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Lee47

Virgin media Customers and AirVPN performance

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Hi just wanted any UK virgin customer to confirm if they are able to get their full speeds (torrenting and heavy downloading) from AirVPN please ?

I get abyssal performance with AirVPN during torrenting and heavy downloads like 1-2mbps and have already tried port 80 SSL fix and there is no PPTP and Multicast Pass through options in the router any more so am really stuck. Problem is fixed by using a competitor VPN service to achieve full speeds again, but AirVPN is the best service around and would like to keep it.

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Hello Lee47
I just did a quick speed test (I’m on virgin UK supposed to be 350 mbps downstream, > 20 mbps upstream). Connected to an airVPN server, I get just above 100mbps down and 32mbps up. VPN connection directly handled by router (consumer ASUS model)
I used to have speed issues (possibly ISP throttling, but could never be certain) and tested multiple VPN services (all the big names) before settling on Air. Speed issues were roughly similar from one service to another, except one of the big names (there’s a thread on it on this forum I believe) which was always super slow.
OpenVPN requires lots of processing power. Check if you are limited by the machine where you run the vpn. 
100mbps down (130mbps down+up) is likely the max my ASUS router’s CPU can deliver on OpenVPN.
I hope it helps.

PS: ran multiple speed tests today, and my connection speed appears roughly stable 

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On 1/5/2020 at 8:13 PM, Fabswlndn said:

Hello Lee47
I just did a quick speed test (I’m on virgin UK supposed to be 350 mbps downstream, > 20 mbps upstream). Connected to an airVPN server, I get just above 100mbps down and 32mbps up. VPN connection directly handled by router (consumer ASUS model)
I used to have speed issues (possibly ISP throttling, but could never be certain) and tested multiple VPN services (all the big names) before settling on Air. Speed issues were roughly similar from one service to another, except one of the big names (there’s a thread on it on this forum I believe) which was always super slow.
OpenVPN requires lots of processing power. Check if you are limited by the machine where you run the vpn. 
100mbps down (130mbps down+up) is likely the max my ASUS router’s CPU can deliver on OpenVPN.
I hope it helps.

PS: ran multiple speed tests today, and my connection speed appears roughly stable 


Hello Fabswlndn thanks for running the test, I too figured it was virgin media throttling but virgin media have said they stopped p2p throttling back in 2018.
https://www.virginmedia.com/help/virgin-media-broadband-traffic-management-policy

I think they still reduce your speeds during peak times though in evenings around 6ish to 10 or 11 something around there.

Do you hit fuller 350/20mbps speeds when you connect directly to your PC and with AirVPN client when torrenting ?  I doubt its my PC since its an intel quad 4790 @ 4.0ghz, also the other VPN provider hits full speeds fine with its client software during torrenting and heavy file downloading.

You may need the Asus AC86u or AX88u with its 1.8ghz AES supported cpus to hit fuller speeds although I hit a worrying 80% on cpu core 1 when I use the competitor VPN which gives me fuller speeds rather then air, this is with the AC86u router. Pfsense system would be much faster then the asus router.

cheers for running the test

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Are you using a Super Hub 3 by any chance? I'm having a similar issue using Virgin Media and AirVPN. I'm seeing my speeds drop from 100mb to 15mb under various circumstances. 

I'm almost certain this is to do with the Super Hub 3 as VM just replaced a Super Hub which failed and I wasn't seeing this issue at all before. In both cases VM's hubs were in modem only mode (pfsense as router). 

This thread is informative: https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Speed/My-350Mb-connection-is-throttled-to-10Mb/td-p/3953746

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On 1/6/2020 at 11:09 PM, Quicky82 said:

Are you using a Super Hub 3 by any chance? I'm having a similar issue using Virgin Media and AirVPN. I'm seeing my speeds drop from 100mb to 15mb under various circumstances. 

I'm almost certain this is to do with the Super Hub 3 as VM just replaced a Super Hub which failed and I wasn't seeing this issue at all before. In both cases VM's hubs were in modem only mode (pfsense as router). 

This thread is informative: https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Speed/My-350Mb-connection-is-throttled-to-10Mb/td-p/3953746


Hello Quicky82, yes that is 100% the issue I am facing with airvpn it pretty much caps it down to 15mb-30mb speeds, usually during p2p or heavy downloads.

