, but it is from 2018 and the firmware is obviously an early one.

 

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