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Servers withdrawal announcement: Etamin and Dsiban

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Hello!

 

We regret to inform you that we are withdrawing the following servers.

 

Dsiban (KR). Contrarily to what was promised to us, Dsiban is not in a network neutral datacenter. South Korea wide IP re-routing and similar censorship is in place. Not acceptable for our service.

 

Etamin (USA). In the last two months we have received re-iterated menaces of service suspension due to few copyright infringement notices. It turns out now that a part of the datacenter abuse team thought that they were receiving notices pertaining to hosted illegal contents in the server (which has never been the case). Such errors are a bad symptom which hints to lack of attention and care.

 

More importantly, we have technical problems with the server which have recently become important. The datacenter nulls the server exit-IP address for hours for alleged "attacks" and "suspicious activity" (against the server from the outside), that we do not even detect just before the IP is nulled. This has happened many times in the last 45 days. In the last 45 days Etamin has gathered more complaints from our customers for bad service than all the other servers in our infrastructure together because of these sudden actions by the datacenter. Therefore, this server may be significantly harming AirVPN service quality in the eyes of Air customers using it.

 

Kind regards

AirVPN Staff

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Thank you for the update. I have experienced the issues with Etamin personally, and it has been frustrating. That said, please do get another server in Texas. When it worked, it was by far the best server for me to use. Thanks!

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ugh.  losing Etamin will hurts me.  I've never noticed problems but I've also never needed port-forwarding through it.  I assume that's when I'd notice the "nulling" of the exit IP by the datacenter.

 

Good luck to you Air staff - I hope you find excellent replacements. 

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Thank you for the update. I have experienced the issues with Etamin personally, and it has been frustrating. That said, please do get another server in Texas. When it worked, it was by far the best server for me to use. Thanks!

 

Thank you for the clear communication Airvpn team - YES PLEASE, add another server in Texas

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Sorry to hear about Etamin, it was one of my favorites, and when working I got some of my best transfer rates through it. I rarely had any problems with it to be honest.

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Hi, 

I appreciate the care and the integrity behind the decision to withdraw DSIBAN.  Does this mean no servers in South Korea?  I am in northeastern China, and it gave the best performance for me.

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Hi, 

 

I appreciate the care and the integrity behind the decision to withdraw DSIBAN.  Does this mean no servers in South Korea?  I am in northeastern China, and it gave the best performance for me.

 

Never say never but South Korea is no friend of the free interwebs, something you'll be familiar with if you live in China: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/02/economist-explains-3

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@FromTheWalls, I'm a developer and tech supporter who commutes in and out of China.  If i'm not in China, i'm in Australia. You might say I'm an Australian who commutes to work in Tianjin.  Ever since I found I had to spend a significant part of my working life in China, I've been using various VPN offerings.  I believe I could write a competitive evaluation of the major ones in use in China quite easily.  I've watched the Darwinian struggle between the Great Firewall and VPN providers with interest.  I have come to realise that the issues with VPN-use in China are considerably more nuanced than most people (and VPN solution providers) often understand.  It depends very much on your ISP and their compliance with Chinese policies and software. Especially if you are using mobile cellular or mobile wifi,  it will be easier to get at the outside world than if you are on a large corporate, academic or government network. Also your geographic area influences things a lot.  It is different using the net in Shenzhen or Shanghai than in many other areas.  

 

The GFW uses deep packet inspection, out of a desire for maximum control and minimum disruption.  For instance, the way that OpenVPN connections are generally blocked is through a DPI detection of OpenVPN starting a TLS authentication negotiation.

 

The problem is, the other favourite method of blocking VPNs is through protocol / port / ip address specific blocks.  If you look, HADAR, the HongKong-based natural choice for AirVPN users in China, is usually very lightly loaded.  This is because it is generally impossible to open an SSH session to either the primary or alternate IP addresses associated with HADAR.  Same with the Singapore-based Antares. AirVPN will quite happily try over and over to open a session, taking ages to time out of the SSH set-up, but never moving down the list.  You have to manually block the ones that don't work, hence the low load on HADAR.

 

So AirVPN currently has a major competitive advantage.  To the best of my knowledge, nobody else automates the use of OpenVPN inside an SSH or SSL tunnel.

 

In the Chinese context, it has a major disadvantage.  Because of it's policy of minimal, very high quality POPs, it effectively keeps very, very still.  That makes it an easy target for China's GFW deep packet inspection tools.  Making HADAR and ANTARES useless.  

 

This is why DSIBAN in South Korea was important.  There is enormous bandwidth between mainland China and South Korea.  So DSIBAN performed beautifully for users coming from inside China.  Now it is gone, and so we have to look for other solutions.

 

I wish that AirVPN would find a way of having a much more dynamic and extensive set of alternate entry IPs for its POPs.  That would make it much more resilient and useful in China.

 

Many of the competitors say they are developing "stealth mode" for their OpenVPN offerings.  So AirVPN's overwhelming advantage may evaporate quite soon.  Which is good for users, but bad news for the best VPN offering currently available for use from China.

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So AirVPN currently has a major competitive advantage.  To the best of my knowledge, nobody else automates the use of OpenVPN inside an SSH or SSL tunnel.

 

Well, other services call OpenVPN over SSL as "Stealth VPN". I hope that one day we would have support for it in Android.

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This topic set me using https://startpage.com and searched for "ip proxy" and used the https://ixquick-proxy.com link to look at the ip proxy services.

So now I am wondering about if the AirVPN client Eddie accepted a user selected proxy ip address (in dot notation) to set up a https outer tunnel - around the usual openvpn functionality, and the client check of account status to airvpn.

Seems it should allow more options to get around ip address blocking, and hide vpn inside https port 443.

Probably poorer performance for "p2p pirates" but useful for people in China, Australia,Turkey, India, S Korea ... with paranoid/puritanical/corrupt state apparatus. FU Rupert, Tony.

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@submerged: Very interesting with an inside POV of Air's service vs China's Great Firewall. I see you understand and agree with the fact that Air can't really afford to start enlisting data centers that perform censorship since It would ruin their reputation as a VPN company with stellar integrity. Their attempt at a South Korean server shows that they are trying to get a new server up in the region though, so hopefully they will find a country and a company that is compatible with Air's mission of net neutrality

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I think one thing AirVPN should look into is offering servers like the South Korea one, but noting their limitations.

 

Air can have its standard servers such as now where there are no blocking and then have 'limited' servers in countries where blocking is required, but users still may want to use them.

 

IE:  Korean server (limited:  no adult content)

      Italy server (limited:  no P2P)

 

Obviously no limits are the best, but it may be better to have a limited server rather than no server in a country/region they otherwise cannot offer.

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It was short lived, but I already miss Dsiban. I work in South Korea and the company work with further censors websites. Dsiban briefly made my experience here much easier, especially with the super high speeds. I hope that an alternative pops up soon.

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Any update on a replacement for Etamin in Dallas? I really miss that server =(

 

I wouldn't be surprised if staff feel that USA already has enough bandwidth.  And they seem to play tricks with the ranking of USA servers in Eddie client.  I'm in USA.  If the scoring rule is speed, Canadian servers get more stars (5 versus 0) than USA servers. There's no reason for that as the USA servers usually have less load and bandwidth is the same.  Seems a little trick to get unsuspecting users to NOT use USA servers.

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Only area AirVPN is missing and should seriously look into putting a server(s) in is the pacific northwest whether it's Seattle or up in Vancouver.

 

Otherwise North America is pretty much covered IMO.

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Hi there.

Thanks for the information and the explanation for withdrawing servers. I appreciate the communication.

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