Recently, a customer contacted our customer support to ask the question, ‘If I set my new Sabai VPN Router to my old SSID and password, will my devices automatically switch over to the new router?’
Great question! For customers with tons of devices and a very secure SSID password (read: long!) switching all those devices over to your Sabai VPN Router at setup can be a hassle.
Does it work?
Our test customer says, YES! After disconnecting the old router, he set up the Sabai VPN Router to use the ID and password that all of his devices where set to. With a snap of the fingers, dozens of wireless devices where connected via VPN. Now, all this user has to do is go into Gateways, and choose which devices he wants on the local gateway.
Find great tips like these and more every Tuesday with our Troubleshoot Tuesday blog series! You can automatically get these tips sent to you by using the Subscribe to the Blog field on the right.
We love our military folks! Sometimes though, those APO, FPO, DPO addresses can be tricky! The most common issue is caused by the way the address is split up. If you have a “box number” (ex. “PSC 123 Box 456″) please try entering the address on two separate lines, as follows:
Address line 1: PSC 123
Address line 2: Box 456
If this still causes the system to read your address with an error, try also using the full 9-digit (12345-6789) version of your zip code.
If you are still experiencing issues with your APO, FPO, or DPO address after these troubleshooting tips, feel free to contact our customer care department by calling 864-862-4072 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some troubleshooting issues require help from technical support. Our reviews make it clear that customers love the remote-in option and personalized attention our technical support provides. No confusing directions over the phone while you fumble around your computer trying to find the right buttons to click. Ruth and Tim, our tech support gurus, will take control of the mouse and keyboard so the tech support process is as smooth as possible.
Sabai often gets asked why we schedule our technical support sessions. There are several reasons, not the least of which is respect for your time! Due to the complexity of many of our customers setups and tech issues, some tech support issues can take an hour or more. We want to make sure customers are aware of that time frame and we certainly don’t want you to have to wait in queue for that long!
Long time customers may have noticed that there have been a few versions of the technical support calendar. Sabai staff have been working toward the perfect solution, so that our support techs time is optimized and to provide the best possible solution for our customers. Check out the new service selections:
Now, customers booking a technical support session with a Sabai Technology tech can choose which items they need help with … allowing Ruth and Tim to be better prepared to help and making your appointment as efficient as possible. We recommend that customers allot for at least one hour for their technical support sessions. Each situation is different, but don’t despair … you are in good hands with Sabai Technology!
In the nine months or so that Sabai Technology has offered the VPN Accelerator, hundreds of the mini computers have been shipped all over the world. For customers who want to get the best possible speed out of their VPN setups, the VPN Accelerator is a must-have.
The VPN Slow Down
Consider this scenario: Let’s say your local internet speed is 20 Mbps in Germany. You want to be able to watch American Netflix, so you add VPN connection to tunnel your traffic back to New York. Using VPN directly on your computer still gets 16 Mbps, but the problem is you really don’t want to watch Netflix on your computer, you want to watch it on your Smart TV.
So, you get a Sabai VPN Router and run your VPN connection through the router instead of your computer. This allows you to use VPN with your Smart TV and other networked devices in your home. But, even an RT-N66U WiFi VPN Router will slow your connection speed down a bit more, to maybe 12 Mbps – because even the most powerful VPN Router is still not as powerful as a computer. Your wireless VPN speed might still be plenty fast to watch Netflix, but you miss the speeds you used to have!
Overcoming Speed Issues
The answer to overcoming the majority of the speed slowdown is to purchase a VPN Accelerator, which will overcome the bottleneck caused by the VPN Router (it will not overcome limitations placed by your ISP on VPN traffic or make your network faster than your local connection.) Because the VPN connection actually runs on the VPN Accelerator but routes traffic through the Sabai VPN Router, it provides the speed advantages of running a VPN on the computer with the networking advantages of running VPN on a router. The best of both worlds!
Sabai Customer Care is asked all the time whether or not a VPN Accelerator will “help” a certain network setup. The best way to test what kind of speed results can be expected from a VPN Accelerator is to run your VPN directly on a computer and do a speed test. The VPN Accelerator will be able to match or exceed these speeds.
Customers also ask if they can use a VPN Accelerator with a DD-WRT router. The VPN Accelerator was created to work specifically with Sabai OS, so the answer is no. However, if you enjoy your DD-WRT router for VPN, you will love Sabai OS for all its advanced functionality and features. Plus, the setup is incredibly easy compared to DD-WRT.
