Moronic Netgear support

I’ve decided.
Netgear has the worst technical support ever.
Here is the latest on my FVG318 where I’m trying to get to work with Vonage. Here’s the dialogue on their email support. What’s severely annoying is that after I detailed that It is the Vonage Motorola VT1000 ATA, this support guy keeps on telling me that there’s some modem like it’s connected to Windows.
Really. What the heck. Netgear, I’m severely disappointed that you can’t support a a business class router with this type of crappy support not to mention your new device has bugs. You know what, all I’m asking is to fix your device so that it works with Vonage. It’s a router. Route the VoIP call. Is that too much to ask?
Read more for the pathetic support. This is still ongoing.
UPDATE (9/11): I’ve been sent to L3 support. Hopefully there will be resolution soon.


8/30/2006 3:33:00 PM
Tried every configuration there was, but could not get Vonage adapter to work. This worked fine when I was using a Netgear RP114. I thought it was the firewall, so I put the ATA adapter on the DMZ, but it still doesn”t work right. It is definitely something going on in the router itself since testing the ATA without the router works perfectly.
9/2/2006 6:15:00 AM
Thank you for contacting NETGEAR Support my name is Logan and I will be your support agent for this case.
You have mentioned as your vonage Adapter does not work. We need information about the Adapter. Is the vonage Adapter is Ethernet or a wireless Adapter. Have you installed the Adapter in the system. Check for the status of the Adapter on the Device Manager.
Kindly get these options and revert back to us.
Regards,
Logan
Netgear Prosupport
9/2/2006 1:15:00 PM
ATA: Motorola VT1000
The adapter itself sits inside of the network, behind the FVG318. That should have been obvious since I mentioned that I DMZ the ATA.
The ATA itself is an ethernet based. The network design is as such:
Internet -> FVG318 -> VT1000.
Same design as when I had my RP114.
Internet -> FVG318 -> RP114.
I have no clue what the heck you”re talking about Device Manager wise. This has nothing to do with Windows or a PC.
9/8/2006 9:21:00 PM
Hi blanked,
We really want to confirm that the Adapter is able to ping the Router, that was the reason we checked for the installation of the Adapter.There will not be any firewall issue for normal internet connections through the Router.
As your connection goes from the MODEM – FVG318 – Adapter(System). You should be able to ping the Router’s IP Address 192.168.0.1. If not check for the firewall in the system.
If you are able to ping the Router, check for the WAN IP Address in the Router status. If the WAN Port gets the Public IP Address or Private Address if nat modem is connected, then you should be able to pine the Websites.
And if you are able to ping the Websites and unable to go online, kindly check with different Browsers.
Regards,
Logan
Netgear Prosupport
9/9/2006 1:18:00 AM
Please give me level 3 support. No offense, but you obviously don”t understand what an ATA is or what Vonage is nor do you understand the problem after I detailed it very clearly.
THERE IS NO MODEM. The ATA can communicate with the FVG318. The issue is that even through DMZ, the communication doesn”t work. This shouldn”t happen. That”s an issue with your firmware has a bug since DMZ should be a straight pass through.
I have no clue why you”re asking me to ping the router from a hardware device (ATA) or why the hell I”m supposed to check browsers when it”s obviously not possible from a hardware device (again, the ATA).
This is a problem with the FVG318 dropping packets from the ATA during a VoIP call and basically trashing the call even though it shouldn”t be doing this.

  • Have you had any success getting this to work? I just recently ordered 2 FVG318 devices to replace the router/access points for two offices, and link them up via a VPN tunnel.
    I just now happened to stumble upon some of these issues with the FVG318 and did some searches for people experiencing difficulties. Searching for “FVG318 vonage” turned up your site.
    So, I’m curious, have you resolved this? I’m hoping that you have.
    If I’m unable to get Vonage working with the FVG318 I’ll have to return them. Highly unfortunate. We depend on Vonage for our phone line, and it’s worked flawlessly with our WGT624v3 for nearly a year now.
    At any rate, any updates you have would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps you could post a new blog entry with the updates.