I went through that exact post also but even putting my hub 3.0 into router mode did not fix the issue, although I thought it did fix the issue at one point the issue came back again the next day.

Yes that was my exact issue also on hub 2.0, airvpn was 100% fine its like hub 3.0 is not compatible with airvpn almost or there is another fault at play here, just appears no cure was ever found.

Issue is resolved by going to another VPN provider though, I can max out my p2p speeds and heavy downloads fine.

It is possible its a line fault though, I would post your router stats on VM forums (speed section) and get a 2nd opinion, also try here:
https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality

this can read your quality and show if you get latency/spikes indicating a bad line also.

Did you keep your old router by chance ?


 

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If another VPN provider is giving significantly better performance "out of the box" with Virgin, please tell us which one and if you used the provider's own client or a straight OpenVPN profile.  There is rarely any magic to it — It is likely that AirVPN users could configure their client to get similarly good results once we know a working configuration for that ISP.

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16 hours ago, hawkflights said:

If another VPN provider is giving significantly better performance "out of the box" with Virgin, please tell us which one and if you used the provider's own client or a straight OpenVPN profile.  There is rarely any magic to it — It is likely that AirVPN users could configure their client to get similarly good results once we know a working configuration for that ISP.


Yes I totally agree it should not really be magic, but I have tried mullvad and ivancy and got the same throttling effect, this one vpn however seems stable and achieves full speeds. I would rather not say which one it is for now since I may be doing something wrong config or set up wise but feel free to pm.

From the off set just like myself and quicky noticed going from Hub 2.0 to hub 3.0 instantly made airvpn throttled or not working.

If any virgin hub 3.0 customers and with airvpn can confirm they are getting fuller speeds during heavy downloads or multi connection/threaded downloads and p2p (30+ torrents ) I would welcome it :)



 

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Thanks for those links Lee47. I think I might set up a monitor.

Having trawled various forums looking into this (and for the benefit of anyone looking into this in the future), my understanding is that certain configurations of traffic going through the hub (a certain number of connections perhaps?) triggers the CPU into going into some 'high priority maintenance mode' for a time. When this occurs, traffic throughput drops to about 15%, packet loss occurs, latency goes up etc.

It's an inherent problem with devices using this Intel Puma 6 chipset and this is why it happens in both router mode and modem mode. Supposedly it was a lot worse in the past (especially with regard to latency) but has been improved with firmware updates over time.

Someone said they had some positive results by wrapping their VPN traffic inside a SSH tunnel. They thought maybe the hub treated those packets differently and made it less likely to trigger this fault on the device. Others said it happened less often in router mode so they set it up like that and put up with the double NATing.

Perhaps the other VPN provider is sending traffic in a particular way which just-so-happens to not trigger this issue as much?
 

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4 hours ago, Quicky82 said:

Thanks for those links Lee47. I think I might set up a monitor.

Having trawled various forums looking into this (and for the benefit of anyone looking into this in the future), my understanding is that certain configurations of traffic going through the hub (a certain number of connections perhaps?) triggers the CPU into going into some 'high priority maintenance mode' for a time. When this occurs, traffic throughput drops to about 15%, packet loss occurs, latency goes up etc.

It's an inherent problem with devices using this Intel Puma 6 chipset and this is why it happens in both router mode and modem mode. Supposedly it was a lot worse in the past (especially with regard to latency) but has been improved with firmware updates over time.

Someone said they had some positive results by wrapping their VPN traffic inside a SSH tunnel. They thought maybe the hub treated those packets differently and made it less likely to trigger this fault on the device. Others said it happened less often in router mode so they set it up like that and put up with the double NATing.

Perhaps the other VPN provider is sending traffic in a particular way which just-so-happens to not trigger this issue as much?
 



Looks like we have been reading the exact same threads on virgin media forums and reddit !

Someone called it pumagate;)  the odd thing is many suggest the more recent firmware and going into modem mode is suppose to reduce the router pumagate issues but how much that is true I am not sure. I have dismantled an old hub 3 and there is a tiny black heatsink on the router cpu, to myself it looks poor and feels like it needs an active fan on top like most hot cpus.

