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VPN Issue....Plus Net support don't understand and are not interested

agibbs
Hooked
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎31-07-2007

VPN Issue....Plus Net support don't understand and are not interested

Hi

Wondering if anyone from PlusNet can actually help with a technical problem....

I have been with PlusNet for 18 years, through thick and thin.  I use a VPN to connect to my office and that of several clients (using Windows VPN client mainly) and a variety of endpoints - Draytek Routers, Windows servers etc.   This has ALWAYS worked, until around a month ago, when suddenly they stopped working.   The connection cannot be established at all.

I have changed my router from a Netgear DGN2200v3 which has always worked, to a PlusNet Hub One, just to rule out the router, with no change.

I have just phoned 'technical' support, the lady who answered first said I can see that you are entering the wrong password, that's the problem.....No....I did, once, when I set up the new router, but that's hardly a VPN issue, and I'm connected now.   She went to ask her manager then came back and flatly said we don't support VPN, and we never have.   I asked to speak to her manager.

When speaking to the 'floor manager' - I assume call center manager rather than anything remotely technical, he said that I needed to speak to the VPN provider and that I shouldn't be using their service to access things which needed a VPN.  

At this point I was pulling my hair out - I AM the VPN provider, and my laptop works from any other connection, including my mobile hotspot, to connect to the SAME VPN, and all of the employees that I support can also connect to that SAME VPN (which incidentally is also on a Plus Net Business connection!)  (I am on Residential here).   The other VPNs that I can't access are on a wide range of different ISPs.

He was adament that they don't allow VPNs and never have.  I've never heard something so rediculous.    He then went on to tell me that I don't have a static IP, that's impossible....well yes, I have, I have had the same static since 2002, and doing a DNS lookup on my hostname gives my static IP, so I think I have got a static IP.

He then raved on about how I really shouldn't be using their service for VPN etc Etc. at which point I hung up on him.

So.....my question here is, what has changed in Plus Net's world that stopped my outgoing VPN connections from working a few weeks ago?   Obviously incoming ones work because I can connect to my office from other locations.

Is there anyone from Plus Net who is technical who can help with this?

Thanks,

A

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): Post released from Spam Filter.

13 REPLIES 13
Mav
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 21,510
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Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: VPN Issue....Plus Net support don't understand and are not interested

Moderator's note:

Moved from Broadband to Tech Help.

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

agibbs
Hooked
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Re: VPN Issue....Plus Net support don't understand and are not interested

Thanks.

Further to my post above, I have done a little research myself.

I have remotely connected to a client, with their permission, who is also on a Plus Net residential account, and set up the same VPN from their computer to my office (which is on a Plus Net business connection).   This connection worked perfectly, as mine used to.

I have then run a tracert from my connection to the office and from their connection to the office.

The results are exactly the same, APART from ONE router which the traffic is passing through - the one that works goes through [195.166.129.211] and the one that doesn't passes through [195.166.129.209].

Looking at this, it suggests that something on [195.166.129.209] is causing my VPN traffic to be blocked.  This IP resolves to gi4-0-22.pth-gw1.plus.net (the one that works is gi1-0-22.pth-gw1.plus.net)

Can anyone from Plus Net shed any light on this......?Huh

RobPN
Hero
Posts: 4,760
Thanks: 2,472
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Registered: ‎17-05-2013

Re: VPN Issue....Plus Net support don't understand and are not interested

@agibbs

I'm not going to attempt to resolve your problem as you're clearly far more proficient than me regarding VPNs, but a workaround might be to disconnect/reconnect your Internet connection until you find a PN gateway which doesn't block your VPN.

As you've been with PN since 2002 you're probably well aware of issues over the years whereby at certain times some PN gateways have been problematical with one service or another, having sometimes been misconfigured or just simply needing rebooting, which may well be what you're coming up against now.

You're probably also aware of the following links which help to quickly identify which gateway you're on, and that sometimes you need to disconnect several times if you reconnect to the one you're trying to leave!

http://users.plus.net/@gateway

http://users.plus.net/@gateway_custom?debug-ip=yes

 

Probably not much help, but good luck!  Smiley

 

RichardB
Champion
Posts: 931
Thanks: 318
Fixes: 33
Registered: ‎19-11-2008

Re: VPN Issue....Plus Net support don't understand and are not interested

I suspect the PN gateway differences are a red herring.

There have been several posts on these forums about VPN issues.

Use the forum search feature to trawl through them...

Sometimes the issues were caused by a particular IP address range used by PN.

Some VPNs do not appear to be compatible with the IP address range.

