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Vodafone Sure Signal

Vodafone Sure Signal - Is It Compatible With PPPoE Connections?

4: Newbie
After a long time testing and reconfiguring several makes of routers I have come the conclusion that the Sure Signal is not compatible with PPPoE connections.

If anyone does have it working please post the details here (router manufacturer, ISP etc.) I would love someone to prove me wrong!

@Vodafone - Are there any plans for a firmware/device upgrade that does support PPPoE?
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74 REPLIES
4: Newbie
So I guess the answer here is no then? Has nobody got it working with a router that has a PPPoE connection?
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Moderator (Retired)
Hi there s4wa,

I'm afriad that SureSignal is not compatible with PPPoE. Have you considered PPPoA as an alternative?

I'm afraid we're not privvy to any planned firmware upgrades either so I can't give you a definitive answer on this one.

Cheers,

LeeH
eForum Team

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Not applicable

After a long time testing and reconfiguring several makes of routers I have come the conclusion that the Sure Signal is not compatible with PPPoE connections.



From my limited experience of the VSS, but externsive business networking experience, and from reading a _lot_ of posts on here, I'd take a guess one of the following might cover your situation

1/ The routers that you have tried are not UPnP compatible with the UPnP on the VSS
2/ The manual protocol and port settings you have tried are not correct
3/ The VSS that you have is faulty

I'd be very surprised if having a PPPoE connection between the VSS and the Internet would affect its capability to connect. You might however have to modify your local LAN MTU and other Ethernet settings.
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4: Newbie

From my limited experience of the VSS, but externsive business networking experience, and from reading a _lot_ of posts on here, I'd take a guess one of the following might cover your situation

1/ The routers that you have tried are not UPnP compatible with the UPnP on the VSS
2/ The manual protocol and port settings you have tried are not correct
3/ The VSS that you have is faulty

I'd be very surprised if having a PPPoE connection between the VSS and the Internet would affect its capability to connect. You might however have to modify your local LAN MTU and other Ethernet settings.


1/ I have used the same router on a PPPoA and PPPoE connection, A works E doesn't.
2/ Same settings when tested. My job is to setup networks so I know how to port forward and how UPnP works. Also I have tested it with several routers (Draytek, Linksys, Netgear).
3/ VSS works on all the PPPoA networks I have tested it on.

I can't do much about the MTU settings as PPPoE is 1492 Max. It looks like the VSS needs 1500.

Like I said I would love someone here to say they have theirs working on a PPPoE connection and prove me wrong (and let me know how they got it working!). But as yet I have not seen evidence to prove it's possible.
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4: Newbie

Does Sure Signal work on any router?
Yes, Sure Signal works on all routers, some routers might need some specific configuration.

:unsure:
Iain
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4: Newbie
Hi, my connection is PPPoE so you may be ok. Have you tried using a router straight to the VSS on the PPPoA connection?
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4: Newbie
I can't believe Vodafone is handing out such false information. The SS is an ethernet device and whether your BroadBand connects over PPPoA or PPPoE is irrelevant - the SS cannot know what is used to connect to the Internet.

There are instances of some hardware devices preventing the SS from working, but it has nothing to do with the PPP used by the 'modem'.
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4: Newbie
Hi s4vva.
We've been conversing on another thread, and I support you view on this.

In theory it should make no difference (as UKenGB states), but I have now tested my VSS on a router connected via PPPoE to a modem (which I presume connects via PPPoA to the ISP), and via Ethernet to another router that is connecting direct with PPPoA.

If you put PPPoE in the way, then it does not work. I do have the MTU at 1492 for the Ethernet connect and it still works. - so not sure it is just MTU (although the PPPoA connect to the ISP is 1500). But I agree with UKenGB - it is illogical to suggest that the connection protocol should interfere with the VSS which is a backend ethernet device.

The only way I can get it to work with PPPoE is to first establish a connection with the PPPoA setup, then unplug the PPPoA router and insert the modem and restart it. The rooter reboots and the VSS seems to drop back and renegotiate the connection but bizarrely it comes back up in about 3 minutes (as opposed to 20 minutes or so for a normal VSS restart).

