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^If you use unblockus you don't need any VPN software on the machine. I use it on my xbox, WDTV Live Hub and have access to all the US services.
 

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Subscribed to StrongVPN in order to access US Netflix, Hulu using Roku. No problem signing in to Roku, Netflix but Roku box 2050x won't let me into programming. Using standard cable modem and Linksys 1310. Appreciate swift kick to get going.....
 

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I see lots of suggestions for VPN service providers and also for unblockus and other DNS services?

Is one solution better than another? It would be nice to change the router and have all devices work the same, but that might be harder to switch back and forth. For those using (and paying) for a service, how did you choose between installing software on your PC, vs. changing router DNS settings, vs. whatever else there is?

I tried Hotspot Shield mostly for security and was playing at watching Hulu, but every so often an ad would start playing (video) and mix with the audio from the Hulu. Is there a way around that?

Thanks!
=aw
 

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Presently I subscribe to both Netflix services and ******.
For US netflix I use a laptop and a Wii. I just modified the *** settings.
For CDN Netflix I use two laptops with hdmi connectors and an Insigna blue-ray player.

I keep the devices with hdmi connectors on the CDN Netflix since they seem to have more of the movies available in HD than the US Netflix.
 

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Regarding the options of VPN and unblock-us, I've setup both. Unblock-us just requires a DNS change to use, and I was confused about how it could possibly work, since GeoIP blocking has nothing to do with DNS. I read a posts from people gave describe of how it worked that were technically implausible.

So I subscribed, did some analysis and figured it out.

How unblock-us functions is that they have "proxy" servers in the USA that basically forward your TCP requests based on the host headers of the HTTP request. Then they setup DNS servers that modify certain DNS records (of the "targeted" video streaming sites) and change the "A" record to return their proxy server IPs rather than the actual IP of, say, hulu.com.

There are a few obvious technological counters to the unblock-us method that could be used by video streaming sites. SSL + client-side code that does a IP check for "netflix.com" or "hulu.com". This could be implemented in the flash player app.

So, while the unblock-us is a bit more convenient than a VPN, I think it is a lot more susceptible to countermeasures should the streaming site decide to implement them. Oh, and VPNs also have other uses.

Oh, and one other negative of unblock-us is that the responsiveness of their DNS servers isn't as good as my ISPs DNS servers. This doesn't affect me for most sites since I'm using a forward-caching DNS server on my local network (which forwards to unblock-us currently), but it makes web browsing a little less "snappy".

On the whole I'd have to give unblock-us a conditional thumbs-up. I'd recommend the month-to-month subscription though, because I doubt you'd get your money back from them if Hulu implemented the fairly obvious countermeasure to this service.
 

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Discussion Starter #106
I use unblock-us as well and am quite happy with the service. I didn't notice that it slows down web browsing at all. One downside to it is that they have to have placed the video streaming sites that you want to watch on a "whitelist". They seem to have all of the major services, inclduing BBC from the UK, but there may be other occasional streaming sites, like Masters golf, that won't work.
 

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Steve Gibson provides a DNS benchmarking tool here. It is quite good.

Shaw's DNS severs were turning around queries in like ~20-25ms, and unblock-us was like 200ms when I tested it. I specifically did the testing because I noticed it was slower. It's only the name lookup that would be slower, once you have the IP for the various names used in a site, the performance is no different.

Edit: I should note that this isn't a major criticism of unblock-us and its slower DNS lookups. One would expect that because the packets have a lot farther to go.
 

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will a VPN help my torrent speeds?

I dload anywhere from 2-20gb of content a month via utorrent. Will VPN help speed this up?

I am getting abysmal dload speeds currently (anywhere from 3Kb/sec to 100Kb/sec)

I have a WRT54GL router running Tomato.

P
 

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I'm using UnoTelly.com right now and so far so good.

It's $4.95 a month and no speed loss because it's not a VPN (i.e. doesn't reroute all your traffic because that's how it slows you down).
 

