FYI: PIA VPN performance improvement (dramatic)

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RandomInhabitant
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FYI: PIA VPN performance improvement (dramatic)

Post by RandomInhabitant »

I switched Private Internet Access (PIA) from OpenVPN(SOCKS5) to WireGuard(no proxy) yesterday. qBittorrent performance went from slow and unreliable to 10x+ faster and reliable.

Since WireGuard https://www.wireguard.com/ is designed for Data Security with little regard to privacy, I was concerned.

At the bottom of https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/p ... n-protocol it says
Private Internet Access has augmented WireGuard with no logging privacy protections on your VPN servers so PIA WireGuard users can rest assured that no client-server connections are logged and that their privacy is protected...
Through SOCKS5 there was a persistent issue with qBittorrent not finding trackers. This issue appears to be gone using PIA-WireGuard and no proxy. DO NOT TRY TO USE SOCKS5 WITH WireGuard (I don't think PIA will let you do this anyway, but trying to do this is a square-peg/round-hole bad idea). OpenVPN+SOCK5 is a totally different protocol stack (separate incompatible software) from WireGuard, don't try to mix them.

I did ask PIA Support for an HTTP proxy for qBittorrent to use when PIA is not enabled, so qBittorrent will always use VPN, enabled or not. I haven't heard back yet. Using "split path" setup in PIA-WireGuard, bBittorrent can't be started unless VPN is enabled.

After suffering through months of abysmal qBittorrent(SOCKS5) performance, I thought other qBittorrent users might want to know there is now a better way which works with PIA VPN - qBittorrent.
FranciscoPombal
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Re: FYI: PIA VPN performance improvement (dramatic)

Post by FranciscoPombal »

RandomInhabitant wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:57 am I switched Private Internet Access (PIA) from OpenVPN(SOCKS5) to WireGuard(no proxy) yesterday. qBittorrent performance went from slow and unreliable to 10x+ faster and reliable.
Yes, WireGuard is known to be much faster and efficient than OpenVPN.
RandomInhabitant wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:57 am
Since WireGuard https://www.wireguard.com/ is designed for Data Security with little regard to privacy, I was concerned.
What? This is false. WireGuard is no less "designed for privacy" than OpenVPN.
RandomInhabitant wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:57 am At the bottom of https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/p ... n-protocol it says
Private Internet Access has augmented WireGuard with no logging privacy protections on your VPN servers so PIA WireGuard users can rest assured that no client-server connections are logged and that their privacy is protected...
Having logging turned on for WireGuard only was PIA's choice for some reason, not a problem with WireGuard.
RandomInhabitant wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:57 am Through SOCKS5 there was a persistent issue with qBittorrent not finding trackers. This issue appears to be gone using PIA-WireGuard and no proxy. DO NOT TRY TO USE SOCKS5 WITH WireGuard (I don't think PIA will let you do this anyway, but trying to do this is a square-peg/round-hole bad idea). OpenVPN+SOCK5 is a totally different protocol stack (separate incompatible software) from WireGuard, don't try to mix them.

I did ask PIA Support for an HTTP proxy for qBittorrent to use when PIA is not enabled, so qBittorrent will always use VPN, enabled or not. I haven't heard back yet. Using "split path" setup in PIA-WireGuard, bBittorrent can't be started unless VPN is enabled.

After suffering through months of abysmal qBittorrent(SOCKS5) performance, I thought other qBittorrent users might want to know there is now a better way which works with PIA VPN - qBittorrent.
qBittorrent 4.2.5 on WIndows shipped with a libtorrent version that had a known retry issue with SOCKS5 proxies, which has since been fixed - you can compile from source to get the fix or wait for the next version. Also note that some VPN services (not sure if PIA was one of them) are notorious for SOCKS5 instability issues.

Also, "qBittorrent can't be started unless VPN is enabled." -> I can't reproduce that.
RandomInhabitant
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Re: FYI: PIA VPN performance improvement (dramatic)

Post by RandomInhabitant »

FranciscoPombal wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:05 pm
RandomInhabitant wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:57 am
Since WireGuard https://www.wireguard.com/ is designed for Data Security with little regard to privacy, I was concerned.
What? This is false. WireGuard is no less "designed for privacy" than OpenVPN.
Someone needs to share this with NordVPN. https://nordvpn.com/blog/nordlynx-protocol-wireguard/
Skip down to "Project NordLynx" and read "The WireGuard protocol alone can’t ensure complete privacy. Here’s why..."
FranciscoPombal wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:05 pm
RandomInhabitant wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:57 am At the bottom of https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/p ... n-protocol it says
Private Internet Access has augmented WireGuard with no logging privacy protections on your VPN servers so PIA WireGuard users can rest assured that no client-server connections are logged and that their privacy is protected...

