Category Archives: VPN

How to Hide your IP on Xbox One or 360

xbox-one-settingsThere are plenty of reasons why it’s better to protect your real IP by using a VPN with Xbox Live. First, there are unscrupulous players that use DDOS attacks in games such as Call of Duty to retaliate and get their rivals temporarily disconnected from online play. Second, you’ll be able to take advantage of services available outside your country, such as the U.S. version of Netflix if you live in Canada, for example. Lastly, since games are released in different time zones or on different dates in other countries, you may be able to access new games sooner than your neighbors.

Unlike the PS4 you cannot setup use a VPN server directly in Xbox One system software. Instead you’ll need to share your computer’s VPN with your Xbox One or centralize your VPN tunnel with a router so your home computer, devices, and Xbox all pass through it.

That being said, let’s get to the nuts and bolts of hiding your IP address on Xbox One or 360.

First Method: Connecting To A VPN Through A Router

Step 1

You’ll need to use an Ethernet cable to connect your modem to your router using the WAN port.

Step 2

Next, open the router’s control panel. This is usually accessible via a Web browser. Enter the IP address associated with your router in the address bar of the browser. If you don’t know how to find the right IP, follow this tutorial for Windows.

The next steps will vary depending on the manufacturer/model of your router and the VPN company.

Step 3

Click on the ‘Basic Setup’ / ‘Network’ / ‘Basic’ tab in your router control panel or wherever you can find the options relating to WAN configuration or Internet connection.

Step 4

Enter the information provided by the VPN provider (username, password, gateway, subnet mask, etc.).

Step 5

Choose the protocol recommended by the VPN provider to work with their services (ex. PPTP w/ DD-WRT, OpenVPN w/ DD-WRT).

Step 6

Adjust the DCHP settings depending on the requirements of the VPN service.

Step 7

Click ‘Save’ / ‘Apply Settings’ / ‘Connect’ and you’re finished!

Second Method: Using a PC for VPN Setup

Another option is to use your Windows-based PC to share the VPN connection with your Xbox One or 360. This is divided into two parts: 1) Windows settings and 2) Xbox settings.

Windows Settings: Setting up the VPN

Step 1

In Windows, go to Control Panel > ‘Network and Sharing Center’

Step 2

After you click on ‘Setup a New Connection or Network,’ a wizard will appear in a new window.

Step 3

Select ‘Connect to a Workplace’ then click ‘Next.’

Step 4

When the wizard asks you how you’d like to connect, choose ‘Use my Internet Connection (VPN).’

Step 5

Enter the Internet Address and Destination Name given to you by the VPN provider. After you’ve finished filling in the details, click on ‘Next.’

Step 6

Finally, enter the Username and Password provided by the VPN service and click ‘Connect’.

Now that you’ve completed the settings on the PC side, you’re ready to fire up your Xbox One or 360 and proceed with the next part.

Xbox Settings: Connecting to the VPN

Step 1

Press the ‘LIVE’ button on your Xbox One or 360 controller.

Step 2

Go to the ‘Settings’ tab and choose ‘System Settings.’

Step 3

Now that you’re in the ‘System Settings’ menu, you can select ‘Network Settings.’

Step 4

Xbox One or 360 will now automatically detect the Wi-Fi connections that are available. Choose the appropriate network from the list.

Step 5

Now, enter the WPA key. It can be found printed on sticker on the underside of your router.

Step 6

Finally, the Xbox system software will prompt you to ‘Test Connection.’ Do this to ensure you’re ready to use the VPN with your favorite games!

Recommended services:

How to Hide your IP Address on PS4

xmb-settings

There are numerous reasons to use a VPN to change your IP on PS4. You might do this to access Netflix movies available in a country outside your own, reduce lag when gaming online, access game releases available in different countries, or protect yourself from DDOS attacks.

Step 1

From the main menu in XMB, go to Settings.

Step 2

Move down through the options and select Network.

Step 3

From the Network screen, select the first option, Connect to the Internet.

Step 4

XMB will now ask if you’re using a Wi-Fi or LAN connection to access the Internet with your PS4. Select whichever one is appropriate for your situation.

Step 5

XMB will ask how you want to set up your Internet connection. Choose Custom.

Step 6 (Wi-Fi only)

If you’re using a Wi-Fi connection you’ll have to select the name of the network from the next menu.

Once that is done, enter the password for that network.

Step 7

It will ask for your DHCP Host Name. Select Do Not Specify.

Step 8

For DNS Settings, choose Automatic.

Step 9

For your MTU Settings, do the same and select Automatic.

Step 10

Now we’ve reached the important part! For the Proxy Server, choose Use.

Step 11

Enter the IP Address of your VPN server as well as the Port Number below that.

If you don’t have one or know what this is, scroll to the very bottom of this tutorial.

Step 12

Now that you’ve entered the specific info for your VPN, XMB ask you to save your setting on the next screen.

Next, you’ll be prompted to test your Internet connection. Now you’ll be certain if the VPN is up and working properly.

That’s it!

Please note that you’ll need to use a VPN service or to setup your own private proxy server to make this work and successfully hide your IP address.

Recommended services:

How to Hide your IP Address in Vuze

The BitTorrent application once known as Azureus continues to be a popular choice as many are attracted by its slick interface and wealth of features.

Follow the directions below to hide your real IP from other BitTorrent users as well as companies that use advanced tracking software to spy on users who download certain torrents.

Step 1

From the top menu go to Tools > Options

Step 2

Make sure “Mode” is selected at the left pane inside the Options window.

