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Troubleshoot Tuesday: OpenVPN vs PPTP

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We have customers ask all the time what VPN protocol is best for them, PPTP or OpenVPN. Well, we can’t say for sure, but we sure do love OpenVPN in most areas of the world. As the infographic shows, there are a lot of differences between the two, but the biggest want for most of our customers is speed. In that area, it can vary highly between providers, locations, and other factors. While PPTP CAN be faster,  many Sabai Technology customers will tell you they have had much better success with OpenVPN, especially in the middle east.  However, here are some easily found differences between the two and how to simply set them up on your Sabai router.

  • Speed- Most websites will say PPTP is faster than OpenVPN because of lower encryption. In some cases that is true. In other cases, the reliability and stability of OpenVPN can actually lead to faster speeds in some parts of the world.

 

  • Encryption- PPTP has a lower encryption, making it less secure and more easily blocked by the spying eye of your Chinese Government or everyday hacker. OpenVPN however is running on 256 bit encryption, and with a lot of companies can even be changes to different types of secure encryptions, keeping you always protected.

 

  • Setup- PPTP is an easy winner here, never requiring more than just a server address, username, and password. OpenVPN CAN be simple, requiring just one file, but sometimes can requiring editing, entering of username and password, or multiple files, causing some confusion for the person with no technical experience. However, what else did you think your Sabai Technology Support Team was here for? We’re happy to set up even the most difficult connections for you!

 

  • Supported Systems- WHO CARES! They’re both supported on your Sabai Technology VPN router and by now everyone knows that all of your wireless and wired devices can connect and be supported with your Sabai Technology VPN router!

 

  • Stability- PPTP is quicker to be blocked, quicker to have drops in VPN signal, leading OpenVPN to be a winner when it comes to stability. Nobody wants to lose their VPN service in the middle of a show. With OpenVPN you can rest assured there is a much lower chance of losing your VPN or having it blocked by the watching eye.

 

  • Compatibility- Without your Sabai Technology VPN router you may see some problems getting OpenVPN on all of your devices, as it requires third party applications on most devices other than your computer. However, PPTP comes built in with most devices now a days, leading to easier and sometimes even cheaper setup.

 

  • Security- Just like with encryption, if you’re worried about your data and you’re worried about making sure nobody can see what you’re doing, OpenVPN is the way to go. PPTP is secured with basic security, better than your everyday local internet, not better than OpenVPN though.

 

To review, we do love OpenVPN for most situations; but for those of you just interested in being able to watch the latest TV shows, PPTP may be an option worth trying to see if the speeds are better for you. No one wants to miss the newest season of “Doctor Who” and you certainly don’t want buffering in the middle of your shows.

Without using any VPN providers, here is a generic look at how PPTP and OpenVPN are set up on a Sabai Technology VPN router.

PPTP users:

Click on the PPTP link and enter your Server/Username/Password and click Save. Verify your entry and click Start. This information will come from your VPN provider.pptp

OpenVPN users:

Download your OVPN file from your VPN provider. Return to the Sabai Technology VPN router page and click on the OpenVPN link, click the Choose File button and find the file that you downloaded and then click Start. If you make a change to the server or server settings, please reload the new file.

openvpn

 

  • Some VPN services require the use of a username and password for their OpenVPN connection as well as possible extra files that need to be uploaded. Once you upload your .ovpn file you will need to click on Show File and Edit. Enter your username and password in the provided boxes. Upload any files that it is requesting. Click Done then Save. Then click Start.

 

  • The Sabai Technology VPN router status will display at the top right corner of the screen. To refresh, simply reload the page or click on the PPTP or the OpenVPN menu link. (Not all servers will display the location name)

 

We’re happy to help go over pros and cons to help you decide which will be best for you. Once you decide, our Tech Support team is more than happy to help you get it all set up and running at maximum performance. Just send us a quick email to Support@SabaiTechnology.com and we’ll get back with you as soon as possible!

Troubleshoot Tuesday (VIDEO): Setting Up Your Sabai Technology IPVanish VPN Router – PPTP

Normally all of our Troubleshoot Tuesdays have to do with setting up OpenVPN, the more difficult of the VPN Protocols. This time we’d like to highlight PPTP which sometimes gets overlooked. While less secure, PPTP can be a better choice for people in some countries, especially in places where blocks are put into place a lot, such as China. Sometimes in China PPTP works and sometimes OpenVPN works. Having the ability to use either one is really useful. There are also places where PPTP is faster than OpenVPN because of the lowered security. We’re going to highlight IPVanish’s PPTP this time around, which is easy and efficient for even beginner VPN users.

