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can someone recommend some good VPN services?

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DTMark

ULTIMATE Member
Astrill seems to work well. It does seem to be contended to a degree e.g. average downstream speed 23Meg normally, but with the VPN it's around 19 to 21Meg, upstream is hit harder e.g. normal speed 20Meg but routing via that, it's more like 18Meg.

Basically it seems to shave about 2 to 3 Meg off in each direction.

That's with a London based private fixed IP.
 

Johno

Pro Member
I use Swiss VPN and they are around £5 month.
They support Open Vpn, PPTP and L2TP/IPsec.
On there PPTP they can offer you a firewall with that aswell.
On my 8mb line it runs well and remember if you run the VPN on widows make sure you have got client for MS networks and file & print share OFF and just to be on the safe side and disable IPV6 over PPTP.
 

DTMark

ULTIMATE Member
Does anyone have any experience of setting up their own VPNs?

I have servers at a datacentre which only have 100Mbps ports, they're mostly used for testing stuff out as opposed to production hosting. I could get those upgraded to gigabit ports, but dedicated low end boxes (it's not the IO or the processor speed that really matters here) are so cheap these days I wonder if the best option is to take out a low end box at a decent data centre and create my own dedicated service.

My Astrill VPN services are coming up for renewal and I haven't been all that impressed recently, with only 20 to 25Meg on tap in both directions, seeing that have speed shaved off of it in both directions grates a little and I've had repeated problems with FTP on the upstream which is the direction that gets hit the hardest.

I'd seek out a VPN provider which actively blocks P2P since I guess most of the traffic clogging up the service is exactly that and that's not what I use it for. But setting up my own box for maybe just 3x the cost appeals.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Setting up your own VPN by using a high end router or a router with the custom http://www.dd-wrt.com firmware is quite easy, but configuring it properly to do everything you want and still be secure would require me to write a larger article. Alternatively you could dabble with OpenVPN but I usually find the router-based method to be a lot easier than setting up a dedicated computer, depending upon what you want to do of course.
 

Bob2002

ULTIMATE Member
Does anyone have any experience of setting up their own VPNs? ...
Setting up a VPN service on a server is fairly easy, you'll find tutorials online for something like PPTP on Linux. It's one of the first things I "bung"(technical term) on the low end boxes I use(just in case I ever need it). Your key requirement seems to be decent bandwidth and I suppose that depends on how much you're prepared to pay(in my case - not a lot). :hrmph:
 

DTMark

ULTIMATE Member
I've been looking into VPNs as while Astrill does everything that I want, it's not the most reliable.

I'm not completely convinced that the problems I've been having with it being up and down all this evening are their fault, I did re-enable the Apple services on this PC having bought an iPad and the problems began soon thereafter, the reason I disabled them originally was for this reason. Then again, the problems seemed to stop around midnight all by themselves. But anyway..

This is a murky world to delve into. It makes hanging around in a car park somewhere in the dead of night to pick up some weed look respectable.

There doesn't seem to be a market for what I want, which is to pay a reasonable sum of money - say, £40 a month maybe, just enough to keep the P2P leeches away, and have something that is reliable and not so contended that the meagre bandwidth that we get doesn't suffer too much.

Most of the websites advertise themselves as "suitable for P2P" and some of them look like something a child put together.

I look at review websites, which all seem to focus on price.

I think I'm going to have to set my own box up. But before I do, has anyone come across one which does what I want, which would have to have a UK based proxy, provide a fixed IP address, have high uptime and low contention?

Maybe I should start such a company.. ;)
 

Pedrostech

ULTIMATE Member
I use nvpn. It's a friend's VPN as I don't often need to use one. He manages to get around 70mbps down on it with only a small increase in latency. I haven't tested it with the smoothwall appliance yet.
 

sentup.custard

ULTIMATE Member
I'm wondering about the people who I've been using for about two years, Mark - VPNUK. I've found their ordinary shared IP account OK, pretty reliable and decent speeds apart from on a few of the overseas servers, and they also offer two versions of a fixed IP account:
https://vpnuk.info/dedicated-ip.html

You don't get the choice of umpteen overseas servers with these like you do on my shared IP account - one version is UK, USA and Italy, the other is just UK - but if it's just UK that you're looking for one or other might be suitable.
At £9.99 a month I'm not sure that they'd provide the standard of service that you're looking for, and they don't block P2P apart from on the USA server, but those whose aim is to download the entire planet for nothing are, I would think, more likely to go for cheaper £5.99 account with a wider choice of servers, so they might be worth a try for a month to see how it goes.
 

