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How to fix connection drops and bandwidth issues with Virgin Media while using AirVPN

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Over the past few months of using AirVPN alongside Virgin Media I have had nothing but issues. I am either unable to get the full bandwidth that I pay for, or my connection drops so frequently that it makes browsing almost impossible.

 

I want to say a huge thank you to the AirVPN community and the people over at AirVPN as well for all of their support. I have learnt a lot over the last few months and I wanted to take the time to share my findings so that anyone else that had these issues could attempt the same things as I did and perhaps it will help you too.

 

The Bandwidth cut

 

Firstly lets talk about bandwidth issues. I have a fibre connection that without my VPN service I receive the 150meg I pay for. No sooner do I switch on the VPN I face drops of 75%.

 

With the help of this post:
https://airvpn.org/topic/12473-virgin-media-openvpn-low-speeds-throttlingbug/

 

rainmakerraw posted saying that by using the SSL protocols through EDDIE he was able to regain the lost bandwidth faced by using the VPN service.

 

I figured this could work in the AirVPN program and after contacting the AirVPN team who advised changing this setting in AirVPN's protocols to SSL port 80 I saw that my speeds jumped to around 50% of my total bandwidth. For what I use the internet for, this was more than acceptable so I didn't mind taking a 50% cut so long as my anonymity was safe.

 

METHOD:

 

In the AirVPN program click the AirVPN logo in the top left corner:

 

6i0Uuhp.jpg

 

 

 

Next hit the preferences button:

 

 

 

C63VprL.jpg

 

 

 

And then go to the protocols section and select the SSL port 80 radio button:

 

 

 

6SqFywO.jpg

 

 

 

This should now give you boost on your speeds while running AirVPN with Virgin Media. However, my story doesn't end there.

 

 

 

The connection drop

 

For a short time I was able to enjoy absolute anonymity and with only a 50% drop in service. I could live with this, until my connection began drop constantly.

 

Initially this was very intermittent, and I simply disconnected from the current server and just hit reconnect. Issue fixed. However, this started to become extremely frequent, to the point that I was only able to browse for around 5 minutes before the connection dropped and I was shown a DNS error on websites I was trying to access.

 

I could not seem to find anyone on these forums with the same issue, nor anyone with a solution. I knew that it had to be my ISP causing the problem as this did not exist anywhere else.

 

However, I did find whisper on some other sites about Windows 10 causing problems with VPN services. It seems we live in a world governed by people hell bent on watching our every move, and at any cost they will try their best to succeed in this.

 

Thankfully there are far smarter nerds out there capable of finding a solution.

 

After a bit of searching I came across this post:

https://www.bestvpn.com/blog/28318/warning-windows-10-vpn-users-at-big-risk-of-dns-leaks-2/

 

Which suggested that within Windows 10's group policies there was an option causing a few issues regarding DNS leaking. I had checked several times on https://dnsleaktest.com/ as well as https://ipleak.net/ as to whether this might be the cause of my problem but found no issues.

 

That being said I wanted to add this here as I feel it could be of some use to people. Now, this is a guide for Windows 7 users but it works on Windows 10 (I will assume you are using this), however, it only works for Windows 10 pro.

 

Windows 10 Home does not have the group policy software included, and after a little tinkering I managed to get it installed but there was no option to remove the "Smart Multi-Homed Name Resolution". So it didn't help me. However, if you have 10 pro, I see no reason not to include this as it could be an option.

 

 

 

Never Give Up

 

I wasn't going to be beaten that easily. I figured it was time to use the ol' process of elimination to figure out the cause of my problem, so I connected my laptop to my mobile phone via WIFI hotspot and with AirVPN connected I found there was not a single drop in a full 24 hours of web browsing. (Of course this ended up costing me a fortune but we live and learn).

 

So then, my issue had to lie with Virgin Media.

 

Perhaps then my Superhub was the cause. But if it was, where would I start? I figured is this was going to be any kind of software issue the firewall would be the place to look. Well by Jove I think I found it.

 

 

 

Superhub more like SuperDUD

 

As I type this I am now happily browsing the web at full speed, uninterrupted, and happy. SSL 80, no connection drop and I'm confident. The issue seemed to be with the PPTP and Multicast pass through. A little internet search and what should pop up as the top link:

 

https://support.cultrix.co.uk/hc/en-gb/articles/202644875-VPN-Does-Not-Connect-When-Using-Virgin-Media-SuperHub

 

A page regarding the issues this VM hub causes VPN services when these two options are not clicked.

