Question: Can't connect to work VPN - Huawei B315

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VPN_liam_VPN
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10 April 2017, 09:52

Hello.
Probably a year ago I purchased a Huawei B315 "Home office" 4G router. Intended sooner or later to be used to work from home.

I can't connect to my employers's VPN using this Meteor device on Meteor network - is there a simple solution?
I did try to search the forum for "VPN", sorted by date.... but it just lists every topic that doesn't include the term VPN. Weird!

Apologies - I can "connect"... I just can't do anything, zero data transfer it seems.
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    VPN_liam_VPN
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    10 April 2017, 13:53

    The VPN settings work on guest wifi at client sites at home and abroad by the way.
    Just not with this router/network combination.

    Is there some technical or philosophical reason on Meteor's side?
    Or is it likely to be user error on my side? Or a setting that needs to be changed on the Huawei router?

    I can't seem to see any definitive VPNs definitely do/don't work responses here - seems to be a mix of both responses from agents in different threads.
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    VPN_liam_VPN
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    11 April 2017, 09:10

    Nopes.
    OpenVPN tells me I have connected but any attempt to access internal wikis or network drives is just bombing out.
    I'll verify the connection from a non Meteor network later just in case anything has changed recently on my side.

    All the same - considering how many times this has been asked - shouldn't there be a simple yes/no answer to whether Meteor allow the use of VPNs?
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    Meteor_AlanMeteor_Alan
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    11 April 2017, 11:28

    Hi VPN_liam_VPN,

    Thanks for getting In touch.

    Unfortunately, as this is a service provided by a third party we cannot guarantee connection/services.

    If you would like to PM me your number and PIN and I will be more than happy to look into this further for you

    Thanks,
    Alan.
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    VPN_liam_VPN
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    25 April 2017, 14:44

    Hi Alan,
    Apologies for the delay. I haven't had a chance to properly test if this is a Meteor only issue or not.

    Are there options that could be enabled for my account that are not enabled by default? I'd have to do a bit of digging to get the number and I've no idea how to get the pin for a broadband router sim!

    I'm almost 100% sure that my work VPN used to work... although maybe I was using a 3G dongle at the time?
    I'd really like to work from home one day this week but that doesn't seem possible.
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    Meteor_KyleMeteor_Kyle
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    26 April 2017, 13:44

    Hi there VPN_liam_VPN

    If you sent your information to Alan via PM, we will assist you further there

    -Kyle
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    VPN_liam_VPN
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    26 April 2017, 23:46

    Hi Kyle,

    Honestly - I don't mind being told it's probably user error if that is genuinely the case! We don't have to take this to PM at all really. I feel it would be a positive contribution to the forum/community here to tease this out in the open rather than in PMs. I found it very frustrating looking back through other questions on VPNs and the varying and contradictory responses, or discussions that reached a dead end in public and disappeared into PMs.

    If it's a case that certain users are prohibited from using VPN then I can see why you would need my customer info to check - but surely that isn't the case? Fair enough if you just want to verify that I am an actual Meteor customer and not some crank making up imaginary issues with an imaginary router...

    FWIW:
    Work VPN + Work laptop + Vodafone mobile tethering = 100% perfect access.
    Work VPN + Work laptop + "guest wifi" at a customer's office = 100% perfect access
    Work VPN + Work laptop + hotel wifi on another continent = 100% perfect access
    Alternative VPN + Work laptop + Vodafone mobile tethering = 100% perfect access.
    Alternative VPN + Vodafone mobile = 100% perfect access.

    Work VPN + Work laptop + Meteor = NOPE!
    Alternative VPN + Work laptop + Meteor = NOPE!
    Alternative VPN + another laptop + Meteor = NOPE!

    A colleague suggested "MTU settings" in passing - does this sound like something I should look into messing with on the router (at least, I assume it is something I could mess with on my side...but I can't see anything in the Huawei app that I use to manage the router) ?
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    VPN_liam_VPN
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    8 May 2017, 10:11

    Good morning all,

    So, by default OpenVPN uses port 1194, and UDP protocol?
    Seems this doesn't work on Meteor. Weird, huh? :? :8

    But, if you reconfigure your VPN to use port 443 and TCP connection then ABRAKEDABRA! your VPN will work if the other end is happy to accept this type of connection.
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    Meteor_AlanMeteor_Alan
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    8 May 2017, 13:13

    Hi VPN_liam_VPN,

    Thanks for getting back to us,

    I'm glad to see that you got your issue resolved. If you have any other question please do get In touch.

    Thanks,
    Alan.
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    VPN_liam_VPN
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    9 May 2017, 11:10

    Hi Alan,
    It's not an ideal solution really as it requires the Employer / VPN provider to make special exceptions. It would be best if Meteor stopped trying to block this type of legitimate traffic.