Get your PPTP information

  1. Log into your account at IPVanish.comipv
  2. Click on Server Listipv2
  3. Choose the server you would like to connect to. ipv3

Starting PPTP in your Sabai Technology IPVanish VPN Router

  1. Click on Network, then PPTP.
  2. Enter the sever address you chose and your IPVanish username and password. Press start. ipv4

Now you have the appropriate PPTP information for your VPN Router! This will allow you to run your entire home network over your PPTP StrongVPN account. If you aren’t sure where to input your PPTP information in the Sabai VPN Router, you can email Support@SabaiTechnology.com to take advantage of your 3 free months of Sabai Freedom.

 

Troubleshoot Tuesday (VIDEO): Setting up PPTP on your Sabai Technology StrongVPN Router.

http://youtu.be/1mV1dr-TA3s

 

The recent “How to download your StrongVPN OpenVPN file” blog post has proven a popular tool for new customers so we thought we should do a similar post for PPTP! For customers who are new to VPN Routers, PPTP may seem a bit easier than OpenVPN, just because there is no file download. To run your PPTP connection over your Sabai VPN Router you only need to have a few pieces of information from your VPN provider:

  1. Server Address
  2. Username (given by VPN provider, usually different from website login)
  3. Password (given by VPN provider, usually different from website login)

PPTP Sabai VPN Router Screen

If StrongVPN is your VPN provider, you can find this information as follows:

Step One - Log into your StrongVPN account by visiting StrongVPN.com (Customers in China may need to use an alternate URL). Please note that this login information is different than your Sabai Technology login information. It is also different from your PPTP login information.

Visit StrongVPN.com and log into the customer account area.

Step Two - Once logged into the Customer Area, hover over VPN Accounts and click on VPN Account Summary.

Go to VPN Accounts in the menu

Step Three - In the table named, Your PPTP Accounts, visit the last column on the right and click the black Account Setup Instructions button.

PPTP Account information

Step Four - In the area named, PPTP Account Info, you will find your Server Address, Login, and Password. Copy and paste these items directly into the VPN Router PPTP page for accuracy, and/or write them down for future use. Your Login and Password for PPTP will be different from your StrongVPN.com customer login information.

PPTP Account Information for VPN Router input

Note: If you live in an area that may have difficulty resolving a reliablehosting.com web address, you can use the Server IP information interchangeably with the Server Address. Also note that if you change your server location, you will have to re-enter this PPTP information into the VPN Router.

Now you have the appropriate PPTP information for your VPN Router! This will allow you to run your entire home network over your PPTP StrongVPN account. If you aren’t sure where to input your PPTP information in the Sabai VPN Router, you can review the Sabai VPN Router setup instructions.

Troubleshoot Tuesday: Hulu Fix for StrongVPN OpenVPN and PPTP customers

It’s been about a month now, and you STILL don’t have Hulu Plus back. That’s unfortunate! We’re here for a fix for those who haven’t  already reached out to us or StrongVPN to have the problem fixed. So, for those of you who are either too shy/stubborn to get help, or for those of you who would just rather be the Tech Geek and fix it yourself, here is a quick way to get Hulu working on all of your devices again as it should be. We at Sabai Technology always try to stay ahead of any issues that arise, but sometimes we’re even stumped and have to look to the VPN Providers themselves to help us fix issues.

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Fixing Hulu Plus

    1. Log into your Sabai Technology StrongVPN router at 192.168.199.1. (Default information is admin/sabaipass123)
    2. Click on Network then OpenVPN/PPTP. Stop your VPN that is currently running.
    3. Press start again.2014-05-19 13_34_24-Add New Post ‹ Sabai Technology Blog — WordPress
    4. OpenVPN: Press Show Log.2014-05-19 12_37_28-[Sabai] OpenVPN
    5. PPTP: Press Status, then Logs. On that page, press Show Last 25 Lines2014-05-19 12_38_40-[Sabai] PPTP
    6. Find two listed DNS servers as shown.2014-05-19 12_35_46-[Sabai] OpenVPN
      2014-05-19 12_39_11-[Sabai] Status_ Logs
    7. Click Network, then Basic. Under LAN there are 3 static DNS servers listed. Change the first two to the DNS addresses found in your logs. Change the 3rd to 8.8.4.4.2014-05-19 12_40_02-[Sabai] Basic_ Network
    8. Save at the bottom of the page, then reboot on the left hand side. Reboot all devices connected to Sabai router as well.
    9. Check Hulu and enjoy!

