I have recently started to access VPN Gate servers via the OpenVPN GUI client on Windows 10. I have a few queries which it would be great to get answered.
A little background first:
- I have been living in China a couple of years and as you will know, I need to use a VPN to access many sites (Google, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook being the main ones but there are many others that are blocked).
- Because I am in China, quite a few VPN apps are themselves blocked and will not work at all. I have had subscriptions to most of the big ones (Nord, Pure, Proton, Windscribe, Iron Socket etc) and most I have cancelled because they all stop working at some point (become targeted and blocked).
- ExpressVPN has been the most reliable, although even its servers have become blocked from time to time. Normal service is normally resumed within a week or two. However for the last three months or so, ExpressVPN has become almost unusable, with connections using its client never succeeding, causing me to resort to using their OpenVPN profiles and an OpenVPN client on both Android and Windows instead. Sadly, in the last few weeks, even their OpenVPN profiles will not connect and consequently, I am looking to dump ExpressVPN and have turned my attention to VPN Gate as a potential solution.
- I have trawled through the list of servers and extracted a subset of about 20 that appear to have high bandwidth and uptime ad have saved the IP address version of the UDP OpenVPN profiles for them (Note - it appears that only UDP connections succeed from inside China. I presume TCP is blocked but could someone confirm that? Certainly, I have not been able to connect to anything via TCP).
- Why do so many servers effectively stop the connection with a wait state? This happens to me maybe 80% of the time and some servers in my list will almost always return that. See the log file called "wait-state" for an example of this.
- Why do several servers always return an auth-failure error, yet from the server list info, appear to have many users connected. See the log file called "auth-failure" for an example of this.
- Is there a better way to determine [dynamic] server health, reputation, bandwidth, country etc. than by manually looking through the server list (which isn't complete and changes anyway)? A database that could be queried live would be ideal for this. i.e. return to me the set of openvpn UDP profiles of servers that are in country a, have ping < b, bandwidth > c, reputation > d and are apparently healthy (not sure what healthy means but accepting new user connections might be one, cpu / memory load might be another).