Two months ago I expressed my public frustration with Linksys after I went through two of their BESFX41 routers and a terrible experience with their customer support. A few weeks back I finally got everything setup and configured with a Netgear device and a little help from June @ VPNCaseStudy.com . Because I think good customer service should be applauded (and poor service should be condemned), I wanted to post this testimonial but work got in the way. Finally I have a moment to post this!
What I wanted was simple: a hardware VPN solution for my home network so I could connect and commit changes to my Subversion repository and virtual machines running on my server without poking holes in the router’s built-in firewall. After being utterly frustrated with the Linksys experience, I tried the Netgear FVS114 , a tiny little box (compared to Linksys’ over sized bulky boxes) with 4 10/100 ports with VPN capabilities and some great security features (SPI firewall, DOS protection, & intrusion detection via SPI).
Setup was a breeze, I had swapped out my old Microsoft 802.11a/b/g router and set all the configurations correctly. Of course, as expected, the DHCP setup actually worked compared to the previous Microsoft solution. Previously it wouldn’t hand off a specific DNS server to my clients on my network… it always returned itself and wouldn’t forward requests to my internal DNS server. This time, the Netgear did (duh… is it too much to ask for something to work as advertised? yup, sometimes it is).
But I had a problem with the VPN setup. Frankly it was confusing as heck as this developer knows little about networking, especially VPN and IKE policies, obtaining & configuring a VPN client ( Netgear ProSafe VPN is what I used) and such. A quick find dropped me on www.vpncasestudy.com . After poking around a bit, I posted a question. The guy who runs the site, June M., responded within an hour. Long story a bit shorter, we traded emails over the course of 2 weeks and finally got everything working! Without his help, I’d be up a creek without a VPN solution. Thanks June!