[Openswan Users] General VPN issues concerning dropped tunnels

Sean Waite swaite at sbn-services.com
Sat Apr 28 21:32:10 EDT 2007

At the moment I have a VPN between a Cisco PIX (v6.3.5) and Endian Firewall 
(IPCop branch). This is the fourth VPN I have run, the previous being 
m0n0wall and pFsense, and an earlier version of Endian. A common problem 
between all of them has been random drops in the VPN. While everywhere I 
look the tunnel shows to be active, in fact no data crosses over. The first 
VPN I ever did with non Cisco equip was with m0n0wall, that did remain 
pretty stable, only occasionally dropping. The next pFsense last about 5-10 
minutes and then all traffic would cease, although both the PIX and pFsense 
reported the tunnel as active. A week ago I got so frustrated with Endian 
being so unreliable I went back and tried pFsense and m0n0wall again, with 
no luck. I went and re-installed Endian, and very strangely the VPN has been 
up now for a week without any interruptions. Yet I am basically using the 
same config. In fact I have hardly changed anything on the PIX side except 
for my IP address

As I am not very knowledgeable about IPSEC VPNs, I am curious to know what 
are the common causes I may have been experienced. In other words what is 
generally the problem to look at? I found personally the BSD logs of pfSense 
and m0n0wall to be useless to me at least, while the Linux ones 
unfortunately logged everything but the problems.

Sean Waite
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