FAQ

Why is VPNyWhere's Softether VPN better than cloud based VPN services like NordVPN?

There are many reasons:

1. Privacy. You own your VPN and only you control who can access your network and services.   When you connect to a cloud based VPN service, you’re trusting the VPN company doesn’t log or otherwise intercept your activity. They may advertise that they don’t, but that doesn’t mean they can’t or hackers haven’t gotten access to their servers. And if you’re using a ‘free’ VPN service, it’s very likely all of your network traffic is being monitored.

2. Open Source.  All of the services provided on your VPNyWhere box are Open Source.  Why is this important?  When software is Open Source, everyone has access to the code and can see exactly what it does.  With proprietary, Closed Source software like NordVPN or the other cloud based providers, you have no idea what they really do with your data or how secure it really is.

3. Access. With VPNyWhere you can securely connect to your network at home or work and access anything on your local network as if you were there.  Securely connect to your Nexcloud server to access files.  Securely connect to your Jitsi Meet server to start or join a video conference.  Securely connect to your local IOT devices, security cameras, etc without first sending them over the Internet to some cloud provider.  You can also watch your local TV stations as if you’re sitting at home, or access Netflix or other streaming services remotely without any problems.

4. Streaming. If you want to access streaming services like Netflix from a cloud based VPN service then it’s hit or miss whether it works or not. Streaming services like Netflix play a cat and mouse game with VPN cloud providers. As soon as Netflix detects a cloud VPN is being used, it blocks that server. The VPN service then has to reconfigure their server with a new IP address and wait until it gets detected and blocked again. But with VPNyWhere, streaming services have no way of telling that you’re watching from outside your home because the connection to them is coming from your home where your VPNyWhere box is located. Your VPN connection to your home isn’t detectable by Netflix or anyone else.

5. Sharing.  You can create user accounts on your VPNyWhere network with as many friends, family, co-workers, etc. as you like.  You have full control over what they can or cannot access.  Want to share your Netflix or other streaming service  with remote family members, like kids at college?  Give them an account on VPNyWhere and they can connect to your streaming service as if they were watching from your home.  You can share access to your Nextcloud or Jitsi Meet services by creating individual user accounts on each.  There are no sharing limits other than what your bandwidth and the physical VPNyWhere memory/CPU device limits are.

6. Services. VPNyWhere isn’t just a world class VPN server that you own and control. It’s also the base for providing your own highly secure and safe network applications.  Additional services  like Jitsi Meet, Nextcloud, Pi-Hole (and more services coming online soon!) are provided along with your VPN.

Why should I use Nextcloud instead of Dropbox or Google Drive or....

I think Nexcloud did a great job of explaining this on their website!  Check out their comparison of Nextcloud to all the major competitors, including Google and Dropbox:

Comparison

Why should I use Jitsi instead of Zoom?

Zoom is a great product for video conferencing, but it does have limitations.  If you’re not paying for Zoom, then you’re limited to 40 minute meetings.  This can be very frustrating, especially if you’re in a classroom environment or holding long meetings.  There’s nothing more annoying than having a Zoom meeting time out and having to create another meeting and get everyone from the prior meeting to re-join!   Zoom is also a closed source product, so like all closed source products you don’t really know what they’re doing with your data.  End-to-end encrypted?  They say they do, but are they really?  You’ll never know.  Check out this link on Toms Hardware that discusses Zoom security issues: https://www.tomsguide.com/news/zoom-security-privacy-woes

Jitsi doesn’t have any limitations other than your own network bandwidth and the physical memory/CPU capacity of your VPNyWhere server.  Your Jitsi conference calls can be as long as you like and are guaranteed to be private and end-to-end encrypted.  There aren’t any Chinese servers in the middle.  No big corporate datacenters to trust your data to.  Everything is on your VPNyWhere server, in your own home or office.  Safe, secure and private.

Is VPNyWhere easy to setup?

We designed VPNyWhere so it’s as simple as possible to configure. Each unit comes pre-configured with user accounts for each service, so you can connect and begin using it immediately.

In order to connect to VPNyWhere over the Internet, you will need to ensure you have a publicly routable IP address from your ISP. Most ISP’s issue publicly routable IP addresses, but some will issue private non-routable IP addresses to their customers.