And lastly, for those of you having issues, or just feel more comfortable having someone to talk to during the process, reach out to us at support@sabaitechnology.com!

Troubleshoot Tuesday: General VPN Troubleshooting

Say for instance you are 12 hours ahead of our Eastern time. It is 6 PM on a Saturday night and you are ready to settle in for the evening with a romantic movie on Netflix but your Apple TV/Roku/Smart TV/Computer says you are in the wrong country and cannot access Netflix.

Here are the steps we recommend to first go through before you start pulling your hair out because we are not yet open for the day.

  1. Check to make sure your device is connected to the right WiFi connection. If you have not changed the default, it would be Sabai 24 or Sabai 58. If you are not currently connected to the VPN WiFi connection, please do so.
  2. If you are connected to the right WiFi, it is time to check the router. In your browser, log into 192.168.199.1.
    •  If there has been a power outage, or someone accidentally reset your router, it will be asking for you to activate the router again or register the router again if you are still on an older firmware. If you are on version 5 and above you can use the same Activation Token as the first time you activated the router. It will always work. If you are on an older firmware, most of the time your Registration Code can be found on the bottom of the router. It is a 6 digit alphanumeric code.
    • If you are not being asked to activate/register the router, go ahead and head to either PPTP or OpenVPN, whichever you currently use.
  3.  The PPTP/OpenVPN status will show in the top right hand corner of the firmware if the VPN is connected or attempting to connect. If you are on Version 5 and up, please refer to this page for instructions on how to set up the VPN using any of our Affiliated VPN Companies: http://blog.sabaitechnology.com/vpn-provider-specific-vpn-router-instructions/ Using those instructions should get you back up and running, but if all else fails, you can do a few things.
  • Check with your VPN Provider. If they have 24/7 Technical Support, sometimes they can fix the problem.
  • Email us at support@sabaitechnology.com. You can check out our Technical Support hours here: http://blog.sabaitechnology.com/sabai-technical-support-hours/
  • Submit a Support Ticket from our website.
  • If you are a current subscriber of Sabai Freedom, make an appointment for one on one support. http://meetme.so/sabaisupport Not a current subscriber of Sabai Freedom but would rather us fix the issue in a remote session? How about purchasing? Our Sabai Freedom Support Package gets you upgraded to our newest firmware, no matter how old your current firmware is. It also gives you a years worth of upgrades and years worth of one on one remote support anytime you have an issue.  Check that out here: http://www.sabaitechnology.com/Sabai-Freedom-Support-Package-p/sfwu.htm

Now, get back to enjoying the evening and your constant Netflix binge watching!

Troubleshoot Tuesday: Quirky Roku Fix

“Why is my Roku not working?” “We were told we should get a Roku because it would work. So why isn’t it working?” “Why can all of my other devices get VPN except my Roku?” Okay, within the past month, we at Sabai Technology VPN Routers have probably heard any variety of those statements at least 50 times! Our customers LOVE their Roku players! After going through all the beginning steps of making sure the VPN is set up correctly, the Roku is connected to the right router, etc, we were stuck scratching our heads. Of course it wouldn’t be long though until we figured out a solution! Your address!

No, not your IP address. We’ve already taken care of that. Your shipping address that Roku has on file must match the country of the VPN you are using. Essentially, if you’re connecting through a VPN in the UK, but your address on file with Roku is a US address, you are still going to get blocks as if you were still using an IP address from the US.  If you change the shipping address and it still doesn’t work, you may have to look into the billing address, which would also require you to have a credit card that matched that location. The shipping address has fixed all of our customers so far though. Other devices giving you issues? Well, we don’t claim to be experts, but we can certainly try to figure it out! Let us know at support@sabaitechnology.com

Troubleshoot Tuesday: How to connect your StrongVPN PPTP account

The recent “How to download your StrongVPN OpenVPN file” blog post has proven a popular tool for new customers so we thought we should do a similar post for PPTP! For customers who are new to VPN Routers, PPTP may seem a bit easier than OpenVPN, just because there is no file download. To run your PPTP connection over your Sabai VPN Router you only need to have a few pieces of information from your VPN provider:

  1. Server Address
  2. Username (given by VPN provider, usually different from website login)
  3. Password (given by VPN provider, usually different from website login)

PPTP Sabai VPN Router Screen

If StrongVPN is your VPN provider, you can find this information as follows:

Step One - Log into your StrongVPN account by visiting StrongVPN.com (Customers in China may need to use an alternate URL). Please note that this login information is different than your Sabai Technology login information. It is also different from your PPTP login information.

