You may have heard of the phrase “What is a VPN tunnel interface?” If so, you’re in luck! In this article we’ll cover the differences between IPSec and GRE, how to set up a policy-based VPN, and what to do if you receive an ICMP echo timeout while trying to connect to a VPN server. And, of course, we’ll cover the topic of the ICMP echo timeout caused by a VPN tunnel interface.
IPSec vs GRE
Before you make a choice between IPSec and GRE vpn tunnel interface, you should know the difference between the two protocols. Both technologies can encrypt and decrypt data, but only GRE can enforce a point-to-point connection. A GRE tunnel forces packets to take a specific path, copying the Type of Service field from the inner IP header to the outer IP header. This preserves the original ToS information. This information is vital for QoS networks, as it is used to enforce quality-of-service policies. However, you must also ensure that your GRE tunnel supports Keep-Alive function. In order to configure GRE tunnel, you must have a public, local, peer, or static route at the opposite end of the tunnel.
IPSec uses a more sophisticated encryption protocol called AES-GCM, while GRE doesn’t. GRE is lighter, but it doesn’t have built-in encryption. While GRE tunnels can be used to connect two sites, IPSec allows you to create tunnels between multiple sites, including those with different IPv6 protocols. It also allows you to use GRE-based tunnels for other purposes.
Using a route-based VPN
The Cisco Routers are the only devices that can support a route-based VPN tunnel interface. A route-based VPN relies on GRE/VTI tunnels and typically encrypts everything using the IPSEC protocol over top of the GRE tunnels. This type of VPN has many advantages. You can use it to connect to remote offices while maintaining secure connections. XFRM interfaces are more flexible. They can be configured to use either RIP or OSPF routing protocols.
A route-based VPN tunnel interface is a layer-3 logical interface. Traffic that goes through a VTI is encapsulated using IPsec. Routing table entries determine whether traffic is routed through a tunnel interface. This gives you a clear understanding of which networks are connected to which IP addresses. You can use the routing table to define the different zones that you want to encrypt traffic.
Using a numbered tunnel interface for policy-based VPNs
In a numbered tunnel interface, a routing protocol session can be created. For the numbered tunnel interface to work properly, an administrator must add it to the VPN zone and assign a private subnet address to it. SonicOS 18.104.22.168, which officially introduced this feature, has a numbered tunnel interface. This feature is required if you’re using NAT or a third-party application that requires separate SAs for remote subnets.
The logical unit number of a numbered tunnel interface is a number between 0 and 65,535 for demux static interfaces and 16385 for other static interface types. You can use a numbered tunnel interface when configuring a Policy-Based VPN. For more information, see Configuring Route-Based VPN Tunnels
ICMP echo timeout caused by a vpn tunnel interface
A VPN tunnel interface may experience an ICMP echo timeout due to a variety of reasons, but one of the most common is a problem with the connection’s network connection. During this timeout, the VPN tunnel cannot send data to other devices connected to the network. In such a case, you should try to find the cause and fix the problem. Using the ping command will provide you with the necessary information. A ping command can show you the route, packet loss rate, and average RTT, among other statistics.
The ICMP echo timeout can occur intermittently, or it may occur once in a while. The ICMP echo reply isn’t required for every ping packet, so it can occur only a few times a day. If you’re experiencing this problem, contact an expert for help. A certified network engineer (Cisco/Microsoft) can help you fix this issue.
Using a CA certificate for remote endpoint verification
When using a VPN tunnel interface, remote endpoints need to be verified by a Certificate Authority (CA). Self-signed certificates cannot be used to establish a VPN connection. To create a CA certificate for a remote endpoint, use the Windows Certificate Authority. On the Extensions tab of Windows Certificate Authority, select IP security end system. If you already have FDM, the end system must be enrolled with the CA.
IPsec is one of the safest methods for setting up a VPN. It encrypts IP packet data and provides secure logical paths between peers. This standards-based security solution uses tunnels to transport data over public networks. IKE uses a secure cryptographic algorithm called a transform set to encrypt the data that enters the tunnel. VPN clients can use a predefined or custom encryption key, but this may not meet security requirements.
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