Three 4G better through a VPN
May 6, 2020 at 8:14 am #42899ParticipantDave Rice@ricedg
Since lock down my internet connections have been dreadful from about this time of day onwards. My TalkTalk FTTC is affected but not by as much as Three which can be dreadful (but TT suffers from total drop outs). My daughter is home from Uni and is having to do her German and Chinese lectures / exams online so this is more of an issue. Netflix / iPlayer in the evening can be a total pain – but is generally OK.
But if I start a download for say the new Ubuntu ISO, either by torrent or traditional download, it soon gets up to speed and stays there. So it seems pure bandwidth is not necessarily the issue and Speedtest.net produces contradicting and contrary results. I can get a totally different result from my phone than the router too. Sometimes my daughter finds it more reliable to run a hot spot on her phone, but not always.
What I have noticed is that if I am going through my own VPN servers (based in Docklands, London) things are so much better. I just clicked on a Facebook link to the Top 10 Indian Takeaways in Bristol hosted by the Bristol Post website. Wait forever, time out. Fired up Wireguard and in straight away and the same is true of OpenVPN (but Wireguard is faster).
I’m going to have to think about this one and what may be causing it (I have a different router coming from Lee) but I suspect it’s out of my control and, as I said, can affect FTTC too. I’m not sure my server bandwidth allowance will be up to running a permanent VPN connection for the whole house, especially with streaming being so popular!
But it may explain the problems Drezha was having as it seems very similar.
May 6, 2020 at 12:14 pm #42900ParticipantBob Williams@bullstuff2Forumite Points: 13,468
Dave I don’t use speedtest.net much now, I mostly use think broadband: https://tinyurl.com/ybggxwc9
I had problems with speedtest after the lockdown and everyone was on t’internet. It kept directing me to the Hull servers of Kcom, which is garbage. Think broadband’s servers are not known to me, but I get the same averages every time, with less lag.
When the Thought Police arrive at your door, think -
I'm out.May 6, 2020 at 1:42 pm #42901
I’ve been using Speedtest for years now and whenever I’m using it in earnest, after a fault or an upgrade, I actually run it through different servers, Canterbury, Maidstone and London are my goto ones.May 7, 2020 at 7:21 am #42914
Yes I suppose I should pick the same Speedtest target each time, but that’s not really what I was on about.
Just had the issue right now, Forumite lagging, replying to the asus mobo post took ages to go through. Shut down Chrome, fire up the VPN and everything working as you’d expect.
I’m wondering if it’s DNS related, not at my end so much as in Three and TalkTalk land. But there is no doubt that the VPN speeds things up, which is pure bandwidth terms is contradictory as a VPN slows that down as encryption has an overhead (WireGuard is less than OpenVPN).May 7, 2020 at 3:04 pm #42915
Could it be a version of the old contention issue, but on a National scale as opposed to a local scale.
With home working on a huge scale, those at home using the net much more in general, but also for a lot more, are the National ‘pipes and flow’, for want of a better phrase, be under more pressure and those in charge of balancing the load haven’t got it right yet? Somewhat like the old National Grid, before better capability and management came in, being prone to voltage drops and power cuts??May 7, 2020 at 3:47 pm #42916
I had a thought about my previous comment only applying to the TT broadband, and was going to amend it, but actually the supply/usage aspect could just as easily apply to 4G as well,.May 7, 2020 at 6:06 pm #42917
If it was contention I would expect the VPN to be affected as well. The VPN tunnel has to got through all the same ISP infrastructure before it gets to Docklands. Or may be it doesn’t? Is there a faster more direct route to Telehouse?May 7, 2020 at 6:34 pm #42918
I suppose the answer to that would lie in how the VPN companies structure is set out and whether it varies from the everyday internet structure. I imagine that there would be a variance as the VPN companies would want it to be targeted rather than any old random around the house route. Getting into the realms of Cloud Thinking here, so that’s where I start to guess with logic!!May 7, 2020 at 11:18 pm #42924
It’s not a commercial VPN service, I know someone who has NordVPN and he’s complaining that it’s almost unusable at the moment. It’s my own Linux server hosted by Digital Ocean in Docklands (so I assume Telehouse).
Telehouse is a group of buildings that as well as being huge Data Centres are also home to the London Internet Exchange which had a massive upgrade for the Olympics. Perhaps this is the key, where I’m exiting into the big wide world.May 7, 2020 at 11:29 pm #42926
, I know someone who has NordVPN and he’s complaining that it’s almost unusable at the moment.
With the whole working from home world trying to access their office, that’s hardly surprising, it’s overloaded past the anticipated usage levels.
Perhaps this is the key, where I’m exiting into the big wide world.
Your private slip road on to the Internet Superhighway!! Nice!!!May 8, 2020 at 6:56 am #42927
I’ve just had a look at my Digital Ocean usage and it’s trivial compared to the allowance. That’s only my laptop and one day but nevertheless I’m now going to have a look at how I can route all outgoing traffic to the VPN server(s).
