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Router recommendations for VPN client please?


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#21 the1lemming

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 04:05 PM

I use a Netgear R7000 router, dual core 1ghz, flashed with an Asus Merlin firmware and whilst the UI is nice i have to use the Eddie client for my downloads and maximum throughout of around 75mbits/s as the router can't sustain that speed.

I am amazed that the Linksys WRT1900ACS had been able to perform so well with AirVPN and encryption. As that router is still ARM based and so didn't support any AES instructions I assumed that a pfsense x86 box was my only real hardware choice.

I didn't really want another box as i would have still needed the router as a WiFi connection and pfsense can be kinda picky as well as my brain is a little feeble to configure it optimally.

I wonder if the Llinksys WRT3200ACM would perform as well as the other 1900ACS with its dual core 1.8ghz ARM processor..?

 

 

EDIT:

 

Reading up about the newer 3200 and it seems that at the moment it is a very mixed bag in terms of DD-WRT support and is best avoided.

 

Still it would be good to know what sort of CPU load it places on the 1900ACS when downloading at the speeds noted in this thread.

Hello

 

Please accept my apologies for taking so long to reply.  I've been at work and that took up my time.

 

I'll start off by saying that I did own a Linksys 3200 initially but I could only get the router to work with a wired connection.  The wifi did not work at all, so I sent the router back to Mr Amazon.

 

In your edit you asked about "Still it would be good to know what sort of CPU load it places on the 1900ACS when downloading at the speeds noted in this thread."

 

I will be honest and say that I do not know anything about this, how to check or how to test.

 

However I am more than willing to do these tests with my Linksys 1900ACS.  Please let me know how to go about the tests and where to find the results?

 

Cheers



#22 Vimes

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 04:29 PM

I use a Netgear R7000 router, dual core 1ghz, flashed with an Asus Merlin firmware and whilst the UI is nice i have to use the Eddie client for my downloads and maximum throughout of around 75mbits/s as the router can't sustain that speed.

I am amazed that the Linksys WRT1900ACS had been able to perform so well with AirVPN and encryption. As that router is still ARM based and so didn't support any AES instructions I assumed that a pfsense x86 box was my only real hardware choice.

I didn't really want another box as i would have still needed the router as a WiFi connection and pfsense can be kinda picky as well as my brain is a little feeble to configure it optimally.

I wonder if the Llinksys WRT3200ACM would perform as well as the other 1900ACS with its dual core 1.8ghz ARM processor..?

 

 

EDIT:

 

Reading up about the newer 3200 and it seems that at the moment it is a very mixed bag in terms of DD-WRT support and is best avoided.

 

Still it would be good to know what sort of CPU load it places on the 1900ACS when downloading at the speeds noted in this thread.

Hello

 

Please accept my apologies for taking so long to reply.  I've been at work and that took up my time.

 

I'll start off by saying that I did own a Linksys 3200 initially but I could only get the router to work with a wired connection.  The wifi did not work at all, so I sent the router back to Mr Amazon.

 

In your edit you asked about "Still it would be good to know what sort of CPU load it places on the 1900ACS when downloading at the speeds noted in this thread."

 

I will be honest and say that I do not know anything about this, how to check or how to test.

 

However I am more than willing to do these tests with my Linksys 1900ACS.  Please let me know how to go about the tests and where to find the results?

 

Cheers

 

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

Seeing that as the firmware for the 3200 is still on the first revision and many other people who have bought that router are having WiFi issues I have decided to avoid it.

 

I had overclocked my R7000 router but due to stability issues, and being pushed to its maximum, I decided to look elsewhere.

 

Looking at another consumer based router has its befits but typically costs and overall performance with a VPN encrypted data stream wasn't one of them.

 

I have decided to not bother investing in another consumer router but I'll use the R7000 as a wireless action point.

 

I have ordered an ITX motherboard with a dual core CPU, load is typically 9w or so. It supports full AES instructions for hardware decryption from AirVPN.

With an ITX case and other goodies, including a dual port Intel LAN card, on the way I should be ok in terms of using pfsense and a homebuilt router.

 

Whether my rather weak and feeble brain will be able to sort that out is another matter but if it works out fine it should offer much more than a consumer based router for our needs.



#23 the1lemming

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 06:38 PM

Hello Vimes,

 

Thanks for replying and I'm glad that you have a system that sounds like it will be like the proverbial sliding off a shovel when up-and-running.

