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Psamathe

Long Term Performance Issues

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My subscription comes up for renewal in a few weeks and as things stand I wont be renewing - at least not without an explanation and commitment for things to improve (a lot).

For several weeks there have been major DNS issues (over the last week even resolving microsoft.com has not worked!). But before trying to post this I was through the VPN and I had to give-up and disconnect and run through my ISP it was taking so long to even get the home page up (I gave up after a couple of minutes  literally). Disconnect and it works fast immediately and the DNS resolves addresses, etc. Often through the VPN and name resolving issues, rubbish performance.

I don't know which server I connect through as I just connect to the UK UDP name and something else choses how to resolve. I could record the IP but by the time I've waited to the point of frustration I want to get on so reverting to ISP without VPN with loss of VPN privacy, etc. I can'g be bothered to start recording servers, etc. - I don't pay money to waste time on a repeating basis.

Again, could not establish which server I was through when I waited an age to get to airvpn.org to post this as I had to give-up and run only through ISP (so web page would not display server).

It used to be excellent but over time things have gradually got worse and it's now a disaster - so why would I pay to renew? Assurances or reasons sought with what is to be done to resolve.

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Nice of you to wait several weeks to report your troubles. :)
First of all, we need logs. In Eddie's Logs tab, click the lifebelt icon and paste or upload the output here. Should you use other VPN clients, first set the verb directive from 3 to 4, then connect and try a few things, like browse the net, resolve some things, etc., then copy and paste or upload the logs here.
 

1 hour ago, Psamathe said:

It used to be excellent but over time things have gradually got worse and it's now a disaster


Have you tried other countries, servers, ports to actually be sure it's everywhere and not only on select few servers? I mean, it's still excellent in Germany. And the few servers I tried in all of Europe in the past. ;)

» I am not an AirVPN team member. All opinions are my own and are not to be considered official. Only the AirVPN Staff account should be viewed as such.

» The forums is a place where you can ask questions to the community. You are not entitled to guaranteed answer times. Answer quality may vary, too. If you need professional support, please create tickets.

» If you're new, take some time to read LZ1's New User Guide to AirVPN. On questions, use the search function first. On errors, search for the error message instead.

» If you choose to create a new thread, keep in mind that we don't know your setup. Give info about it. Never forget the OpenVPN logs or, for Eddie, the support file (Logs > lifebelt icon).

» The community kindly asks you to not set up Tor exit relays when connected to AirVPN. Their IP addresses are subject to restrictions and these are relayed to all users of the affected servers.

 

» Furthermore, I propose that your paranoia is to be destroyed. If you overdo privacy, chances are you will be unique amond the mass again.

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4 hours ago, giganerd said:

Nice of you to wait several weeks to report your troubles. :)


It's difficult to know when to raise such issues. Internet connectivity is such that people helping on the forum would be tearing their hair out with frustration if everybody reported every glitch. So then it becomes when is some passing temporary issue a longer bigger issue and at what point to you report it.
 
4 hours ago, giganerd said:

First of all, we need logs. In Eddie's Logs tab, click the lifebelt icon and paste or upload the output here. Should you use other VPN clients, first set the verb directive from 3 to 4, then connect and try a few things, like browse the net, resolve some things, etc., then copy and paste or upload the logs here.
 

Have you tried other countries, servers, ports to actually be sure it's everywhere and not only on select few servers? I mean, it's still excellent in Germany. And the few servers I tried in all of Europe in the past. ;)

I use Viscosity rather than Eddie and there are logs but a bit of hassle to get to. When it is an issue, I don't automatically assume AirVPN so e.g. OneNote keeps refusing to sync and "Saved Offline" I tend to assume it's OneDrive of Microsoft and the other day I unusually had a bit of time and my iOS OneNote (not through VPN was working fine so I checked the domains OneNote was communicating with and of about 4 or 5 I think it was microsoft.com and live.com that would not resolve (ping could not find the IP address); but disconnect the VPN and they all resolve and OneNote immediately syncs. Same sort of thing with a browser (increasingly often), click on a web site link and browser "hangs" doing nothing so disconnect the VPN and suddenly it springs to life.

I will try switching to another country next time it happens and I have time to play around but I assumed that connect to e.g. gb.vpn.airdns.org and it should select one that's working?

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32 minutes ago, Psamathe said:

It's difficult to know when to raise such issues. Internet connectivity is such that people helping on the forum would be tearing their hair out with frustration if everybody reported every glitch. So then it becomes when is some passing temporary issue a longer bigger issue and at what point to you report it.


