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VPN

The other dirty little secret the RV110W hopes you won't notice is that it's not a full IPsec router. The only IPsec you get is in the form of support for Cisco's QuickVPN client. QuickVPN is for supporting remote clients only and uses MD5 authentication and 3DES encryption, which can't be changed. The tunnel is from client to router only and doesn't support NetBIOS traffic.

So you can use QuickVPN to securely connect to LAN clients behind the RV110W, browse and edit files and access whatever else you need. But no one on the the LAN can reach out to the QuickVPN'd client—the client must initiate all traffic.

The only VPN settings you have are to set up VPN clients, which you must do separately for QuickVPN and PPTP. There are no other IPsec settings, so you can't support general IPsec clients or connections with other RV110Ws or any other IPsec gateway.

VPN client setup
Figure 5: VPN client setup

The other VPN option is a fully-functional PPTP server. Many may dismiss PPTP as insecure, but it's widely supported and the 110W's implementation supports NetBIOS traffic and will assign connected clients a "local" IP whose range you can set, as Figure 5 shows. The PPTP server also supports a full two-way tunnel.

Since I'd learned the hard way about QuickVPN's setup quirks with Windows 7 (short story: it requires Windows Firewall be enabled), I had an easier time with it this time. I also knew that I could run an IxChariot throughput test only from client to router and that I had to stop the test manually because the IxChariot endpoint on the 110W's LAN couldn't return test results to the console sitting on the WAN (that one-way tunnel, remember?)

Figure 6 shows throughput through the QuickVPN and PPTP tunnels averaged around 5 Mbps and 12 Mbps respectively for the one minute tests. Not too shabby for a single-chip router! Note that you can have five QuickVPN and five PPTP tunnels going simultaneously. I didn't test this, but Cisco says it's so.

QuickVPN and PPTP throughput
Figure 6: QuickVPN and PPTP throughput

Note that I had to disable the default-enabled MPPE Encryption to get my PPTP tunnel up from the built-in Win 7 VPN client. There are no helpful hints about PPTP configuration in the admin manual, by the way.

One "feature" I didn't care for at all is the 110W's insistence on changing the router's IP address when you make an entry in the VPN Client table. I know that both ends of a VPN tunnel need to be on different subnets so didn't need the 110W's help for this. But if you change it back, as I did, and then have to enter another VPN Client, the router will change it again. There should be a way to decline this option and have the router honor it.

One nice addition to the QuickVPN client (at least the recently-released 1.4.2.1 version that I downloaded and installed) is that it pops up a warning about its Win 7 quirks the first time it runs.

Routing Performance

Routing throughput running the latest 1.0.0.2 firmware and our router test process measured 93 Mbps WAN to LAN, 94 Mbps LAN to WAN and 143 Mbps total with up and down tests running simultaneously. So you're getting pretty much 100 Mbps wire-speed. The IxChariot composite plot below shows upload speed lower than download in the simultaneous routing test.

Maximum simultaneous connections stopped at our 34,925 test maximum, which is better than the RV 120W, which topped out at 12,086.

RV110W routing throughput
Figure 7: RV110W routing throughput

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