Cisco RV-345P Dual WAN Gigabit PoE VPN Router Reviewed

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System Error Message

Part of the Furniture
I think in a local network you will find layer 3 switches are the way to go especially if you have lots of nodes and networks. The high end layer 3 switch can maintain wire speed with filters. Layer 3 switches are not used to connect to the internet because of the higher level protocols used. And because switches don't support the high level protocols they run faster because they do not carry all this baggage so you get a lot more bang for the buck using a fast switch over a router. The back planes in switches are much bigger and faster than a router.

So what layer 3 switch do you have?
mikrotik, and this isnt about its switching performance either as switches cant do all the filtering that routers can. The internet itself is routed using cisco blade servers that are more like PCs than switches. Im not talking about connecting to the internet, im talking about routing the internet and switches arent used for them because many nodes on the internet use protocols that switches dont support as they require more processing.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I agree and you will notice I used "local network" not internet network. You need high speed switches when you have multiple 100s of nodes. Routers fall apart and slow the local networks down. You don't need high level protocols in your own network. Just at the front door and exit points.
 
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System Error Message

Part of the Furniture
I agree and you will notice I used "local network" not internet network. You need high speed switches when you have multiple 100s of nodes. Routers fall apart and slow the local networks down. You don't need high level protocols in your own network. Just at the front door and exit points.
100s of nodes isnt an issue for routers either as routers actually keep tables much larger than switches can. When you have 100s of nodes a switch cant cope because browsing a table is a serial operation, something switches are poor at while routers tend to have CPUs that are much better at serial operations than switches. The speed at which routers go through tables/nodes are dependent on the memory performance and latency.

A switch will have a few MB of ram while a router will have GBs of it.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
Switches are faster than routers. If routers were faster then there would not be any switches everybody would use routers.
 
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System Error Message

Part of the Furniture
Switches are faster than routers. If routers were faster the there would not be any switches everybody would use routers.
depends how you define "faster". A switch is a massively parallel CPU that is very very simple. A switch capitalises on bus and memory speeds. Routers tend to have faster CPUs in comparison but not the bus/memory speeds. This means that packets spend less time queued for using bus, memory and so on.

However if i gave a switch the job i would give on my router for doing routing and VPNs, the switch would be slower because the switch CPU cant handle it.

There are times when using a layer 3 switch is disadvantageous especially without some of the routing protocols such as change in gateway on physical ports and VPN. This is why when you have multiple nodes that have redundancy or multiple paths in any network that a switch may not support what you need and a very fast router may be the option. Sometimes the amount of traffic that needs the router isnt as much as the port capacity on a switch. Some may want to restrict communication between 2 networks (allow some, block some) so a router is used for this instead to also prevent too much data going through at once too.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
A layer 3 switch can move more data per second than a router.

I have never said routers are not required for certain jobs which they do best. If you want to move a lot of data around your local network switches are the way to go because they can move more data per second than a router. More data per second translates to faster.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I think we have gotten off track. Some time in the future I plan to test the RV340 router. I don't need the extra ports since I run a Cisco SG300-28 layer 3 switch so I will probably not run the RV345. I run a router VLAN on my layer 3 switch which is a point to point connection between the router and the layer 3 switch. This keeps any small talk on the local network out of the router VLAN. Only traffic destined for the internet will touch the router VLAN. So I don't need extra switch ports. I run a RV320 with no complaints. If the RV340 is a faster version of the RV320 it will work for me. I just don't want any slow downs on painting web pages on my network.

It looks like the RV340 has info pages which are lacking in the RV320 that will be nice. I should add I don't want to see slow downs because I decided to add 5 ACL rules or some firewall rules which seems to be a feature with the new RV345 as reported in the review.

If you think about it this setup keeps a router running 100% of the time moving data to the internet. There are no slow downs from DHCP running on the router or anything else. The router is just moving internet traffic.
 
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sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
@coxhaus - nothing wrong with going deeper into the Ci$co-$phere...

Just about licenses there, and that's ok - it's good gear. Their WAP's are good, switching is always a strength for them, and routing is a good plus. Ci$co has always made a point about consistency across their platforms - all good there...

No worries...
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
depends how you define "faster". A switch is a massively parallel CPU that is very very simple. A switch capitalises on bus and memory speeds. Routers tend to have faster CPUs in comparison but not the bus/memory speeds. This means that packets spend less time queued for using bus, memory and so on.

You make a good point - and we're doing research these days on opposite ends perhaps...

I've been focused more on routing in user-land, and that's brute force at the end of the day - and clocks rule there - and CPU's have a reasonable amount of BW when things are balanced.

In many ways - like @System Error Message mentions - a L3 switch is like a GPU - simple tasks in parallel - and this GPU's are very good at... challenge there is giving the GPU's enough space to work on.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I was looking at the bufferbloat score. Can someone explain it a little bit better? Are we talking about priority on ping packets when a WAN connection is saturated?
 
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System Error Message

Part of the Furniture
I was looking at the bufferbloat score. Can someone explain it a little bit better? Are we talking about priority on ping packets when a WAN connection is saturated?
yup, defeating the bufferbloat score is very very easy as you just have to give priority to ping. THe score is measured by taking the latency difference of pings under load.

However if you do set up your QoS properly, your bufferbloat score will be good. Giving priority to ICMP does improve performance in some applications, even some games that use your ping to tune things.
 