 

Just as an academic exercise I am more than willing to do some speed tests on my consumer router.  Just let me know how you you would like the tests doing and I will give them a try with my router and ISP cable speeds at 70Mb/s before encryption.

 

At the moment I do not see any change in broadband speeds while using my router as a VPN Client when connected to an Ethernet cable.  However my Wi-Fi speeds hover round 46Mb/s, depending on how close I am to the router and what obstacles there are such as walls.



#24 Vimes

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 08:15 PM

Hello Vimes,

 

Thanks for replying and I'm glad that you have a system that sounds like it will be like the proverbial sliding off a shovel when up-and-running.

 

Just as an academic exercise I am more than willing to do some speed tests on my consumer router.  Just let me know how you you would like the tests doing and I will give them a try with my router and ISP cable speeds at 70Mb/s before encryption.

 

At the moment I do not see any change in broadband speeds while using my router as a VPN Client when connected to an Ethernet cable.  However my Wi-Fi speeds hover round 46Mb/s, depending on how close I am to the router and what obstacles there are such as walls.

 

 

I might indeed come back to you and ask about your speed and connection whilst running your AirVPN connection directly from your router.

 

You had done a great job already when you had written.....

 

 

Running my computer through my ISP, with NO encryption I got download speeds of........77.42Mbs

Running my computer with Eddie software I got encryption speeds of................................72.99Mbs

Running my Linksys WRT1900ACS router doing all the encryption I got speeds of...........72.96Mbs

 

With my router....

 

Untitled.jpg

 

 

 

....I get the chance to see the CPU utilisation. With an OpenVPN client running (which you must have for AirVPN) my CPU utilization would be around 98% or so to try and keep up with my 75Mb/s connection.

 

This was with the router 1Ghz overclocked to 1.4Ghz. Overclocking to 1.2Ghz and it was a little more stable but slower. However it would be only time before the router would reboot.

 

The WRT1900ACS does seem to be quite capable with your connection for your needs.

 

I had got used to the AsusWRT-Merlin UI and the ability to easily setup policy based routing. Then I could have dumb boxes, like Freeview and TV boxes, to go through the WAN and PC's, phones and tablets with a static IP to go through the VPN.

 

now all of that is about to change with pfsense, if it doesn't work out then I have bought a decent HTPC and I'll shop for the 1900ACS :)

 

Thanks again for your help, most appreciated.



#25 Vimes

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 08:03 AM

Just thought of a question....

 

Are you using the std firmware with the router or DD-WRT...?

 

Also how easy was it to setup AirVPN as a client and can it be policy based or is it a matter of all traffic or none, through the VPN....?

 

Again thanks for your advice with the 1900ACS.



#26 the1lemming

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 02:44 PM

Hello Vimes

 

I am using the DD-WRT firmware on my Router.  I found this a straight forward exercise where I encountered no problems flashing the firmware.  I then used the 'easy to follow' tutorials from the site's forums and got confirmation form the Site Support to confirm that I had set up everything as accurately as I was capable of with my modest IT skills.

 

The Router's own firmware, and documentation on the box, does allow for configuration of a VPN Client.  However AirVPN Support Staff do not know how to configure this.  I have a feeling that this feature is for IT Specialists to connect the router to a group of personal networks such as a set-up for a small business over several physical locations around the country or world.  I don't think or more accurately know if this official Linksys firmware is designed to work with OpenVPN and the AirVPN servers.

 

As for asking if my VPN Client router can be policy based or if it is a matter of all traffic or non, then I have to hold my hand up and say that this is way above my pay grade and I do not know the answer or how to test this.  I am of course more than happy to test these theories out for you if you explain how to do this.

 

A couple of posts up you asked how much load was put on the Router's CPU.  Well I have just done a rough and ready test with the website Speedof.me.  I had two pages open, one for the Speedof.me and the other of the Router's technical stats which included CPU and RAM use.  I just ran the broadband speed test and when the numbers went as high as they could I hit the Screen Print button for a screen grab.  Rough and ready but I hope it gives some useful information.

 

I'm not as skilled as you at cutting-and-pasting the screen print to the reply so I hope that the link to my flickr account will suffice.