Well, I see your point, fair enough. Usually people post "I've been watching this for weeks, so it must be you, the provider. Fix this or I quit."
Which ironically is exactly what you did. Threatening the community with the latter is not going to work out frankly. Something for the future. :)
 
32 minutes ago, Psamathe said:

When it is an issue, I don't automatically assume AirVPN so e.g. OneNote keeps refusing to sync and "Saved Offline" I tend to assume it's OneDrive of Microsoft and the other day I unusually had a bit of time and my iOS OneNote (not through VPN was working fine so I checked the domains OneNote was communicating with and of about 4 or 5 I think it was microsoft.com and live.com that would not resolve (ping could not find the IP address); but disconnect the VPN and they all resolve and OneNote immediately syncs. Same sort of thing with a browser (increasingly often), click on a web site link and browser "hangs" doing nothing so disconnect the VPN and suddenly it springs to life.


This sounds familiar. Microsoft is not thrilled at VPN addresses trying to sync. I once created a throwaway OneDrive account to download a certain share via rclone using a VPN, and that account was locked two days later.
 
32 minutes ago, Psamathe said:

I will try switching to another country next time it happens and I have time to play around but I assumed that connect to e.g. gb.vpn.airdns.org and it should select one that's working?


CC.vpn.airdns.org, CC being the country code, always points to the best server in a given country in terms of latency, throughput and client count, among those which are online, of course, and it's updated every five minutes.

» I am not an AirVPN team member. All opinions are my own and are not to be considered official. Only the AirVPN Staff account should be viewed as such.

» The forums is a place where you can ask questions to the community. You are not entitled to guaranteed answer times. Answer quality may vary, too. If you need professional support, please create tickets.

» If you're new, take some time to read LZ1's New User Guide to AirVPN. On questions, use the search function first. On errors, search for the error message instead.

» If you choose to create a new thread, keep in mind that we don't know your setup. Give info about it. Never forget the OpenVPN logs or, for Eddie, the support file (Logs > lifebelt icon).

» The community kindly asks you to not set up Tor exit relays when connected to AirVPN. Their IP addresses are subject to restrictions and these are relayed to all users of the affected servers.

 

» Furthermore, I propose that your paranoia is to be destroyed. If you overdo privacy, chances are you will be unique amond the mass again.

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Another one today (happens a fair amount but got enough time now to capture and post some stuff today)

(Having to post this through a normal ISP connection as AirVPN is such a disaster and you wait forever for a web page. Disconnect the VPN and go direct through ISP and all those web pages waiting on immediately appear and it all works reallt snappy. Enable VPN and "disaster"

Screenshot 2020-06-28 at 19.47.05.png

Screenshot 2020-06-28 at 19.47.39.png

AirVPN_United-Kingdom_UDP-443 Log.txt

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Can you please try another OpenVPN client like Tunnelblick or Eddie?
Can you also try another connection mode, like WLAN instead of Ethernet or vice versa? Maybe try a connection on another network like GSM (through tethering)?


» I am not an AirVPN team member. All opinions are my own and are not to be considered official. Only the AirVPN Staff account should be viewed as such.

» The forums is a place where you can ask questions to the community. You are not entitled to guaranteed answer times. Answer quality may vary, too. If you need professional support, please create tickets.

» If you're new, take some time to read LZ1's New User Guide to AirVPN. On questions, use the search function first. On errors, search for the error message instead.

» If you choose to create a new thread, keep in mind that we don't know your setup. Give info about it. Never forget the OpenVPN logs or, for Eddie, the support file (Logs > lifebelt icon).

» The community kindly asks you to not set up Tor exit relays when connected to AirVPN. Their IP addresses are subject to restrictions and these are relayed to all users of the affected servers.

 

» Furthermore, I propose that your paranoia is to be destroyed. If you overdo privacy, chances are you will be unique amond the mass again.

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Re: Different Client: Been using Viscosity for ages and these issues are more recent. Not keen on installing a different client. Ages ago (on a different/older machine) I tried Eddie and Tunnelblik and was not impressed whereas very happy with Viscosity.

Re: Different Network: When these problems happen, disconnect the VPN leaving just the ISP ADSL and it all springs back to life and works fine. Unable to try different networks as, being rural no GSM coverage. But ISP works absolutely solid 100% (Fibre to Cabinet, always at full ISP spec'd speed).

Re: WLAN vs Ethernet - you'll have to tell me where to change this.