DTMark

ULTIMATE Member
Looks interesting not least because it provides you with the manual settings you need for it to work with a hardware based router.

https://vpnuk.info/setup-windows8-pptp.html

It also has the dedicated IP with port forwarding so it works on the inbound (e.g. RealVNC access to desktop when away).

I shall investigate.. thanks.
 

sentup.custard

ULTIMATE Member
"it provides you with the manual settings"

Yes, that's an essential for me too! I run a Linux system, and my version of Network Manager doesn't like to "import" things - if a VPN provider doesn't simply give me the necessary detail for me to set the whole thing up manually, they are a definite non-starter for me.
 

DTMark

ULTIMATE Member
I opted to go with my own VPN box in the end. Server should be ready in the rack tomorrow.

Astrill has more or less broken altogether now.

UK Server 4A, which is the one I was provisioned on, is useless between about 9pm and 1am, repeatedly disconnects and is badly congested. It works OK during the day (when Australians are asleep, perchance?)

They gave me a trial on UK Server 5A - that's just as useless.

I'm guessing the Commonwealth Games and possibly Coronation Street are to blame.

At no stage is there any admission whatsoever that there is a problem.

It took me to suggest that the service was badly over-sold and horrendously congested, linking to speed tests, and several attempts by their operatives to suggest resetting the settings over and over before I was given the trial on Server 5A.

Which is just as congested and useless.

I really do wonder if there is a market for a good quality VPN provider who guarantees uptime and SLAs, VPNs will be a huge growth industry.

So I thought I'd experiment with my own box..
 

sentup.custard

ULTIMATE Member
Well, as you know what you're doing and don't mind spending a bit that's probably the best option.
If you market it though, don't forget that you'll have to throw in a £5 Poundshop voucher and a 2-for-1 meal deal at Mr Greasy's Kebab House on Wednesdays to attract customers. ;)

Seriously, I suspect that if there are any really decent "business" VPN providers around, they are probably buried in those "bespoke solutions" type of sites that give absolutely no idea of the cost and just say "contact us for more detail". This seems to be normal practice in business, but it puts me right off. No prices = no sign up as far as I'm concerned, just the same as no shelf ticket and no price sticker on the goods = no purchase when I'm shopping.
 

DTMark

ULTIMATE Member
By the way, I did sign up with VPNUK for one month just to get something that works straight away. And it does.

Speed tests don't show congestion, it's much more "snappy" than Astrill, and doesn't keep on disconnecting.

So that will work in the meantime until I can get the server (cheap VPS box) configured.

Now contemplating a card charge-back on the last payment I made to Astrill.
 

sentup.custard

ULTIMATE Member
Oh good - glad it was useful to you, albeit on a temporary basis. :)

Incidentally, totally off topic but...
EE's latest blunder is to reset my usage figure. Last night I had 23.2 GB left this month, this morning I have the full 25 GB left, according to them I haven't used anything at all. :confused:
You mentioned elsewhere that you might go for the same deal, 25GB for £30, on a multiple basis - well, at that rate you'd only need to buy it once! :laugh:
 

DTMark

ULTIMATE Member
Oh good - glad it was useful to you, albeit on a temporary basis. :)

Incidentally, totally off topic but...
EE's latest blunder is to reset my usage figure. Last night I had 23.2 GB left this month, this morning I have the full 25 GB left, according to them I haven't used anything at all. :confused:
You mentioned elsewhere that you might go for the same deal, 25GB for £30, on a multiple basis - well, at that rate you'd only need to buy it once! :laugh:
The counter stuck at 7GB for weeks once :)

Sadly, it appears I've used 8GB in 3 days. No reset here :(

I have some suspicions about their data counter - this new router has a built-in counter, if I could remember to reset it on the start of a new allowance, I could see if there are any discrepancies.
 

sentup.custard

ULTIMATE Member
I agree, their counter does seem a bit suspect at times, I've noticed the data remaining figure suddenly decreasing by more than I would expect on a couple of occasions, but with my usage I'm not really worried. My highest monthly figure this year with ICUK is 17.45GB in April (10.54 down, 6.91 up), so even if I had a really heavy month and used 20GB (which I've never actually hit yet) and EE's counter was as much as 10% out so claimed I'd used 22GB, I'd still have 3GB left over on their figures.
 

DTMark

ULTIMATE Member
Must admit it has been a fair number of years since I read that TCP-IP book.

But after about 40 minutes with the server, I now appear to have my own VPN :)
 
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