I use a VPN for when I am away from my office. I have worked fine all over Europe, Middle East and Africa and up to about 12 months ago from home. Now I have a problem that my VPN stops receiving or forwarding anything at 57m 30seconds. Occassionally the VPN stays active for 1H 55m. This only happens when connected using Sky BB. I have tried McDonalds, hotels in Kenya, Dubai, Muscat, Kampala amongst others and never have a problem. I have connected to my family and friends networks to try and it is exactly the same problem.

I know Sky do not support VPN, and when I spoke to the help desk they advised me that they mean they don't support set up problems etc. However once a VPN is active, i.e. the security negotiation is complete then there is no need to check the configuration, simply if connected the config is correct and the traffic should be forwarded since is just IP traffic.

I first noticed this when I moved from Snow Leopard to Lion (at first I thought this was a Mac problem). I have tried different settings on my Mac to ensure the NIC is not going to sleep, and I have reverted the router to factory defaults and started again. I had a new router (SAGEM F@ST2) sent from Sky, and this seemed to resolve things, however after a short while the problem recurred. I also upgraded to Mountain Lion, and still experience the problem.

It is clearly not a problem with the VPN concentrator, not with the Mac Client, since it would not work at all, and certainly would not be isolated to Sky networks.

Now interestingly about 6 months ago I fixed this (for a while) and though I am not sure why I know that the improvements coincided with me altering power save settings on Mac, resetting the router and then reconfiguring SSID back to home network. As I was dealing with a very helpful guy on the Sky Help Desk I advised him of the steps I had taken and was quite happy that I had fixed a problem and helped other users.

After about 1 month the problem recurred and has stayed with me ever since. I am pretty sure that my honesty has led the Sky engineers to access my router and reapply what ever it is that causes the VPN to freeze.

I really need to get to the bottom of this, I believe that the Router is causing the problem, and I further believe it is related to MER authentication - perhaps on re-auth I am receiving a new IP address from the DHCP server on the Sky network. (Do Sky offer static IP addresses?) What else could I check?

Router: Sagemcom F@ST 2504n
ADSL Firmware:
MacBook Pro :10.8.2

So now I am totally hacked off with the situation, and seriously considering moving to a new ISP.