  • Have you had any success getting this to work? I just recently ordered 2 FVG318 devices to replace the router/access points for two offices, and link them up via a VPN tunnel.
    I just now happened to stumble upon some of these issues with the FVG318 and did some searches for people experiencing difficulties. Searching for “FVG318 vonage” turned up your site.
    So, I’m curious, have you resolved this? I’m hoping that you have.
    If I’m unable to get Vonage working with the FVG318 I’ll have to return them. Highly unfortunate. We depend on Vonage for our phone line, and it’s worked flawlessly with our WGT624v3 for nearly a year now.
    At any rate, any updates you have would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps you could post a new blog entry with the updates.

  • Yes and no. Yes in the fact that we finally just stuck our Vonage outside of the router. No on the issues from calling tech support. Eventually, they gave up and wanted me to call their technical support, but by then I had already wasted enough time and redid the network design.
    It was very unfortunate due to terrible technical support. L3 support basically told me to call after the first level kept thinking a Vonage ATA was some Windows application.

  • darkmoon

    Yes and no. Yes in the fact that we finally just stuck our Vonage outside of the router. No on the issues from calling tech support. Eventually, they gave up and wanted me to call their technical support, but by then I had already wasted enough time and redid the network design.
    It was very unfortunate due to terrible technical support. L3 support basically told me to call after the first level kept thinking a Vonage ATA was some Windows application.

  • What is your internet connection? I noted that you said you have no modem, so I take it you are not using Cable or DSL? I’m unfamiliar with a DSL or cable setup that does not require a modem (typically controlled by your router, e.g., the FVG318)

  • What is your internet connection? I noted that you said you have no modem, so I take it you are not using Cable or DSL? I’m unfamiliar with a DSL or cable setup that does not require a modem (typically controlled by your router, e.g., the FVG318)

  • Oh. lol. I said no modem, because the tech support kept telling me to check the drivers to my “modem”. We’re not talking about Cable/DSL. He kept thinking it was dialup inside a Windows box.
    This is on business cable, but both business cable and DSL have a modem/router box.
    Actual diagram would be:
    Internet – cable/dsl – FVG318 – Vonage
    Now, I have it where the Vonage nad FVG318 are switched. It’s not the best of scenarios but I don’t have much of a choice currently.

  • darkmoon

    Oh. lol. I said no modem, because the tech support kept telling me to check the drivers to my “modem”. We’re not talking about Cable/DSL. He kept thinking it was dialup inside a Windows box.
    This is on business cable, but both business cable and DSL have a modem/router box.
    Actual diagram would be:
    Internet – cable/dsl – FVG318 – Vonage
    Now, I have it where the Vonage nad FVG318 are switched. It’s not the best of scenarios but I don’t have much of a choice currently.

  • Ah.
    So your currrent diagram would be something like?

    /-VT1000
    Internet – Cable Modem/Router -<
    -FVG318 – Rest of your LAN

  • Ah.
    So your currrent diagram would be something like?

    /-VT1000
    Internet - Cable Modem/Router -<
    \-FVG318 - Rest of your LAN
    
  • Nope. It’s actually one single linear pass. Put the VT1000 between the FVG318 and the Cable modem/router.
    It’s not the best of scenarios since if you max out bandwidth, the VT1000 can’t keep up on the quality of service, but usual download/uploads don’t effect the passthrough.
    I’ve heard the reasoning behind that FVG318 having issues is due to the SPI firewalling. The trouble I personally have with this reasoning is that if you put your VT1000 behind the FVG318 and put it on the DMZ, then it should be a straight passthrough with no firewalling. This SHOULD work. Otherwise, the Netgear box is pretty good box, but it’s driven me nuts for the last couple of months until I finially had it and re-did the network design.
    You can do it the way you drew out the diagram if your cable modem/dsl router supports multiple connects. But mine doesn’t.