Having logging turned on for WireGuard only was PIA's choice for some reason, not a problem with WireGuard.
I'll have to take your word for this, I haven't personally tried to implement WireGuard. I'm just a user reading and trying to make sense of claims made by VPN providers in an attempt to cover "privacy" due diligence from a user point of view while switching to WireGuard. It is difficult to separate actual engineering fact from marketing hype in many of these postings.
FranciscoPombal wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:05 pm
RandomInhabitant wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:57 am Through SOCKS5 there was a persistent issue with qBittorrent not finding trackers. This issue appears to be gone using PIA-WireGuard and no proxy. DO NOT TRY TO USE SOCKS5 WITH WireGuard (I don't think PIA will let you do this anyway, but trying to do this is a square-peg/round-hole bad idea). OpenVPN+SOCK5 is a totally different protocol stack (separate incompatible software) from WireGuard, don't try to mix them.

I did ask PIA Support for an HTTP proxy for qBittorrent to use when PIA is not enabled, so qBittorrent will always use VPN, enabled or not. I haven't heard back yet. Using "split path" setup in PIA-WireGuard, bBittorrent can't be started unless VPN is enabled.

After suffering through months of abysmal qBittorrent(SOCKS5) performance, I thought other qBittorrent users might want to know there is now a better way which works with PIA VPN - qBittorrent.
qBittorrent 4.2.5 on WIndows shipped with a libtorrent version that had a known retry issue with SOCKS5 proxies, which has since been fixed - you can compile from source to get the fix or wait for the next version. Also note that some VPN services (not sure if PIA was one of them) are notorious for SOCKS5 instability issues.
Thank you, this is really good to know and adds weight to a long held suspicion on both points; libtorrent and SOCKS5 instability. And yes, my comments are against a Windows 10 installation, not my Linux server. I'll wait for the next qBittorrent release.
FranciscoPombal wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:05 pm Also, "qBittorrent can't be started unless VPN is enabled." -> I can't reproduce that.

You are right, this is my fault. The application starts, but PIA VPN network access is blocked. After setting up PIA Settings->Network->Add Application... "Only VPN" then turn off PIA VPN. Here is what happens:
Firefox -
Unable to connect

Firefox can’t establish a connection to the server at www.qbittorrent.org.

The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few moments.
If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer’s network connection.
If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.
"New" Microsoft Edge -
Hmmm… your Internet access is blockedFirewall or antivirus software may have blocked the connection.
Try:

Checking the connection
Checking firewall and antivirus configurations
Running Windows Network Diagnostics
ERR_NETWORK_ACCESS_DENIED
qBittorrent - I can't tell what's going on, looks like it might be running. Without VPN protection I won't leave it running long enough to find out.

When I wrote my first submittal, something was preventing qBittorrent from starting. I don't know what. With 16GB RAM and 4-Core Intel CPU (Surfacebook Laptop) qBittorrent should have started. i.e. it shouldn't be resource starved.
FranciscoPombal
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Re: FYI: PIA VPN performance improvement (dramatic)

Post by FranciscoPombal »

RandomInhabitant wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:34 pm
Someone needs to share this with NordVPN. https://nordvpn.com/blog/nordlynx-protocol-wireguard/
Skip down to "Project NordLynx" and read "The WireGuard protocol alone can’t ensure complete privacy. Here’s why..."
RandomInhabitant wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:34 pm
I'll have to take your word for this, I haven't personally tried to implement WireGuard. I'm just a user reading and trying to make sense of claims made by VPN providers in an attempt to cover "privacy" due diligence from a user point of view while switching to WireGuard. It is difficult to separate actual engineering fact from marketing hype in many of these postings.
I don't like the spin NordVPN puts on this. It strikes me as an attempt to market their own proprietary walled-garden solution. Here is a better take from Mullvad, which is probably the most trustworthy VPN (certainly more trustworthy and competent than Nord): https://mullvad.net/en/help/why-wireguard/
RandomInhabitant wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:34 pm
Thank you, this is really good to know and adds weight to a long held suspicion on both points; libtorrent and SOCKS5 instability. And yes, my comments are against a Windows 10 installation, not my Linux server. I'll wait for the next qBittorrent release.
libtorrent was simply not retrying connections. SOCKS5 instability can still be a problem depending on your provider, but now libtorrent is more resilient to it. Compiling from source on Windows has become much easier, by the way; if you want to do it: https://github.com/qbittorrent/qBittorr ... c-linkage)
RandomInhabitant wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:34 pm You are right, this is my fault. The application starts, but PIA VPN network access is blocked. After setting up PIA Settings->Network->Add Application... "Only VPN" then turn off PIA VPN. Here is what happens:
...
No idea, I don't use the PIA app on Windows.
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