Express VPN using my Router is EXTREMELY SLOW!!!

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cardr03

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Jan 8, 2018
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I have an older Netgear R6300. Installed the DD-WRT firmware manually to run the Express VPN off of it. Very slow speeds. I talked to technical support forever, and they said there is nothing they can do that DD-WRT and my old router is the problem.

They convinced me to purchase a new router. Linksys WRT3200ACM so I can install Express VPN's firmware onto it and problem should be solved.

Took forever to finally get it configured to get internet access. I had to go through the Netgear R6300 first then to the Linksys.

My ISP is giving me 100mbps. I'm getting ~50 mbps now which is unacceptable. If I use the app on my desktop I'm getting ~85mbps which I can live with. I talked to support for about 2 hours on Sunday trying to get this better and they said there is nothing else they can do....

What am I missing here? Does anyone else have any experience with VPN providers and their routers? How much drop in bandwidth are you seeing?

I'm in Cincinnati Ohio btw.

Thanks for any info!!
 

kanewolf

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You are missing that the CPU on your desktop is 10X times more powerful than the CPU in a router. 50Mbit in a VPN is quite good. Business class routers that have hardware acceleration for VPN often only get 50Mbit. I believe you are doing as well as $300 router hardware will allow.
Look at reviews of VPN routers. Your performance is not atypical.
 

cardr03

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Jan 8, 2018
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Well, that sucks to hear, but maybe that's as good as it gets. I was thinking it's a problem with Express VPN.

Ok so another question then. I know some about computers and networking, but not an expert by any means.....

Since the app runs so well and the PC is so much more powerful is there a way to have a "server" that runs the VPN app, and then I can connect a router to it to distribute the internet access in my home?

Sounds doable, but not sure how everything would talk....

Thanks,
 

kanewolf

Titan
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You could create a firewall appliance that is build from a PC with two NIC cards. You would put it in your network like this -- modem -> firewall -> router -> devices. That firewall appliance would be your VPN termination.
 

cardr03

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Jan 8, 2018
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Kanewolf,

I've found an i5 that I'm going to try your suggestion with and run the Express VPN app on then connect everything else to it. Maybe a stupid question, but I've never done this before.... I'll have my modem connected to the first NIC card. Windows will be running with the Express VPN app. Will the software know to direct the internet connection to the other NIC card so I can connect that to my router?

Do I need special NIC cards so I can calibrate or set them up?

Thanks for the help.
 

cardr03

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Jan 8, 2018
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so it looks like the pfsense option you have to manually config the server locations.

Would this option be faster than using the express vpn firmware on my router?

I was wanting to use windows and the express vpn app, because you mentioned that the pc would be much faster than the router.

Is there a way to configure windows with 2 NIC cards for Wan and Lan?

Thanks,
 

kanewolf

Titan
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Yes you can configure windows, but Windows desktop OS is a bad choice for an OS that is exposed to the internet. It is the most attacked OS, that is why I wouldn't recommend it.

I don't know if the performance of a VPN configured with pFSense will be comperable to the app or not.
 
Jul 25, 2018
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I work with ExpressVPN as well. Stay away from their firmware and try to configure ExpressVPN on the original firmware of your brand router. The way to do this is clearly explained on their website. The firmware framework of ExpressVPN firmware is focussed on OPENVPN and in practice it is much slower than setting-up OPENVPN in the original firmware of your manufacturer.

Part of your speed loss compared to your original ISP speed is the load coming from the ExpressVPN firmware. (and obviously the CPU power of your router). Losing 50% is absolutely not bad with the ExpressVPN firmware. I am using the Asus RT-5300AC in AiMesh with ExpressVPN configured in the VPN client area of the firmware and have 85% of my original ISP speed available with 12 hops before reaching the ExpressVPN server (and a whopping proxy of the government that censors the internet in the country I reside).

If you want to go through the above excercise:
Reflash your router according to manufacturer specs with the original firmware and flash the NVRAM.
Check the configuration on the ExpressVPN website specific for your router with the original firmware

Closing note: As always, experiences with one brand of router do not always apply to similar routers of a different brand.
 
The reason your ac-5300ac works well is it very different than most routers commonly available. It is using a newer broadcom processor in the bcm490x line. These processors have a openvpn accelerator.

They still will only get about 200mbps which is massively better than the 50mbps you get on most routers. To get faster than that you still need a actual cpu that can process more data. It is a good sign that they make these and hopefully this trend will continues but there are not a lot of routers that use this cpu chip yet
 
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