 

METHOD:

Log into your Virgin Media Hub. For most of you this will be via the web browser and in the address bar you type 192.168.0.1

 

If this should not work refer to your particular hubs manual for the correct method, or using the sticker on the bottom of the router.

 

Once in, you should see this screen:

0oM8Lat.jpg

 

 

 

From here you want to type in the password to access the routers settings. I have changed mine so its no longer default, however, if you have never done this the password should be on the sticker on the router, but refer to the user manual to be sure.

 

Next go ahead and click sign in and you will see this screen:

 

 

 

Ip72r6b.jpg

 

 

 

From here we want to enter into the advanced settings option located at the bottom right of the screen. It may pop up a little warning but I assure you we are not doing anything that will break the router.

 

On the following screen scroll down until you see the "Security" options:

 

 

MgrK90u.jpg

 

 

 

You are going to want to click on "Firewall".

 

Lastly, on this next screen you should see the option for PPTP and Multicast Pass through as seen bellow. Go ahead and click both so that there is a tick in each box and then save the settings.

 

 

 

J0mCY96.jpg

 

 

 

If for some reason yours is already active, and you are facing the same issues as I am I am afraid I am at a loss as to what your issue could be.

 

As I say, this is really just my own findings and this is as far as I got.

 

 

 

 

The light at the end of the fibre

 

Hopefully you should now be in the same boat as me, you should have a lovely consistent connection, with no loss of bandwidth and with the help of your lovely AirVPN service 100% anonymity.

 

If for any reason these methods do not help feel free to post, perhaps this could be the central place for other VM subscribers and those using AirVPN.

 

 

The small print

 

Of course with any fixes like this they all come with inherent risks. I am merely showing you what I did and how, but please, do this at your own risk. I have had no issues doing this but I am not responsible for anything that goes wrong for you.

 

Another note: Virgin Media from time to time release firmware updates and these can (and have) reset settings on Hubs. If you find that one day you begin to see the same dreaded drops and throttling, check the hub settings again in case they have reset them.

 

I have seen many posts suggesting that turning the Superhub into modem mode and purchasing a router capable of the SSL 80 protocol in the routers settings is also an option. I have an old DD-WRT but its a little too old for the latest firmware and as such can not use the SSL protocol. This I think is a better option as it ensures anyone on your network is behind the VPN. But I am just finding the less expensive solution, not to mention there are far too many routers out there to determine which one can do SSL.

 

Anyway, I hope this can be of some help to people with VM. Or if you have similar issues, maybe your router has these options, give it a go.

 

Have a good day everyone.

 

 

 

 

Updated 29/12/2016: *Title change*

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Good stuff from another Virgin user. When you are on the 150+Mbps or the 200Mbps you need a really expensive router to be able to use the superhub in modem mode as the normal type of router is not powerful enough. Previously I had a Buffalo GWH-300N running DD-WRT but this class of router is only capable of up to 100MB and to be able to support the Virgin service over 100Mbps you need the 1GB service from both your network card and your router otherwise you just get a bottleneck. When I upgraded to the max package a few months back I ended up disconnecting my router and rebooting the superhub in router mode due to this. I already knew about the Firewall setting pass-throughs but I will now try the SSH port 80 fix and see if I can also get the full width using AirVPN. Until now Like you I got an approx 25-50% reduction in width using the VPN while I got over 200Mbps without. This didn't really bother me as I tend to just use the VPN service for downloads and run without it for just browsing, but I would like to have it on full time.

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bluesjunior: Let me know how that works out for you. Be interesting to see if you yield the same results.

 

As for the router information, thank you, that helps to narrow it down a little bit more. I figured i'd be spending well into the 100's in order to find something suitable, so thank you

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bluesjunior: Let me know how that works out for you. Be interesting to see if you yield the same results.

