At a complete guess, the MTU for a static is lower on the fixed IP than that on a dynamic IP and the router doesn't figure it out. Lots of fragmentation ensues as well as the likes of SSLs failing because of "Do Not Fragment" bits being set. Or something like that.
Doesn't sound great, I was hoping to set some VPN tunnels up back to HQ for some of our outlying connections. Maybe I'll think again now.
Having read about 30% of this entire thread since I'm thinking about switching to VM Business, I've now had to pause and ask:
Does any one have any good news at all with VM's business product?
The reason I want to switch is:
* Static IPs (using my own router --VM in modem mode) -- dyn-dns doesn't count.
I work from home frequently so I'm not at all encouraged by the VPN slowdowns I've seen reported on this thread.
Is it possible to get a static IP with the advertised performance while using my own equipment?
I have recently changed from Virgin Media Residential to Virgin Business and I can honestly say the experience was not a good one. I converted at the end of January and I'm already on my second Hitron as the first one just stopped connecting. I could access the GUI admin page but there was no Dynamic OR Static IP assigned; it just said None for Dynamic and NOT CONNECTED in a (not so) nice red message on the VBM IP Service page. After 6 hours or more of diagnostics with VB support (by now it was almost 11PM), they finally admitted something was wrong and they booked an engineer for the next day to replace it.
Since having the new Hitron installed (firmware 126.96.36.199-SIP-UPC) I can say it's much more stable but there are still issues with speeds at peak times. This is because the Business broadband shares with residential and the nighttime priority shifts from business to residential during these times whereas during the day, it's the opposite; hence the reason for the high speeds during regular business hours (8am - 5pm) and slower (about 33Mbs) between 5pm and 1am.
The only way you are guaranteed to get a constant speed up and down which is all yours and not shared is to have fibre (not residential fibre) installed, which costs big bucks.
Anyway to continue with my "experience"...
After about a month of tinkering with the Hitron I found 2 (other) major drawbacks. One was that it only allows for 20 port forwarding rules and even worse, only 10 DHCP reservations which incidentally are displayed diabolically (it shows the duplicate host name with multiple IPs and different MAC addresses). This latter flaw was only discovered when I tried to add an 11th device to the reservation but every time I saved and reviewed it disappeared; no warning message (unlike on port forwarding), nothing it just wasn't there which made me thing I was going doolally and not saving each time where in fact I was, it was just the Hitron.
I then decided to investigate an alternate solution and that was to just use the Hitron as a "Modem" and building my own Router/Firewall which I did with a second hand Dual Core Intel I bought for £20 and the installation of pfSense (which is free for the Community edition).
However, this revealed a number of other issues when the Hitron is set to "Modem" mode in that, you are unable to access the fixed IP and also your WiFi is disabled.
To overcome this, I reverted the Hitron back to "Router Mode", ensured DHCP and "Port Forwarding" was disabled as these were now being controlled by the pfSence system. It took a couple of days to get all the port forwarding rules to work and the only way I could achieve this was by "Double NATing". I'm not sure what this term means, but this is what I was advised I was doing on the pfSense forums (great support from the community by the way, even for the free version).
If you still want to use WiFi you will also need to add inline an additional piece of hardware that supports WiFi because when you disable the DHCP on the Hitron and use pfSense you are unable to obtain an IP address from the Hitron's WiFi as the Hitron and pfSense (DHCP) are on different subnets. Luckily I was allowed to keep my old Virgin Media Residential hub (Super Hub 2ac) which was classed as "obsolete" by Virgin (I still prefer this one to the Hitron in all honesty).
I won't go into any more detail than that as it will be a waste of my time but if anyone wishes to know how I eventually got it all working I may create a new topic with my own experience of how I got it all to work.
As of writing, my speeds using the fixed IP going through pfSense is 193.82 Mbps down and 13.98 Mbps up according to Ookla (speedtest.net).
Chris Virgin Business Hitron CGNV4 (FW:188.8.131.52-SIP-UPC)
I sort of went through similar steps, but had a different outcome, after coming here because simply VMB don't appear to realise the value that a business forum (that could be locked behind a username/password login) would have and the knowledge and free valuable feedback could have, hell on one of the latency trackers I use (thinkbroadband.com) I fill out a monthly survey about my experience and I'd be more than happy to do a more detailed one monthly for VMB, IF it meant noticeable differences to the service that's paid for.
