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Best VPN provider (In your opinion)? (Strictly no referral allowed)

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Old 09-12-2019, 02:09 PM   #3571
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Pm me too. Would like the surfshark promo

Anyone can pm about the $0.80 surfshark promo?
Thank you very much!
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:47 PM   #3572
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Point taken.

My main interests are going into China for China contents and bypass China GFW. I do have first hands experiences in these two use cases.

As for other streaming contents like bypassing Netflix geo-blcking, this forum provides good first hand experiences and test data. And I also have first hands experiences with some US/UK/HK contents.

I understand the websites have affiliate programs. But the tipsforchina website does have good test data and I have sources in China who give me feedbacks on China related VPN and SS providers.

I do not really blindly follow the ranking websites in reality. In fact many website lists Nord VPN as No 1 or No 2 but apparently the feedbacks here say otherwise. Surfshark is a rising star and indeed the feedbacks here are positive.

As for Astrill, unfortunately it is seldom mentioned in this forum recently and my China source told me it did not work well at the time I asked.

Your assertion that nothing works better than Astrill in China is not in line with my observations. Apparently none of the well-known VPN vendors work well consistently. So they are adopting SS or similar. I mentioned this fact in my posts.

Surfshark cannot be a rising star, that's simple maths. If you can get them for 0.80$ per month that means that they have very poor infrastructure or poor development team or both. I heave learnt that you have to pay for the quality as nothing good is being almost free these days.

I currently live in a similar to China VPN situation country and have tested almost 20 VPN providers, since the VPN crackdow has started. The only VPN that listened and developed a super solid workaround was Astrill. No other VPN was listening or was interested in doing anything, even when I told some what they were supposed to do. ExpressVPN was still marketing as no 1 VPN in that country, yes great marketing, poor VPN. It obviously didn't work and still doesn't work stable. Solutions of TCP 443 OpenVPN while could be working, would have been extremely slow and UDP is shaped.

So speaking from experience, Astrill is the leader when it comes to custom development for the users need. The workaround I am talking about has been quickly deployed, upon initial testing period, to all servers and even Astrill applet to use on the router. It's been easily over a year since many users struggle here and I have been enjoying full connection speed via VPN. I am sure they are actively fighting China together with 12VPN, it just takes time to test and deploy some alternative solutions.

Also you may be interested in reading this two recent posts on Reddit regarding China and Astrill. See here and here (see the comment by BananaRepublic user).

As I mentioned tipsforchina guy is very valuable in his testing and sharing experiences, his blog is heavily affiliated and he makes good money out of it. But, unlike other clueless VPN blogs, he is at least knowledgable and share his real findings. The problem is not him but Chinese authorities. If you have been following his blog you will see that on the day authorities switched off the lights, his VPN ranking was useless anyway or could have been easily reversed. A word VPN ranking and China just don't work well together, as the situation changes daily. Also he explains why he doesn't advertise Astrill anymore (told you it is all about $$$$$) and he clearly says he hasn't been using them since 2016.

Years back this forum was heavily into Astrill, those were the days where there were caps by local telcos on international bandwidth of 25-30Mbps... This could be easily avoided using Astrill or other VPNs. Also they had their famous Singapore (USA) server, which identified itself as US location (for US Netflix) but it was a local server in fact. I also know that once someone has a solid VPN he has been using for years, he just sticks to it without losing his time to try some "failsharks" or others, which could be the reason why the feedback is limited on them here lately.
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:54 PM   #3573
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Hi can share with me SS $0.80 too? Thanks
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:08 PM   #3574
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Thanks for the valuable inputs, stiwipl. Indeed Astrill is still a very good VPN based on your description.

And I read good posts of you from 2015 to 2017, along with another poster suntanoi1983.

I understand ExpressVPN is very good at marketing but they do have good stuff to backup, especially for speed and geo-blocking. In fact I recommended it to my China friends and they are telling me most of the time it works well -- they just use it to search for information, not really Netflix though, and not really mission critical. If not working for a few weeks it is also not that critical for them. They are also okay with the price. Information is money. I'll ask my friends to try out Astrill next time.

As for Surfsharks, there are many good comments here. Not so sure about the US$0.8 offer though. So no comments there.

I am already happy with the US$0.99 per month (US$11.88) one year offer from purevpn and apparently its quality matches the price (read: not very good but matches my expectations). I need to carry out the real tests in two weeks time to see how good or how bad it can bypass China GFW when I am visiting China.

Last edited by xiaofan; 09-12-2019 at 04:28 PM..
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:24 PM   #3575
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It is tempatating to go into this deal as I'd like to have a two-in-one solution to go into China for geo-block contents and go out of China (to bypass China GFW).

But then I think over it and unlikely the China servers will be reliable since they are simply not authorized by the Chinese authority. So in the end it is still better to use the dedicated VPN like Transocks and SpeedIn which is said to have been authorized by the Chinese authority to provide the services to mainly overseas Chinese to access contents in China.