 

Please let me know if there is anything more I can do to help.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/the1lemming/33834334946/in/dateposted-public/



#27 Vimes

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 08:26 AM

Hi the1lemming

 

This thread, and what you have written, has been extremely helpful for me and it will provide useful information for others who are in a similar position of wanting something other than the Eddie client and yet are not sure of how capable a consumer based router can be without being AES compliant.

As previously noted my 1Ghz R7000 was a delight to use with a fantastic UI....

 

Spoiler

 

which includes (with a red box around it) the provision for policy based routing. The C2 and Server are given as examples of how their traffic will be routed via the VPN.

 

But there are the hardware limitations as noted.

 

 

This "forced" me to strongly consider the pfsense options and so ordered the kit as previously noted. 

 

 

I have now built my ITX box and the Asrock motherboard, with combined CPU, cost £66. The case I needed to buy and also a second hand i340T second hand dual port LAN card from eBay. I already had the other items needed.

 

I am now up and going with pfsense and using the R7000 in AP mode for wireless.

 

Just need to figure out the AirVPN part, by following a guide written in these forums.

 

Hopefully that should negate my needs for a consumer based router.



#28 tehhellhound

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 05:36 AM

I use a Netgear R8000 with Tomato. Performance to Toronto was disappointing at first, but after adding a few key config lines, I can't tell the difference in performance with the VPN, even when doing hard gaming. As an aside, I resubscribed with the sole intent of routing my traffic to Canada, which is close enough for good pings, but has decent privacy laws, after the new FCC commissioner in the US gutted privacy regulations and gave ISPs free reign to use DPI to profile us and sell our information.

#29 the1lemming

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 05:19 AM

Just thought I'd give an update on the speed of my router when it is acting as a VPN Client.

 

A couple of days ago my Internet Service Provider gave me a free speed boost to 100Mbsp.  I used the website Speedof.me to do a simple check and this morning I clocked an encrypted speed of 109.75Mbps.

 

On average I am betting between 90mbsp and 100Mbps, which means I have not yet found a speed that my router gets stuck at.

 

I is one happy little lemming.

 

:-)



#30 Vimes

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:10 AM

I gave up in the end with a pfsense box. For those who are conversant with pfsense then that is fine but for me it was just a learning curve beyond both my capability and desires. I still needed a router anyway, set as a AP for wireless.

The dual core 1.7ghz R7800 came on sale and so I bought that and flashed it with DD-WRT, that works well so far for my needs. Making sense of DD-WRT seems less of a challenge.

 

I'm pleasantly surprised how well it works with AirVPN and the guide in this forum helped me to set it up.



#31 Stan464

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 03:29 PM

I would Recommend an PFSense Build on ideally AES-NI Hardware, but you can use older Hardware if Required.


I wouldn't recommend Purchasing any of there Products as a "Consumer" user, you will be forking out more than you actually need for Half Decent Hardware.

 

 

My Build:

 

Asrock ITX with an AMD A4-APU5000 (With AES NI Support)
4GB of RAM

40GB HDD

1U PSU

1U Case


My Total Spendage was about 200ish Quid with the 1U Case being costly.


Hope this helps (welcome to PM me if you require Support)



#32 the1lemming

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 10:20 AM


I wouldn't recommend Purchasing any of there Products as a "Consumer" user, you will be forking out more than you actually need for Half Decent Hardware.

 

 

My domestic router Linksys WRT 1900ACS is rocking almost 110Mbps whiule using OpenVPN.  For the sake of a simple domestic plug-and-go router and a little practice following a tutorial, I am up and running with a well respected VPN provider.  I have very limited IT skills which don't stry beyond tutorials which hold my hand.  I'd say that for the non-technical punters like me, then this is the future.  :-)



#33 weerreedines

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 06:23 PM

All:

 

I am a recent subscriber to the AirVPN service.  I would classify myself as a newbie as far as networking issues are concerned.  With the awareness that the quality of our experience here is largely based on my willingness to participate and share in discussions, I decided to also share my own experience with AirVPN.

 

Particularly with the Linksys WRT1900ACS v2, I am happy to report that my experience is in line with lemming's.  I have installed DD-WRT on 3 such devices, and I have set up AirVPN on one such router.  I am so very pleased to report that my router has maintained a connection to AirVPN's service for over 4 days uninterrupted.  Each device connected to the network has shown an ability to download nearly to the maximum of its own capacity due to hardware limits.  

 

I must say that I am thrilled my experience with these routers and AirVPN has been so well above my expectations.  







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