The RV180 supports Remote and Site to Site VPN tunnels. Remote tunnels are supported via PPTP and IPSec. PPTP is not included in the RV120W, so it is nice to see in the RV180. Remote IPSec can be established with Cisco's free QuickVPN client or with other IPSec client software. I was able to use PPTP, QuickVPN, and Site to Site connections simultaneously.
I tested remote client access to the RV180 with PPTP and the QuickVPN client. PPTP is the easier of the two options, as setup on the router involves checking a box to enable PPTP, adding a user name and password, and selecting PPTP as the protocol, shown below.
Figure 6: PPTP setup
I like PPTP tunnels because the client software is built into Windows 7, and as I recently discovered, is also built into the Apple iPad. Thus, there is no software to install on the end device. I tested both devices with the RV180 and found each to work without issue. Configuring Windows or an iPad for PPTP is quite simple. Take a look at our recent review on the Zyxel VFG6005, where we've listed the steps for setting up a Windows PC and an Apple iPad for PPTP connections.
A small issue I had with the RV180 is a lack of a status screen for PPTP connections. The only indicator on the RV180 of an active PPTP connection is a small section on its Dashboard. As shown in Figure 7, the RV180 VPN Dashboard shows one active Site-to-Site tunnel, one PPTP User, and noQuick VPN Users.
The Site-to-Site count is accurate, but the PPTP display is misleading and the Quick VPN display is incorrect. The PPTP display is simply a count of users created in the RV180, not a status on the number of PPTP connections. I found the dashboard showed one PPTP user whether the PPTP user was connected or not.
Figure 7: VPN Dashboard
At the same time I took the above screen shot, I also had an active QuickVPN connection, although the dashboard showed no QuickVPN Users. Fortunately, there is a specific status screen on the RV180 for QuickVPN user connections (Figure 8).
Figure 8: Quick VPN connection status
Configuring a QuickVPN connection on the RV180 is as simple as for PPTP. It is a matter of adding a user name and password for the remote connection and selecting the QuickVPN option for the protocol. The key difference is the QuickVPN software has to be installed on a PC. The software is included on the disk that comes with the RV180, and is available for download on Cisco's website. I had no trouble installing Cisco's QuickVPN on a Windows 7 Pro PC.
I found Site-to-Site configuration on the RV180 straightforward. There are no VPN configuration wizards in the RV180, but there is a basic VPN configuration page for creating an IPSec VPN tunnel. The basic configuration on the RV180 creates an IKE and VPN IPSec policy with default values including AES encryption and SHA-1 authentication. These configurations are easy to edit via the advanced VPN configuration page. All typical IPSec VPN options are supported, such as 3DES and AES encryption as well as MD5 and SHA-1 authentication, .
I had no problems setting up a 3DES/SHA-1 Site to Site tunnel between the RV180 and my usual site-to-site test device, a NETGEAR SRX5308 high performance VPN router. With the correct configurations on both routers, the connection came up immediately. Below is a screen shot of the established IPSec tunnel with the SRX.
Figure 9: IPsec connection status
Cisco rates the RV180 capable of 50 Mbps for IPSec VPN throughput with either 3DES or AES encryption. I measured the RV180's IPSec throughput with Cisco's QuickVPN software.
I tested the RV180's VPN performance with iperf using default TCP settings, with a TCP window size of 8 KB and no other options. I ran iperf on two PCs running 64-bit Windows 7 with their software firewall disabled. (Running a simple iperf throughput test between two PCs uses the command iperf -s on one PC and iperf -c (ip) on the other PC.)
Table 2 shows a VPN throughput table comparing the RV180 to the previously mentioned Cisco routers (RV120W, RV220W, RV042) as well as several other VPN routers I've reviewed in recent years. Note, you can click on the model number listed in the table to go to the review for each device.
|Product||IPsec Throughput - (Mbps)||PPTP Throughput (Mbps)|
|Client - Gateway||Gateway - Client||Client - Gateway||Gateway - Client|
Table 2: VPN Performance comparison
The RV180's IPsec numbers of 39.7 Mbps client to gateway and 50.9 Mbps gateway to client put it at the top of the chart for all devices listed and are pretty close to Cisco's 50 Mbps rating. However, I was surprised to see the RV180's PPTP numbers of 5.98 Mbps client to gateway and 6.49 Mbps gateway to client put it at the bottom of that ranking.
Nevertheless, ~6 Mbps of throughput is pretty reasonable for a remote connection. More likely, the available bandwidth at the remote location (such as hotel, airport, coffee shop) will be less than 6 Mbps, meaning the PPTP connection will not be the limiting factor.
User reviewsView all user reviews
Average user rating from: 8 user(s)
NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.
|User Rating [Back to Top]||Overall:||2.3||Features :||2.8||Performance :||2.3||Reliability :||1.8|
Good value and features.
