I get asked about VPNs a lot. Let’s talk about it.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are primarily designed to enhance privacy & security. Like bypassing mandated censorship, securing access to sensitive information, browsing anonymity, peer-to-peering safely, unblocking content based on region, etc.
Skipping to—Personal VPNs
I’ve tested many VPN providers, but I don’t use them. There are reasons to use them (careful which ones you use). The most important reasons nowadays being their IP addresses & locations. I’ve been hosting my own stuff for a long time, so I’ve always used dedicated servers & virtual machines for my VPNs. That being said, if you’re trying to do the same thing to access content, over-the-top media services, etc., you should check the region access of your server with something like this script: https://github.com/lmc999/RegionRestrictionCheck.
Gaming & Myths
The first thing you’ll notice when using a VPN is the latency, especially if you’re using a server/VPN in a different location than where you’re located. As soon as you read “latency”, a red flag should go off in your head because higher latency is terrible for multiplayer games. 😬
NETDUMA. 😱 A lot of myths are born from some truth, but mostly a severe misunderstanding of what’s happening or ignorance (skill gap). 🤣 That’s exactly how the Netduma “easier lobbies” myth was born. The software allows for optimization of certain traffic & MOST importantly optimization for certain games because of various game server information available to it, see the Geo-filter game list: http://support.netduma.com/support/solutions/articles/16000122186-geo-filter-game-compatibility-list.
I’ve tested the Netduma R2 with DumaOS v3 & I get the same 15-19 ms ping to my local Call of Duty Warzone server as I do when I use other routers (D-Link DIR-655, Nighthawk R8500). However, I get better, more consistent connections to Warzone servers farther than 800 km with the R2. A reason to keep the R2 is the Geo-filter, you can select a region in-between friends, so everyone can get an even ping (Ex: Friend in California, me in Florida, server in Texas, select Texas in Geo-filter with polygon mode selector to outline the state). I don’t think you’ll benefit from this feature outside the United States, Canada & Europe, it depends on the game & it’s servers.
Note that Netduma has partnered with Netgear. Netgear produces routers with a version of DumaOS, which I recommend over the R2 if you need to use Wi-Fi.
WireGuard (https://www.wireguard.com/) – Simple & easy. Any network topology, high performance, minimal attack surface, small footprint, cryptography, cross-platform; many operating systems & appliances. Obviously, there are many features & reasons to use WireGuard. It’s my preferred VPN software. Check out the source code at: https://www.wireguard.com/repositories/.
WireGuard Personal VPN Set Up
Quick start: https://www.wireguard.com/quickstart/
I recommend using this road warrior script, courtesy of angristan: https://github.com/angristan/wireguard-install, which prompts for very basic information about the server to set up & create configuration files to import into client software.
I get asked about providers a lot too, see this spreadsheet on Google Sheets: https://sin6x.com/HostHistory – Also note despite my experience over the years with some of these providers, your experience may differ.