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using strongvpn here, speeds are great i can get HD streams on US netflix. As for signing up for US netflix i use entropay virtual visa.
 

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I gave VPNReactor a try since they have free accounts. The free accounts aren't good for much except testing. The number of available free accounts is limited. Then takes several retries to log in and it logs you out after 30 minutes. Didn't try it with Hulu since I don't have an account. The sites I did try, such as TV networks, worked well for the allowed 30 minutes. On the plus side, it's not too expensive and, IIRC, they take Paypal.
 

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I just subscribed to StrongVPN and configured it on my dd-wrt firmware router and now my entire network can access US based services. Hulu for my PC, Pandora for my Sonos...the list get longer with everything I try. The speeds are very good but it depends on the router you are using, the older router like a WRT54G only has a 200Mhz processor whereas the WRT310N has a 300 Mhz and that makes a difference. I am going to upgrade to the WRT610N to get a 600 Mhz processor. I was loosing about 20% of my bandwidth on the 310N when downloading from newsgroups. Now the is pretty good considering it has 10 download streams running and the router is encyrpting all of it.

I will be working on routing with the router to only route US based service through the VPN tunnel and leave non-location based traffic through my ISP. Another plus...not throttling for bittorrent and other P2P!
This exactly what i am looking for, a way for my tv's, ps3's and my whole network to be hidden so i can access the US content form my panny tv, and ps3.

bscarlett, how you did this with your router or post it here, i would really like to try this at home.. not to mention be able o use the Hulu Ipad app among others ...
 

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kevsim, you need a router with dd-wrt firmware Details on setup etc can be found on the dd-wrt website.
 

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I have some questions about using VPN.

I have several computers in my house, two of which are just standalone server boxes, plus Iphones, Itouch, networked BD player (LG BD390), and a WDTV Live. The server boxes have internet access and contain all of the music, movies, TV shows, etc. My modem is a Bell Aliant FibreOp modem which goes to a Linksys 310N that supplies everything with IP addresses.

So my questions are:
1. Can I use the VPN on selected devices only or do they all connect at the same time?

2. The BD390 US firmware has built in support for Netflix US. I would have to load the US firmware, so will that screw anything up when I am not on the VPN?

3. If my WDTV and BD390 are connected to the VPN, can I still access my shared folders on my server if the server is not connected to the VPN? I'm assuming yes, since the Linksys is still sending out static IP's of 192.168.1.xxx, right?

I'm sure there will be more questions if I decide to go this route.

Thanks!!
 

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So I went ahead and signed up for a three month PPTP VPN with Strong VPN.

Setup was very quick and I was able to watch Hulu in less than 10 minutes. I have a DD-WRT router that is set up in wireless repeater mode, connecting to my FibreOp router.

I haven't noticed any lag at all in videos I've watched from Hulu, CBS, NBC, etc. For fun, I decided to do a comparison speed test when connected to my Fibre connection and then the VPN.

First, the Fibre connection:



Now the VPN test off the same server:



Most times that I have tried the speed test on the VPN, I get download speeds in the 10 Mb/s range. So it seems to be a slower connection, which I expected, but overall, it works great. Next up is Netflix!
 

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VPN Performance: testing for the right Home Internet plan

The main objective of a good Internet client connection to a media-streaming server is of course download speed, but when connecting through a VPN if your home connection's upload speed is not good it could be choking your download speed, especially if your Internet connection is shared by several users and/or devices.

Here's why. Most proprietary media-streaming client-server protocols don't require a lot of Level 2 Internet-layer TCP/IP communication between your machine and theirs, so a typical Home High Speed Internet plan will be satisfactory. In willise's high-end Fibre example we can see that he has a huge pipeline up and down between the client and server. Add to that the fact that any communication between the client and server is up in the higher Transport and Application layers where it is optimized to greatly reduce network load by a number of means and you have a blazing fast connection but at extra $$$ to the consumer.

But when the connection to the server is wrapped through a VPN service you can see the cost in Level 2 Internet-layer TCP/IP overhead as the client now has to respond with an "ACK" packet before the server can send the next payload, even though the original higher level protocols are working perfectly in their optimized state. This is why upload speed is so important for good VPN connections rather than just download speed. ACK packets are tiny, but when you get enough of them queued-up on your home network while other users and devices on your Internet connection are also using it, you get traffic jams that cause slowing. Sometimes even with a high download speed Internet plan the upload speed is just not enough to handle it all, and your media-streaming begins to suffer slower downloads (in the worst case causing jerking and skips in your favourite program).

