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Torguard dedicated IP no longer uploads, slow when using stealth

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mail4matt
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Setup:  running Torguard (current and previous versions) using the Android app on a Pixel XL and Pixel 3.  The cell phone internet source is Visible Wireless (a MVNO of Verizon) with the Torguard dedicated VPN (streaming bundle) in San Diego (connected one device at a time)

Speeds use to be great then roughly six months ago I lost all upload capability when Torguard was turned on (speedtest download is good, no upload.  Same with other speedtest sites).  I use another VPN service and I noticed the same problem with that service at the same time so something seemed to have changed with Visible.  I played with settings (protocols, port/auth) on both VPN Android apps.  I found selecting "use small packets" on the other VPN service took care of upload and both upload and download speeds are great.    

The only setting on Torguard that will get the upload to work is when I use 4443 stealth for port/auth.  However  both up and down are about a 1/5 of what they should be and overall it is unreliable (a few hours later it will slow to a crawl).  I can then switch to the other VPN (with use small packets selected) and all is well.  I would like to try and make Torguard work as the local VPN streaming bundle worked great when it worked.  The other VPN I am using is blocked by many streaming video services.  

Does the "use small packet" working on the other VPN give anyone and idea of what I could do to get Torguard to work well?  I have sat for an hour and tried every port/auth/ protocol combination without luck.  I have looked at and tried many examples on the Torguard website without luck.  

Thanks, Matt

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Go into the "More Settings".  Bring up the Network tab.  Look towards the bottom for the setting called MTU.  This is the Maximum Transmit Unit.  You can toggle among values such as Low, Medium, High, etc.  This is the largest amount of data that will be sent at once.  This should be analogous to the "packet size" setting of your other unnamed VPN.  I would suggest, for performance reasons, to use the largest value that seems to work.  Experiment with each setting starting from Low, until it stops working, then back off by one. 

Not specific to VPNs at all but in general, the MTU is the largest size packet that a particular network (virtual or physical) can handle in a single packet transmission.  For example, the standard wired Ethernet protocol (not Jumbo Frame) has a maximum frame capacity of 1518 bytes; 18 bytes are reserved overhead so the MTU is set to a max of 1500 bytes of useful payload (IP layer) -- that way the max possible value of 1518 is never exceeded (of course, a given packet can also be smaller depending on the application).  Slow links and links with lots of line noise and other errors are different but generally, for a decently fast and reliable link, sending a few large packets is more efficient use of available bandwidth (faster) than a lot of smaller ones because each packet has routing/addressing/protocol overhead.  However, different types of networks have different limits on just how large of a packet they can handle.  A packet traveling from a given source to a given destination must fit into the lowest of all MTUs of the networks it traverses.  If an attempt is made to send a packet larger than this, it generates an error message (ICMP Fragmentation Needed) from the first router aware of this condition.  Not all networks allow some or any ICMP messages so that error message may never arrive.  If that error is received and processed, then the packet is re-transmitted broken up into smaller pieces that need to be reassembled at the destination -- assuming all fragments make it there -- which harms efficiency.  If that error message is not processed, for example because ICMP and other unexpected/easily abused traffic is blocked, then possibly nothing happens.

TL;DR, that MTU setting is the equivalent of controlling packet size.  Yes I'm oversimplifying but this post got long enough.  I hope this helps you.

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On 9/8/2021 at 10:04 PM, Esoteric said:

Go into the "More Settings".  Bring up the Network tab.  Look towards the bottom for the setting called MTU.  This is the Maximum Transmit Unit.  You can toggle among values such as Low, Medium, High, etc.  This is the largest amount of data that will be sent at once.  This should be analogous to the "packet size" setting of your other unnamed VPN.  I would suggest, for performance reasons, to use the largest value that seems to work.  Experiment with each setting starting from Low, until it stops working, then back off by one. 

Not specific to VPNs at all but in general, the MTU is the largest size packet that a particular network (virtual or physical) can handle in a single packet transmission.  For example, the standard wired Ethernet protocol (not Jumbo Frame) has a maximum frame capacity of 1518 bytes; 18 bytes are reserved overhead so the MTU is set to a max of 1500 bytes of useful payload (IP layer) -- that way the max possible value of 1518 is never exceeded (of course, a given packet can also be smaller depending on the application).  Slow links and links with lots of line noise and other errors are different but generally, for a decently fast and reliable link, sending a few large packets is more efficient use of available bandwidth (faster) than a lot of smaller ones because each packet has routing/addressing/protocol overhead.  However, different types of networks have different limits on just how large of a packet they can handle.  A packet traveling from a given source to a given destination must fit into the lowest of all MTUs of the networks it traverses.  If an attempt is made to send a packet larger than this, it generates an error message (ICMP Fragmentation Needed) from the first router aware of this condition.  Not all networks allow some or any ICMP messages so that error message may never arrive.  If that error is received and processed, then the packet is re-transmitted broken up into smaller pieces that need to be reassembled at the destination -- assuming all fragments make it there -- which harms efficiency.  If that error message is not processed, for example because ICMP and other unexpected/easily abused traffic is blocked, then possibly nothing happens.

TL;DR, that MTU setting is the equivalent of controlling packet size.  Yes I'm oversimplifying but this post got long enough.  I hope this helps you.

Thanks for your detailed reply.  Use small packets does sound similar to MTU.  it looks like the option to change the MTU size is not available on the Android app.  To get the Visible cell phone internet to my network, I USB tether from my cell phone to a Mango router (GL.iNET GL-MT300N-V2).  I run an ethernet cable from the Mango to my dual WAN router (one input is the Visible internet and the other is my DSL (5mbps down, 0.6mbps up.... which is why I supplement with cellular)).  I have to root my phone and run another app to let the VPN pass out the phone over the USB tether.  I am not sure if changing the MTU on my Mango router would help, but I sure am going to try it.  The Torguard streaming bundle worked great for several months and it would be great to get it going again.  I know just enough networking stuff to be dangerous so if you have any suggestions on a way around adjusting MTU since I can't do that in the Android app, please let me know.  I'll report back on my MTU size change in the Mango.  

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