Visit StrongVPN.com and log into the customer account area.

Step Two - Once logged into the Customer Area, hover over VPN Accounts and click on VPN Account Summary.

Go to VPN Accounts in the menu

Step Three - In the table named, Your PPTP Accounts, visit the last column on the right and click the black Account Setup Instructions button.

PPTP Account information

Step Four - In the area named, PPTP Account Info, you will find your Server Address, Login, and Password. Copy and paste these items directly into the VPN Router PPTP page for accuracy, and/or write them down for future use. Your Login and Password for PPTP will be different from your StrongVPN.com customer login information.

PPTP Account Information for VPN Router input

Note: If you live in an area that may have difficulty resolving a reliablehosting.com web address, you can use the Server IP information interchangeably with the Server Address. Also note that if you change your server location, you will have to re-enter this PPTP information into the VPN Router. 

Now you have the appropriate PPTP information for your VPN Router! This will allow you to run your entire home network over your PPTP StrongVPN account. If you aren’t sure where to input your PPTP information in the Sabai VPN Router, you can review the Sabai VPN Router setup instructions.

Every VPN provider is going to have a slightly different process for accessing server information. If you would like us to do a Troubleshoot Tuesday reviewing how to find your providers PPTP server information, please let us know in comments! As always, if you have trouble with your VPN Router setup you can make an appointment to work with our technical support or call 864-962-4072. If you have questions before you buy a Sabai VPN Router, you can start a ticket using the support tab on our homepage or by emailing us at customercare@sabaitechnology.com.

The Linksys E4200 VPN Routers are Back in Stock!

Is the Linksys E4200 with Sabai OS the best VPN router on the market? Hard to say, but, the Sabai 4200 has always had a large fan base. Customers love the power and range that it provides, alongside the easy use and flexibility of the Sabai VPN Router operating system. There is little doubt that this VPN Router has enough specs, even for power users:

  • Broadcom 4718 chipset
  • 480 mHz CPU speed.
  • Dual Radios for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz transmission (Only 2.4 GHz enabled for SabaiOS due to driver issue)
  • 16 MB Flash
  • 64 MB RAM
  • USB 2.0 port
  • Dual Voltage Power Supply 100-240V 50/60Hz
  • Gigabit Ethernet on the WAN and all 4 LAN ports

When the Linksys E4200 VPN Router by Sabai went out of stock, the community didn’t give up on it and neither did Sabai Technology!

Is the 4200 back for good?

It would be great to say with confidence that the Linksys E4200 is back for good, but, there is no guarantee how long they will be available. But, for all of the customers out there waiting so patiently … Christmas has come early this year!

Get your Linksys E4200 VPN Client Router by Sabai Technology NOW!

Making the Switch to VPN: How to stream American online content to your TV from abroad

How VPN works

For expats who are still figuring out the best way to access American content while living abroad, VPN can seem too technical and too good to be true. But, for the first time in history, there really is an affordable way to get tons of American entertainment from anywhere in the world – streamed right to your television, laptop, Ipad and more.

For this installment of our beginners series, “Making the Switch to VPN” we are giving you a step by step guide to setting up your VPN home theater.

Step One: VPN Client Service

There are plenty of VPN service providers to choose from. Make sure that your service provider has server options as close to your physical location as you can get, while staying in the country you want to connect to. Common American server locations are New York, San Francisco, and Miami. Without going into too much technical detail, this service assigns your IP address (which tells streaming services where your physical location is) to America, thereby circumventing the location controls. Think of it as a virtual tunnel to American internet.

Most providers will also have the option of PPTP or OpenVPN. Don’t let this confuse you, they are just different connection types. Sabai Technology staff recommends that you start with OpenVPN as it is typically a more stable connection and offers more speed control.

VPN accounts are available at a variety of prices.

Step Two: A Media Streaming Device

If you want to be able to watch Netflix, Hulu, or network channel streaming sites like HBOgo or ABC.com on your television, you will need a streaming apparatus. These start at just $50 and go into the thousands. Several popular choices are:

Smart TV: All the major television companies are making them now: Samsung, Vizio, LG, and more. These televisions come internet enabled and usually have some sort of web platform or app store for accessing digital content providers such as Netflix. This is the priciest option, but you can get a Smart TV for not much more than a flat screen television. So, if you are already in the market for a new TV, this may be the way to go.

Roku: This small (and getting smaller) device plugs into the back of any modern television. The Roku uses an app store interface that allows you to access both free and paid media content, as well as games and exclusive channels like the SEC network. There are several models of Roku, with the primary difference being HD capability. A basic Roku starts at just $49.99 and tops out at $99.99.

