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Slow VPN?
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Slow VPN?

markmark Member
edited January 2012 in Help

I have two east coast USA VPS both running PPTP servers. I connect to them from my 10mbps home broadband connection in the UK but fail to achieve good transfer speeds. I also have a Squid proxy running on both VPS and get on average 2 to 3mbps downstream (upstream from VPS obviously), but using VPN, I get between 0.3 to 0.5mbps. I only need around 1mbps but what I'm getting at the moment is too low.

The two VPS are with different providers - first is a 2GB box from ChicagoVPS (appears to be located in Buffalo, NY) and the second is a 128MB box from Hostigation (South Carolina). Both running Ubuntu, the 2GB box has a few processes running but nothing that uses more than 600 - 700MB of memory; the 128MB box just has PPTP, Squid3 and Webmin running and is running at around 60MB.

Any ideas? Is VPN known to be significantly slower? Encryption on or off seems to make no difference - security is of little importance for my application.


  • fanfan Veteran

    Try OpenVPN instead, and remember to use udp in the configuration file. I've met the same thing before and this did help, but the reason still remains unknown to me.

  • vmhostsvmhosts Member
    edited January 2012

    If its encryption you would see a high CPU load which could be the bottleneck but since you have tried with this off.... I doubt this is the issue

    Sorry if I have misunderstood this but if you are connecting from your home Broadband then it is most likely the bottleneck is your upload speed which is probably less than 1mbps.

    I am not an expert on VPN tunnel commination but where we have used this before even download speeds seem to be limited by the upload speed due to the acknowledgement requests being staved of bandwidth. Hopefully other memebers can confirm this one way or the other.

    In the past we have used Monowall appliances for ipsec VPN tunnels. Very small foot print with decent bandwidth. However they would need to be dedicated appliances (physical or virtual)

  • My home broadband upstream is 512kbps so that is worth looking into. But surely acknowledgement packets are going to be smaller than what is downloaded? Otherwise, if my limiting factor is my 512kbps upstream, and that is what I'm getting downstream, that would mean that the acknowledgement data is the same size as the actual downloaded content?

    I'll have a look at OpenVPN - ultimately, I want a DD-WRT router to act as a VPN client so I can have two wireless networks at home - one normal, one on the VPN - but that's a while off yet, I need to get the VPN working efficiently first!

  • I know what your saying but I think its just the way the VPN tunnels work. A bit of a coincidence the fastest speed is matches your upstream performance. Hopefully someone else with a bit more VPN experience here can confirm either way.

    When we have deployed them for customers we have always had the same speed link at each end and for home users the type of data we were transferring has never really caused a need to look into the performance.

    Could you setup a tunnel between your 2 VPS's and see what speed they get? At least then you can work out if its your home connection which is the bottleneck

  • AbhishekAbhishek Member
    edited January 2012

    If you are using VPN for consuming US only content then you could use this

    I've used that for pandora and US only content. Might give you better speeds.

  • netomxnetomx Moderator, Veteran

    @mark said: I'll have a look at OpenVPN - ultimately, I want a DD-WRT router to act as a VPN client so I can have two wireless networks at home - one normal, one on the VPN - but that's a while off yet, I need to get the VPN working efficiently first!

    routers will slow your connection between 10% to 75% percent. try to get a good processor on your router.

  • That link takes me to the August dead pool – I have seen a discussion on here before about the VPS only providers? i.e. a service that just connects you to a VPS to access geographically sensitive content. The main things that put me off these providers are the cost (most seem to be >$10 month) and the lack of flexibility – I like tinkering with my boxes and I lose that pleasure with a VPN host. There’s also the possibility of the VPN host’s IP being blacklisted for proxy services, though I’m guessing they’d replace it fairly quickly.

  • @netomx – I haven’t set up the router yet, still testing via a PC connection to the VPN so that’s worth bearing in mind too, thanks.

  • Last time I tried OpenVPN I had this slow internet speed problem. Later I switched to PPTP vpn and in my experience speed is better than OpenVPN. I believe there was some misconfiguration in OpenVPN which was causing slow internet speed.

    I tested my Hostigation VPS with PPTP vpn is giving decent speed. I downloaded one file with 5 threads from Channel 9-MSDN site. Average speed was 615 KBps or close to 5Mbps.

    aria2c -x 5
    Download Results:
    gid|stat|avg speed  |path/URI
      1|  OK| 615.0KiB/s|C:\temp/Defrag2011EOY_med_ch9.mp4
    Status Legend:
     (OK):download completed.

    Download with single thread was between 200~300 KBps.

    To make a comparison with my home internet connection, I downloaded same file with direct internet connection.

    aria2c -x 5
    Download Results:
    gid|stat|avg speed  |path/URI
      1|  OK|   1.5MiB/s|C:\temp/Defrag2011EOY_med_ch9.mp4
    Status Legend:
     (OK):download completed.
  • markmark Member
    edited January 2012

    I had a play with connecting one to the other with a tunnel, but didn't get very far so I used my UK Windows VPS (BurstNET Manchester, UK) to connect to each one and use to measure the transfer speed. I repeated each one three times and used an average (coz i is a scientist, me...):

    Direct connection:
    18ms ping
    16.44mbps down
    13.41mbps up
    (was actually quite surprised by this, it's usually much better than this)

    New York state VPS VPN:
    116ms ping
    5.05mbps down
    6.67mbps up

    South Carolina VPS VPN:
    225ms ping
    2.43mbps down
    4.27mbps up

    So it can only be the routing and speed of my home broadband connection (as I said, this is 10mbps down, 512kbps up - Virgin Media). I believe I'm due for an upstream upgrade (to 1mbps) so I shall have to chase this.

    Thanks all for your advice - anyone else with any bright ideas, please let me know.

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