  • darkmoon

    Nope. It’s actually one single linear pass. Put the VT1000 between the FVG318 and the Cable modem/router.
    It’s not the best of scenarios since if you max out bandwidth, the VT1000 can’t keep up on the quality of service, but usual download/uploads don’t effect the passthrough.
    I’ve heard the reasoning behind that FVG318 having issues is due to the SPI firewalling. The trouble I personally have with this reasoning is that if you put your VT1000 behind the FVG318 and put it on the DMZ, then it should be a straight passthrough with no firewalling. This SHOULD work. Otherwise, the Netgear box is pretty good box, but it’s driven me nuts for the last couple of months until I finially had it and re-did the network design.
    You can do it the way you drew out the diagram if your cable modem/dsl router supports multiple connects. But mine doesn’t.

  • Ok, so I think I’ve got it now:
    Internet – Cable Modem – VT1000 – FVG318 – Rest of LAN
    At least you’ve got it working in some configuration. I think I could emulate that setup without problems. Potential difficulties would revolve around the VPN; I’m planning to use these as VPN endpoints to link two remote offices. Putting the FVG318 behind another router (when it probably “thinks” it is the router, with it’s WAN port assigned a public IP) might cause VPN issues.

  • Ok, so I think I’ve got it now:
    Internet – Cable Modem – VT1000 – FVG318 – Rest of LAN
    At least you’ve got it working in some configuration. I think I could emulate that setup without problems. Potential difficulties would revolve around the VPN; I’m planning to use these as VPN endpoints to link two remote offices. Putting the FVG318 behind another router (when it probably “thinks” it is the router, with it’s WAN port assigned a public IP) might cause VPN issues.

  • True. I haven’t tested the VPN capabilities at all.
    However, I do know the VT1000 supports VPN passthrough. At least supposedly it does since it allows VPN clients. I’m not certain if it’s a total passthrough though.
    I would assume that if it’s not straight passthrough that NAT should work in getting the VPN working. Let me know how it goes. I’m curious as to if VPN works behind that many devices.
    If you do give a shot at trying for Netgear techsupport, let me know also. Maybe you’ll have better luck. I finally gave up and figured I’ll manage and told them to forget it. Outsourced tech support. Ick.

  • darkmoon

    True. I haven’t tested the VPN capabilities at all.
    However, I do know the VT1000 supports VPN passthrough. At least supposedly it does since it allows VPN clients. I’m not certain if it’s a total passthrough though.
    I would assume that if it’s not straight passthrough that NAT should work in getting the VPN working. Let me know how it goes. I’m curious as to if VPN works behind that many devices.
    If you do give a shot at trying for Netgear techsupport, let me know also. Maybe you’ll have better luck. I finally gave up and figured I’ll manage and told them to forget it. Outsourced tech support. Ick.

  • Well, I got both units this afternoon, and set one of them up at my office this evening. It’s working fine, as best I can tell so far. It’s replacing my previous router/wireless access point, a Netgear WGT924v3.
    Vonage seems to be working fine as well. The ATA I have is a Linksys RTP300. The RTP300 is actually also a router, but I’m not using it for that, simply as an ATA. The only reason I have it is because Vonage was offering it free when I signed up; if I had opted for a plain-vanilla ATA, I would have had to buy it elsewhere. Kinda odd, since it seems the target market for VoIP would be those who already have and are comfortable with their high-speed internet, and thus wouldn’t need a router, just an ATA to plug in to their existing network.
    Whatever the case, Vonage and all other internet services seem to be working at the moment. I’ve only made a few calls so far, though, so perhaps I should withhold judgment until I’ve had a chance to spend some more time on the phone.
    One thing I will mention is that the very first thing I did was upgrade the firmware to 1.0.41. It was 1.0.33 out of the box (a version which doesn’t even appear on the Netgear support site). What firmware version are you running?
    I’ll let you know how the VPN setup works once I get a chance to work on that, if you’re curious.

