Digital Wanderings

Feb 27 2009   2:12PM GMT

3Com on a VPN

AndOrTech Jason Erickson Profile: AndOrTech

Due to necessity we have a remote user on a VPN tunnel to run her laptop and phone. While I hear many of you groan (I did at the time too) there are just no way out of doing it at times. Recently she called into the office, via Cell, to tell us that her phone was not working. I logged into her Sonicwall and discovered I can ping the phone and the phone system.  I then logged in to the phone system and it shows her as IP unknown with the correct IP listed.  It also shows all of the VPN tunnels as up. I then sent her the request via Email to do the following: 


Can you pull the little black cord from the phone wait 1 min. and then plug it back in for me?


OK did that now I have a dial tone.  I tried that yesterday but it did not work so glad this time it did.

Thanks for your help!


No problem. Unfortunately you may have problems now and again as the phone is going through a VPN. Usually the best fix is as follows.

Open a Command window (Start – run –Type CMD – enter)

A black window should appear. In that black window type Ping

You should get a response back with times.

If you get a “Timed Out” comment give the office a call or wait 10 min and try again.

If it pings back properly; please pull the power from the phone for one min then plug it back in.


It seems these kinds of procedures are necessary for older proprietary VOIP systems. The newer SIP based solutions (Asterisk/Switchvox/Trixbox) seem to have an easier time of it as does the Altigen VOIP as it seems to have been designed with this in mind. In time as the bandwidth and quality on the internet improves I think many companies will not even have a phone system as it will all be “hosted” elsewhere and the phones will just connect via the net. Until that day if you have remote users take a hard look at Altigen and Astrisk to control all of just your remote users or deal with the randomness of the VPN tunnel.


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