VODAFONE - CAN YOU COMMENT HERE? It's all very well you saying it works for most people, but there's a significant minority of people who cannot get this to work properly and we deserve better service for something we are paying for. We've done a lot of the problem determination, we'll even LEND you the equipment so you can prove it to yourselves so you can FIX it for your customers. Do I need to write to your CEO?
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4: Newbie
There's a couple of posts I've seen around here where they have the SS working perfectly over PPPoE. It seems to be down to the individual hardware as to whether it works or not. I say again, it cannot have anything to do with PPP flavour used to make the connection as either should be passing the same data packets. If it isn't, it's down to the specific hardware.

You will notice that when a problem is raised on these forums, Vodafone representatives step in with a quick reply to say "most users have no problem" and then maybe follow up with a couple of lame responses if the thread continues, but when it gets to really sorting it out, they go strangely silent (or worse, mislead readers with technically inaccurate statements).

It's all very well discovering that the problem is with some hardware, but the truth is that the common factor with all these problem is the Sure Signal and that is down to Vodafone to face up to their responsibilities and put some effort into fixing it. Either that or they need to talk sternly to Sagem (the manufacturers) and get them to fix it. Either way, Vodafone are being particularly useless (which actually comes as no surprise).
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Moderator (Retired)
Hi guys,

Thank you all for posting. To be honest, a lot of this thread is going over my head :wacko: so I don't know the definite answers. I will seek clarification as to whether the Sure Signal works with PPPoE or not and get back to you when I know for definite.

George
eForum Team

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4: Newbie

Hi guys,

Thank you all for posting. To be honest, a lot of this thread is going over my head :wacko: so I don't know the definite answers. I will seek clarification as to whether the Sure Signal works with PPPoE or not and get back to you when I know for definite.

George
eForum Team



The Sure Signal is ETHERNET and knows NOTHING about ANY PPP which stands for Point to Point Protocol and is used purely for end to end connections, unlike ethernet which is a networking protocol that allows multiple devices to connect together. There would be no point in the SS using any sort of PPP as it would need to hold all the login details and then be connected to your ISP taking up the entire Broadband connection which you could not then use for anything else - IOW utterly pointless.

Also the SS is known to work via PPPoE AND PPPoA connections to the Internet (i.e. as used by the local router to connect to the ISP), so the problem is not PPP per se, but the hardware providing the connectivity, some of which prevents the SS from working and rather than trying to convince every hardware manufacturer of these problematic devices to modify their product to ensure the SS works, it makes more sense for Vodafone to fix the SS so it works over ALL hardware - as it should.
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Moderator (Retired)
Hi guys,

I've had word back from our Sure Signal project team. They've advised that the Sure Signal isn't designed to be used with PPPoE, in order to make it fully compatible a fundamental change in the actual Sure Signal hardware would be required, as such there are currently no plans to support PPPoE.

George
eForum Team

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Not applicable

I've had word back from our Sure Signal project team. They've advised that the Sure Signal isn't designed to be used with PPPoE, in order to make it fully compatible a fundamental change in the actual Sure Signal hardware would be required, as such there are currently no plans to support PPPoE


I think it's important here that the right question was asked to the project team.


I'm quite happy to be wrong, but I don't think it was, and sometimes the way you phrase a question can have significant implications to the answer.

What I think most people are describing here is the following.

SureSignal > Firewall/Router > ADSL Modem (PPPoE To PPPoA Bridge) > PPPoA Connection to ISP (Most UK Based Providers)

I Think people here are not asking that the SureSignal support the termination and handling of a PPPoE connection, but that when a SureSignal is placed behind a router or firewall, which has it's upstream connection provided by a PPPoE to an PPPoA bridge, that the suresignal works.

Many Business class devices do not come with Internal ADSL Modems, so have to use a PPPoE to PPPoA Bridge to connect to an ISP.

I'm also having the same problem with PFSense Firewalls, that are connected via Draytek Vigor 120 ADSL Modems operating as PPPoE to PPPoA Bridges.

If the answer is still the same, could we please have a more technical explanation of the reasons for the limitations.
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4: Newbie
If it were really true that "PPPoe is not supported", then surely anyone on a 'BE' connection would have a problem?

It seems much more likely that there is some fundamental problem with the Draytek modems (110/120) that is causing the issues. (And, incidentally, I don't see how Vodafone could be expected to forsee or test for and overcome issues with every router/modem/firewall/firmware configuration available.)

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4: Newbie

Hi guys,

I've had word back from our Sure Signal project team. They've advised that the Sure Signal isn't designed to be used with PPPoE, in order to make it fully compatible a fundamental change in the actual Sure Signal hardware would be required, as such there are currently no plans to support PPPoE.