    My Smart Home stuff also complained about lack of UDP access, but the company's own setup behind the scenes works around Meteor's shortcomings with some compromises. I wouldn't even think of adding any more to the setup while I'm in contract with Meteor.

    Seems like an odd decision in 2017 to be trying to discourage customers who work from home or want smart thermostats, home security etc! There is more to the internet than Facebook!

    Ciao adios.
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    Meteor_AlanMeteor_Alan
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    9 May 2017, 12:10

    Hi Liam,

    Thanks for your feedback. I will pass this on to the relevant department.

    -Alan
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    VPN_liam_VPN
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    11 May 2017, 15:28

    VPN_liam_VPN wrote:

    Hi Alan,
    It's not an ideal solution really ...



    It's also horrendously slow.

    10% of non VPN speed. The same VPN link on another network is not throttled to the same degree at all. Just on Meteor.

    In short, unless your technical team can enlighten me on what I'm doing wrong, I must assume that Meteor is not the ISP for anyone that needs a middling decent VPN link for legitimate purposes.

    Please do tell me if anyone on the technical team has a brainwave about what the issue could be here.

    In the mean time I'll continue to flail around in the settings until I find reasonable performance or my contract expires. Whichever comes first. I'll keep people updated on my failures.:D
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    Meteor_KyleMeteor_Kyle
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    12 May 2017, 16:20

    Hi there VPN_liam_VPN

    We're sorry you feel this way but unfortunately, we can only relay back as to what information was given to us.

    Your feedback has been passed onto the relevant team that deals with this.

    -Kyle
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    VPN_liam_VPN
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    19 May 2017, 10:49

    Meteor_Kyle wrote:

    we can only relay back as to what information was given to us.


    I understand that Kyle, I'm not putting any blame on you customer facing guys.

    If you could try the tech team again with a query about MTU size as mentioned in one of my previous posts. This kinda thing isn't my day job so I made a mistake previously by assuming that the Maximum Transmission Unit was set in the router. Having dug deeper into the VPN settings I can now see that it can be adjusted there.

    So, if you could try them with "what is the optimum MTU size for VPN use on Meteor?", that would be great.

    Yesterday, VPN link over Vodafone 4G connected perfectly and was an acceptable speed. VPN over Meteor was a failure yet again.
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    Meteor_KyleMeteor_Kyle
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    19 May 2017, 11:52

    Hi there again

    Tech confirmed the following "As we don't supply or support VPN, we would not have that information"

    Unfortunately, there would be nothing more that we will be able to assist you with this.

    -Kyle
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    VPN_liam_VPN
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    23 May 2017, 10:54

    Meteor_Kyle wrote:

    Hi there again

    Tech confirmed the following "As we don't supply or support VPN, we would not have that information"

    Unfortunately, there would be nothing more that we will be able to assist you with this.

    -Kyle



    I think maybe they misunderstood, Kyle. Or maybe I did. 4G data networks are not my day job. I just want to be able to work from home as if I was a customer of another ISP.

    As I understand it:
    Your network. The meteor network. Various masts/cells across the country.
    These are what my 4G modem talks to.

    These cells have associated MTU values. Maybe it's the same value across the country. Maybe it's dynamic, and changes depending on traffic or something for each cell. But I'm sure there must be knowledge of the typical average MTU value, and the lowest typical MTU value? NOT decided by my VPN. Set by your network. My VPN just needs to "play nice" with your network and choose an MTU close to but not exceeding your MTU value.

    Of course I can take time out of my next "work from home" day and flail around changing the MTU number and experimenting on my end.... it would be just a lot less frustrating if somebody could suggest a reasonable starting point. Considering that the number that I am trying to find should be known by Meteor.

    Maybe it's classed as commercially sensitive information? Who knows?




    For future reference, for other customers mystified by VPN problems specific to Meteor, maybe we could clear up one thing rather than leaving it hanging like previous VPN threads.

    The "we don't support VPNs" statement is open to interpretation. A passive or an active "We don't support VPNs".
    "Tough luck caller, we ain't no VPN customer care" (fair enough I suppose)
    OR
    "Not only are we unable to help customers with their VPNs, We actively choose to configure our network to frustrate or prevent the use of legitimate corporate security VPNs on the Meteor network"
    Could you indicate which is closer to the truth?
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    23 May 2017, 17:48

    Hi there VPN_liam_VPN

    Thank you for your quick response. Unfortunately, our Tech Team is not trained in VPN as we do not support this. We are a signal provider and don’t support the hardware. We provide signal & account support.

    I'm sorry that I don't have better news for you on this.

    -Kyle
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