If you find that using a VPN service is unacceptably slow, you might need to get a better Internet connection plan for your home with higher upload speeds. Take at least 3 different Web-based connection speed tests to their nearest test servers to get a realistic idea of your Internet upload performance with and without VPN. It is best to run these tests while your home Internet connection is under its heaviest typical load:

http://www.speedtest.net
http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/
http://www.auditmypc.com/internet-speed-test.asp
http://www.whatismyip.com/tools/internet-speed-test.asp
http://reviews.cnet.com/internet-speed-test/

Write down the average upload speed given by each test with and without VPN. Generally the results you get will be quite similar from each test, but if one gives very significantly lower results than the others there may have been a unique problem with it so just discard that one and carry on. With this info contact your ISP and ask how much improvement in upload performance can be purchased. ISPs focus their consumer plans onl download performance, so generally a higher plan will boost both. Shop around too.

Looking at willise's numbers he is absolutely fine with or without the VPN connection due to that splendid ~5Mbps upload capability on both. :)

Hint to networking geeks: apply traffic-shaping that bumps up ACK priority, but as always: test, test, test! ;)
 

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I find that ddwrt is slowing the vpn connection when comparing it from the win7 client. I only have a 0.8/5Mbps connection and ddwrt (wrt54g) cuts it in half when i use ddwrt, however i get full speed when i use turn off pptp in ddwrt and use the win7 client.

I bought a wireless N router with vpn pass-through, and using the stock firmware, I get around 4-5 Mbps when connected to strongvpn.
 

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I bought a wireless N router with vpn pass-through, and using the stock firmware, I get around 4-5 Mbps when connected to strongvpn.
Hey romstah.

If you don't mind me asking, what Wireless N router did you go with that has vpn pass-through built in and is it still holding up for you? I'm in the market for both a VPN service and a wireless N router. Might be worth looking at a hardware option like this.

thanks
 

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I just signed up with VPN Authority, cost $6.50 per month ($5.40 per month if prepaid for 12 months). So far works great on Hulu, not tried with Netflix.

To add, just did a speed test. 4.8 mbps download and 0.98 mbps upload with VPN, compared to 25.2 mbps download and 0.99 mbps without VPN. The Shaw speedboost for small files was in use, but my normal 15 mbps d/l compared to 4.8 mbps with VPN Authority is quite a reduction. For watching non HD streaming videos it should be fine?
 

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More DB, are you connecting via PC or do you have a VPN router?
 

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Hugh, I just saw your reply. I am connected directly through PC

Would a VPN router be the way to go? If so, how would I setup?
 

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Not necessarily better. VPN Router means all your devices go through the VPN. I discuss my VPN router needs in a couple of threads around here. I am currently testing VyperVPN.
 

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If so, how would I setup?
You need a router with firmware that supports VPN. DD-WRT firmware does. Tomato probably does as well. Not sure which routers support it with native firmware. The actual setup would be similar to setting up VPN anywhere else. (Enter VPN IP, username, password and any other info.)
 

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short of using advanced routing techniques is there a way I can SIMPLY exclude some traffic from going through a VPN while include other traffic.

Here's my goal.

My HTPC is connected to 3 DMA2100's via a switch. The HTPC has two NIC's if that helps in anyway. The Switch is connected to my router. I want access to US netflix and Hulu ect... on the HTPC and the extenders but I need the all the standard traffic (particularily my Utorrent) to connect directly to my ISP. I regularily reach 1.5 MB on my Utorrent torrent downloads and don't want to sacrifice these great speeds by bottlenecking it via the VPN. I would even be happy if I could excluded just Torrent activity and everything else went via VPN.

I know I can do this via some advanced routing but I'm not interested into getting into all that, I am just looking to have the HTPC exclude the torrent load from the VPN...

Cheers
 

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I trialed usvideo.org last week and it seems to work well. It's a DNS-based service and not a VPN. Not exactly sure how it works, but traffic flows over your normal ISP connection unless you're accessing one of the several video sites that the service recognizes.

It should work for your needs soul_stalker.
 
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