VikingVPN Is Expanding with a New Server Cluster in the EU

Viking is committed to keeping speeds a high as possible for it's customer base. We have implemented a server buildout plan based on a clustering model, so that we have an ever-increasing territory with a high performance network, rather than a global slow one.

Our expansion plans include adding locations to better cover eastern Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Our expansions are triggered by servers in a nearby region hitting a certain density of users, which prompts us to expand to a new area. This means some of our existing customers will move to the new location because it is closer to them geographically (which usually means better performance) and it reduces the load on the existing cluster.

Amsterdam is our only EU cluster at this time. We are approaching the number of users on that node that will trigger an expansion in that region. This means that we are currently looking at datacenters in Eastern Europe for our next home. 

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Speed Optimizations for OpenVPN Coming Soon

We have been working on an issue where some customers with very fast internet would see limited speeds when connecting to our servers. This problem seems to span multiple platforms, and multiple high speed internet providers.

We have found the underlying cause of the performance drag, and plan to implement the fix in the near future after we test the changes on all devices to be sure that no problems are introduced into the network with the change.

It bears repeating that this fix is only for very high speed customers (50+ Mbps) and will not impact most of our user base.

If you are a VikingVPN subscriber who thinks they are impacted by the current bug, you can contact us at customer care if you would like to implement the fix. We would appreciate the additional feedback from people before we roll out the change globally. This change may improve the performance of our service for all of our high speed broadband customers, especially those who are combining very high speeds with Wifi.

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Internal Security Audit Completed - Smooth Sailing for VikingVPN

Our Christmas break was interrupted by the purported hack of Cyberghost, a large VPN provider. We have gone through a rigorous internal audit of all of our servers and services and found no issues with our servers or our network.

VikingVPN has routine internal audits of our entire infrastructure and occasional external audits of our non-critical infrastructure in an effort to create the hardest environment possible for attackers. This internal audit was generated by the press around the CG breach, as an extraordinary precaution to protect user data.

As it turns out, Cyberghost did not suffer a security breach, and the account information leaked from CG was via outside attack vectors like botnets or trojans on individual PCs.

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Seattle Cluster Maintenance

*This issue has been resolved. The Seattle Cluster is alive and healthy once again.*

Our Seattle servers are currently under maintenance due to a problem with our host there. Due a problem with infrastructure in the datacenter in Seattle, our servers are operating at 1/10th of their normal speed. We are currently working to mitigate the issue.

If we have to take any of the live servers down during this process, we will automatically redirect users to other clusters to prevent service outages.

This post will be updated when maintenance is completed.

The issue with the host is resolved, and service to Seattle has been fully restored.

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NYC Servers Being Upgraded

*This upgrade has been completed and the NYC cluster is operating normally*

Our server cluster in NYC is being migrated to a new SSAE16 data center for better connectivity and greater uptime. The NYC cluster will be down throughout this migration, and the cluster will be down for maintenance for approximately 8 hours.

At this time, we are redirecting all NYC customer traffic through our Chicago cluster.

When the migration is complete and the servers have been tested for functionality, we will update this post notifying our users that the NYC cluster has returned to normal.

Edit:

We have halted the redirection of users from NYC to Chicago. The NYC cluster is live once again in its new home. To connect to the cluster, just disconnect your current connection and connect using your NYC.ovpn file.


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Seattle Cluster Restart

The Seattle cluster is being restarted to investigate a performance anomaly reported by some users. A full reboot of the cluster is required in order to be able to fully investigate the problem.

Downtime of the Seattle cluster is expected to be less than 1 minute. Reconnecting to the service should resolve any connectivity issues you have.

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VikingVPN is Patching OpenVPN for a Denial of Service Attack Vulnerability

We are in the process of patching our servers for the recently discovered DOS vulnerability. Upgrading our servers to a new version of OpenVPN will require us to issue a rolling restart to all server clusters. This may cause clients to stop responding to network requests in the process. Downtime is expected to be approximately two seconds. Disconnecting and reconnecting to the service should instantly fix any issues.

The vulnerability is performance related only, and there is no risk to client information leaking as a result of the discovered bug.

A new version of OpenVPN is available fixing the issue (OpenVPN 2.3.6). This issue is mostly server-side so an upgrade from 2.3.5 is not going to be required to connect to our network.

You can read more about the vulnerability here:

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The VikingVPN Seattle Server Cluster is Live

We have completed the provisioning, configuration, testing, and security auditing of our new server cluster in Seattle, and have taken it to live service. The addition of a Seattle server cluster brings optimal service to the Pacific Northwest and the surrounding regions, as well as improving service to nations in and across the pacific.

As always, we urge our customers to connect to the closest VPN servers for the best possible performance.

To access the new servers, you will need to download a new set of keys from the VikingVPN website. You need to sign in with your account, go to the profile area, and select the option to download new certificates. Note: You will need to install these certificates on all devices, as the old set of certificates is revoked for security reasons when you generate a new set.

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Making Installation Easier in Apple OSX - Zip Bug Squashed

A long standing issue with unzipping files in Apple OSX has been fixed. The original problem was that if you tried to unzip our VikingVPN.zip file to set up your account on Apple OSX, the zip module that is built into OSX would misread the header of the zip file and create a new zip file containing the original file. If you opened that file, it gave you the original zip file again and this continued infinitely.

The issue stems from the way OSX reads zip file headers. A new feature in zip files allows "zip streaming" which means that our VikingVPN web server begins sending the file before it is even done compressing the zip file. We used this feature to make the service as fast as possible when you are generating a new set of config files.

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VikingVPN is Expanding to Seattle


VikingVPN is currently building a new server cluster in Seattle to bring our high performance service area to the Pacific Northwest.

Our strategy with our network build-out is to get high performance coverage in all of the US and (most of) Canada.

Our new Seattle cluster will bring even faster service to Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, and surrounding areas.

We expect to have our Seattle cluster deployed and the service open by Nov 1st 2014.

This will increase our number of server clusters to five, (Phoenix, Chicago, New York City, Amsterdam, and Seattle) and allow up to 5 simultaneous connections for all of our customers (one connection per location).

Our next planned expansion after Seattle is Atlanta. We will then move our focus to improving locations in the EU.

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