AppleTV: The ads say that with an AppleTV there is “always something on,” and with the Itunes store plus channels like Hulu and Netflix, they aren’t kidding. With the Airplay device, you can send content that is on your Ipod or Iphone directly to your TV via the AppleTV. If you are a fan of Mac products, at just $99, this is a no-brainer.

Step Three: VPN Router

This is the step that pulls it all together. A single VPN account is meant for a single device. Streaming devices don’t have a way of accessing VPN. So, you need a VPN router to bridge that gap. Running that single VPN connection to a VPN Router allows you to broadcast the “virtual tunnel” to all of your networked devices. With a VPN Router, the security and American connection can be enjoyed on all of your network devices throughout your home.

Sabai Technology makes a VPN Router that is extremely easy to use and sets up in about 5 minutes. This VPN Router can work in conjunction with, or in place of, your primary home router. Visit Sabai Technology’s main website to review all of the currently available VPN Router models.

Up and Running

Getting started with VPN streaming can be a bit of an investment, but compared to monthly cable and satellite charges, there is significant savings to be had for a wider variety of on demand American entertainment choices. Hundreds of thousands of expats are using VPN connections to keep their internet American, even if nothing else in their life reminds them of home. Get started today and enjoy the relaxation and comfort of American entertainment so that home can feel like home.

Making the switch to VPN: What happened to my internet speed?!

When it comes to internet, VPN, and remote servers, there is more to speed than the advertised promise of your Internet Service Provider (ISP). What many customers don’t know is that the speed you are promised by your ISP is for “internal” network traffic – meaning the traffic routed through their servers . When you participate in internet behaviors that are seen as unfavorable, like P2P traffic or encryption, the ISP will throttle your connection.

Throttling is explained well on Wikepidia:

Bandwidth throttling is the intentional slowing of internet service by an internet service provider. It is a reactive measure employed in communication networks in an apparent attempt to regulate network traffic and minimize bandwidth congestion.

Unfortunately, for many ISP’s VPN traffic falls into this unfavorable category of behaviors. This effect is worse for some countries and providers than others. For instance, Japan has one of the fastest average internet speeds around. However, when you take that same internet connection and move it to an external network, a 100+ Mbps connection can get knocked down to 2 or 3 Mbps! While there isn’t much to be done about throttling, you can take steps to get the most speed out of your VPN connection.

Basic VPN Speed Troubleshooting

For many VPN users, the extra layer of security that VPN offers just isn’t an option. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t maximize your speed potential. Try these steps to troubleshoot speed issues:

  • Look closely at your ISP. If it is safe to do so, try contacting your service provider for information on what traffic they throttle. You can also ask around to other VPN users about which service providers handle VPN traffic better. If you live in an area with multiple ISP’s, sometimes a switch in service provider can make a difference. Bonus Tip: Try connecting to your VPN account on a different computer. If speeds improve, it is likely the computers fault. If possible, try connecting to your VPN account on a different provider (either at a friends, school or work). Better or different speeds could indicate that your ISP is the issue.

  • Stick as close to home as possible. Sometimes this is hard to do, as many users want VPN specifically for the change of location. However, minimize the effect of server distance by choosing locations wisely. For instance, if you are in China and want to connect to the United States, San Francisco makes a lot more sense than Miami or New York. Bonus Tip: Don’t be afraid to try a few different servers, every once in a while the nearest is not the fastest!

  • Time after time. The time of day and amount of traffic on the server of your choice can have a huge effect on speed. Try running speed tests at different times of day to see what kind of difference it makes and, if possible, adjust your usage to take advantage of slow traffic periods.

  • Switch Protocols. If possible, try both OpenVPN and PPTP to see which gives you better speeds. Likely, the results will vary significantly. Of course, there are other differences that would make you choose between the two as well. Make an informed decision, particularly if you live in areas of restricted internet access.

  • Wired vs. Wireless. Wired connections are almost always faster. For the devices where speed matter most, try connecting directly into one of your VPN Routers LAN ports for maximum speed.

These are the very first steps that Sabai Technology would recommend to customers who are curious about increasing their VPN speeds. If you live in an area that experiences high throttling, there is little to be done to overcome the speed decrease without exposing your traffic. However, there is still much to be done to make the most out of the situation. Of course, if you are experiencing slower speeds over your VPN Router than you are getting running VPN on your computer, a VPN Accelerator can help correct that issue.

In the coming weeks, look for more on Making the Switch to VPN including advanced troubleshooting ideas for speed concerns!

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