[strongSwan] Strange behaviour while behind router

Noel Kuntze noel at familie-kuntze.de
Sat May 2 10:54:52 CEST 2015

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Hello André,

Did you try using the UNITY plugin?

Mit freundlichen Grüßen/Kind Regards,
Noel Kuntze

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Am 02.05.2015 um 10:45 schrieb André Pinto:
> Hi
> I'm trying to connect to my employer's office network from my home using Strongswan's VPN client.
> I'm using 2 factor authentication with pre-shared key and I'm running this command in order to connect to the network:
> charon-cmd --debug 0 --identity $USERNAME --xauth-username $USERNAME --host $RIGHT_IP --profile ikev1-xauth-psk-am --esp-proposal aes256-sha1 --ah-proposal aes256-sha1 --ike-proposal aes256-sha1-modp1024
> with the following network configuration:
> With this software versions:
> Distro: Debian Jessie ( Debian 3.16.7-ckt9-3~deb8u1 (2015-04-24) )
> Strongswan: 5.2.1
> Even though I successfully establish the VPN connection:
> 14[IKE] IKE_SA cmd[1] established between $LOCAL_IP[$USERNAME]...$RIGHT_IP[$RIGHT_IP]
> 08[IKE] CHILD_SA cmd{1} established with SPIs $X and TS $Y/32 === <>
> I'm not able to open any kind of website (being it inside the office network or the public web) either via WiFi or Ethernet cable. curl just waits forever but traceroute works and mtr doesn't show any package lost.
> When I connect my laptop directly to the Inteno XG6749 switch (managed by the ISP, I don't have any kind of admin access to it), everything works as expected.
> I've confirmed that IPSec passthrough is enabled on the TP-Link TL-WR841ND, I've updated the vendor's firmware, tried DD-WRT, tried a different router (Technicolor TG799vn v2) but the result is always the same.
> Besides that, if I use one of the subregions VPN hosts from my company instead of the generic alias they provide for the VPN access, I'm able to access most of the Internet and a considerable part of the company's private network. However, accessing some sites, for example, Gmail takes forever (I have to fallback to the HTML only version to open it, otherwise it gets stuck in the loading bar), and some other internal resources have the same problem. It kind of "feels" like the connection is losing packets even though mtr doesn't say so.
> Accessing the company's VPN from other networks (e.g. in my previous apartment and at the office Guest's network) also works properly.
> I've already tried to identify the problem by using several tools but I don't really know how Strongswan works that well, so I was unable to get anything useful from that.
> Do you know what might be causing this strange problem? Is there any thing I can do to identify the root cause of the problem or to fix it? I'm completely out of ideas here.
> Thanks in advance,
> André.
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