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For those of you using one of the DNS-based services (eg. unblock-us or unotelly), if you don't want to install their software, I found a free program to quickly switch your Windows DNS settings back and forth. For example, this would be handy if you want to switch between US Netflix and Cdn Netflix.

It's called DNS Jumper. The author's website is here:
http://www.sordum.com/?p=4573
The user interface could use some work, but the program does the job well.

I also found a more complex program that switches many settings, not just DNS, if you need something like that. It's called NetSetMan and it's free for non-commercial use, available here:
http://www.netsetman.com
 

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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.
It’s not DD_WRT that’s slowing things down, it’s your routers hardware. The CPU can’t keep up with the intense crypto (decoding / encoding the encryption) needed by the VPN. (When you're using the Router as a whole home VPN client)

The router was simply not designed to do this kind of math. Sure it works but 3 to 4 Mbit is where most routers will top out. The solution, and I’m taking from my own experience since I had the same problem, was to setup a dedicated linux computer or server in my home that runs the OpenVPN tunnel to the VPN server. I have a dual core Pentium D 3 Ghz CPU, this can do crypto up to 300 Mbps! More then enough for Bell’s Fibe25 service.. I get the full speed now on my VPN to my whole home.
 

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I tried Unotelly and it works fine for the PC but on the PS3 90% of movies I try to stream give me an error "that title is unavailable to watch instantly". Anyone have a similar experience and/or know a way around it?
 

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I tried Unotelly and it works fine for the PC but on the PS3 90% of movies I try to stream give me an error "that title is unavailable to watch instantly".
I'm a happy user of unblock-us on my PS3 (which is a similar DNS-based service) and it works fine. I decided not to change my router settings, instead I changed the DNS entries on the PS3 and on 1 other computer (the rest of my computers still go to Netflix Canada).

There was one additional thing for the PS3, not sure if it is necessary but you could try it:
If you had Canadian Netflix installed before, hold "Start" and "Select" buttons on the controller at the same time while starting Netflix app on PS3. It will allow you to reset Netflix settings and activate it at Netflix.com
 

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I re registered and it worked for a few hours but am back to the same error now. The PC while more reliable is also not bullet proof. I can't seem to find a rhyme or reason to it but sometimes when I go to Netflix it redirects me to Unotelly, or I get an error, and then sometimes it works just fine. It doesn't seem to be hit or miss in a sense of a roll of the dice on each attempt. If I am getting redirected it happens 100% of the time until it just seems to start working again later in the day without any further intervention. Same goes for the errors. I can get an error playing 20 movies in a row, go away and come back later in the day and it will start 20 movies in a row without a hitch.

I have noticed that even when I can't view Netflix Hulu still works so I get the impression that the Canadian Netflix account is still messing with it somewhere along the way. Just odd that it seems so random.
 

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I see lots of suggestions for VPN service providers and also for unblockus and other DNS services?

Is one solution better than another? It would be nice to change the router and have all devices work the same, but that might be harder to switch back and forth. For those using (and paying) for a service, how did you choose between installing software on your PC, vs. changing router DNS settings, vs. whatever else there is?

I tried Hotspot Shield mostly for security and was playing at watching Hulu, but every so often an ad would start playing (video) and mix with the audio from the Hulu. Is there a way around that?

Thanks!
=aw
I just finished setting up a spare router i had kicking around, Installed DD-WRT on a Linksys WRT54G router, set up PPTP and plugged it into a port on my router... I now have a second wireless access point with access to my Strong VPN account. Works great on US Netflix on my PS3 and any other wireless device i choose to connect to. My original wireless router remains untouched.

No speed difference that i can see, no problem streaming HD from Netflix

Leo
 

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What model of WRT54G do you have, Leo?
I tried it on mind (v5) and no-go.
The WRT54G v5 will only take the Micro DD_WRT due to the lack of flash on that model.

See here for more info: dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Supported_Devices#Linksys
 
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