George
eForum Team


This is the same response to the same question that has been previously asked and it is completely the wrong question. As I have said repeatedly the SureSignal should never support PPPoE directly - it is the wrong protocol for what it has to do. You might as well ask if it supports serial communication.

I also repeat that there are documented instances (on this forum) of the SS working over both PPPoA and PPPoE connections to the Internet so that is not the issue. Truthfully there should be no issue since we are dealing with standards here and any networking device that moves ethernet packets ought to be able to move the SS's packets. The fact this is not the case means there are incompatibilities between what the SS expects and what some hardware provides and since the common factor is VF's SS, that is the first place to look for a solution.

The SS tries to set up a VPN connection to VF's servers and also wants to use other data packets outside the VPN tunnel for signalling. This can fail even over hardware that is proved to support exactly the same flavour of VPN as used by the SS. So what is it about this VPN and additional signalling that some hardware doesn't like, even when it is specifically designed to pass any ethernet packet?

What I do know is:-
The Draytek Vigor 120 currently does NOT allow a SS to work, whatever the router in use on the LAN side.
Apple's Airports can be used as routers as long as you don't use the Vigor 120 as the PPPoE to PPPoA bridge.
The Draytek 2820 and 2710 routers work perfectly for the SS, as does a BT Voyager 220V and an indeterminate model of router by US Robotics.
Draytek have ignored my request for assistance in this matter.
Vodafone seem to be suffering headless chicken syndrome over this issue.
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Not applicable
Just some additional information,

I've also tested with the Draytek Vigor 100 and a Netgear DG834v4 as PPPoE to PPPoA bridges, and these exhibit the same behaviour.
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Not applicable

it is completely the wrong question


I completely agree, the quality of "support" from Vodafone is laughable.

On one call to them to troubleshoot an issue with a Cisco ASA firewall on a 100mb leased line connection, I was told that the VSS would only work with a UPNP router, and this person was allegedly a tier 3 support person...

Vodafone need to realise that people want to use the VSS on a wide variety of connections, with a similar variety of routers and firewalls. If there is some alleged reason that the traffic will fail if it goes over a PPPoE connection, they need to explain why this is, or alternatively explain exactly what it requires from its connection.

I’m also at a complete loss as to why they went for an IPSEc implementation instead of an SSL one where they could have had a connection at an equivalent level of security that only required a single port, but this is a moot point.

The quality issue is howver throughout their supply chain, take a look at the Sagem home page (http://www.sagem.com) and see the “BRAODBAND” typo...
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Not applicable

If there is some alleged reason that the traffic will fail if it goes over a PPPoE connection, they need to explain why this is, or alternatively explain exactly what it requires from its connection


oh the power of the Internet :-)

The 4th Q on the FAQ for the IPSec stack that appears to be being used in the VSS is quite insightful.

If the specific implemtation on the VSS is using a long DN and/or RSA key, then the packet might _have_ to be fragmented, and if the PPPoE part of the link has an issue with fragmented UDP packets, then it could cause a problem...

Of course the complete lack of any visibilty of any logs on the VSS means that its not possible to perform an initial "simple" level of diagnosis that might help show if this is the issue, or if it is something else.

So far all of the above is a thought experiment, I won't have the time to try and setup the VSS in the office again untill next week, however, if you are having trouble with a VSS and a PPPoE connection, it might be useful to a/ Set the MTU on the Ethernet side of your router to a smaller size than on your PPPoE link and b/ Use a packet sniffer (Wireshark) to confirm that the Ethernet packets are no larger than the MTU you have set.
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4: Newbie

If there is some alleged reason that the traffic will fail if it goes over a PPPoE connection, they need to explain why this is, or alternatively explain exactly what it requires from its connection.

There isn't a problem with PPPoE. With the right hardware the SS works perfectly over a PPPoE Internet connection.

We need to stop talking about PPPoE and PPPoA as it just confuses those poor souls in Vodafone tech support.

I’m also at a complete loss as to why they went for an IPSEc implementation instead of an SSL one where they could have had a connection at an equivalent level of security that only required a single port, but this is a moot point.

2 more things to be added to "What I know" :-

The SS DOES work over a PPPoE Internet connection as well as a PPPoA based one. (oops, I mentioned the dreaded PPP thing again)

The SS does NOT necessarily work over a connection that works perfectly with other IPSEc VPNs.
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