Configure Modem Failover

You can configure your Firebox T10, XTM 2 Series, 3 Series, or 5 Series device to send traffic through a modem when it cannot send traffic with any external interface.

Connect a serial or 3G/4G modem to the USB port on the Firebox or XTM device. To use a serial modem, you must have a dial-up account with an ISP (Internet Service Provider). To use a 3G/4G modem, the device must use Fireware XTM OS v11.7.3 or later and you must have a 3G or 4G data plan with a wireless service provider. Some 3G/4G modems require a higher minimum version of Fireware XTM OS.

Modem failover is supported for these 3G/4G modems:

Modem failover is supported for these serial modems:

For XTM 21, 22, and 23 devices, you must use an IOGEAR GUC323A USB to Serial RS-232 adapter to connect the serial modem to the USB port on the XTM device.

Enable Modem Failover

  1. Select Network > Modem.
    The Modem page appears.
  2. Select the Enable Modem for Failover when all External interfaces are down check box.

Screen shot of the Modem failover settings, Account tab

  1. Complete the settings on the Account, DNS, Dial-Up, and Link Monitor tabs, as described in the subsequent sections.
  2. Click Save.

Account Settings

In the Dial Up Account Settings section, you configure the settings your modem uses to connect.

3G/4G Modem

For a 3G or 4G modem, the telephone number is the access number specified by your wireless service provider. Examples of 3G and 4G access numbers are *99#, *99****1#, and #777. The settings for access point name, account name, domain, and password are not required for all 3G/4G modems. Some wireless service providers also require an Access Point Name (APN) in order to establish a connection. To determine the requirements to configure your modem, contact your wireless service provider.

  1. Select the Account tab.
  2. Select the Enable 3G/4G modem support check box.
    If a Telephone number is not already specified, the Telephone number is set to *99# when you select this check box .
  3. If necessary, change the Telephone number to the access number required by your wireless service provider.
  4. If you have another access number for your wireless service provider, in the Alternate Telephone number text box, type that number.
  5. If your connection requires an APN, in the Access point name text box, type the APN required by your wireless service provider.
  6. If necessary, type the Account name, Account domain, and Account password the modem must use to connect to your account.

Serial Modem

For a serial modem, configure these settings.

  1. Select the Account tab.
  2. In the Telephone number text box, type the telephone number of your ISP.
  3. If you have another number for your ISP, in the Alternate Telephone number text box, type that number.
  4. In the Account name text box, type your dial-up account name.
  5. If you log in to your account with a domain name, in the Account domain text box, type the domain name.

    For example, msn.com.
  6. In the Account password text box, type the password you use to connect to your dial-up account.

Enable Modem Failover Debug Log Messages

If you have problems with your connection, select the Enable modem and PPP debug trace check box. When this option is selected, the Firebox or XTM device sends detailed log messages to the event log file when a modem failover occurs.

DNS Settings 

If your ISP or wireless service provider does not provide DNS server information, or if you must use a different DNS server, you can manually add the IP addresses for a DNS server to use after failover occurs.

  1. Select the DNS tab.
    The DNS Settings page appears.

Screen shot of the Modem failover DNS Settings

  1. Select the Manually configure DNS server IP addresses check box.
  2. In the Primary DNS server text box, type the IP address of the primary DNS server.
  3. If you have a secondary DNS server, in the Secondary DNS server text box, type the IP address for the secondary server.
  4. In the MTU text box, for compatibility purposes, you can set the Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) to a different value. Most users can keep the default setting.

Dial-Up Settings

  1. Select the Dial Up tab.
    The Dialing Options page appears.

Screen shot of the Modem Failover Dial Up settings

  1. In the Dial up timeout text box, type or select the number of seconds before a timeout occurs if your modem does not connect. The default value is two (2) minutes.
  2. In the Redial attempts text box, type or select the number of times the XTM device tries to redial if your modem does not connect. The default value is three (3) connection attempts.
  3. In the Inactivity timeout text box, type or select the number of minutes to wait if no traffic goes through the modem before a timeout occurs. The default value is no timeout (0 minutes).
  4. From the Speaker volume drop-down list, select the speaker volume for your modem.

Advanced Settings

Some dial-up ISPs or wireless service providers require that you specify one or more PPP options in order to connect. In China, for example, some ISPs require that you use the PPP option receive-all. The receive-all option causes PPP to accept all control characters from the peer.

  1. Select the Advanced tab.

Screen shot of the Modem Failover Advanced tab, PPP Options settings

  1. In the PPP options text box, type the required PPP options.
    To specify more than one PPP option, separate each option with a comma.

Link Monitor Settings

The Link Monitor is a tool you can use to verify the status of each external interface on your Firebox or XTM device. When you configure the modem settings on your Firebox or XTM device, you can set options to test one or more external interfaces for an active connection. When an external interface becomes active again, the device no longer sends traffic over the modem. Instead, it uses the available external interface or interfaces. You can configure the Link Monitor to ping a site or device on the external interface, create a TCP connection with a site and port number you specify, or both. You can also set the time interval between each connection test, and configure the number of times a test must fail or succeed before an interface is activated or deactivated.

To configure the link monitor settings for an interface:

  1. Select the Link Monitor tab.
    The ping and TCP connection options you set for each external interface appear.

Screen shot of the Modem failover settings,  Link Monitor tab

  1. Select an interface from the list and click Configure.
    The Link Monitor dialog box appears.

Screen shot of the Link Monitor Details dialog box

  1. To ping a location or device on the external network, select the Ping check box. In the adjacent text box, type an IP address or host name.
  2. To create a TCP connection to a location or device on the external network, select the TCP check box. In the adjacent text box, type an IP address or host name.
    (Optional) In the Port text box, type or select a port number.
    The default port number is 80 (HTTP).
  3. To require successful ping and TCP connections before an interface is marked as active, select the Both Ping and TCP must be successful check box.
  4. To change the time interval between connection attempts, in the Probe interval text box, type or select a different number.
    The default setting is 15 seconds.
  5. To change the number of failures that mark an interface as inactive, in the Deactivate after text box, type or select a different number .
    The default value is three (3) connection attempts.
  6. To change the number of successful connections that mark an interface as active, in the Reactivate after text box, type or select a different number.
    The default value is three (3) connection attempts.
  7. Click OK.

See Also

About Using Multiple External Interfaces

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