So in the end I will give IVacy offer a pass.

Still being a Singapore based company, IVacy seems to have good Singapore/Malaysia servers so maybe overseas Singaporean/Malaysian may want to try it for Singapore/Malaysia contents.
Yet another one is FlyVPN which was recommended previously. It claims to have 113 servers in China. Since it is heavily geared toward from outside to China, it should work. But it is not famous to bypass GFW for use inside China.

https://www.flyvpn.com/servers

Anyway I give up on dual-use VPN already (go into China and go out of China) myself.
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:15 PM   #3576
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Asus RT-AC86U is a very good router and has good performance for VPN.

No need to run the ExpressVPN firmware which has limited router feature. The experts here seem to lean towards Merlin firmware for the Asus RT-AC86U.
Thanks for the heads up, would the AC68U be a much better budget alternative? I am afraid that the AC86U will be too much of an overkill
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:25 PM   #3577
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Thanks for the heads up, would the AC68U be a much better budget alternative? I am afraid that the AC86U will be too much of an overkill
if you intend to setup VPN on your router, then go for the ac86u.. if just normal router usage then ac68u would suffice.
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:41 PM   #3578
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Yet another one is FlyVPN which was recommended previously. It claims to have 113 servers in China. Since it is heavily geared toward from outside to China, it should work. But it is not famous to bypass GFW for use inside China.

https://www.flyvpn.com/servers

Anyway I give up on dual-use VPN already (go into China and go out of China) myself.
Just an update, contacted purevpn online support and the support is pretty good (first guy does not know but the second guy is precise to the point). They provided the solution for Windows and Android by providing two dedicated server IP addresses and one of them works. I will ask for iOS solution later.

Speed is so so but at least works for 720p streaming of Youku (tested with 长安十二时辰 under Windows).

Haha, now the US$11.88 is totally worth it.

That being said, not recommend others to get purevpn. Some old comments mentioned as "pureCrap" if compared to better VPNs.

Last edited by xiaofan; 09-12-2019 at 07:21 PM..
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Old 10-12-2019, 12:49 AM   #3579
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if you intend to setup VPN on your router, then go for the ac86u.. if just normal router usage then ac68u would suffice.
I was thinking of buying either the AC86U or AC68U and running it as a secondary VPN router so everytime when need to use VPN just connect to it will do.

Do you recommend this bro or just flash Merlin on the AC86U to enable a certain device/static IP to connect to VPN while the rest stays on normal network?
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Old 10-12-2019, 01:41 AM   #3580
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I was thinking of buying either the AC86U or AC68U and running it as a secondary VPN router so everytime when need to use VPN just connect to it will do.

Do you recommend this bro or just flash Merlin on the AC86U to enable a certain device/static IP to connect to VPN while the rest stays on normal network?
get the ac86u flash Merlin and setup split tunneling
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Old 10-12-2019, 01:42 PM   #3581
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get the ac86u flash Merlin and setup split tunneling
Alright thanks for the suggestion, will get the AC86U and the taobao fan you mentioned in another post haha gamxia
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:24 AM   #3582
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FlyVPN was mentioned before as being good at going into China (eg: to access iQiyi, Recent Video and Youku geo-block contents) because it has lots of servers in China (116). This is a unique feature among VPN companies. purevpn and IVacy only have a few servers in China.

FlyVPN offers 14days free trial. I tested the free servers in China and indeed it works. Speed is so-so but at least good for me to stream 1080p video.

There are other dedicated VPN to go into China, Transocks and SpeedIn are the more well-known one. Then there are other choices like SpeedCN and UfunR. All these are single purpose VPN.

FlyVPN can be an alternative solution if you are worried about the security/privacy of using Transocks/SpeedIn/etc.

FlyVPN also offers good number of servers in other regions of Asia, HK, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Thailand, etc. They also have servers in US, and then a few servers here and there but not strong.

Reviews in the Internet is bad in general. But I think the reviews miss the China/Asia focus of FlyVPN.

Last edited by xiaofan; 11-12-2019 at 07:30 AM..
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:34 AM   #3583
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It is free to try out FlyVPN for 14days on the free servers (34, including quite a few China servers).
https://www.flyvpn.com/

They also provide free VPN service, one hour (3 * 20 minutes) per day.

====== From FlyVPN website =====
FlyVPN provides numerous long-term free servers in a variety of countries, including the United States, China, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Portugal, to name just a few. In addition to one hour of free use per day, new registered users have 14 days of unlimited use on a mobile device.
=====

Last edited by xiaofan; 11-12-2019 at 07:41 AM..
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:46 AM   #3584
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If anyone is interested in cheap nordvpn, shopback has an offer for 85% cashback on purchase. Available till 15th Nov.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:40 AM   #3585
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80cent offer surfshark seem to be gone. now increase to 90cent per month!
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