I have a customer who has had some VPN troubles - flaky connections, disconnects, inability to connect. I've been telling them it's Verizon, but Verizon kept telling them that I'm wrong, so I went back in for another look.
I started in office A and pinged office B through the VPN. I got 10% to 20% packet loss. I pinged the outside interface of the router at B, same loss. I then installed a replacement router and repeated the pings. No different. I set up a VPN to office C (normally wouldn't need this) and tried the same pings: no packet loss.
I packed up and drove to office B. I pinged office A and saw the same 10% to 20% loss. I pinged yahoo.com and several other sites and got the same bad response.
I had brought the router I had taken out of A, so I installed that and repeated the pings. No change. I then swapped wires and ports and did everything you'd think I'd do to eliminate any idea of bad wiring - everything was good. I knew that anyway because there were no local networking issues or problems. We got Verizon on the phone and got them to look again.
"No, everything is fine", the woman at Verizon insisted.
"But it's not fine", I retorted, "I have up to 20% packet loss!'
"Your VPN is bad."
My VPN is bad?? I'm pinging Yahoo, for crying out loud! I reminded her of that.
"But it does ping - you can get to the Internet. So it's not our problem."
I was taken aback. "You don't consider 15% packet loss a problem?", I asked.
"You are getting to the Internet", she insisted.
I was a bit angry now and asked to speak to a supervisor.
"He'll just tell you the same thing".
Really? I'm looking forward to that. She finally agreed to let me speak to her supervisor but warned me that it "might take a while". After five minutes on hold, the line went dead.
Of course she never called back. After waiting ten minutes or so, my customer agreed that there really was no point in my staying - she agreed that this had to be a Verizon problem. It can't be the routers, can't be any local wiring issue - that leaves Verizon and their equipment.
I heard later that a supervisor did call her and finally agreed that yes, packet loss like this is unacceptable and yes, it sure looks like a Verizon problem. What happens next, I do not know.
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2012-07-15 Anthony Lawrence
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