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Market Research: Plug & Play Router VPN - Any interest?

Market Research: Plug & Play Router VPN - Any interest?

VPNshVPNsh Member, Provider

Hey LET,

So I'm working alongside a company at the moment who have plans to bring a plug & play device to market. The process is fairly simple:

  1. Plug a small, low power device into a power outlet
  2. Plug an ethernet cable from your exiting modem/router into this device
  3. Run through some initial setup instructions
  4. Devices can connect either wirelessly (using a separate SSID) or via ethernet, and all data will go through a VPN

The devices are likely to be running OpenWRT, and from what I hear, the company putting this together plan to be very open about how they operate - releasing their software for use with anybody who'd rather use it on their own router devices.

Please let me know if this is something you'd be interested in, or any constructive comments about such a system. A test stage is planned, which shall hopefully allow any creases to be ironed out.

I do not know as of yet what sort of pricing they're looking at for this device, however I'm under the impression it'll be fairly affordable.

Thanks,

Liam

NOTE: This is not related to VPN.sh. Mods, if this needs to be in offtopic/providers etc., feel free to move it.

Plug & Play VPN Router
  1. Would you be interested in a plug & play VPN router device?79 votes
    1. Yes, definitely
        6.33%
    2. Yes, so long as it's not too expensive
      46.84%
    3. I'd be interested in the software to use on my own device
        7.59%
    4. No, I'm not interested
      39.24%

VPN.sh - Secure and Affordable VPN services - £15/year, Unlimited Bandwidth, 20+ Countries - Order Link

Tagged:

Comments

  • DD-WRT essentially offers this.

    I AM BACK :) Working Windows Server 2012 R2 on 6GB! Beat that!

    Thanked by 2VPNsh jemaltz
  • VPNshVPNsh Member, Provider

    @TarZZ92 said: DD-WRT essentially offers this.

    It does. The idea behind this is to offer a simple, painfree solution where you order a device, and pretty much plug it in and the rest is already sorted.

    Just trying to see what level of interest there is around here for a device that doesn't require any real manual setup. It may well be that it's more appealing to a less technically-minded market where setting up DD-WRT may be a little daunting.

    VPN.sh - Secure and Affordable VPN services - £15/year, Unlimited Bandwidth, 20+ Countries - Order Link

    Thanked by 1TarZZ92
  • jhjh Member

    I think every ADSL router I've had has come with this option.

  • Pyr02k1Pyr02k1 Member
    edited January 2015

    Soooo.... Something like http://www.plutoboxx.com/ or https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/anonabox-the-tor-hardware-router

    There's a few others out there I remember hearing about, but I cant remember the names for the life of me. I do remember the anonabox one was readily available from aliexpress. The VPN ones need a provider behind them, and most anyone who knows about using a vpn will be able to do it on their own.

    Edit: not saying it's a bad idea, but it's a tough sell to majority of people.

  • I run default firmware on my router, not wanting to flash it with some custom firmware because of a lack of support/risk of bricking.

    This device would be perfect for a user like me. I hope it supports the ability to use your own VPN, OpenVPN etc.

  • kcaj said: I run default firmware on my router, not wanting to flash it with some custom firmware because of a lack of support/risk of bricking

    Not got any old routers you could risk? That's what I ended up doing with an old D-Link when I wanted to set up a wireless bridge.

    Got Sister? #keepinitcociu

  • VPNshVPNsh Member, Provider

    @Pyr02k1 said: Soooo.... Something like http://www.plutoboxx.com/ or https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/anonabox-the-tor-hardware-router

    Yup, fairly similar to Anonabox. I didn't realise they'd made an IndieGoGo campaign after being cancelled over at Kickstarter, thanks for the link.

    @kcaj, it's looking as though the device will be bundled with a VPN service upon purchase, however I'm confident that it'll allow you to use your own etc., as obviously clients who do not wish to renew the actual VPN service will still want to have a usable device after the VPN service expires.

    VPN.sh - Secure and Affordable VPN services - £15/year, Unlimited Bandwidth, 20+ Countries - Order Link

  • i recall there are few offerings by vpn provider that they would preflash(and configure) a random router and then selling it to customers.

  • WilliamWilliam Member, Provider

    Not fast enough, these devices are based on slower ARM CPUs and won't do more than 30-50Mbit via VPN.

    Thanked by 1RA4W
  • @William said: Not fast enough, these devices are based on slower ARM CPUs and won't do more than 30-50Mbit via VPN.

    Free traffic control!

  • kcaj said: I run default firmware on my router, not wanting to flash it with some custom firmware because of a lack of support/risk of bricking.

    As long as you follow the instructions for your router and don't fuck it should be easy.

