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How to help home users with MRA

Level 1
Level 1

Hey everyone,


Recently I started a new job, and there are a lot more remote users than I've had in the past.  We have MRA set up but most users are on VPN and are still needing to be migrated over to MRA, and with that comes a lot of home users with problems.


A lot of people have issues with service discovery related to their home routers.  With Jabber, I can easily tell people to turn off their WiFi and connect to mobile data, and that usually solves the problem.  But with desk phones, it's not so simple.


So my question is, how do most people handle this?  Obviously I can't go to people's houses since we have MRA phones world wide.  Many people own their own routers, so their service provider refuses to help. 


I'm just hitting this stump of a problem where they have to have a phone to work, aren't technical enough for me to tell them what to do since there are thousands of variables based on their specific router, and their ISP won't help.


Edit - I appreciate all the answers so far.  For anyone else reading this, this is not a technical question.  I know the details of MRA.  This question really is more about how to handle user support.  Thank you, again, for all the answers

8 Replies 8

If you are able to connect it with mobile and if not working with home router check the dns on home router.


I faced similar issue with the dns. 

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I agree.  On my edge expressway, I don't even get anything in the logs suggesting it is trying to connect, so I'm certain you're right about it being DNS.  The problem is with try to troubleshoot an end users home network.  If they own their equipment, but don't know how to use it, it becomes this fight of they don't want to change their equipment, but they also need their phone to work.

George Sotiropoulos
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee


Supporting Home-Offices is a difficult task and the issue you describe is most of the times due to DNS settings on the router. Αt least, describing to the users that via cell the Jabber is available is the a fact that denotes that your settings correct and they need to cross-check their DNS Settings. 
Any chance that someone could change manually the DNS settings on the Phone?


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Hi George,


I'm almost positive you're right about it being an issue with DNS.  But my problem, and my post really, is more about how do I support these users?  I have users around the globe, all with different home routers.  Most of the time I can tell them to contact their ISP, but some users decide to buy their own routers, without being competent enough to even log into the thing.  Then when something goes wrong, I don't know their specific router to guide them, their ISP won't help, and they aren't savvy enough for me to tell them to check DNS and they know what I'm even talking about.


This is one of the biggest challenges, in my opinion, of work from home.  Simply trying to troubleshoot their equipment that I have no insight into.


Have you verified DNS records configured correctly and if you DNS hosting
provider is reliable? If yes, then any home router able to browse the
internet should get jabber working. MRA relay on SRV records for discovery.

Just make sure that your DNS records are hosted with a reputable provider.

***** please remember to rate useful posts

Level 1
Level 1

I'm honestly at a loss.


I've had so many people for two different companies that are unable to connect to MRA over their home internet.  When it's mobile Jabber, I can tell them to turn off their WiFi and connect using LTE or 5G, and it always works that way.


But when it's a desk phone that is hardwired to a home router, I find it nearly impossible to help them.


I know MRA is configured properly, and I can replicate their issues if I go into my home router and turn on my firewall.  But as long as I keep my home routers firewall turned off, I can connect just fine.


Perhaps MRA isn't the solution we've been waiting for, because I can't seem to find the solution to this.

How are the firewall settings defined when you don’t get this to work? I have a phone at home registered via MRA and I have the firewall service enabled on my broadband router that connects to the fibre circuit that delivers the internet service. However it does not have any filters for what traffic that is allowed to leave my internal network to internet.

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That's just the thing, I don't know how each individual persons firewall settings are configured by their ISP's.  Most home users aren't technical enough to be able to go in and figure that out.  I know how to put filters in my personal firewall to allow it to pass through.  But I can't talk to each user who has issues and guide these non-technical people through whatever model home router they have and try to figure it out.  It's not something I want to spend the time doing when I have this solution.


To explain my frustration.  I had a VPN certificate renewal with 200 users go bad last night and nearly half of them didn't receive the upgrade certificate.  So my expectation was to just convert them to MRA, since that is supposed to be the supported solution, anyway.  But I've constantly had problems with users who can't connect over MRA.  So my best option is to configure a new VPN phone and send it to them, because I can't try to figure out every persons home router.