Posts Tagged ‘virgin broadband’

Virgin blocking Microsoft PPTP VPN?

May 17, 2010 2 comments


I’ve recently continued having problems with my Wife’s VPN, using PPTP VPN (the one you use by default in Windows). Rather than timing out during authentication, which was what I was getting when the router seemed to be blocking it, these days it seems to be rejecting it immediately. I’ve tried enabling VPN passthrough on my DD-WRT (ex-Virgin) router, and even connecting directly to the cable modem with no router, but I still get the same problem.

Then, occasionally, it works.

However, the interesting thing, is that the IT Admin for her work (a large UK university) says he’s had 4-5 other people also having this problem – all Virgin customers.

I doubt they’re deliberately blocking it – but perhaps something in their configuration isn’t letting PPTP through?


VStuff – stuffs up your bandwidth

April 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Recently I’ve often been finding my internet connection really, really slow. Looking at my bandwidth usage, I saw that the upstream was flat out – 512kbps plus – and so any web browsing, email, etc. was slow. However, if I tried a speed tester, or watched video, this was usually fine – as my downstream, and internet connection, was OK.

I killed all programs on my computer that were associated with the internet: Orb, Vstuff, Dropbox… they all went. Still, the stream of data going out of my system continued. I feared a trojan, something stealing my data…

Finally, I got round to installing Wireshark on my desktop. Fired it up, and I was watching every single packet that was going into and out of my desktop connection. And almost all were over SSL to a 70. address. Ouch!

So – I did an nslookup on that 70. address, and it came up with a server at Steek. Now, Steek are a French company (bought by F-Secure last year) that do online backup – and who Virgin Media use for their VStuff service. So – evidently, it was Steek who was burning up my upstream sending all my data to their servers. Despite it saying my account was 90% full, and having done this for weeks. What were they sending??

It’s more worrying that it took my skills as an IT Networking guy to discover what was going on. Most users would just notice the slow internet, and wonder why. The VStuff app has little to say what it’s doing. And – note – I had killed the app, and the tray icon, and yet somewhere in the bowls of the system, a hidden service kept sending the data.

I’ve since removed the app, and I hope it’s worked. If I see that upstream surge again, I’ll be even more worried!