It's happening again. On same server (Naos). Had to disconnect AirVPN and use just ISP connection
 

Screenshot 2020-06-28 at 22.17.30.png

Screenshot 2020-06-28 at 22.18.40.png

AirVPN_United-Kingdom_UDP-443 Log.txt

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15 hours ago, Psamathe said:

Re: Different Client: Been using Viscosity for ages and these issues are more recent. Not keen on installing a different client. Ages ago (on a different/older machine) I tried Eddie and Tunnelblik and was not impressed whereas very happy with Viscosity.


Be that as it may, I never wrote to use it instead of Viscosity forever. But as a possible point of failure the client must be ruled out. Also, Eddie doesn't need to be installed, a portable version is available and its files can simply be deleted once you checked if the problem persists or not. No trace is left on the system running it.

The other thing is that no one else stepped forward and created a thread describing a similar experience, so I'm inclined to believe the issue is localized.

I also did some latency tests to airvpn.org from some UK servers, namely Denebola and Arion, to rule out the AirVPN servers/network to some extent:

$ ping -i 0,2 -qc100 airvpn.org
PING airvpn.org (5.196.64.52) 56(84) bytes of data.

--- airvpn.org ping statistics ---
100 packets transmitted, 100 received, 0% packet loss, time 19874ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 28.446/28.704/29.185/0.171 ms

It pains me to write that I cannot reproduce your findings, which makes me believe even more that the issue is on your end. Whether it is the software, OS, network or connection to it must be found out.

You can also try another provider, of course. Everyone offers different configuration and maybe different servers. If something similar is happening there, you know it's you. :D

» I am not an AirVPN team member. All opinions are my own and are not to be considered official. Only the AirVPN Staff account should be viewed as such.

» The forums is a place where you can ask questions to the community. You are not entitled to guaranteed answer times. Answer quality may vary, too. If you need professional support, please create tickets.

» If you're new, take some time to read LZ1's New User Guide to AirVPN. On questions, use the search function first. On errors, search for the error message instead.

» If you choose to create a new thread, keep in mind that we don't know your setup. Give info about it. Never forget the OpenVPN logs or, for Eddie, the support file (Logs > lifebelt icon).

» The community kindly asks you to not set up Tor exit relays when connected to AirVPN. Their IP addresses are subject to restrictions and these are relayed to all users of the affected servers.

 

» Furthermore, I propose that your paranoia is to be destroyed. If you overdo privacy, chances are you will be unique amond the mass again.

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Portable version is new. When I tried it previously (on a machine that no longer exists - after uninstalling I was still occasionally finding files scattered abound ~/Library ages afterwards. Happy to try something that can be cleanly and completely uninstalled (it's the accumulation of "remnants" from removed applications that concerns me as they do build-up over years .....)

I've downloaded the portable version but can find nothing about what it actually is (other than a version of Eddie). Any thing explaining that it wont start creating files in ~/Library? (or anywhere else - which is my concern about trying other software). I'm always cautions about what I download and install and what is needed to get completely rid of it. macOS applications have a habit of creating and leaving stuff in many places around /Library.

You are unlikely to reproduce the issue running a test as it's intermittent (or specific server related). Yesterday it happened twice on Naos (and reconnecting to the gb.vpn.airdns.org will often just reconnect to the same server). If it is related to local issues (my computer/network) then something must have changed as prior to this starting (this year) all had been working fine on all machines and still running same computers, same ISP, same ADSL link, etc..

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26 minutes ago, Psamathe said:

Any thing explaining that it wont start creating files in ~/Library? (or anywhere else - which is my concern about trying other software)


Me, telling you it won't. Any files that are needed are shipped with the archive or created in the same directory you execute Eddie portable in, like the temporary connection profile generated automatically. Same behavior as on Windows and Linux, and since the code base is the same, that's how I know.
Anyway, maybe it's some weird macOS users thing, so I might be out of the loop, but I can't exactly imagine your paranoia about arbitrary file creation in one specific location. What exactly is it that you're "afraid" of? I mean, if it's file size, there's Disk Inventory X which seems to be exactly what k4dirstat is on Linux and WinDirStat on Windows: A disk usage analyzing tool showing exactly where things pile up so that you can directly free up space.
 
32 minutes ago, Psamathe said:

You are unlikely to reproduce the issue running a test as it's intermittent (or specific server related)


Help us gather more info, to find out where and when to test, but we really need to be able to reproduce this.
I can probably test this exactly when it happens if you message me on some IM like XMPP or Telegram. If you're interested, write me a personal message here on airvpn.org.

» I am not an AirVPN team member. All opinions are my own and are not to be considered official. Only the AirVPN Staff account should be viewed as such.

» The forums is a place where you can ask questions to the community. You are not entitled to guaranteed answer times. Answer quality may vary, too. If you need professional support, please create tickets.

