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LAN & WAN Reviews

VPN

There's a lot of VPN power in the 8200, given that it supports IPsec and PPTP both in pass through and endpoint modes. The problem, I found, is getting to that power, and neither the Connection Wizards nor the User Manual seemed to be much help.

The Connection Wizard was pretty clear in its options of Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol and Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol Server that allow the 8200 to connect all LAN clients to a remote PPTP gateway and allow individual users to connect via PPTP connections respectively. The wizards ask only for the basics, though, and you may need to get to the Advanced settings screen (Figure 8) to change settings, or at least to figure out how to set up your PPTP client.

USR8200 - PPTP Advanced Settings
Figure 8: PPTP Advanced Settings
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

Once you set up the PPTP server, you'll need to make a visit to the Users page (more later) to set up an account for each user who'll be visiting the PPTP server.

IPsec wasn't as easy, however. Its Connection Wizard provided only Network-to-Network and Gateway-to-Gateway options, neither of which seem to describe what I wanted to do - connect via an IPsec tunnel with a WinXP client running an IPsec client. So I just picked an option, completed the Wizard entries, then went into the Settings (Figure 9) to tweak things.

USR8200 - IPsec settings
Figure 9: IPsec Settings
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

Although the settlings look like they'd provide what I wanted, entering a remote endpoint and remote subnet in the same Class C subnet (192.168.3.X) threw an error. I was able to successfully get a tunnel working when I switched to using a Linksys USBVPN1 [reviewed here] attached to my notebook instead of an IPsec client.

The 8200 looks like it has a pretty comprehensive selection of connection options - some more of which are shown in Figure 10 - including an option to allow the use of Authentication Header (AH) protocol during Phase 2 negotiation, which isn't normally found in this class of IPsec device. But, once again, you'd better know what you're doing with these settings, because the Wizards and supplied documentation will be of little help.

USR8200 - IPsec Key Exchange Phase 1 settings
Figure 10: IPsec Key Exchange Phase 1 settings
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

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