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2.5 years of AirVPN

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When I subscribed to AirVPN in September 2013, I was doing it because of what I experienced/suffered from in the past. If you want to read this story, check out my one year review first. One year of AirVPN - a humble review.

 

I've been a user for more than a third of AirVPN's lifetime (given the date of birth of the AirVPN idea which is April 2010 according to the mission page, and my registration date, September 2013) and I can say, I've witnessed all of the more recent changes, most of them being server additions and withdrawals.

 

A direct comparison between with and without AirVPN is, at least for me, practically impossible. I recently could upgrade to a 50/10 MBit plan with my ISP and with AirVPN I still reach full download and upload speeds. This of course depends on many things: software, hardware, location and ISP, chosen servers, etc. I will start with my setup.

 

Software: Securepoint OpenVPN, for testing purposes I also used the AirVPN client (Eddie); OpenVPN for Android.

Hardware: Normal tower PC with i7 CPU and Windows 8.1; Samsung Galaxy S3 with CyanogenMod 13.

Location/ISP: Germany, Deutsche Telekom AG (german telecom)

Server: All german servers and Kitalpha (CH) on UDP port 53 (in the past I used UDP/443 but somewhen in 2014 BitTorrent stopped working good on this port, so I changed it). I chose them based on a simple rule: A direct BGP route to my ISP must exist. Some users would tell me it doesn't matter much because BGP is not that easy, but they always worked best. I occasionally used a few other servers for testing purposes and had no issues.

 

What do I do with AirVPN? And how's performance doing it?

 

I'm always connected to AirVPN when my PC is on, so whatever I do on the internet, I do with AirVPN. Mostly it's BitTorrent file sharing, online multiplayer gaming and normal internet browsing. Sometimes I do audio/video calls.

  • As I wrote, BitTorrent is always able to max out my line capacity, downloading with 5.4 MB/s. Upload is capped to 1024 kB/s in the client, but could go further than that.
  • Online multiplayer gaming performance can be measured by looking at packet latency of your connection which in turn depends on the same factors I mentioned above. My packet latency is about 20 +/- 5 ms high, no difference between with and without AirVPN.
  • In case of normal internet browsing, it's difficult to compare usage vs. non-usage. If you are connected to a server not in your country and you view a website, you might notice this webpage shows you in the country of your server. On the other hand, some webpages will block you out, either because the OpenVPN server sent too many requests to the webserver (you are not the only user ) or just because the operator of the webserver does not like you using anonymization techniques.
    There also is a Smart DNS feature redirecting your traffic to certain sites and services to make them viewable through any server, for example Netflix. It works good and is reliable.

Eddie, the AirVPN client

 

As I mentioned in my first review, when I registered AirVPN's client was in a very bad condition. You couldn't call it a reliable solution and I also didn't use it. It was later in version 2.05 when I finally took a glance at it. I experimented with establishing it as the main client, but it didn't make it because SecurePoint was much easier to use for me. But Eddie helped and still helps me a lot with testing different connection parameters: I can connect to another server, change the port, maybe even use OpenVPN over SSL and analyze things, and all with a single client. I don't need to generate any configuration files because I can do it just like that. To me Eddie is like a diagnostics tool, like a companion app in helping users.

 

The forums

 

I really like them, a very good idea to let users help and discuss with other users. I don't know how much the forums reduce the support ticket amount for AirVPN staff but I can imagine them replying in pre-written text blocks to the same questions over and over again when they were not here. Among VPN providers, it's a unique feature. I personally have got the feeling AirVPN staff don't read them very often but the time saved this way can be invested into processing support tickets, and there you usually get a very fast response.