  • Well, I got both units this afternoon, and set one of them up at my office this evening. It’s working fine, as best I can tell so far. It’s replacing my previous router/wireless access point, a Netgear WGT924v3.
    Vonage seems to be working fine as well. The ATA I have is a Linksys RTP300. The RTP300 is actually also a router, but I’m not using it for that, simply as an ATA. The only reason I have it is because Vonage was offering it free when I signed up; if I had opted for a plain-vanilla ATA, I would have had to buy it elsewhere. Kinda odd, since it seems the target market for VoIP would be those who already have and are comfortable with their high-speed internet, and thus wouldn’t need a router, just an ATA to plug in to their existing network.
    Whatever the case, Vonage and all other internet services seem to be working at the moment. I’ve only made a few calls so far, though, so perhaps I should withhold judgment until I’ve had a chance to spend some more time on the phone.
    One thing I will mention is that the very first thing I did was upgrade the firmware to 1.0.41. It was 1.0.33 out of the box (a version which doesn’t even appear on the Netgear support site). What firmware version are you running?
    I’ll let you know how the VPN setup works once I get a chance to work on that, if you’re curious.

  • Running 1.41 firmware. Installed it the day it came out.
    Also test the maxing out of your download/upload bandwidth and see if the ATA can handle it. It could be that my ATA is just old.

  • darkmoon

    Running 1.41 firmware. Installed it the day it came out.
    Also test the maxing out of your download/upload bandwidth and see if the ATA can handle it. It could be that my ATA is just old.

  • I’ve tried some bandwidth “stress testing” (downloading/uploading things while trying to use the phone), and everything’s worked so far.
    The VPN was very easy to get up and running, also. I just ran the wizard and I’ve been off and running since then.
    However, setting up the VPN has brought another issue to prominence. This is a problem I’ve been having for several years, with 4 different routers, 2 different wireless bridges, and 2 different linux webservers (2.4 and 2.6 kernels).
    Since I’ve already posted details here I’ll just give a summary:
    -Router can’t seem to reliably route data to IP addresses behind a wireless bridge
    -Continuously pinging the router from one of the IP addresses that’s having trouble fixes the problem, so long as you let the ping keep going. Kill the ping, and within 10 seconds, the router will start dropping packets again.
    -If you run a cable from the router to the bridge (which is also a 4 port switch), and turn it’s wireless radio off, the problem goes away.
    So it seems like there’s a problem with the routing table in the FVG318 (and the WGT624, and the Linksys I had before that, and the Hawking I had before that…).
    My theory is that when it doesn’t know where to send a packet, it doesn’t broadcast it over the wireless link; it only goes out over the wired ports.
    Though 10 seconds seems pretty fast for it to lose routing data. But I don’t know what a “normal” expiration time would be.
    So, I submitted a Netgear tech support case… and you know how that can go. :-/

  • I’ve tried some bandwidth “stress testing” (downloading/uploading things while trying to use the phone), and everything’s worked so far.
    The VPN was very easy to get up and running, also. I just ran the wizard and I’ve been off and running since then.
    However, setting up the VPN has brought another issue to prominence. This is a problem I’ve been having for several years, with 4 different routers, 2 different wireless bridges, and 2 different linux webservers (2.4 and 2.6 kernels).
    Since I’ve already posted details here I’ll just give a summary:
    -Router can’t seem to reliably route data to IP addresses behind a wireless bridge
    -Continuously pinging the router from one of the IP addresses that’s having trouble fixes the problem, so long as you let the ping keep going. Kill the ping, and within 10 seconds, the router will start dropping packets again.
    -If you run a cable from the router to the bridge (which is also a 4 port switch), and turn it’s wireless radio off, the problem goes away.
    So it seems like there’s a problem with the routing table in the FVG318 (and the WGT624, and the Linksys I had before that, and the Hawking I had before that…).
    My theory is that when it doesn’t know where to send a packet, it doesn’t broadcast it over the wireless link; it only goes out over the wired ports.
    Though 10 seconds seems pretty fast for it to lose routing data. But I don’t know what a “normal” expiration time would be.
    So, I submitted a Netgear tech support case… and you know how that can go. :-/

  • I actually timed it just now, and it takes anywhere from 10 to 40 seconds after you kill the continuous ping from a machine behind the bridge, for the router to “forget” how to route packets to that machine. So the number seems to vary a bit.
    If I ping the router with an interval of 10 seconds, then the router seems to never lose the routing information.
    Talk about an ugly workaround. I hope Netgear fixes this. The only thing I can think is that it’s a probably with the way the routing tables work in the router. But then again, I experienced the same problem with a Linksys and a Hawking router… I wish I could remember the model numbers of those two.