Still I do have an issue with my cable line apparently so it could just me an issue my end, it won't be fixed till another few weeks time sadly. Latency and line issues
are quite popular with VM line faults and it often makes VM customers hit 1-3mbps also I noticed, which is why I suggested running the total broadband quality monitor, the only issue is the hub 3 does not have the ping or echo option so I had to use an Asus router to switch that option on under admin and firewall settings then the quality monitor started to work and it takes a good few hours if not a day or two to show latency errors (yellow spikes).

Yes the other VPN competitor provider is not using AES 256, its something lesser encryption wise, I did consider this I will try a different nic card, cable and linux distro and try a few other things my end and let you know if it works.




 

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Haha yeah it sounds like it! Pumagate sounds right. Apparently in the US there's a class action lawsuit because of this.

I've set up a Thinkbroadband monitor now; thanks for the suggestion. The results look kind of ok so far I think (the raised section was when I was torrenting to see what it would do): https://imgur.com/a/0BIm3Yv. I wish I had an example with the old hub to compare though. I have fq_codel traffic shaping running on the pfSense box which I think might be helping with the latency during the times the speed drops.

Yeah I'd be interested to know your findings!

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Linux user here. I'm using virgin's m500 service with a superhub 3, had it for literally a week. I was previously with another VPN provider and noticed Virgin were throttling the openvpn connection I was using and said provider had no real information on what was going wrong and how I should fix this.

Through various attempts at googling I found some posts mentioning that if you run openvpn over stunnel on port 443 you should be able to evade this which is what led me to airvpn.

I followed one of the tutorials on here and did a stunnel (443)/openvpn/port forward implementation.

Raw :

ISP: Virgin Media
Latency:    18.65 ms   (0.27 ms jitter)
Download:   547.18 Mbps (data used: 807.1 MB)
Upload:    36.84 Mbps (data used: 36.6 MB)

With airvpn :
ISP: ***
Latency:    26.50 ms   (26.09 ms jitter)
Download:    24.78 Mbps (data used: 43.3 MB)
Upload:    32.97 Mbps (data used: 54.6 MB)

To be fair to airvpn I do occasionally hit 80Mbps but it's not consistent. I've not yet managed to max out my connection but it's a marked improvement on where it was before.

I have a stand alone linux machine which I run transmission on which has stunnel/openvpn running constantly. Like I say, I've only been with Virgin for about a week so I'm still researching the best way to do this.

 

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On 1/14/2020 at 10:36 AM, puremorning said:

Linux user here. I'm using virgin's m500 service with a superhub 3, had it for literally a week. I was previously with another VPN provider and noticed Virgin were throttling the openvpn connection I was using and said provider had no real information on what was going wrong and how I should fix this.

Through various attempts at googling I found some posts mentioning that if you run openvpn over stunnel on port 443 you should be able to evade this which is what led me to airvpn.

I followed one of the tutorials on here and did a stunnel (443)/openvpn/port forward implementation.

Raw :

ISP: Virgin Media
Latency:    18.65 ms   (0.27 ms jitter)
Download:   547.18 Mbps (data used: 807.1 MB)
Upload:    36.84 Mbps (data used: 36.6 MB)

With airvpn :
ISP: ***
Latency:    26.50 ms   (26.09 ms jitter)
Download:    24.78 Mbps (data used: 43.3 MB)
Upload:    32.97 Mbps (data used: 54.6 MB)

To be fair to airvpn I do occasionally hit 80Mbps but it's not consistent. I've not yet managed to max out my connection but it's a marked improvement on where it was before.

I have a stand alone linux machine which I run transmission on which has stunnel/openvpn running constantly. Like I say, I've only been with Virgin for about a week so I'm still researching the best way to do this.

 


thank's for running those linux test, I have been testing the Virgin media + Hub 3 router for over a month so have a bit of experience its still a bit hit-and-miss but will keep testing to find the right method to get fuller performance speeds back.

Regarding the throttling of openvpn, I do not believe VM throttle VPN (their policy online claims it stopped throttling summer 2018 ) even I felt the same thing and so do many, but there are so many issues that can restrict and limit the connection to 15-30mbps just like I found with the incorrect torrent setting (I will post the fix after this post)

I found hub 3.0 is best in router default mode then directly connected to PC or laptop, then try Airvpn client (windows or linux) you should hit 500+mbps during all 3 test here :
https://beta.speedtest.net/

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/download
(maybe not the fuller speeds on this file download test but should be fast still)


Maybe you can test this and see ?