  • I do this onbMexico, I offer devices with VPN rady to operate

    Thanked by 1VPNsh
  • Wont it just be a Pi(or similar) in a box with some software and plastic?

    Different.

  • nexmarknexmark Member, Provider

    My router already does this

    Life is better when you're smiling

  • VPNshVPNsh Member, Provider

    @netomx said:

    I do this onbMexico, I offer devices with VPN rady to operate

    Does there seem to be a good market in Mexico for such devices? Do you tend to find that your customers are less technically-minded than the folk around here?

    VPN.sh - Secure and Affordable VPN services - £15/year, Unlimited Bandwidth, 20+ Countries - Order Link

  • I think it's a very limited market.

    @William said: Not fast enough, these devices are based on slower ARM CPUs and won't do more than 30-50Mbit via VPN.

    TBH, that probably satisfies the requirements of 99% of VPN users in what I assume to be the target market (non-technical people).

    Thanked by 1netomx
  • @liamwithers said: netomx said:

    Not really, but for a personal/hobby, there's profi .

  • Absolutely interested, especially to recommend it to not so much tech people!

    Webinterface needs to be easy or 95% pre-configured.

  • VPNshVPNsh Member, Provider

    @Amfy said: Absolutely interested, especially to recommend it to not so much tech people!

    Webinterface needs to be easy or 95% pre-configured.

    It definitely seems as though non-technical clients are going to benefit the most from this. I'll be sure to chase up to ensure that they keep everything as simplified as possible.

    VPN.sh - Secure and Affordable VPN services - £15/year, Unlimited Bandwidth, 20+ Countries - Order Link

  • In fact, i will work on a easy interface to configure it :)

  • The plug into power socket doesn't appeal to me, would rather usb, you can easily include power socket usb plugs..

  • Yeah USB would be nice, there are lots of different socket types and voltages to design for.

  • nexmarknexmark Member, Provider

    Maybe like a little thumb drive with an internal battery that takes an existing wifi access point or Ethernet connection, tunnels it through a vpn and rebroadcast the access point tunneled through Ethernet and or wifi

    Life is better when you're smiling

  • I think it is a good idea, but with limited potential. There is a very small group of people in my experience that know what a VPN is, but can't or won't obtain one themselves, either through a provider or a VPS.

    Friends of mine have questioned the point of aftermarket routers, happy with the ISP supplied one (built to a cost and not a quality model), so convincing someone to get a box to route over a vpn specifically I think will be a tall ask.

    Don't get me wrong, i'm all for privacy in this day and age, slightly paranoid in fact, but I think may people aren't aware of how much they can and are being tracked.

    Pricing would also be a key matter - In the UK, something like the Asus RT-N66U will do this for £100 or so, albeit that you would need to find a VPN service.

    Also, if the VPN servers go down, the entire house internet will go as well - for a non techy person this is another layer of abstraction to deal with in case of problems.

    I think it would sell, but to a limited market.

  • VPNshVPNsh Member, Provider

    @ATHK said: The plug into power socket doesn't appeal to me, would rather usb, you can easily include power socket usb plugs..

    @linuxthefish said: Yeah USB would be nice, there are lots of different socket types and voltages to design for.

    My apologies, this will actually be micro USB powered. Apologies for the confusion, I'll edit my original post.

    VPN.sh - Secure and Affordable VPN services - £15/year, Unlimited Bandwidth, 20+ Countries - Order Link

  • VPNshVPNsh Member, Provider

    Looks like this is likely to be around the $70 mark, which will include one year of VPN service. Does this pricing sound reasonable to you guys? If you enjoyed the first year that is included, what sort of pricing would you be willing to pay for the VPN renewal (obviously less than $70/year, as you'll already own the device)?

    VPN.sh - Secure and Affordable VPN services - £15/year, Unlimited Bandwidth, 20+ Countries - Order Link

  • $70 Dollars sounds fair, depending on what the hardware is - as a Pi2 is now $35 and I suspect able to pull this task off? As for renewal and in line with my comment above, I think around $30-35 per year for renewal ? As this is aimed at non-techies, does this price include support ? I note your comment about the company being very open which is great, but if the software is open source and can be implemented on a Pi(2) then I think there is a difficult balance to make it a viable business proposition, given that I would expect a lot of support needed for someone who doesn't really know what a VPN is, is sitting in the UK trying to watch BBC iplayer and suddenly can't as someone else in the house has switched locations to the US to watch netflix. Would this also been unlimited bandwidth given a lot of UK providers (allegedly) don't cap downloads (but may of course traffic shape etc)...no experience of IPSs outside the UK. Interesting concept and one I will keep an eye on.