The real driving force on the forums are the users, anyways. Among them, there are bright and knowing people who always help. Staff themselves sometimes reply as well. Really nothing more to say here

 

More features

  • Status page: Shows current bandwidth usage of all servers and the top users in speed, traffic and connection length (by default, your name is hidden).
  • Check routes: Checks the reachability of a website across all servers. If you can't access it with server A, it will check which of the servers B-Z can reach it.
  • Remore Port Forwarding to open yourself some ports, comparable to port forwarding on your router. Comes with Dynamic DNS functionality, for when you change the servers often and still need a fixed domain name to be reachable from outside. Worked well the last time I tried it.
  • A speed test hosted on the server you are connected to and showing you In-Tunnel and Out-Tunnel speeds for comparison. Does not use your whole bandwidth and is not always accurate.

 

Why AirVPN?

 

Simply because I fail to spot another provider who is equally serious about privacy, security and functionality.

Simply because there is a small community of good people talking to and helping each other.

Simply because it gives you fresh Air to breathe the real Internet.

 

2.5 years with AirVPN, and more to come. Thank you for reading, and thank you again, Air, for everything!


» I am not an AirVPN team member. All opinions are my own and are not official. Refer to Staff postings for the official word.

» These are the community forums, not the support portal. You're writing with other users here.

» New here? LZ1's New User Guide to AirVPN. Use the search function, Luke!

» Tor exits behind a VPN connection are discouraged. Using Tor on the other hand is not.

 

» Privacy is like alcohol: Drink a little and it can help you stay unnoticed. Drink a lot and everyone will notice you.

» I cannot give you the solution to all your issues. But I can guide you to it. The rest is up to you.

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Hi,

 

thanks for that very good and extensive review! Highly appreciated.

 

Concerning Speeds: I have a 200 MBit Cable Line (Unitymedia) and i can use my connection to the full when connected a Netherlands server. Ok, not with all of them, but usually, when i connect to a NL - Server (i.e. Pleione)

and downloading an Ubuntu - Torrent, i get 20 Mbytes/second Download Speed. Ok, this is of course an extreme example, as Ubuntu is one of the best seeded torrents out there, but it shows what the AIR servers are capable of.

 

So if one day you plan to upgrade your connection you won't have to worry if AirVPN can keep up! It definitely can!

 

Regards

 

Fox

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So if one day you plan to upgrade your connection you won't have to worry if AirVPN can keep up! It definitely can!

 

I never worried about speeds with AirVPN

One day I'll upgrade to the maximum possible bandwidth Telekom offers on a wide basis which currently is 100/40 MBit/s. In fact, when my Fritz!Box does a sync it shows exactly these values, so I could just make a call, ask for an upgrade and boom, 100/40. Only downside is the price - 50€/month, and 55 if I choose 100/40. If you look at the price of cable internet in Germany and compare these prices (for example Kabel Deutschland, 100/10 Mbit/s, 20€/month)... it's like a different world.


» I am not an AirVPN team member. All opinions are my own and are not official. Refer to Staff postings for the official word.

» These are the community forums, not the support portal. You're writing with other users here.

» New here? LZ1's New User Guide to AirVPN. Use the search function, Luke!

» Tor exits behind a VPN connection are discouraged. Using Tor on the other hand is not.

 

» Privacy is like alcohol: Drink a little and it can help you stay unnoticed. Drink a lot and everyone will notice you.

» I cannot give you the solution to all your issues. But I can guide you to it. The rest is up to you.

Share this post


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Yes, true. I think you can't get more than 100/40 with DSL. Cable Fiber is much cheaper, but also a bit limited due to that DS Lite and IPv6 thing were you don't get a native IPv4 - Address anymore. But that doesn't bother me much.

I pay 49 Euro for 200/10 MBit/s and 35 Euro for 120/6 Mbit with Unitymedia. I think that's reasonable. You really get those speeds you buy, it doesn't mean "up to" like with DSL.

 

Can you really get 40Mbit/s UPLOAD with Telekom ? 40 MBit/s is quite a lot.

 

Regards

 

Fox

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Can you really get 40Mbit/s UPLOAD with Telekom ? 40 MBit/s is quite a lot.

 

It's possible with VDSL2 vectoring, also called G.vector sometimes. In fact, I'm using it right now with a lower profile.