If I switch my hub3 to modem mode directly to desktop pc and connect with Airvpn using windows eddie client I get zapped back down to 15-30mbps during those speedtest above, the alternative is putting hub 3 in modem mode then connecting a more powerful router like Asus AC86u router to let it handle the processing and routing, this then gives me my full speeds during speedtest, this is why I was going backwards and forwards and guessing why so many have issues with Virgin media and Airvpn you may have to try Router default mode for better VPN performance if you do not have a 3rd party powerful AES enabled router like Asus AC86u.

There is also Line faults (over subscription or high utilization as they call it), poor quality line causing lag/spikes (totalbroadband quality meter can show it up) usually this needs an engineer to fix the bad line, also Virgin do shape your bandwidth during peak times ( I found it occurs 5pm-12pm my end) sometimes by 50-75% so all these can cause the 15-30mbps cap/limit just to make matters more confusing !

But at the moment, I have my Hub 3.0 in router mode then connected directly to my Windows 10 pc and using Airvpn eddie client and hit full broadband speeds on all 3 links above and with torrents, so Airvpn is fine with hub 3.0.

Of course, I could be off, and I am still having issues with pfsense + air set up, I am testing to figure it all out I have sent an invitation (check top right corner of letter symbol) to our virgin only chat club to keep this thread less confusing to others maybe we can figure it out better.

















 

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AirVPN staff were excellent and helped me fix the Torrent programs capping AirVPN performance to 1.5-3mpbs for me, the solution was already mentioned here:
 


And Air has already mentioned it here:
https://airvpn.org/faq/p2p/
(
make sure to disable such management (such as uTP in uTorrent)

Other tips on Torrernt settings here:
https://airvpn.org/ports/
https://airvpn.org/faq/port_forwarding/

But the main fix was making sure you disable uTP in either qbittorent or uttorent option settings and in qbittorent make sure its set to TCP mode not TCP and uTP, I had TCP and uTP switched on and when torrenting with Virgin media + hub 3.0 it literally killed the speed by 70-80%, was fine with hub 2.0 for many years since hub2 was a much better router.

Port forwarding is a must, you can use canyouseeme.org to check if port forwarding it working (just make sure the torrent program is running in background)

Also Disable UPnP &  NAT-PMP is a must for security reasons these are all good settings for any torrent program.

Please note this was only one fix to my Virgin Media speed cap/limit issue, I posted above other factors that can limit you so just in case any future Virgin media customers with hub 3 are wondering plenty info above this post.

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I've got port forwarding setup - disabled uTP - using SSL 28439 and speedtest now gives me :
 
    Latency:    30.10 ms   (0.62 ms jitter)
   Download:   515.72 Mbps (data used: 862.7 MB)
     Upload:    34.57 Mbps (data used: 44.7 MB)
Packet Loss:     0.0%

Which is pretty decent. Still googling/tweaking so that might change.

A note about my setup.

SuperHub3 in modem only mode - hooked up to the WAN port on my RT-AC68U which my home network is hooked up to. Linux machine is where I've got SSL+OpenVPN+transmission running.

Additionally for bonus points I'm running ss5 (socks5 proxy) so I can tunnel traffic on my internal network if I feel the need.

Nothing really that out of the ordinary apart from the fact I'm using Linux/Transmission.

 

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33 minutes ago, puremorning said:

I've got port forwarding setup - disabled uTP - using SSL 28439 and speedtest now gives me :
 
    Latency:    30.10 ms   (0.62 ms jitter)
   Download:   515.72 Mbps (data used: 862.7 MB)
     Upload:    34.57 Mbps (data used: 44.7 MB)
Packet Loss:     0.0%

Which is pretty decent. Still googling/tweaking so that might change.

A note about my setup.

SuperHub3 in modem only mode - hooked up to the WAN port on my RT-AC68U which my home network is hooked up to. Linux machine is where I've got SSL+OpenVPN+transmission running.

Additionally for bonus points I'm running ss5 (socks5 proxy) so I can tunnel traffic on my internal network if I feel the need.

Nothing really that out of the ordinary apart from the fact I'm using Linux/Transmission.

