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Ive successfully setup a tunnel between my home ubuntu desktop(Japan) and my remote server(UK) using openvpn. Ive set it so that i can have the server fetch pages for me hiding my desktop ip to bypass geo restrictions (tv, radio etc) whilst im abroad.

Sometimes the playback is very choppy and i want to pinpoint why. Is it my configs? is the location of the server? Is it just that the webpage being accessed is very busy at that time of day? Would switching the server location to london instead of maidenhead make a difference?

Im wondering how best to go about this? Any ideas? Tools tips etc? I am a server newb but not to stuff like programming so not afraid of console etc.

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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

most probably it's the network latency between the two ends of the tunnel; if you feel artistic, use some graphical tools (cacti, for example, if not plain rrdtool) to keep track of various issues - latency, traffic, etc

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Smokeping (oss.oetiker.ch/smokeping) is great for visualizing latency. Written by the rrdtool author too! –  James Sep 23 '09 at 22:05
    
forgot about this one ... it suits better for this particular situation, indeed –  petre Sep 23 '09 at 22:09
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I'd start with one of the available network benchmarks (google results).

You can try one of the web-based ones, like Speedtest, too :)

  • Also, how fast is your connection?
  • How fast are the intervening connections?
  • Does the VPN sometimes route/connect across faster pipes than others?
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I would check some things:

  • Bandwidth between the client and server.
  • Bandwidth between the server and the internet.
  • Latency between the client-server, client-internet (using the vpn), client-internet (not using the vpn). Compare.
  • When the connection slows down, you need to check which other traffic is using the server. Is this server also working as proxy/router to other clients?. iftop would be a useful tool.
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