» I am not an AirVPN team member. All opinions are my own and are not official. Refer to Staff postings for the official word.

» These are the community forums, not the support portal. You're writing with other users here.

» New here? LZ1's New User Guide to AirVPN. Use the search function, Luke!

» Tor exits behind a VPN connection are discouraged. Using Tor on the other hand is not.

 

» Privacy is like alcohol: Drink a little and it can help you stay unnoticed. Drink a lot and everyone will notice you.

» I cannot give you the solution to all your issues. But I can guide you to it. The rest is up to you.

Share this post


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It was a great read giganerd, I also read your other review was quite informative I can't write that much myself simply don't have so many words. I pay about 1625руб for 250/50 which is about 20€ or so I think, pricey certainly but damn worth it, I have a few servers of my running to download torrents and seed them for me tho 1Gbps gets the job done and I can stream my shows and movies from there, unfortunately of where I live I won't get any of the shows I like to watch here on a service like netflix or anything so torrenting is essential for me not to mention the awful dubs that just record audio over the original audio without muting the original lol. I like software a lot, the client eddie is useful and it's been good since I been here which has been for about a year and a half, I always recommend airVPN on the private tracker where I'm admin. I would love if airVPN could provide a server here for speed purposes but I'm good with the czech servers just sucks they removed becrux. I looked at your post about securepoint https://airvpn.org/topic/10632-securepoint-openvpn-open-source-client-for-windows/ but I can't load the images which sucks the images on the site for the software didn't have much and were all low quality, also looked like old/outdated photos

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Posted ... (edited)

I would love if airVPN could provide a server here for speed purposes

 

This will never happen, given the state of things in Russia.

 

but I can't load the images which sucks

 

Issue confirmed. Issue fixed.

 

also looked like old/outdated photos

 

Nope, the client looks like it. It cannot be compared to Windows Aero or Android's Material Design, but hey, the essential thing is to have a good overview. By the way, they published v2 long ago, I'll need to rewrite the guide.

Edited ... by giganerd

» I am not an AirVPN team member. All opinions are my own and are not official. Refer to Staff postings for the official word.

» These are the community forums, not the support portal. You're writing with other users here.

» New here? LZ1's New User Guide to AirVPN. Use the search function, Luke!

» Tor exits behind a VPN connection are discouraged. Using Tor on the other hand is not.

 

» Privacy is like alcohol: Drink a little and it can help you stay unnoticed. Drink a lot and everyone will notice you.

» I cannot give you the solution to all your issues. But I can guide you to it. The rest is up to you.

Share this post


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I would love if airVPN could provide a server here for speed purposes

This will never happen, given the state of things in Russia.

 

Yeah I know, I'm a very private person and I don't like the new data law here, I'm very paranoid and it didn't help when I read about it, been using a VPN 24/7 with killswitch ever since, even my own server from time to time.

I'm just happy I never bought into all that social media stuff xD

 

but I can't load the images which sucks

 

Issue confirmed. Issue fixed. 

 

I seem unable to load any images on airVPN lately, can't even set my avatar.

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When I subscribed to AirVPN in September 2013, I was doing it because of what I experienced/suffered from in the past. If you want to read this story, check out my one year review first. One year of AirVPN - a humble review.

 

I've been a user for more than a third of AirVPN's lifetime (given the date of birth of the AirVPN idea which is April 2010 according to the mission page, and my registration date, September 2013) and I can say, I've witnessed all of the more recent changes, most of them being server additions and withdrawals.

 

A direct comparison between with and without AirVPN is, at least for me, practically impossible. I recently could upgrade to a 50/10 MBit plan with my ISP and with AirVPN I still reach full download and upload speeds. This of course depends on many things: software, hardware, location and ISP, chosen servers, etc. I will start with my setup.

 

Software: Securepoint OpenVPN, for testing purposes I also used the AirVPN client (Eddie); OpenVPN for Android.

