OK - stuck in an infinite loop of pain. It goes something like this:
I signed up for Virgin Business. I said I wanted a status IP address, to use in model only mode and a 4g backup dongle.
They called me to say yes, we have your dynamic IP package, I said no, I orders static. They said that they would have to change the order - I said just send me the kit and I'll get the router configured when I get it, But no, apparently they have to do some strange thing to the kit.
2 weeks later I get the call to arrange delivery of the static service kit and went about configuring it. Plugged it in and find it is STILL dynamic IP. So I call in So I called in and only technical support were open – Customer Care only work M-F - and apparently only Customer Care can change you to static IP address not Tech Support.
Issue #1 – if you are a business, you want to change your ISP etc and any other infrastructure change with least impact to your customers, Typically this might be at the weekend – just when the only people who can help are not available.
Issue #2 – why on earth can’t tech support change that?
So I waited til Monday and called Customer Care they changed it at the server end and gave me instructions to reconfigure the router.
Issue #3 – clearly there was no reason to delay a the order by 2 weeks above since it can be done remotely – so why do that?
Issue #3 - they omitted the step that says you have to connect the router to the service before I could not find the setting to change to modem mode on the router but I figured it out.
But still no option for modem mode. So read on the web in various 3rd party forums that modem mode will not work with a single IP address.
Issue #3 - nowhere on the Virgin Business pages does it say that modem mode does not work with a single static IP address and apparently Customer Care don't know this either.
Also I notice that the router has one IP address on the WAN side and another on the LAN side (both public IP addresses. So more 3rd party forums and discover that the single static IP address is server up through a GRE VPN tunnel.
Issue #4 – wth? Why on earth would you server up a static IP address through a VPN tunnel rather than just a simple DHCP reservation?
Issue #5 – again – nowhere on the Virgin business blurb does it say that static IP addressed are served up through a VPN tunnel.
Especially went I want to run an IPSEC site-to-site tunnel over the service. That filles me with all sorts of horror. Apparently model mode does work with the 5 static ip address configuration. AT this point I have not faith any of that would work, so I decide to go back to dynamic IP. After all the residential IP address has not changed in years and probably won’t unless I disconnect the service for days (the reason I prefer a static address is so I can nail that site-to-site VPN without the IP address changing).
So I get the IP address changed to dynamic by calling up again, reset the router and m,ake a mopte of the IP address assigned. OK good.
Now I have to plug the residential router back in and access the remote site and change the IP address of the VPN connection at the remote end to the IP address I just wrote down. All good.
Back to the business router, change it to modem mode and…. my router has the same IP address allocated as the residential service. Great, so now I have changed that remote VPN, I can’t access it. And how come? (I realised later that it is probably the MAC address of my router that it recognises so reassigns the leased IP address)
Issue #6 – you’ll spot the pattern here – do you think there is any info on that on the Virgin Business Pages. You guessed it…
I also notice that the MTU size default of 1500 doesn’t work – packets get fragmented. I have to reduce the packet size by 20 bytes for it not to fragment.
Called tech support (it’s the weekend again) and they have no idea how the service works. As long as your internet is working that is all they do. They keep repeating that the IP address is my problem because I am using my own router. They don’t seem to understand that no, it is Virgin DHCP that hands that address out. And as for MTU size, I might as well have asked my cat. So I ask them to escalate the ticket and get someone to call me back who actually knows how the service is configured.
Issue #7: anything published about the MTU size – no, of course not.
Issue #8: Customer care don’t know the technology, tech support only know how to press the buttons that their script tells them to press, Is there anyone who actually can tell me how it all works?
Then I read (again on other forums) that the 4g backup won’t work in modem mode.
Issue #9: I was sold the 4g addition with the knowledge that I would be configuring modem only mode. And, do you think that this is explained anywhere?
Maybe I can switch the business router back to router mode, connect to that remote site, change it back and then we’ll be good. But no, can’t do that because I will now be double NATed at this end and I am almost sure that won’t work (or maybe if I configure my own souter as a DMZ behind the Virgin router – maybe it will fwd all traffic – at this stage though I am losing the will to live and need to take a step back).
Virgin Business are not remotely set up to support business that actually understand IT and want to configure things their way. Anyone like that is likely to want an static IP, run in modem only mode to support their own kit and possibly run VPN connections – and probably will want o do that stuff at the weekend. It is the same as residential support with a few bells and whistles.
I am an IT Enterprise Architect for one of the largest global banks. I can help you sort this out, just get me someone who actually knows how things are setup and why.