Under “User Proficiency” click on the radio button marked “Advanced.” This will give you access to proxy options not available when the lower levels of user proficiency are enabled.

vuze-proxy1

Step 3

Click on the small arrow next to “Connection” in the left pane. This item will expand to reveal subsections. Click on “Proxy” (listed under “Connection”).

vuze-proxy2

In the main part of the window under the label “Tracker Communications” click on the checkbox next to “Enable proxying of tracker communications (restart required).”

Further below under “Peer Communications” click on the checkbox next to “Enable proxying of peer communications (outgoing connections only) (restart required).”

Don’t restart yet; do that later after you’ve entered the required values in the Proxy window.

Step 4

To continue with this step you’ll need to determine which proxy host you’d like to use.

For testing purposes I used a SOCKS v5 host I found on socks-proxy.net, and while this is adequate for very small files the speeds are much slower than paid services.

If you plan on hiding your IP in Vuze on a regular basis and are interested in larger files like most people (movies, music, software), you’ll need to sign up with a VPN service.

Recommended services:

Enter the information provided by a site that lists proxy host IPs (and ports). As a sample to give you a good idea of what you need to enter, I’ve entered the required fields using a publicly available host from Russia in the screenshot.

vuze-proxy2

Most users will want to want to “use the same proxy settings for tracker and peer communications proxy”, so make sure this is checked under “Peer Communications.”

After you’d entered the required info remember to click on the “Save” button in the lower left of the window.

Step 5

Now you can safely restart the software.

Go to File > Restart Vuze (just above Exit).

All Done

That’s it! You’re now ready to start downloading. Load in a torrent and see what kind of speeds you’re able to get.

How to Stop Throttling by your ISP (Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner, etc.)

snail-speedIn February Ars Technica reported that video streaming performance had been dropping dramatically for the past three to four months on Verizon and Comcast.

Since Netflix, YouTube and Hulu are notorious for sucking up bandwidth, ISPs are getting more aggressive with throttling video streaming. Actions that were taken to slow down peer-to-peer file sharing via bittorrent are now being taken on video sites and services.

The only ISP that had improved video streaming speeds during this stretch of time was Google Fiber. The other major ISPs have revealed their lacking infrastructure and stingy nature once again, and it’s unlikely the trend will reverse itself anytime soon.

The best analogy is that of a traffic jam. Too many users want high quality video in the same locations, causing congestion and therefore slower speeds.

So if you want video streaming without pauses and munching on popcorn while waiting for the buffer bar to grow at a snail’s pace, you’ll need to think differently than your neighbors.

The VPN Solution

Luckily there is a way around the issue by using a virtual private network (VPN).

Ars Technica did a follow-up piece explaining how VPNs can allow savvy users to find better roads to travel on:

[…] a VPN may route your traffic away from congested servers and links that would normally serve up video to your home. Netflix and YouTube store video caches in many locations, and data can take multiple paths to its final destination.

“Imagine you’re in the US and that you are on a carrier that existed in multiple states and time zones, you can VPN to the West Coast from the East Coast and end up getting the idle servers that are there, just sitting and waiting for people to get out of school and off work and so on,” Bowman said.

So now you know why a VPN works, let’s look at what you’ll need to consider when choosing a VPN, shall we?

Using a VPN for this purpose is the taking a toll road. It’s the best route, free of annoying congestion, but you also need to pay to play.

Due to the demanding requirements of video streaming not just any VPN will do, or more specifically any free solution will inevitably lead to frustrating, slow performance, defeating the purpose of using a VPN in the first place.

Currently my three favorite high-performance VPNs for video streaming are the following:

At $10 or less per month, it’s well worth it if you rely on Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and other streaming services as main sources of entertainment. It sure beats paying for cable TV.

 

Photo: Rovanato

How to Unblock U.S. Only Videos (YouTube, Hulu, MTV, South Park, etc.)

Being denied access to a video merely due to living outside the U.S. may be one the most annoying problems to plague the web.

sorry-canada

Luckily there are a variety of browser plugins, software and services you can use to overcome the barrier.

The catch is that the free options aren’t always quick enough to stream high quality video without hiccups. Virtual private network (VPN) services that ensure flawless video playback consistently aren’t free. A VPN may or may not be worth it depending on how much U.S. only sites and content you crave.

Plugins

If you just plan to watch the occasional U.S. only video and aren’t picky about performance, start with a browser plugin. Just keep in mind you’ll be entering captcha codes to prove you’re human on sites like YouTube, which can get tiresome, because the proxy server IPs are overused.

There are two popular plugins to consider: ProxTube and ProxMate. They work with Chrome and Firefox. These work by hiding your true IP and replacing it with an IP associated with the country the video is allowed in.

VPNs

If you’re planning on watching a fair bit of video on YouTube or Hulu and want the best user experience free of technical issues and shoddy streaming, VPNs are the way to go.

With a VPN you download desktop software, which manages connecting to proxy servers available with the plan you go with.

Generally I recommend these three VPN services:

VyperVPN is super quick and the best overall VPN. The monthly rate is a good value, but you won’t save as much as the others if you pay annually. A three-day free trial is offered so you can test drive the service before committing to a plan. Read my full VyperVPN review here.

PureVPN and StrongVPN get the job done just fine and are dirt cheap if you pay annually ($50 or $55 per year).

Closing Remarks

Hopefully content providers will get more lax about restricting video from being viewed outside the U.S. as time moves ahead. Some of these copyright laws strike me as antiquated and arbitrary. Until then enjoy all the video you can handle with the use of a handy plugin or VPN.