Mobile Devices, VoIP and VPNs

Carl Weinschenk

Virtual Private Networks are mainstays of remote security. Great efforts must be made to enable VPNs to accommodate increasingly demanding real-time IP-based applications.

 

This week, NetMotion Wireless said version 8 of its Mobility XE VPN, which is designed for Windows, now supports VoIP. TechWorld reports that packet-loss recovery, compression and othe techniques enable the VPN to work fast enough to support real-time applications. The VPN can switch calls between the wide-area network (WAN) and a Wi-Fi network.

 

NetMotion is not alone in making its VPN suitable for remote devices, of course. Late last month, for instance, Check Point Software said that its VPN-1 product supported the iPhone. InfoWorld reports that the VPN does this through the Apple device's Layer 2 Transport Protocol (L2TP). No other software is needed, the story says.

 

This is a nice VoIP-News backgrounder on the overall issue of VoIP security, with a look at where VPNs fit in. VoIP calls are vulnerable during setup and as the data flows. VPNs are one option for shoring up these vulnerable spots. Gateway-to-gateway traffic is encrypted using the VPN's built-in tools. This protection is automatic and extends to mobile devices. The writer does a good job of describing the overall state of VoIP security.

 

This Computerworld blog also looks at VoIP VPNs in a larger context. In this case, it's a reaction to Avaya's Unified Communications for Small Business family. The writer says a key advantage of this type of system in general (and the Avaya product in particular) is the ability to use home and cell phones as an extension in the office network. The writer notes that Avaya's built-in VPN client automatically creates an encrypted link to the office. Many home routers have this capability, but it requires expertise that home users generally don't have. VoIP.com describes the challenges to using VoIP over a VPN in straightforward language. One problem facing all users -- not just those seeking a VoIP connection -- is that Network Address Translation (NAT) approaches used to extend the pool of available addresses and mask the corporate network make it difficult for the connection to be completed. The writer discusses how that hurdle is cleared. A problem that is more specific to VoIP and real-time protocols is that encryption requires the system to do more work and, for this reason, can stretch things to the point that quality is impacted.



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Jun 11, 2008 5:11 AM Amber Fenster Amber Fenster  says:
I am new to this site but feel this as good as anywhere to post the recent frustration I personally have encountered with 2 of LG designed phones and lack of durability. I pulled out an older model LG when I was with Sprint and what a difference. I am now with Verizon and the phones by todays standards compared to that of just 2-3 years ago is amazing. The quality of the newer phones is so poor. I have had to replace 2 models of LG twice making a total of 4 phones in less than a year. The 8300 is a sturdier phone but the charging port would become loose or the charger end would break off. Much to easily for my needs. I am a woman with some disabilities so I can't imagine a younger me or a man that is harder on equipment than I am. The sound was good, speaker-phone was ok but if you put all the features to the test it did not impress me. The outer speakers if exposed to the slightest humidity would then crackle like a broken eardrum. The voice recognition software was better than the supposed UPGRADE phone now the LG 8350. This newer phone is a total waste of molding and plastic put into any field for my basic needs. The speakerphone has a definite design flaw as that if you are holding the phone, which most of the people I know do when on the phone or even set down, will reverb like if you were speaking into a microphone when your mouth is too close. I had my hand right by the speakers which are located on the back of the phone. Both were brand new devices both performed the same way. As far as the software for voice recognition you may as well not list it as a feature it is so usless. The camera is also second rate compared to the 8300. I am so frustrated. Anyone with the 2 year contract that has the get new in 2. Expect to have to pay for an early upgrade. This phone did not last 2 days per device, never mind 2 years. I need a phone with a nice loud ringer that is durable. That has good vr software and a decent speaker phone. If anyone has info that could help direct me I am still looking. The staff at Verizon have been bar none, the best customer service folks in my book it's just their phone selections in my humble opinion, are either poorly made or too expenive. Thanks Reply
Feb 10, 2009 1:41 AM usa vpn usa vpn  says:

The quality of the newer phones is so poor.  I have had to replace 2 models of LG twice making a total of 4 phones in less than a year.  The 8300 is a sturdier phone but the charging port would become loose or the charger end would break off.  Much to  easily for my needs.  I am a woman with some disabilities so I can't imagine a younger me or a man that is harder on equipment than I am.  The sound was good, speaker-phone was ok but if you put all the features to the test it did not impress me.

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