  • VPNshVPNsh Member, Provider

    @Babbage66 - glad to hear that you think the pricing is fair. The pricing would include support, and whilst this may be possible to be implemented on a RPi, actually getting it setup would be beyond the scope of most "non-tech-minded" users. The device being used is also more fit for purpose than an RPi.

    Your comment regarding confusion of things such as BBC iPlayer/US Netflix is fair. It would simply be a case of disconnecting from the plug & play device on your networking settings, and connecting back to your usual home WiFi. Having said that, I'll look at potentially easier solutions for such a problem.

    Bandwidth is unlikely to be "unlimited", however it'll be more than enough for the vast majority of users. Only those in the very top tier (top couple of percent) of usage are likely to find that they need more.

    VPN.sh - Secure and Affordable VPN services - £15/year, Unlimited Bandwidth, 20+ Countries - Order Link

  • a plug & play vpn router sounds good but that could change depending on the price. if your vpn router ends up being more expensive than a router that you could buy in the store and setup vpn yourself then you have to offer something extra in addition to it to make it worth the extra costs, this "something extra" could be a more premium vpn service (faster and more bandwidth, perhaps ddos protection?) ofcourse this would be dedicated to customers who bought your router. this is just my opinion - i dont know if it would work.

  • cfgguycfgguy Member, Provider

    http://www.amazon.com/HooToo-TripMate-Wireless-Pocket-Travel/dp/B00HZWOQZ6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423754290&sr=8-1&keywords=portable+router
    Personal Cloud: sharing files with your friends in any attached USB storage
    Travel Router: instantly convert wired network into Wi-Fi (AP,Router,Bridge) Pocket-sized(weight only 1oz): powered by usb for extreme portability

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  • VPNshVPNsh Member, Provider

    @Mark_R, I agree that it should be cheap enough to be worthwhile buying as a whole compared to the client going out of their way to do everything themselves.

    I'll look into this to see if any additional features can be added it at the same price point.

    VPN.sh - Secure and Affordable VPN services - £15/year, Unlimited Bandwidth, 20+ Countries - Order Link

  • @liamwithers Is this going to be marketed as a device to let you use overseas online TV services, or as a privacy device, etc?

    Got Sister? #keepinitcociu

  • @Nekki said: liamwithers Is this going to be marketed as a device to let you use overseas online TV services, or as a privacy device, etc?

    I think the 2 of them

  • VPNshVPNsh Member, Provider

    @Nekki said: liamwithers Is this going to be marketed as a device to let you use overseas online TV services, or as a privacy device, etc?

    I'm not entirely sure at this point in time. It's likely that the devices will be sold through a company who I'm assisting with this, and so marketing may well be in their hands.

    From discussions with them, I'd imagine a high emphasis would be on security, as this seems to be in the forefront of their minds (and in my opinion, rightly so).

    Right now though, I'm not certain and shall chase this up to hopefully find out some further information.

    VPN.sh - Secure and Affordable VPN services - £15/year, Unlimited Bandwidth, 20+ Countries - Order Link

  • ab1ab1 Member

    Things have moved on since 2015, so I am updating this thread for completeness. There are lots of "boxes" on the market now, but as far as I can tell, no clear leader. A lot of these project are difficult to find and most are aimed at a tinkerer, which isn't where most people's skills lie.

    For non-technical audience, who wants to plug-and-play VPN router and content unblocker, I built black.box unzoner: http://unzoner.com/

    There is a dashboard. It runs on a Raspberry Pi, ODROID C1+/XU4 and a bunch of other devices. The entry barrier is still the requirement to flash an SD card with an OS image, which weeds out most people.

    Ideally, the service should be offered as a complete (subscription) package (i.e. a box with the right software, in a nice box, ready to plug in), but I am not about to get into widget shipping logistics.

    Anyway, feel free to download, flash and kick the tyres. It is free in VPN client mode as well as peer-to-peer mode. The unblocking mode requires registration (via PayPal/Bitcoin). Everything is driven from the device dashboard, accessible via http://backbox.local on the network where the device sits.

    -- ab1

  • murataimuratai Member

    Gl-inet small routers does support plug n play openvpn and they are as cheap as 18-20 usd plus 5usd shipping.

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  • WSSWSS Member

    @muratai said: Gl-inet small routers does support plug n play openvpn and they are as cheap as 18-20 usd plus 5usd shipping.

    They're also based on OpenWRT, and everything's up on github. Heard that they'll be migrating to LEDE 17.01. I've upgraded my 300A to a WNDR3800, but I'll never get rid of my 300A. It's perfect for travel and stable.

    [email protected]:/tmp# while true; do dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda; done

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