 

As for the router information, thank you, that helps to narrow it down a little bit more. I figured i'd be spending well into the 100's in order to find something suitable, so thank you

 

I did some tests yesterday using our combined info from this thread. Firstly I checked the Virgin Superhub firewall settings in order to see that they were unchanged. I had checks in the last three boxes, Ipsec PT - PPTP and the Multi one. I had unchecked the Firewall on - Port Scan and IP Flood boxes iirc I did this when originally setting it up after reading that the Virgin Firewall might conflict with my Comodo CIS security suite. Anyway I added these checks in order to have the same set up you describe above. On AirVPN I was using UDP port 443 as I had found previously that was where I got the best speeds after using the SSL tunnel port 443 option. I changed this to SSH port 80 as above and after checking that I was getting a full width signal from Virgin without the VPN on http://www.speedtest.net/ I was and got a reading of Ping = 17ms - Download = 211.26Mbps - Upload = 12.38Mbps from Virgins Manchester server. I then engaged AirVPN and got the following results:

Using SSH port 80,

Ping-------------------------Download---------------------------Upload-----------------------Server------------------Country

18ms------------------------85.69Mbps-----------------------7.67Mbps-----------------------Naos---------------------UK

32ms------------------------42.20Mbps-----------------------4.28Mbps-----------------------Aquilae-----------------Germany

40ms------------------------65.23Mbps-----------------------5.87Mbps-----------------------Skat---------------------Holland

These results weren't very good so I changed the AirVPN post back to UDP port 443, signed out and in again and did the following tests.

Using UDP port 443:

18ms-----------------------151.98Mbps-----------------------11.38Mbps---------------------Naos----------------------UK

36ms-----------------------109.3Mbps-------------------------11.50Mbps---------------------Aquilae-------------------Germany

32ms------------------------95.35Mbps------------------------11.55Mbps---------------------Tauri----------------------Germany

40ms------------------------87.67mbps------------------------10.75Mbps---------------------Skat-----------------------Holland

18ms-----------------------146.73Mbps------------------------11.61Mbps--------------------Naos-----------------------UK  I repeated the Naos UK Manchester server again just to see that I was getting a similar result and to confirm that the other tests were also relevant to it.

So I shall remain on UDP Port 443 for the time being. I never unchecked  the altered Virgin Superhub Firewall settings leaving them the same as yours, though I would like a second opinion on them as to whether they are necessary when using a third party firewall security suite like Comodo CIS?. Hope this helps.

 

 

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Hello!

 

This is really excellent and deserves a bump, in my view. I also think we've had a couple of Virgina media users come in, so it might be useful for someone.

 

Really good effort OP - pretty sweet with the pictures too .


Hi there, are you new to AirVPN? Many of your questions are already answered in this guide. (<----Temporarily broken). You may also read the Eddie Android FAQ.
Moderators do not speak on behalf of AirVPN. Only the Official Staff account does. Please also do not run Tor Exit Servers behind AirVPN, thank you.
Did you make a guide or how-to for something? Then contact me to get it listed in my new user guide's Guides Section, so that the community can find it more easily.


Tired of Windows? Why Linux Is Better.

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Ok, i'm a complete and utter noob with this stuff, but before i purchase airvpn, i just want to know if there's a simple solution to setting it up on my virgin super hub 3.0, so that all devices in my house go through the vpn. Any help or pointers would be much appreciated.

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Ok, i'm a complete and utter noob with this stuff, but before i purchase airvpn, i just want to know if there's a simple solution to setting it up on my virgin super hub 3.0, so that all devices in my house go through the vpn. Any help or pointers would be much appreciated.

I recommend that you either purchase the 1 euro subscription, which will last you 3 days or apply for a 3 day trial, via support tickets, in the client area. Because we inherently don't know your setup, so it's a little tricky to say .

 

AirVPN doesn't typically cater to "utter noobs" as you describe yourself, unless they're willing to put in the effort. There's a guide in my signature though, so you shouldn't have too much trouble either.

 

However, I don't think super hubs are really equipped for running a VPN on them, so I wouldn't expect stellar performance if you install it ON the router - even if you did somehow manage to get it installed.

 

But AirVPN does provide 5 connections per account still, so you can still connect 5 devices, which is enough for a lot of people. Phone, laptop and either desktop or tablet.

 

Welcome to AirVPN!


Hi there, are you new to AirVPN? Many of your questions are already answered in this guide. (<----Temporarily broken). You may also read the Eddie Android FAQ.
Moderators do not speak on behalf of AirVPN. Only the Official Staff account does. Please also do not run Tor Exit Servers behind AirVPN, thank you.
Did you make a guide or how-to for something? Then contact me to get it listed in my new user guide's Guides Section, so that the community can find it more easily.


Tired of Windows? Why Linux Is Better.

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Changing to SSH tunnel completely worked for me. My download speed went from 19.78 to 89.47. Unfortunately the new HUB does not allow the configuration options mentioned here.

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