Network

 Disable Proxy automatic detection:
(If you don’t use a proxy server then there’s no reason to waste time detecting it every time you start your browser. Vast majority of users don’t need this.)
Win+R: inetcpl.cpl (or Control Panel –> Network and Internet –> Internet Options) –> Connections tab –> LAN settings button –> Uncheck Automatically detect settings –> OK –> OK.

 DNS Test & Settings:
(If you have time to play around with these things.)
Use namebench [source] for testing, (takes long but is the best).
Network Connections –> right click on your Network –> Properties –> TCP/IPv4 –> Use the DNS server addresses from the test results (they may differ over time). In my case:
Preferred: 192.168.100.1 (SYS-192.168.100.1) – My ISP
Alternate: 198.153.194.1 (Norton DNS-2 US)

 Disable DNS Relay in ROUTER settings:
(This is not directly Windows-related but important:)
Make sure you have disabled DNS Relay in ROUTER settings (which is a change to the default):
SETUP –> NETWORK SETTINGS –> Uncheck Enable DNS Relay –> (Scroll Down) –> Save Settings. (Recommendation setting based on DNSBench test results.)

 

Below are a few notes on how to secure your Internet connection via VPN, however, take note that any free VPN I have tested out so far will result in a painful slow-down of the Internet speed!

 

 Set up VPN – Option 1 (Windscribe Chrome extension):

Amazingly fast
No interference into the system
– 
10 GB limit per month & per account
– Will not secure torrent downloading!

Let Chrome (Cent Browser) run in the background / Do not uncheck the option in system tray! You would otherwise need to log in every time you start the browser. Having a Chrome app running in the background actually has a benefit of allowing Chrome to launch much faster.
If you happen to have the option disabled, go to Chrome Settings –> Show advanced settings (Under the hood) –> System –> Tick the box “Continue running background apps…”
(Install Windows application if you want to protect all your computer activity and prevent IP leaks by firewall.)

 

 Set up VPN – Option 2 (OpenVPN + VPNBook):

+ Free
+ Unlimited
+ Sufficient speed
+ – 
It’s hard to make conclusion, depends on whether you’re willing to trust VPNBook, (according to this article it should be OK).

1. Download OpenVPN from https://openvpn.net/ –> Community –> Downloads (left navigation bar, not the top one) –> Installer, Windows

2. Install with the default options checked. (Additional window: • Always trust –> Install…)

3. Go to OpenVPN settings and disable launching on Windows startup if you’re not going to use it for all your further Internet activity.

4. Download config files bundles from https://www.vpnbook.com/ –> Scroll down –> OpenVPN tab:
• Euro1 Server OpenVPN Certificate Bundle (…euro1-udp25000 seems to perform best.)
• Euro2 Server OpenVPN Certificate Bundle
• US1 Server OpenVPN Certificate Bundle (Said to be optimized for fast web surfing but is actually slower than the Euro. No p2p / torrent downloading!)
DE OpenVPN Certificate Bundle (No p2p / torrent downloading! Does not work at all.)

5. Copy the content of the zip folders to C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config

6. Run OpenVPN GUI –> Right click on tray icon and choose the connection –> Connect

7. Use the credentials from https://www.vpnbook.com/ to log in:
Username: vpnbook
Password: ******* (Note the password changes daily!)

8. Check your IP (see the TIP below).

Test out which connection works best for you. Note that it takes a few seconds after the connection is established before it reaches full speed.

The TCP connections are painfully slow but more stable.
The UDP connections do slow down loading web pages, Google search results etc., however, it’s sustainable. Videos don’t seem to be affected, you can still stream them at 1440p.

 

 Set up VPN – Option 3 (SoftEther VPN Client + VPN Gate Client):

Unlimited
Very easy & comfortable
+
Good speed
Unstable, connections are constantly crashing down
Quite drastic interference in the system

1. Download SoftEther VPN Client + VPN Gate Client Plugin from
http://www.vpngate.net/en/download.aspx

2. Install SoftEther VPN Client (The first option, not the Tools only)

3. Open SoftEther VPN Manager (double click the icon on Desktop) and double click VPN Gate Public VPN Relay Servers.

4. Double click one of the servers (the higher listed the better ping). Confirm “Agree”. Windows notification will pop up: Do you want to allow… – Click No.

5. Close the window. The client is running in system tray.

6. Go to Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) and disable SoftEther VPN Manager from startup if you don’t intend to use it all the time. (You must leave the SoftEther VPN Client running in the background / keep as Enabled in Task Manager otherwise you won’t connect to the Internet at all.)

7. Check your IP (see the TIP below).

 

 Set up VPN – Other Options:

Some more free services: https://www.hacker10.com/free-vpn/
Another one: https://www.vpnkeys.com/get-free-vpn-instantly/
Remarkable alternative solution: https://s3.amazonaws.com/0ubz-2q11-gi9y/en.html
One of the best limited solutions: https://windscribe.com/
Another working method though slow: http://www.vpngate.net/en/howto_openvpn.aspx#windows
Free servers: http://www.vpngate.net/en/
Open Source alternative to OpenVPN: https://www.softether.org/
Another good Chrome extension: Free Proxy to Unblock any sites | Touch VPN
Basic explanation of VPN: https://www.bestvpn.com/vpns-beginners-need-know/

 

 Tip: How to find out (external public WAN) IP address:
1. https://ipleak.net/
Note that ipleak.net does not detect IPv6 leaks, so to test for these you should visit test-ipv6.com.

2. Win+R: cmd –> ipconfig /all

 

Go on to the next section: APPS

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