For the past week, I have tried to setup the PPTP VPN server on the RV180. The setup was straight forward, but I could not log-on no matter what I tried. I decided to call Cisco small business support, and as I was talking to the engineer, it mysteriously started to work. I was puzzled and somewhat embarrassed because I'd hate to admit it was an id10t problem on my part. As I tried a few different configurations, I began to realize there might be a limitation in the RV180 PPTP VPN server with the current firmware (220.127.116.11). I want to share my experience and see if anyone have noticed the same thing:
In short, the RV180 PPTP only works with 192.168.xxx.xxx/24 subnet.
My setup has 3 vlans: vlan1 in 172.xxx.xxx.xxx/24 subnet, vlan2 192.168.0.xxx/24, and vlan3 10.xxx.xxx.xxx/24. My originally plan was to keep vlan3 isolated by disabling inter-vlan routing, but I needed a way to manage a couple of devices on vlan3 remotely, thus I wanted to setup a VPN in the 10.xxx.xxx.xxx/24 subnet. This turned out to be the reason why it never worked before.
Today when I called Cisco support, I assigned the PPTP VPN server a 192.168.0.xxx ip range, and it worked. Later, I tried assigning 172.xxx or 10.xxx ip addresses to the PPTP VPN server, and they both failed to work. I created another test vlan4 with 192.168.2.xxx/24 subnet, and assigned the PPTP VPN server to that vlan, and it worked again.
I'd like to mention that I already configured the 10.xxx.xxx.xxx/24 subnet with a few devices before I replaced my router with RV180, and I don't want to have to change and test the setup of all the devices. Another reason I want to have my VPN server outside the 192.168.xxx.xxx range is that it's way too commonly used by wifi hotspots that it increases the chance of wifi and vpn in the same subnet.
I can test a few more configurations, but I think the results will be the same. I don't know if anyone else have notice this. Perhaps Cisco should test the RV180 in the lab to confirm what I found. I hope the next firmware update will be less restrictive.
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