If you have a dynamic IP address, try a static IP address from PN, a one off £5 fee.

https://www.plus.net/AddOns.html

Richard

agibbs
Hooked
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Re: VPN Issue....Plus Net support don't understand and are not interested

Hi Rob,

Thanks for your post - I didn't know about those links, but am well aware of the issues that have occurred over the years.

I have just changed my router this morning from a Netgear to a PlusNet Hub One which I had spare at work, with no change - I would have assumed that would change the gateway, but I will try restarting a few times.

I'm not sure how they have the network configured - is my static IP tied to a specific path through the network?

This problem is very odd, as my own office connection stopped working probably about 6 weeks ago, then gradually other client sites that I have to connect to have all stopped working until now, NO VPN will work.

I am thinking it is a router somewhere within the Plus Net network which needs a reboot!

agibbs
Hooked
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Re: VPN Issue....Plus Net support don't understand and are not interested

Thanks.

I've already got a static IP - same one since 2002.  (Although the Plus Net 'Manager' this morning told me that it wasn't possible for me to have a static IP....which completely removed any faith I had in his knowledge!)

RobPN
Hero
Posts: 4,760
Thanks: 2,472
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Registered: ‎17-05-2013

Re: VPN Issue....Plus Net support don't understand and are not interested

@agibbs

As you stated in your OP you had a Static IP I didn't bother mentioning the problems with VPNs and certain PN IP address ranges because AIUI the Static IP range doesn't fall within the affected range, and anyway you've had yours since 2002!

RichardB
Champion
Posts: 931
Thanks: 318
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Registered: ‎19-11-2008

Re: VPN Issue....Plus Net support don't understand and are not interested

If you already have a PN static IP, then we can rule out the WAN IP adress issues.

One other thing of note re IP addresses is that VPN will not work when the LANs at either end have the same address range.

Have you turned off the PN firewall in the member centre?

 

Can you list the VPN client software you are using?

Could the office have blocked your static IP from accessing?

Stranger things have happened before!

 

 

MisterW
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 11,091
Thanks: 3,386
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: VPN Issue....Plus Net support don't understand and are not interested

He was adament that they don't allow VPNs and never have.  I've never heard something so rediculous.    He then went on to tell me that I don't have a static IP, that's impossible....well yes, I have, I have had the same static since 2002, and doing a DNS lookup on my hostname gives my static IP, so I think I have got a static IP.

As you say, he was talking absolute rubbish! Yes, some people use VPN's to hide their activity and that is probably against PN's T's & C's, but there are perfectly legitimate uses for a VPN. I routinely use a VPN to access the office, as I suspect do a lot of customers.

@agibbs have you checked the status of the PN server side firewall ? https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=firewall ( you will need to login to the member centre ) . AFAIK, in the past , the default has always been OFF but I've seen one that was ON recently. I believe LOW will allow VPN to work but I'd ensure it's OFF for the moment. If you have to change it you will need to reboot the router, or at least disconnect/reconnect the PPPoE session.

I see @RichardB already asked this question.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

agibbs
Hooked
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Re: VPN Issue....Plus Net support don't understand and are not interested

@RichardB I am using the Windows client to connect to the VPNs, a mixture of old PPTP connections and some L2TP.   None of them work.   The VPN endpoints are mainly Draytek Vigors, but a couple that I use are Windows Servers.

The office has not blocked my IP (it happens to many different client sites too, not just mine!) - I am IT manager, and am solely responsible for VPN endpoint and firewall at my office - our firewall definitely is not blocking my IP!

The PN firewall was off until yesterday, when I thought I would try it in the 'Low' setting just to rule something else out - I've tried everything I can think of!   It is VERY frustrating - everything worked perfectly until mid-July!

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: VPN Issue....Plus Net support don't understand and are not interested

@agibbs - If you're connecting to Draytek Routers then you might want to try this.

https://www.draytek.com/en/download/software/smart-vpn-client/

 

RichardB
Champion
Posts: 931
Thanks: 318
Fixes: 33
Registered: ‎19-11-2008

Re: VPN Issue....Plus Net support don't understand and are not interested

As you are an IT manager, then I assume you are capable of delving deeper into the issue and posting the technical details here.

You could use wireshark to capture the VPN handshakes etc

 

The problems may or may not be due to PN but it will take some evidence to persuade PN into investigating the issue.

Others PN users are using VPN over the PN network without issues.

 

 

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: VPN Issue....Plus Net support don't understand and are not interested

I have a LAN-to-LAN VPN configured at both ends on DrayTek hardware and it works without issue and both ends are in fact PN!

LAN-to-LAN VPN (DrayTek)