Sabai Technology developers are constantly working to improve the user experience, to make using a Sabai VPN Router to extend your VPN tunnel as simple as possible. One long time feature of Sabai VPN Routers that is as elegant as it is simple is the corner status update. It looks like this:
This simple message gives the user real-time information about the status of their connection. Once your OpenVPN or PPTP is up and running on the router, this corner status should provide you with your cloaked IP address, assigned by your provider and a geo-location based on this IP. Every once in a while, while this status will show you connected to VPN, but the server location won’t be correct.
The location in the corner display is pulled from a database that maps IP addresses to locations. This database has two flaws: 1) GeoIP information is hard to keep up with, since IP addresses are sometimes reassigned from a server in one location to another server in a different country entirely, and 2) ideally this database would be updated more frequently.
The Bottom Line
The information in the corner is only to give the user notification of when their location changes; it is not intended to reflect with absolute certainty the user’s VPN endpoint location on the globe. For a second opinion on your geo-location, try visiting a website such as TraceMyIP.org or, often times your VPN provider will have an IP locator available on their website.
When Sabai Technology moved to Sabai OSv5, a new activation system was rolled out. This system brings up a special one-time-only screen requiring the user to enter a valid e-mail address and click the Activate button.
When the user clicks Activate the VPN Router communicates with a secure Sabai server and generates a license, providing the user full access to the features of OSv5. The caveat to this system, however, is that the user must have working internet access BEFORE the router can be activated. For most users, this is not an issue because Sabai VPN Routers are shipped with a basic network configuration, so both wired and wireless access work out of the box. However, there are a few special situations that could prevent a customer from being able to immediately connect.
The computer is set to a static IP address, outside of the Sabai sub-net. This is most likely caused by a previous routers configuration. To fix this, a user will need to set the device’s adapters to DHCP within the network settings or configuration. The process for this varies by device but in Windows it is under Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center. For Mac it is under System Preferences > Network.
The local ISP requires PPPoE connection (username/password). Luckily, this functionality is under Network > Basic in the Router menu and is available even without activation. We have a handy blog post about how to setup a PPPoE connection. This will provide the internet connection you need to move forward.
There are other situations that could prevent immediate internet connectivity, such as a local router that doesn’t support DHCP. However, these are rare and usually require working with our technical support. If these troubleshooting tips don’t solve your connection issue, then you can always use the manual activation system and a local, wired device connection. Simply click the Activate Manually button after putting in a valid e-mail address. This will provide you with a long string of code. Copy and paste that into an email and shoot it over to email@example.com. Sabai Technology customer service will respond with your activation code within 24 business hours. Hold on to this code for future use. Of course, you will still need to figure out why you don’t have internet, so why not make an appointment with Sabai Technical Support?
There is a saying that one users bug is another users feature. One of this weeks Technical Support calls was case in point of this principle. (Although it isn’t technically a bug. Our developers would be very sore at that description!)
The customer in question contacted Support complaining that their wired connections didn’t work! Their laptop would connect to VPN just fine wirelessly. An IP check showed they were connected to the VPN server in America. However, as soon as she connected the computer via a wired connection, the VPN wasn’t working – they were back to their local IP. What gives!?
Well, in a perfect storm of events, the customer had their Default Gateway set to Local and wasn’t aware that a wired connection displays a different MAC address than a wireless one. Yes, different network adapters, different listing in the Gateways Device List! So, when the customer was connecting via wired, the Sabai VPN Routers Gateways feature was adding a new device and connecting via Local – the set Default.
Sabai Technical Support obviously got this sorted out in short order (there was nothing wrong with the wired connections after all!), but, we started thinking that this could actually be a handy little feature for some users! Want a quick way to switch between VPN and Local gateways on a computer? Set the Wired device to VPN in the Device List and Wireless to Local! Bam! Super fast way to switch back and forth between the two tunnels, without having to visit your VPN Routers dashboard.
Of course, you do have to be on Sabai OSv5 to enjoy this “feature”! If you haven’t upgraded yet, make an appointment with technical support or contact customer service for details! And, if you don’t have a Sabai VPN Router yet, what are you waiting for?!
Whether you are setting up your VPN Router from Sabai Technology for the first time, or you suddenly are facing a connection issue, sometimes the simple answer is the best. Try these troubleshooting tips first to see if they help!
- Make sure your VPN Router has power. If not, try a different socket and/or make sure the routers switch is in the ON position.
- Make sure your VPN Router has internet. If not, plug your WAN cable directly into a computer to see if you can connect that way. If not, contact your internet service provider.