 

LOL, "decent".  You will not get significantly speedier than that because you're at the limit of the server already!

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3 minutes ago, go558a83nk said:

LOL, "decent".  You will not get significantly speedier than that because you're at the limit of the server already!

Well, just to be clear - what speed test 'says' and what I actually get downloading are 2 different things.

Getting about 20-30mb/sec currently which is an improvement on the 1-3mb/sec and the 10-15mb/sec I was getting previously.

I'm just tweaking the configs and setups based on what I'm reading in the forums here.
 

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@puremorning
 
Quote

Getting about 20-30mb/sec currently



Check the servers available bandwidth because 30 MB/s are 240 Mbit/s. To give you 240 Mbit/s the server needs 480 Mbit/s, therefore you are probably at server/OpenVPN daemon capacity. We would say that now your fine tuning with Virgin is just fine. Additional fine tuning on your side (if you haven't already done so) is setting very large OpenVPN sockets buffers. For your kind of throughput they are necessary, but don't keep large buffers if you need high responsiveness such as in online gaming. Keep at least 512 KB (you can set buffers in Eddie's "Preferences" > "Networking" window).

Kind regards
 

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1 hour ago, Staff said:
@puremorning
 
30 MB/s are 240 Mbit/s. To give you 240 Mbit/s the server needs 480 Mbit/s, therefore you are probably at server/OpenVPN daemon capacity
 

I think this is the missing piece, basically I wasn't getting consistent results in my testing and I was confusing that with possible contention/throttling.

All sorted now!
 

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Hi just wanted to update this thread, even though I thought I fixed my weird speed dropping issue with adjusting my torrent application to TCP and switching uTP off it did not fix my issue fully with poor download performance (especially torrents) I still got intermitant bad packet errors in my OpenVPN logs as mentioned here:

https://airvpn.org/forums/topic/45950-aead-decrypt-error-bad-packet-id-errors-when-torrenting/

I feel I tried every possible mss fix setting but it still persisted till I gave up and tried another VPN provider and switched to WireGuard Protocol instead of OpenVPN.

All my issues magically vanished, not a single bad packet error or single drop in broadband performance for 2 weeks ! 
It is as if OpenVPN is not as stable or fast enough to handle the UDP packets at fast rates ?


 

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@Lee47

Wireguard only supports CHACHA20 in UDP. OpenVPN supports it too. Can you check OpenVPN with CHACHA20? It can be an interesting comparison.

Of course the reason might be different: for example, if you run Windows, you might have used different drivers, or simply some other problem on your side, Also, Wireguard is still largely unnoticed because it is not used a lot (and rightly so as it is in beta testing), so ISPs are not yet interested to identify its fingerprint (which is a trivial task because Wireguard does not support any obfuscation technique and can not connect over proxy as it does not support TPC) and disrupt it.

The maximum throughput achieved with OpenVPN and Virgin in AirVPN has been 500 Mbit/s by a user in this thread, which is also near the physical limit of our servers (500 Mbit/s on the client side are 1 Gbit/s on the server side).

We would bet that you can't beat that performance with Wireguard, especially with AES-NI supporting systems, where the high throughput becomes more and more relevant and put CHACHA20 at a disadvantage (the only boost here is running in kernel space - but not in Android and many clients - which might not compensate AES New Instructions power), so the discrepancy must be found elsewhere.

Kind regards
 

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Thanks Air staff, that is interesting information regarding ChaCha, I think I need to go for the Linux and hummingbird set up (win 10 user), sadly not a linux user but will try it at one point if I can figure it out and pop back with results.

It is possible its hardware or software related but I did try it on 3 different working systems and ubuntu usb, pretty sure it's not my cpu or hardware the bottleneck also since 8 x 4.2ghz+ cpus with AES should handle it.

There are other Virgin Media customers that have spotted the same issue as I have and several others have switched to Wireguard and its fixed the issues for them, that is how I found the fix originally.

 

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Tried the latest ubuntu and newest hummingbird connected to Netherlands Comae server with ChaCha poly cipher command, got the same results after 4 torrent ubuntu sessions sadly.

Switched to experimental WireGuard, worked 20 torrent sessions stable with no connection drops or packet errors. Will stick to AirVPN and openvpn since its reliable and privacy friendly, hopefully in the future WireGuard gets better.









 

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