  • I actually timed it just now, and it takes anywhere from 10 to 40 seconds after you kill the continuous ping from a machine behind the bridge, for the router to “forget” how to route packets to that machine. So the number seems to vary a bit.
    If I ping the router with an interval of 10 seconds, then the router seems to never lose the routing information.
    Talk about an ugly workaround. I hope Netgear fixes this. The only thing I can think is that it’s a probably with the way the routing tables work in the router. But then again, I experienced the same problem with a Linksys and a Hawking router… I wish I could remember the model numbers of those two.

  • Have you experienced any problems with the router mysteriously crashing?
    It’s happened twice at my office, and once at the remote office. That’s 3 times, and I’ve only had the things running for 4 days now.
    I wonder if it’s related to the DoS vulnerability.

  • Have you experienced any problems with the router mysteriously crashing?
    It’s happened twice at my office, and once at the remote office. That’s 3 times, and I’ve only had the things running for 4 days now.
    I wonder if it’s related to the DoS vulnerability.

  • Nope. But, it was wonky when I was using the firmware mentioned in that vulnerability report. 1.0.40. I will say that with 1.0.41, there seemed to be a problem with rule deletion and such for a while. For some odd reason, it fixed itself after a reboot. I’m wondering if it didn’t retain something in memory when I applied the new firmware and it needed to coldstart.
    So far, I haven’t had any issues with it. Usually if anything crashes, it’s my cable network crashing.

  • darkmoon

    Nope. But, it was wonky when I was using the firmware mentioned in that vulnerability report. 1.0.40. I will say that with 1.0.41, there seemed to be a problem with rule deletion and such for a while. For some odd reason, it fixed itself after a reboot. I’m wondering if it didn’t retain something in memory when I applied the new firmware and it needed to coldstart.
    So far, I haven’t had any issues with it. Usually if anything crashes, it’s my cable network crashing.

  • Mikeyp

    Did you ever get a solution from Netgear? I’ve been unabled to the the cablemodem-ata-fvg318 passthrough to work properly. Not sure if it’s a routing issue trying to us a public ip-private ip-private ip. Thanks

  • Mikeyp

    Did you ever get a solution from Netgear? I’ve been unabled to the the cablemodem-ata-fvg318 passthrough to work properly. Not sure if it’s a routing issue trying to us a public ip-private ip-private ip. Thanks

  • Mikeyp

    Sorry about the typos…Did you ever get a solution from Netgear? I’ve been unable to get the cablemodem-ata-fvg318 passthrough to work properly. Not sure if it’s a routing issue trying to use a public ip-private ip-private ip. Thanks

  • Mikeyp

    Sorry about the typos…Did you ever get a solution from Netgear? I’ve been unable to get the cablemodem-ata-fvg318 passthrough to work properly. Not sure if it’s a routing issue trying to use a public ip-private ip-private ip. Thanks

  • Nope. Never did get a fix. I finally gave up and routed all of my calls outside of the router.
    They make good devices but the support stinks in my opinion.
    Right now, it’s fine when you place the ata right after the cable modem, between the router and cable modem. But that’s the only way. The passthrough doesn’t work internal the the router itself that I could tell. I’ve heard turning off uPNP might work, but I have it off currently.

  • Nope. Never did get a fix. I finally gave up and routed all of my calls outside of the router.
    They make good devices but the support stinks in my opinion.
    Right now, it’s fine when you place the ata right after the cable modem, between the router and cable modem. But that’s the only way. The passthrough doesn’t work internal the the router itself that I could tell. I’ve heard turning off uPNP might work, but I have it off currently.