Can't use MiFi with VPN
Diane_D
Enthusiast - Level 2

Hi Guys,

I am having a problem with this MIFI 4g device.  I got it specifically for work and this is the device they steered me toward but our IT Admin says it's blocking IPSEC VPN traffic so I can't use it with the VPN. 

I am coming from an end-user perspective, not IT - have you found any setting changes or work arounds an end user can do to make these allow IPSEC VPN traffic?  (Assume you are talking to an 8th grader - I don't know much of the technical inner workings of a VPN connection).

Is this a problem with the older devices too or just the newer ones?  I checked with Verison and got the standard "not our problem, it's your VPN" response, and they didn't know if this is Verizon standard or if some devices will work.

Any advice or info would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

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John_Getzke
Champion - Level 1

This is not something that VZW can assist you with.   Your VPN configuration is not compatible with the 4G VZW network.  I can confirm for you that I use a Cisco IPSec VPN client on a regular basis. I know that it is possible with the right VPN configuration.

The problem here is that the firewall that opperates on the new VZW network blocks certain web traffic.  If your VPN happens to be trying to communicate across a pathway that is blocked then there is nothing VZW can/will do to assist you.  All users are treated the same according to the VZW firewall and exceptions will not be made.  There are no configuration changes that you can make to the MiFi to allow the necessary traffic through either.

What you need to do is go back to your IT Admin and work with them.  Whoever is in charge of your VPN needs to either make a configuration change as to how they connect thier users or provide you with an alternative VPN client.  What specifically is getting blocked by the VZW network is up to your IT/VPN admin to determine.  There is no list of approved or blocked network ports or IP Addresses. The IT Admin must use trial and error to isolate and determine what is getting blocked.  Your IT Admin are the only ones who know how the VPN's are configured for your corporate enviornment and have access to make the necessary changes.

If your IT Admin would like more assistance feel free to point them to this thread.  I'd be happy to provide them with any other details that I can on this matter.

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Diane_D
Enthusiast - Level 2

Hi John,

Thank you so much for all of your help so far - you seem to be one of the best advisors on the Verizon forum; you should get a commission!

I was able to get a ticket logged by Verizon yesterday, although I understand (kinda) what you are telling me about how impossible it may be to isolate what exactly is getting blocked.  But I got a ticket number, and if Verizon CAN resolve this it will help many other people that have this same issue and discovered it only after they got a hotspot that is advertised to have VPN capability, and signed a 2 year contract that they cannot now get out of - so basically we got a brick with pretty lights as far as work is concerned.  It can only help Verizon if they can fix this.  Other networks (even Starbuck's WiFi!) don't block whatever IPSEC traffic is causing the issue, so I would think they'd fix it in order to remain competitive.

So, I remain hopeful - I don't think it's my persuasive ability that caused them to log a ticket; I think that in the year (at least) since the old thread was first logged where you provided a clear, understandable explanation of the issue, many other people find themselves working from home, have selected Verizon as their 'virtual office' internet provider based on the advertized VPN capability, and can't actually VPN into their company's network.

I will also do as you suggest regarding our IT guys; I sent them the details you kindly provided.  They are in Ireland, so discussing something this complex is difficult due to the time difference.  I am going out there shortly and will have the opportunity to discuss it with them further.  I will pass along your offer to be an advisory resource.  They are getting more US workers with the same problem and it may be escalating for them as well.

Thanks again for your help and advice.  Fingers crossed that Verizon can resolve this ticket.

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John_Getzke
Champion - Level 1

Sounds good.  Keep us posted on your progress.

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Diane_D
Enthusiast - Level 2

Well Verizon did close the ticket...because my employer changed to a different VPN client that works in a different way (no IPSEC issues with it).  So I am able to work, but the IPSEC blocking issue is still not resolved for anyone that may encounter it as far as I know.  Just thought I would give this thread 'closure'.  Thanks for all your help John.

John_Getzke
Champion - Level 1

I appreciate the confirmation.  Good luck with your new VPN client, sounds like your IT admins found a better way to connect into the business network.

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