I had the static IP as it was free when I signed up, worst thing I could've done, it increases the ping and causes regular dropouts (despite the fact the actual connection not disconnecting at all), after leaving detailed feedback on this I had a call with a guy in the CEO's office and eventually agreed not to cancel, as they were willing to let me leave at no charge as I'd been mis-sold the service, and they removed the static IP and it switched to dynamic IP (impressively this took less than 10 minutes to happen), it was like night and day, I was somewhat concerned moving from static to dynamic would effectively be the same as the 200Mb VM consumer option.
Honestly not the experience I've had however. My ping is a couple of ms higher than my old VDSL BT line (Infinity 2) but A LOT more stable with less variance when my line is under load so doesn't vary so much when I game and stream at the same time, crucially my stream doesn't just stop for no reason then restart, but it still reduced latency by around 75%, SEVENTY FIVE for clarification.
When I had the dynamic IP setup it meant I didn't then have to use the horrible horrible Hitron for anything other than my actual connection to the net and could run it in modem only mode finally (not currently possible as far I've found with static IP), sat behind that I picked up a cheap tower server which had a cashback offer that made it less than £100 new, which has a Xeon E3-1225v3 (for native on chip hardware AES) in it and I added an extra NIC, and run pfSense (which does have an absolutely fantastic and helpful community) this has for me resolved all issues, albeit at some cost to me - monetary and considerable time and headaches, and also given me slightly more speed (211-220Mb down, 14.5-15.8Mb up now on dynamic, vs. 200-202Mb down, 12.5-13Mb up on static - measured and consistant), and my speed never appears to drop off at any time in the day, even when others in my area (as in round the corner maybe 200ft) have the 200Mb consumer connection and see speed drop off in the afternoon/evening, and remoting in stable and not laggy.
My understanding is that the dynamic IPs are very very sticky requiring a line card change at the local Virgin PoP before your IP changes (maybe months-years before this happens), maybe I am just lucky in my area in that there is very little or not noticeable congestion on their network here.
Would I recommend Virgin Media Business based on the experience I've had, definitely not, also based on the extra cost vs the consumer and their refusal to match the consumer's 'Gaming' offer of 200Mb down/20Mb up, trying to explain away to me that its because it would compete with their MIA/DIA 50Mb/50Mb service - the one I believe @adelphiaUK alludes to which is pure fibre - because it simply is not and anyone with half a brain buying that would know the technical differences, not to mention the price difference! Also when I can see my upload occasionally bursting to around 50Mb I know they have the ability, so come VMB show the business customers some love
On the flipside however, tech support is fantastic, any time I've called it's answered quickly and whatever I raise is taken seriously and it doesn't take an army of people before Virgin do anytihing like you read on these forums all the time, and I'm warned of planned outages so I can put backup plans in place for the services I run.
It suits me however and the services I run that needed a static IP appear to work faultlessly with a (sticky) dynamic IP, I also use some dyn dns for other bits and pieces.
For you @fknuckles the decision from my perspective would be;
Do you explicitly require a static IP? Or would you be fine using a sticky dynamic IP?
Do you have friends/family living relatively close by to ask about speed throughput, or can you setup a ping test from thinkbroadband.com to see if their ping fluctuates through the day - as recently VM had a core network problem that was causing latency spikes, which I was affected by but didn't notice at all, no speed drop off and gaming was absolutely fine - as that will help give you some kind of idea what to expect.
I too work from home semi-regularly and use a VPN for work without issue whatsoever, I also use IPsec to the US without issue, and VPN back to the connection via a personal laptop and my phone/tablet without issue when away i.e. without seeing slow downs, disconnections or spikes, I'm hoping/praying/wishing that VM will allow its business customers to use the GRE tunnel on their own equipment and give them the details, because pfSense does allow that for example. That way I could run some of my services via the static IP that are less impacted by the GRE tunnel dropouts, and the services that are more sensitive to that (in one of my cases streaming) via the dynamic IP and have the best of both worlds.