These specific IP address ranges are reserved as non-routable addresses for use in private networks:

10.0.0.0 through 10.255.255.255
172.16.0.0 through 172.32.255.255
192.168.0.0 through 192.168.255.255

To determine if your ISP issues you a public routable IP address or a private non-routable IP address, visit https://www.whatismyip.com. You should see something similar to this at the top of the page:

My Public IPv4 is:
70.181.147.111
My Public IPv6 is: Not Detected
My IP Location: San Diego, CA US
ISP: Cox Communications LLC

This reveals that my public routable IPv4 address is 70.181.147.111, so I’m able to use VPNyWhere and connect to it from the Internet.

If you instead see something similar to this at the top of the page:

My Public IPv4 is:
10.1.100.121
My Public IPv6 is: Not Detected
My IP Location: San Diego, CA US
ISP: Cox Communications LLC

This would show that you have a private non-routable IPv4 address of 10.1.100.121 and you would not be able to use VPNyWhere and connect to it from the internet. You will need to contact your ISP to see if you can get a publicly routable IP address. Most ISP’s that provide private non-routable IP addresses to their customers also have the ability to provide you with a publi routable IP address, usually for a nominal monthly fee.

How does VPNyWhere access the Internet? Doesn't it have to get through my routers firewall?

In order to access VPNyWhere from outside your local network, your router has to allow Internet traffic to flow to and from the VPNyWhere box. VPNyWhere comes pre-configured to use port 443, so we have to tell your router to allow traffic on port 443 to get redirected to VPNyWhere. If your router already has UPNP enabled, then VPNyWhere will automatically open the ports it needs on your router. Most routers allow you to enable or disable UPNP functionality in your routers administration panel. The website portforward.com has an excellent list of hundreds of router configuration instructions and router screen shots to help identify where UPNP settings are located. Refer to https://screenshots.portforward.com/routers and find your router manufacturer in the list, and then find your router model. Then scroll down to find the screen shot of the UPNP page. This will show you how to find and enable UPNP on your router.

What if my router doesn't support UPNP or I just don't want to enable UPNP on my router?

You can manually add port forwarding for VPNyWhere but you’ll need to take a few extra steps. Use the https://screenshots.portforward.com/ website and locate your router manufacturer and model. Follow the instructions for adding port forwarding but use port 443 instead of the port they recommend for gaming. You’ll also need to assign a static ip address to VPNyWhere so the port forwarding always goes to the VPNyWhere IP address. Every router setup is a little different, but you should be able to find your routers instructions for adding a static IP address by going to “https://portforward.com/networking/staticip.htm” and finding a screen shot of your routers configuration panel.

Why do you use port 443?

Port 443 is the SSL/HTTPS port normally used for secure Internet browsing when you visit a website. Since port 443 is used everywhere, it’s not possible to block the port. If we used some random port number like 12345, then companies or governments could block it and not affect normal web browsing. For example, if you’re connecting to VPNyWhere at your home or office from a hotel in China you’d still be able to connect to your home or office network since you’re using port 443 and it can’t be blocked or even detected.

Can I take my VPNyWhere box with me to different locations or is it limited to one location?

One of the nice features of VPNyWhere is its portability. You can put the VPNyWhere box anywhere you like and it will still be accessible to you from anywhere in the world.   Bring it to your office, school or even a friends house and all of its features will still work and you can access it from anywhere.  When you buy a VPNyWhere box, you get a dynamic DNS name that’s associated with your box so you can reach it no matter where you are. Your DDNS (Dynamic DNS) name will be something like ‘<yourbox>.dyn.vpnywhere.net’ where yourbox is a unique set of characters. When your VPNyWhere box starts, it registers its current public IP address with our DDNS server. This lets you always reach your VPNyWhere box using its dynamic DNS address.

Are there any subscription fees for VPNyWhere?

We charge an annual support fee of $100 which is included in the purchase price for the first year.  By paying the support fee each year, you receive new product features and updates  as well as 24/7/365 customer support.  The support fee also includes a warranty replacement of any VPNyWhere device that fails as long as the device has not been physically damaged or opened.  Opening or physically damaging the device voids the warranty.  If you choose not to pay the annual support fee, the device will still continue to work but the dynamic DNS feature will be removed and you will no longer receive new product features, updates, or support and the product warranty becomes void.

How is the software on VPNyWhere updated? Do I have to become my own IT person to keep it up to date?

VPNyWhere handles updating all of the software for you but we don’t update your system automatically.  The VPNyWhere user interface will alert you when a software update is available and the LED screen on the VPNyWhere box will also flash a message whenever an update is available.

Updating software usually requires a system restart, so we won’t automatically update software and then restart your server while you may be using it.   You start the update from the VPNyWhere user interface at a time that’s convenient for you.