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How can I check if the routing of a provider is adequate?
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How can I check if the routing of a provider is adequate?

I signed up for a yearly 15 euro VPS from a provider which I mainly use as a VPN. The provider is Romanian based but the VPS itself is in the UK. I get connectivity errors I don't usually get with other UK providers such as the content is not available in your country etc.

That I understand as the AS is Romanian and some geolocation databases still consider it to originate from Romania or some content providers have an issue with content requests originating from Romanian IPs/providers, but what I am not sure of is if the routing is what I should expect from an IP in the UK.

For instance I did a traceroute to a UK content provider and the request was routed through France or the equipment of a French provider.

What kind of tests can I run to see if the routing is good and the speeds are also adequate?

To be honest I don't understand traceroute that well, and so many of the hops show *.*.*.* right up to the 30th hop.

Is there some way to get that kind of information by some other way than traceroute or can traceroute be configured to provide better information?

I intend to take it up with the provider, but I need some understand of what could be wrong and what to ask for.

Comments

  • ViridWebViridWeb Member, Provider

    Maybe check their reviews first..
    Then check their company number..

    Or maybe contact them directly and ask for demo or trial..

    Or maybe take some risk and pay them for a month?
    Then maybe you will be the first reviewer and help us to avoid a scam?

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  • @ViridWeb said:
    Maybe check their reviews first..
    Then check their company number..

    Or maybe contact them directly and ask for demo or trial..

    Or maybe take some risk and pay them for a month?
    Then maybe you will be the first reviewer and help us to avoid a scam?

    As far as I can tell they are fine and don't have any negative reviews here.

    I just need to know if their routing and connectivity from the UK is on a par with other hosts, and whether the fact of being Romanian I am blocked on some sites, rather than their IP being directly linked to some shady activity in the past.

  • JordJord Moderator, Provider

    @k9banger who is the host? We can help more if we knew who it was.

    Thanked by 1ViridWeb

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  • FHRFHR Member, Provider

    I can recommend the following read: https://datapacket.com/blog/mtr-diagnose-network-issues/

    You could also post the traceroutes here.

    Thanked by 2uptime k9banger

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  • k9banger said: I get connectivity errors I don't usually get with other UK providers such as the content is not available in your country etc.

    That's not a connectivity error. It's probably happening because the website thinks your IP address is in Romania (although it may actually not be).

    You can try running whois <your ip> and looking it up on websites like MaxMind to see which country they return.

  • hello @k9banger - seems like you're trying to get a better understanding of a few different issues

    1) the geolocation of IP is probably as you suspect not accurately reflecting the location of the actual server. This would most likely be due to entries in databases outside the provider's control. While the provider might request the information to be updated, it may not be a priority for them to help you circumvent content restrictions (which may remain in effect for datacenter IPs regardless of location). You might do best to recognize that there are other services that specialize in the "access to georestricted content" use case - and accept that your current provider might (understandably) prefer to focus on a different market segment.

    2) the * * * * results from traceroute may be a normal response from routers that do not respond to ICMP (ping) packets - not a problem with the network beyond perhaps making it more difficult to run a useful traceroute

    3) providers may in fact sometimes be interested to know about routing to/from specific locations. I wouldn't expect a provider to prioritize immediate "optimization" of routes just for me unless it was a serious outage and/or I was paying a bit more than $7 a month - but you never know. Generally I anticipate that a provider will ask for an mtr to and from the location in question. Maybe that's just some busywork to filter requests for more serious investigations - but I do have the experience of occasionally getting a follow-up even several weeks later to check if the network throughput has improved.

    4) iperf is another useful network test you might want to get familiar with

    tl;dr - check mtr and iperf and put in a "low priority" ticket with your provider to get some guidance as to what to expect for next steps, if there are any to be taken.

    Thanked by 2ViridWeb k9banger

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  • JanevskiJanevski Member
    edited November 2019

    "Content not available in your country" means the service you're accessing doesn't provide access in your vpn's exit country.

    It has nothing to do with misconfigured routing.

    It's an application layer message sent to the user graphical interface, not network layer.

    They could be filtering by dns query origin, or more likely tcp session origin ip.

    Or most likely, both.

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  • thedpthedp Member
    edited November 2019

    Whatever you’re trying to watch (assuming it’s a media) isn’t available for the location where you’re connecting from.

    You can easily check the routes but that has no relation to the issue you’re experiencing.

  • @k9banger

    • define "adequate".
    • don't run your own vpn, especially not for location faking, unless you understand the internet and its intricacies.
    • IP - location properties can be - and are - defined and seen differently, e.g AS or mindmap,
    • For €15/year you'll highly likely get a poor VPS but you might get a good enough for your purpose VPN.

    Thanks no.

  • @Jord said:
    @k9banger who is the host? We can help more if we knew who it was.

    @Virtono

  • JordJord Moderator, Provider

    @k9banger have you got some traceroutes we can see?

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  • I think I know who the host is.

    Is Manchester the UK location?

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  • @vimalware - the provider is Virtono

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  • @Jord said:
    @k9banger have you got some traceroutes we can see?

    Are there some UK based POPs and CDNs or data centers that will be useful for checking?

    What UK sites and other popular international sites should I access to check?

    I have some other UK based VPSs which I don't use for VPNs, so I can run similar tests on them for comparison.

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