Ozymandyus

Occasional Visitor
In the article I notice that the author, Doug, recommended an IP Sec client made by Shrew Soft. I was curious so I went to that website to read up on it, but it appears the client hasn't been updated since 2013, five years ago. Is it still a good client to use? I would think something that hadn't been updated in so long might have fallen prey to security vulnerabilities?
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
yup, defeating the bufferbloat score is very very easy as you just have to give priority to ping. THe score is measured by taking the latency difference of pings under load.

However if you do set up your QoS properly, your bufferbloat score will be good. Giving priority to ICMP does improve performance in some applications, even some games that use your ping to tune things.

You don't want to setup your router with ping as the highest priority otherwise if you caught in a ping attack your router will die and not respond to other commands.
 

System Error Message

Part of the Furniture
You don't want to setup your router with ping as the highest priority otherwise if you caught in a ping attack your router will die and not respond to other commands.
i put ping as a higher priority but not the highest. things like NTP, DNS and so on get the highest priority.
As with ping attacks, you can limit the ping rate. You'd need a configurable router in the first place to do that sort of QoS so you can limit the ICMP rate too.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
Yes the RV340 router has protection against ping attacks from the outside. I still would not want to raise the ping rate to a higher priority which the RV340 supports. I have RV340 router which I believe is the same software as the RV345 router just less Ethernet ports.
 

Ozymandyus

Occasional Visitor
I did end up picking up an RV345, but am going to return it due to a rather nasty firmware bug that's currently present. Essentially if you make any modification to the settings for the default VLAN at all (and that includes changing the default LAN IP address, which I would assume almost everyone does), said VLAN ceases to work as soon as you hit 'apply' on the settings. Since you're connected to the unit via the default VLAN, this means that you lose the ability to further configure the unit at that point.

I called in and the Cisco rep walked me through a very convoluted work-around to address this, which involves enabling remote management (!) and then connecting through one of the WAN ports. In this manner you can setup other VLANs, and after that you can connect through a LAN port on one of those to continue configuration. The problem remains however that you cannot delete the default VLAN1, so if you happen to have a significant number of devices on a switch for instance configured to connect via VLAN1, you're either SOL or have to go through a labor-intensive process of changing them.

The rep claimed it would be a minimum of a month before this issue would be rectified, but further said that, depending on circumstances, it could take quite a bit longer. It's a head-scratcher to me as to how firmware could be released with such a fundamental bug in it (changing the default IP address, seriously), but also that it could take so long to address it. Quite the black eye for Cisco, I'd say.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
I did end up picking up an RV345, but am going to return it due to a rather nasty firmware bug that's currently present.

The documentation assumes that one is familiar with the "cisco way" of doing things - couple of things to keep in mind is that the default VLAN is always there, and cannot be removed - and the behavior you noted is actually expected, as the default VLAN is based on the IP address, so changing that, changes everything...
 

Ozymandyus

Occasional Visitor
The documentation assumes that one is familiar with the "cisco way" of doing things - couple of things to keep in mind is that the default VLAN is always there, and cannot be removed - and the behavior you noted is actually expected, as the default VLAN is based on the IP address, so changing that, changes everything...

Oddly enough, I am reasonably familiar with the 'Cisco Way' as you say. I've been using their products for decades, most recently using the RV325 for my business. I don't pretend to be an expert, but I do know that when I changed the default IP address on the RV325, it didn't cause issues like this. And the whole business with losing the ability to configure the device afterwards w/o using remote access on a WAN port?
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I have had no problems changing the default IP network on the RV340 which is the same as the RV345. I do not run the default 192.168.1.0 Cisco network so it would not work for me with my layer 3 switch. I posted out on Cisco's support forum how to do this. I am very familiar with the way Cisco does things. Was that you posting out there? You kind of wrote the same thing on Cisco's web site.

And by the way you have to have default VLAN as it acts as the catcher for untagged traffic. All untagged traffic is routed to the default VLAN what ever VLAN the default VLAN is.

I am currently running a Cisco RV340 router with a different network IP. It works great.

I don't believe there is any black eye for Cisco, I'd say more likely operator error.
 
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coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
Here is what I posted on Cisco's web site for changing the IP address.

I was working on a different problem with Cisco and they wanted me to start from scratch at factory defaults. So I completely re-setup my RV340 router from factory defaults using the latest firmware.

Here is what I did to change my IP and turn off DHCP.

I logged on to the RV340 using 192.168.1.1. I used Windows 10 with TCPIP settings on my PC using 192.168.1.27/24 no default gateway, not needed. I then proceeded to turn off DHCP. I then went to LAN menu and VLAN1. I changed the IP to 192.168.10.1/30 using the edit button. When I made the last change on the IP, my PC went off line because it was now in a different network. Do not reboot RV340. I then changed the IP on my workstation to 192.168.10.2/30. My PC had a LAN cable plugged into the RV340 and it was not rebooted by me because the last changed is not stored yet in flash. So with the new IP address I logged onto the RV340 using 192.168.10.1 in my browser. You do not need a gateway because you are just logging onto the RV340 to save the config. Once I logged on to the RV340 router using the new IP 192.168.10.1 I was able to do a save which wrote the new setting to flash. The IP on the RV340 is now changed and saved. You can substitute any IP addresses you want these are what I use. If you want to ask questions please ask now before I forget. It is all fresh in my mind right now. You may want DHCP so don't turn it off if you need it. You may want a bigger mask like /24 instead of a point to point /30. I have a SG300-28 layer 3 switch which does my DHCP and local routing.
 
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