Also, and the most important thing that I missed in the above, is that this consumer Virgin Media forum is by far the best place I've found to come to ask for help and assistance with my Virgin Media Business connection, thanks to the regular posters, I may not have posted so often but I've come and read through here many times and found answers to questions I've had.
And then even when you DO fill it it (carefully) you hear nothing back.
I hadn't seen that previously, but that maybe as I've opted not to receive promotional emails. However, thanks for the link and hopefully, given the issues I've had since the installation of VB I'll be lucky and get picked although I doubt it.
Chris Virgin Business Hitron CGNV4 (FW:184.108.40.206-SIP-UPC)
Just a quick note to let you know I have been through all of this today (was VM Resi, ordered VM Buss, previous SuperHub 2 worked in Modem mode with an Allied Telesis AR4050S via WAN (which has a neat pass through feature to enable you to use a 2nd AR4050s via same SuperHub when your primary is rebooted / or fails).
Anyway - like many on this forum, I discovered the horrible fact that there is no modem mode on the hitron if you ordered static IP. There is just too much going on in our network to bother with port forwarding / double NAT work arounds posted on this thread unfortunately.
The resulting call to customer service today:
1) The Hitron can do Modem mode, but only with dynamic IP.
2) They are 'working on' a solution with the Hitron & static IP and modem mode - but no ETA
3) If you want VMB with the Static IP + Modem mode, you need to drop down to the 150mb plan. Had I taken that we would have been supplied a SuperHub2 - which (they told me) CAN do static IP AND modem mode. Shock horror!? Can this be true!?
Naturally - to get out of the the hole which router mode had put me in - option 1) was the solution that got everything back up and running again today. Which is now is.
Half of me wants to look into this claim the SH2 can do Mode & Static - not really fussed about 50mb drop - but the other half is thinking lets not change anything - at least we have a working service - perhaps I will sit it out and hope an update comes along in the next few months.
...perhaps I will sit it out and hope an update comes along in the next few months.
I would wait it out. When speaking to the engineers during all of my escapades in getting the service up and running as I wanted it (well, almost) I was told that they are working on a fix for the Static and 200Mbs service although I'm still unsure why the 2ac (which is capable of 200Mbs and far superior to the Hitron) is not capable of a static IP; I think it's all to do with the infrastructure at Virgin, after all, I can't even get caller ID on land line phones in my area because the hardware is not in place.
In addition to this I was also informed that they would "in the near future" be rolling out six Static IP addresses instead of just the one. Not sure whether six will be free as in the case of one but I don't see why it shouldn't be.
EDIT: I have some kind of "outage" planned for midnight tonight so if it's anything major post "upgrade" I'll let you know.
Chris Virgin Business Hitron CGNV4 (FW:220.127.116.11-SIP-UPC)
I've got an outtage planned for next week on the 29th, I imagine its just a firmware update as they've been talking about pushing out a firmware update for about a year from my understanding also speaking to the engineers and tech support several times - which is to try and fix the static IP issue and allow the Hitron to run in modem only mode. The last time I had an outtage notification about 5 weeks ago it never actually occured so I guess they found a problem with the firmware.
What I don't understand is Virgin's insistance to keep its business customers out of the loop on actually whats going on, making vague statements about it being a priority to fix this, because it can't be or they'd have done it by now. If they just allowed customer's to use their own equipment to maintain the GRE tunnel or at least gave them the option to, I think they'd get alot of positive feedback about it, and they could then concentrate on fixing the problem with the GRE tunnel collapsing regularly throughout a day for minutes at a time on their end, as in my previous post if I could control this I could have my pfSense box setup to auto default to pushing all the traffic I would have over static IP pushed onto the dynamic IP I'd be much happier, however having experienced the increase in latency the static IP brings I can't say its something I'd want to pay for.
I've worked for an ISP in the past so I know how much information ISPs hold back from customers, alot of which for business customers is of real use, you only have to look at the recent debacle around the issue with peering in London to see that Virgin do not build enough capacity into their core when they expand or offer higher speeds and choose to dig their head in the sand until (as mentioned before) an army of people make it public enough that they have to admit problems, sure from a brand perspective it doesn't look good, but from an honesty POV......thats what keeps customer's loyal.
But what do we know? We're only the customers experiencing the issues