Hardware: Normal tower PC with i7 CPU and Windows 8.1; Samsung Galaxy S3 with CyanogenMod 13.

Location/ISP: Germany, Deutsche Telekom AG (german telecom)

Server: All german servers and Kitalpha (CH) on UDP port 53 (in the past I used UDP/443 but somewhen in 2014 BitTorrent stopped working good on this port, so I changed it). I chose them based on a simple rule: A direct BGP route to my ISP must exist. Some users would tell me it doesn't matter much because BGP is not that easy, but they always worked best. I occasionally used a few other servers for testing purposes and had no issues.

 

What do I do with AirVPN? And how's performance doing it?

 

I'm always connected to AirVPN when my PC is on, so whatever I do on the internet, I do with AirVPN. Mostly it's BitTorrent file sharing, online multiplayer gaming and normal internet browsing. Sometimes I do audio/video calls.

  • As I wrote, BitTorrent is always able to max out my line capacity, downloading with 5.4 MB/s. Upload is capped to 1024 kB/s in the client, but could go further than that.
  • Online multiplayer gaming performance can be measured by looking at packet latency of your connection which in turn depends on the same factors I mentioned above. My packet latency is about 20 +/- 5 ms high, no difference between with and without AirVPN.
  • In case of normal internet browsing, it's difficult to compare usage vs. non-usage. If you are connected to a server not in your country and you view a website, you might notice this webpage shows you in the country of your server. On the other hand, some webpages will block you out, either because the OpenVPN server sent too many requests to the webserver (you are not the only user ) or just because the operator of the webserver does not like you using anonymization techniques.

    There also is a Smart DNS feature redirecting your traffic to certain sites and services to make them viewable through any server, for example Netflix. It works good and is reliable.

Eddie, the AirVPN client

 

As I mentioned in my first review, when I registered AirVPN's client was in a very bad condition. You couldn't call it a reliable solution and I also didn't use it. It was later in version 2.05 when I finally took a glance at it. I experimented with establishing it as the main client, but it didn't make it because SecurePoint was much easier to use for me. But Eddie helped and still helps me a lot with testing different connection parameters: I can connect to another server, change the port, maybe even use OpenVPN over SSL and analyze things, and all with a single client. I don't need to generate any configuration files because I can do it just like that. To me Eddie is like a diagnostics tool, like a companion app in helping users.

 

The forums

 

I really like them, a very good idea to let users help and discuss with other users. I don't know how much the forums reduce the support ticket amount for AirVPN staff but I can imagine them replying in pre-written text blocks to the same questions over and over again when they were not here. Among VPN providers, it's a unique feature. I personally have got the feeling AirVPN staff don't read them very often but the time saved this way can be invested into processing support tickets, and there you usually get a very fast response.

The real driving force on the forums are the users, anyways. Among them, there are bright and knowing people who always help. Staff themselves sometimes reply as well. Really nothing more to say here

 

More features

  • Status page: Shows current bandwidth usage of all servers and the top users in speed, traffic and connection length (by default, your name is hidden).
  • Check routes: Checks the reachability of a website across all servers. If you can't access it with server A, it will check which of the servers B-Z can reach it.
  • Remore Port Forwarding to open yourself some ports, comparable to port forwarding on your router. Comes with Dynamic DNS functionality, for when you change the servers often and still need a fixed domain name to be reachable from outside. Worked well the last time I tried it.
  • A speed test hosted on the server you are connected to and showing you In-Tunnel and Out-Tunnel speeds for comparison. Does not use your whole bandwidth and is not always accurate.

 

Why AirVPN?

 

Simply because I fail to spot another provider who is equally serious about privacy, security and functionality.

Simply because there is a small community of good people talking to and helping each other.

Simply because it gives you fresh Air to breathe the real Internet.

 

2.5 years with AirVPN, and more to come. Thank you for reading, and thank you again, Air, for everything!

 

Part of the reason that I joined Air, was because of giganerd, read the forums and he seem knowledge about Air.

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