» If you're new, take some time to read LZ1's New User Guide to AirVPN. On questions, use the search function first. On errors, search for the error message instead.

» If you choose to create a new thread, keep in mind that we don't know your setup. Give info about it. Never forget the OpenVPN logs or, for Eddie, the support file (Logs > lifebelt icon).

» The community kindly asks you to not set up Tor exit relays when connected to AirVPN. Their IP addresses are subject to restrictions and these are relayed to all users of the affected servers.

 

» Furthermore, I propose that your paranoia is to be destroyed. If you overdo privacy, chances are you will be unique amond the mass again.

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Re: Misc Files (For Your Info): Maybe a Mac thing but all sorts of stuff gets created in all sorts of sub-directories below ~/Library with some apps (e.g. ~/Library/Containers, ~/Library/Group Containers ~/Library/Application Scripts ~/Library/Preferences ~/Library/Saved Application state ~/Library Application Support, etc., etc. (one app creating stuff all over the place), plus some go outside the user home directory structure. And over time install and remove apps and all the files accumulate and disk space declines, etc. But if Eddie Portable does not do any of that fine, I'll give it a go. Where you have lots of small files the disk analysis tools don't help much (tried them e.g. Daisy Disk).

Re: Help Gather More Info: very happy to do this as I'm seeking a solution.

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On running "Portable", 1st system intercepts because it "wants to make changes" and needs a system password! What changes and how do I undo those changes later, etc.? There seems no documentation for this software so I'm very cautions, no hints about what changes it wants to make (because it's the OS that intercepted (I assume)).
 

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2 hours ago, Psamathe said:

On running "Portable", 1st system intercepts because it "wants to make changes" and needs a system password! What changes and how do I undo those changes later, etc.? There seems no documentation for this software so I'm very cautions, no hints about what changes it wants to make (because it's the OS that intercepted (I assume)).


OpenVPN does two things, generally speaking: Establish a connection to an OpenVPN server and configure the client to use whatever settings the server wants the client to use, for example, set routes. The system's routing table is probably more secure than all your contents from the Library directory together, since it allows for a very nice attack vector against your system and ultimately you (if it's open for editing, that is, which it luckily is not). So for the latter, you need privileges in pretty much all operating systems to date, be it Windows, Linux, BSD, Unix, Android, all the OS from Apple, whatever. What I find problematic with the question they're asking is that all of them do alert you: "This app wants to make changes", but what they actually want to know is: "Did you ask for this?" It's impossible for the systems to know what the apps they're running will do – they're dumb machines, after all – but they're "intelligent" enough to know when an app actually wants to access a part of the system that is secured by privilege control mechanisms. As someone who doesn't know much about computers but still relies on what they can do, most damage can be prevented by disallowing things to run if this someone simply asks him/herself "Did I ask for it to run?", not "What exactly will this program do?", because there is a good chance that someone simply won't understand the explanation, anyway, if the system starts citing all the technical things a program might be able to do.

So, why Eddie? Eddie is an OpenVPN wrapper. A wrapper is a program (or a set of programs) providing nice interfaces for users so that they may use the otherwise complicated and obscure programs they wrap around more easily. Eddie wraps around OpenVPN, because OpenVPN is quite complicated and obscure, and Eddie provides a nice way to take advantage of OpenVPN's features, plus the features AirVPN as a VPN provider and developer of said software offers. If you ran OpenVPN directly, macOS would most probably tell you as well: "This app wants to make changes." And you're back at asking "But what changes?", the explanation of which will probably result in a sermon about the OpenVPN documentation, found on the website.

That doesn't help your problem, but it's important to understand what this message means. Right now, and I don't mean it offensively, you're being paranoid for no reason.

» I am not an AirVPN team member. All opinions are my own and are not to be considered official. Only the AirVPN Staff account should be viewed as such.

» The forums is a place where you can ask questions to the community. You are not entitled to guaranteed answer times. Answer quality may vary, too. If you need professional support, please create tickets.

» If you're new, take some time to read LZ1's New User Guide to AirVPN. On questions, use the search function first. On errors, search for the error message instead.

» If you choose to create a new thread, keep in mind that we don't know your setup. Give info about it. Never forget the OpenVPN logs or, for Eddie, the support file (Logs > lifebelt icon).

» The community kindly asks you to not set up Tor exit relays when connected to AirVPN. Their IP addresses are subject to restrictions and these are relayed to all users of the affected servers.

 

» Furthermore, I propose that your paranoia is to be destroyed. If you overdo privacy, chances are you will be unique amond the mass again.

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