A laptop, phone or PC can easily have the VPN client installed but the TV can’t!May 8, 2020 at 7:22 am #42928ParticipantPlaneMan@planemanForumite Points: 7,534
Dave, I use Nord and it’s better than ever. They have a new VPN protocol, NordLynx.
Get your mate to switch to that in the settings, see if that helps.May 8, 2020 at 7:50 am #42929ParticipantTCBarrett@tcbarrettForumite Points: 425
Sounds like ISP throttling/packet sniffing your HTTP traffic?
VPS service is encrypted and uses a different protocol for the initial internal connection.
- Have you tried https://testmy.net/ to test actual file download times?
- How does Chrome browser vs Firefox vs VPN compare/
(FF now encrypts DNS requests, bypassing many ISP domain blocks)
Family. Coffee. CrossFit. WordPress. にほんご。May 8, 2020 at 12:13 pm #42930
The browser doesn’t make any real difference and neither does the bandwidth testing, it’s always more than adequate. Time of day makes the biggest difference so it must be traffic related in some way, which is reflected in the bandwidth speeds, but as I’ve said it’s never really slow.
The best way to explain is it a terrible lag to get onto a website then everything seems to be OK, for a while. The lag can be so bad that the browser errors with empty response. Let’s say you’re going to Ubuntu to get the latest ISO, time out getting connected to the website, which sorts itself out in a second or two, get to the download page and it soon gets up to the download speed you’d expect and generally stays there. Let it finish, connect to a different website and trouble again. Or may be not.
Sometimes Netflix is affected and if it is it’s unusable with continual buffering. iPlayer the same if not worse, but generally they’re both OK and the issues are always in the evening. Do a bandwidth test and there doesn’t seem to be a problem.
So traffic related for sure, but why then does a VPN help? If it was bandwidth shaping the VPN would be affected too. If it was level 7 sniffing then a network test on a different device at the time would be affected as well, it’s generally not. Even with a VPN I have to get all the way through the ISP’s networks to get to Docklands, unless it has it’s own feed somehow that bypasses some of the ISP network.
Three is worse than TalkTalk FTTC but both can be affected, so I think I can rule out my networks as each is air gapped and use totally different hardware. It’s a weird one.May 8, 2020 at 2:11 pm #42931
I have been getting that slow to connect thing on Talk Talk but it goes away if I connect through the Avast VPN. Makes me wonder how Avast routes my DNS lookup request packets. Could be that they route all lookup requests to their own DNS server.
If the Talk Talk DNS server was being overloaded then that would explain the speed difference.May 8, 2020 at 6:50 pm #42934
I thought about DNS, but local or VPN Google is the resolver in either case, the OpenVPN is PiHole too. It’s all contradictory but the new 4G router has an IPSec client so I’m going to create an IPSec server sometime this weekend, if that works I’ll put PiHole on there too.May 8, 2020 at 8:17 pm #42935
If your VPN provider runs its own DNS servers then they could be returning IP addresses without going anywhere near Google or anyone else, could they not ?
Or have you got greater control over your VPN than me ?May 8, 2020 at 8:21 pm #42936
I should read the start of a thread before I jump in 😂.
So your VPN is just your link to your Linux server in docklands then ?May 9, 2020 at 8:41 am #42938
Yep, that’s all any VPN is. There’s an article in this month’s computer shopper about making a home VPN server using a Pi – not difficult and basically what I’ve done in the cloud – but it has the code to route all outgoing traffic on to a commercial VPN, in this case Nord.
So the topology is that your device connects wirelessly to the PI via a VPN then onto another VPN between the Pi and a cloud VPN server. I just need to nick the code that does the forwarding. Whilst I have a good idea what it will entail I don’t have the knowledge to do it from scratch.
Adapting this approach may be the answer to linking devices to the internet en masse via a VPN without needing the router to do anything other than route. I have a spare Pi and can also create VMs of any o/s, it’s working out the IP end that I need to get my head around.May 23, 2020 at 10:35 am #43277ParticipantDrezha@drezhaForumite Points: 3,138
I’m not sure. We moved away from Three in March, when we got a fixed line with Origin and that had been serving me well.
However, I have dug out the Three router today as Origin seem to be having issues (at least, I couldn’t resolve the situation my end this morning).
We’ll use this for a few days before going back to the fixed line – however, I am looking at a new router with load balancing, as this isn’t the first time that Origin have gone down this month.May 23, 2020 at 12:20 pm #43280
It got so bad I moved the network back to TalkTalk. Others I know of on Three are OK so I suspect it’s a local problem. The way they’ve done the sectors here puts most of the residences on the same antenna.
Openreach have been swarming around the estate for weeks, no idea what they’re up to but the visited every manhole at some time or another. But my FTTC connection has been solid for over 9 days now, unheard of before, so whatever it was has worked. I hope it’s getting ready for FTTP.
Makes me laugh looking at the BT avaiabilty site, apparently 36Mbps is only good enough for “Everyday browsing and streaming on one or two devices at once”. I’ve heard this bollocks from Virgin too.
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