- Double check that your WAN and LAN cables are plugged into the correct ports on the back of the router. The WAN port/cable is the same as the “internet” port/cable.
- Try restarting everything, including your modem. Restart the modem first, so that the internet is up and running before the network.
- When starting an OpenVPN or PPTP connection, make sure you click both the SAVE then the START buttons.
- If you are replacing an existing router connection, behind a cable model, unplug the cable modem for one minute and then plug it back in.
- Try switching servers. Some VPN providers change configurations that can break old connections. By getting settings for a new server, you reset your credentials.
- Make sure your computer is set to DHCP and does not have anything manually entered for IP addresses or DNS entries.
- When copying and pasting server information, make sure you don’t have any blank spaces before or after.
- Check the forums for your issue … first! Our tech support has seen it all, and in many cases, we have documented it. Search the blog (there is a search box to your right!), or our knowledge base for the answer to your issue!
The recent “How to download your StrongVPN OpenVPN file” blog post has proven a popular tool for new customers so we thought we should do a similar post for PPTP! For customers who are new to VPN Routers, PPTP may seem a bit easier than OpenVPN, just because there is no file download. To run your PPTP connection over your Sabai VPN Router you only need to have a few pieces of information from your VPN provider:
- Server Address
- Username (given by VPN provider, usually different from website login)
- Password (given by VPN provider, usually different from website login)
If StrongVPN is your VPN provider, you can find this information as follows:
Step One - Log into your StrongVPN account by visiting StrongVPN.com (Customers in China may need to use an alternate URL). Please note that this login information is different than your Sabai Technology login information. It is also different from your PPTP login information.
Step Two - Once logged into the Customer Area, hover over VPN Accounts and click on VPN Account Summary.
Step Three - In the table named, Your PPTP Accounts, visit the last column on the right and click the black Account Setup Instructions button.
Step Four - In the area named, PPTP Account Info, you will find your Server Address, Login, and Password. Copy and paste these items directly into the VPN Router PPTP page for accuracy, and/or write them down for future use. Your Login and Password for PPTP will be different from your StrongVPN.com customer login information.
Note: If you live in an area that may have difficulty resolving a reliablehosting.com web address, you can use the Server IP information interchangeably with the Server Address. Also note that if you change your server location, you will have to re-enter this PPTP information into the VPN Router.
Now you have the appropriate PPTP information for your VPN Router! This will allow you to run your entire home network over your PPTP StrongVPN account. If you aren’t sure where to input your PPTP information in the Sabai VPN Router, you can review the Sabai VPN Router setup instructions.
Every VPN provider is going to have a slightly different process for accessing server information. If you would like us to do a Troubleshoot Tuesday reviewing how to find your providers PPTP server information, please let us know in comments! As always, if you have trouble with your VPN Router setup you can make an appointment to work with our technical support or call 864-962-4072. If you have questions before you buy a Sabai VPN Router, you can start a ticket using the support tab on our homepage or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many internet service providers (ISP) require a username and password to access the internet. In the industry, this is referred to as PPPoE. You probably know by now that VPN loves acronyms, so in case you are trying to keep up, that stands for Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet. This username and password would be provided by your ISP and is different from any username and password required by either the VPN Router or your VPN provider.
If you aren’t sure if your ISP uses a PPPoE connection, you will need to contact them directly. This protocol is primarily used on DSL and fiber connections, so if you have a cable connection you can go read another great Sabai blog article because this shouldn’t apply to you.
Additionally, if you are continuing to run your local router alongside your VPN Router, (haven’t you heard of our Gateways feature?!) this secondary or “local” router likely already handles your PPPoE and you do not need to also run it in the VPN Router.
Once you are sure your ISP uses PPPoE, you know your username and password, and you are sure you aren’t running PPPoE on another router in your home, you will need to set it up in your Sabai VPN Router to access the internet. There are just a few easy steps to do so:
Step One – Log in to your Sabai VPN Router.
Step Two – Click on Network > Basic in the main menu.
Step Three – Change Type from DHCP to PPPoE.
Step Four – Key in your Username/Password, provided to you by your ISP. (If you do not know your username and password, please contact your ISP for help.)
Step Five – Scroll down to the bottom of the page to click Save to save your settings. If you are not connected after a few moments, you may need to restart your modem and VPN Router to refresh the settings.
All done! Now you are up and running with your local internet on your Sabai VPN Router and are ready to input your OpenVPN or PPTP credentials. Enjoy your wireless home VPN on all your devices!