May 21, 2013
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I bought this based on the review here, but not user reviews. I additionally read a ton of reviews on Amazon.com which varied widely. I get that some reviews are old and based on earlier firmware.
After a few weeks, I am still happy and impressed with this router. I got it on Amazon and it was really inexpensive for the feature set and very compact.
- the Slow UI - I don't get it - sure, it is not blazing fast, but getting around the menus is perfectly functional and no big deal.
- VPN - no idea, we don't need VPN so I have not set it up - can't comment on that.
- Port Forwarding/triggering - I had to open a few ports for XBOX360 and it worked immediately with no fuss. That said, ultimately I enabled UPnP fod the XBOX and that works even better.
- Sonos - we have 5 Sonos devices on the net - they work fine. 3 wired, 2 wireless.
- ISP is Comcast, but we are not using IPv6 so lack of IPv6 DHCPv6-PD support has not affected us.
- Ooma Telo connected - working fine. Have this on a VLAN with QOS and it works great.
- Several PCs, Droid RAZRs, iPad, Blu-ray players, AVRs, Security Camera, etc. connected and working well.
WAN connections seem quite fast; Internet speed tests easily get the 50/10 that Comcast is providing.
For a home business router, this router is working well - and its compact size fits well in the structured wiring center. For those who like the features and are scared off by the negative reviews, I recommend giving it a try if business level gear with less consumer friendly configuration doesn't bother you. The features and the speed have been impressive so far.
April 24, 2013
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This device is awesome - for the FIRST FEW HOURS. Very short honeymoon indeed as once it gets settled - like so many mail-order brides we've heard about - this thing just goes seriously off the rails. I will only hit the highlights which, when coupled with the other reviews, should give you enough to make up your mind.
First, the GUI really is horribly slow - even when directly connected via short cat-5 at 1g-Full, it still takes forever to load almost all pages. Next, logging is useless - yeah it dumps stuff in there but it's so freakin' cryptic you seriously need the Cisco source code andor dev guide to understand what she's putting in there.
But worst of all is just that it's flaky. As background, I had two wireless routers hanging off of the RV180 - each wireless WAN connected via a short cat-6 run to one of the RV180's LAN ports. Next, the WAN went to my Comcast DOCSIS-3 modem. The wireless routers were serving DHCP in dedicated scopes, DNS proxy was OFF all around, I spoofed the RV-180 WAN MAC to ensure I got the desired IP, and both wireless and the RV-180 were doing PAT. That's it - extremely simple network. So the issues I had were basically that the RV180 started bouncing it's LAN ports (WAN for the wireless routers) every 5m or so.
Additionally, it would randomly start blocking traffic on the WAN side - but no logs re: any of this whatsoever. As web-pages started dropping, ping and trace became my old trusted friends to help figure out where the drops were occurring. Also, the firmware was the latest from Cisco - and I bounced the device seevral time. In addition, I tried going direct from my PC to the RV-180 LAN and even completely disabled the security features and opened up the firewall - all to no avail - this thing is just plain FLAKEY!!! Mine is going back TODAY and my search will continue...
RV180W - Could do better
February 28, 2013
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I bought this router yesterday based on the main review and the performance lan>wan throughput results.
upon powering it up it worked (sort of). The problem is that whilst I could get the speed. the port forwarding was awful
it just didn't work. Calling Cisco UK for some support was a woeful experience, and they are still to return my call.
I've had to put my aged FVS318 back onto the network just so I can get remote accessibility back.
I now discover that there is a known fault with port forwarding. If it's not fixed by next week. I shall be returning it and just buying a product i have a gut feeling will just work out of the box.
Not very good
February 10, 2013
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I bought the RV180 to replace a Netgear FVS318 that I suspected was starting to die - I would have to reset it every third or fourth day.
Since installing the RV180 my internet browsing has markedly slowed and often hangs until I do a 'reload' of the page. I have played around with various settings and nothing has made this thing pop up to reasonable performance.
Just to make sure it wasn't something my provider had started doing, I re-installed the FVS318 and pop, back up to speed. Now my FVS318 is old and it's probably still dying but it's better than the Cisco RV180.
I'm looking to get a newer FVS318G now.
very poor performance
December 31, 2012
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This device has a really poor performance. When there are more than 20 active connections the error rate raises fast! This router can be used if you are using a browser and nothing else. Don't try to use it for torrents or any data intensive jobs.
The webinterface is very slow and not reliable.
I had several low cost dlink & asus devices which had a _much_ better performance and user experience. I had never problems with them ( with stock firmware and dd-wrt ). I bought the rv180w because of the IPSec functionality which was missing on the other devices. Big mistake!
I will return the devices ( i bought two of them ) and replace them with old boxes running pfSense ( http://www.pfsense.org/ )
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