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VPN, Continued

The Authentication mentioned above should not be confused with the packet authentication used by IPSec (Figure 18). The Linksys supports both IKE with preshared key (automatic) and manual keying mode. DH supports group 1, 2 & 5. Phase 1 encryption supports DES and 3DES. Phase 1 authentication supports MD5 and SHA1.

Linksys RV802 - Tunnel Authentication and Encryption controls

Figure 18: Tunnel Authentication and Encryption controls

In the advanced section of IPSec setup you will notice that Aggressive Mode is supported in addition to Main Mode. There is also an option to allow NetBIOS broadcast to pass through the VPN tunnel. By default the RV082 blocks these broadcasts.

The bottom line is that the Linksys does a fair job at simplifying a setup that is just as complicated on VPN routers costing thousands of dollars more.

VPN Performance

VPN tunnel throughput was based on using the RV082 in a point-to-point configuration, with the RV082 serving as one end-point and a NetScreen 5XP as the other end-point. Natively, the 5XP is capable of 13 Mbps 3DES VPN performance, whereas the RV082 has no published specifications, though I am working with NetScreen to secure a copy of their IXIA VPN testing results.

I can say that the RV082 uses a VPN co-processor and was able to sustain everything that the NetScreen 5XP could throw at it, right up to the NetScreen's 13Mbps limit. I then switched to a NetScreen 5GT, which is capable of XP is capable of 20Mbps 3DES VPN performance, and again the RV082 was able to handle everything the NetScreen could provide, right up to 20Mbps limit of the NetScreen.

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