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Help configuring network topology/VPN

32,004 4,107 June 20, 2020 at 07:05 PM Get Walmart coupons Coupons
Sorry for the long post but a full explanation might be the best.

I am the technology person for my IL's - they are in their 60's. SIL lives with them. She has been working at home lately, and been complaining about the internet speeds. My wife thought it would be a good idea to upgrade their router which would double as a birthday present for her sister. Great - I've been thinking about upgrading their setup for some time as at some point I'd like to rehome my NAS to serve as a remote backup point (e.g. needs VPN capability). Unfortunately DW only gave me ONE DAY to get a new router so I had to go with whatever was available locally. That wound up being a Netgear [walmart.com]RAX20-100NAS.

Color me surprised when I went to set it up and apparently my FIL had changed internet services (always looking for the best price you know). So, rather than a cable modem-to-router config, there are a couple pieces of equipment I had to guess what they were.

It's Frontier, so that means it's likely DSL, or fiber, but more likely fiber however I have no idea what that equipment looks like. Whoever did the install from Frontier just plugged the old router into one of the (4) network ports on the new modem/router/voice box (Arris NVG448BQ). It worked, but the Arris combo unit is still blasting out its own wifi signals, and the connections are all double NATed. (e.g. IP of the new modem is 192.168.254.15)

As far as topology goes, the incoming cable from the street goes into a white box that has a Nokia sticker on it. There is no model # (of course it's hidden in a closet). Only lights for Power, PON, Alarm and Data. Connections-wise there is a power cable, an ethernet cable (that goes over to the Arris box) and a very thin white fiber (wire?) that also loops around inside the unit.

The ethernet cable from the Nokia unit goes over to a red "broadband" port on the back of the Arris unit. Then, the phone line is back-fed through a local wall jack, and ethernet devices are plugged into the 4 ethernet ports (only 1 device right now and that's the new router)

I was able to setup the new router using Netgear's app, then the web interface for the more advanced stuff. Their internet/wifi is working. What prompted me to write this post was that I can't seem to get the OpenVPN service to run. I run the same service on my Asus router at home, so I am familiar with the app (already installed). The Netgear router has you download a config file that you add to the app such that there is no configuration, login, etc. The issue I am having is that the app will eventually give up saying the server isn't responding ("waiting for server"). I did enable OpenDNS on the router and used Netgear's own service. For what it's worth the remote management option in Netgear Nighthawk (router config app) does work remotely, and it uses the OpenDNS settings, so I am pretty sure the Open DNS stuff works, but I can't get the VPN to work. There aren't many options besides port #'s (TUN Mode Service Type and port, TAP Mode Service Type and port and that's it)

Why I explained all this is I am wondering if the fact the router with VPN is behind another router is screwing things up, and if there's a way to basically disable the router/wifi built into the Arris box.

Here is a quick setup guide [fccid.io] for it (I can't find anything better than this manual-wise) - what would I change such that it is basically just a modem? Can I access that through the current wiring or would I have to plug into the device directly?

6 Comments

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Joined Jun 2005
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
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#2
so I am really confused can you run a traceroute and post it here

this is the commad you will then have a file caller route.txt on your desktop

Just copy paste this into a command prompt.

tracert 8.8.8.8 >c:\users\%username%\desktop\route.txt

This is mine cut down

You can see I am using double NAT the 192 and 10 networks and I am a comcast subsciber that is all anyone needs to know in order to help you out

Tracing route to dns.google [8.8.8.8]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 10 ms 3 ms 2 ms 192.168.1.1
2 13 ms 4 ms 3 ms TPLINK7000 [10.10.10.1]
3 14 ms 12 ms 13 ms cm-1-acr05.aurora.co.denver.comcast.net
11 17 ms 18 ms 56 ms dns.google [8.8.8.8]

Trace complete.


You might try putting your box first then the arris box since the arris box is using ethernet coming in. also turn off the wifi on the arris box or contact frontier and have them do it if you cannot.
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#3
I don't believe I can "move up" the new router as the Arris box (Frontier) is also a voice gateway, and the IL's use that service. The best route would be to disable the wifi on it and put it in bridge mode but I am not sure that's possible (their documentation is really poor).

I also don't know if the double NATing is what's causing the issue as I said - I can get remote access via the Netgear app (this communicates with the router for remote configuration (limited) and monitoring) and that uses the opendns, so THAT can get through.
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#4
Call the ISP and have them put the modem into bridge mode. This eliminates the double NAT. You will need to reboot the Netgear afterwards, it should then get a WAN IP address from the ISP. The ISP should also be able to turn off the wifi in the Arris.
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Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
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#5
you can put the voice at the end it does not need to be at the front so to speak. Can you do QOS on our router?

I have OOMA and it is hanging off of my router it is not the first device.
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#6
I need to take a PC over there one of these days.

I downloaded the openVPN config file for Windows, installed it on my home PC, but get a similar error.
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#7
PON = Passive Optical Network. Some rely on the router for PoE power.

The easiest way to expose the second router would be to set the Arris to 'passthough' or bridge the connection to the next router. This is a common setting on DSL gateways, but the second router has to have the PPPoE login credentials to connect to the internet (with DSL, this is fiber... not sure how they're doing things exactly). In the case of a gateway that's serving up phone and tv as well, this type of option may not exist or could break phone / tv service. The other thing you could do is put the second router in a DMZ on the Arris.

Of course all of this begs the question, is it really worth the hassle compared to say blackblaze for $60/yr.

The wifi on most gateways isn't great, so even if you decide VPNing into their network isn't worth the hassle, using the router as an access point to provide better wifi likely is worth it.

You can also use something like this on a PC: https://www.resilio.com/individuals/ that should be able to traverse a double NAT. CrashPlan used to offer similar distributed backup software but killed it off in favor of a cloud service.

Establishing an outbound VPN connection to a server at your house is also an option.
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Last edited by jkee July 12, 2020 at 09:34 AM.
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