Extremely Slow Mac Performance

Hi...

Before I get 10 generic answers, I've tried everything this forum has discussed.

Without PIA running, I get about 60 - 110 MBPS down from my ISP depending on time of day/night. My downloads off web browsing are lightning quick and my torrents are usually around 6 MPBS -- though I've seen it go to 10.

With PIA running, no matter which configuration I run with Mac's Security and Networking prefs and no matter which configuration I have on uTorrent or my web browser, I cannot get more than 500 kbps. If I'm lucky, it will go to 1 MBPS but not likely.

This has been confirmed by several different speed tests on the web at different times of the day and the speed is slow no matter what I configure on the PIA side of things. It's not my router or my computer or my modem. PIA is slowing things down and there's no way to speed it up.

This is my second trip around the block with PIA. I ditched it the first time because it was far too slow for what I needed in a household that streams video to different rooms and to our tablets and phones. And good luck running just one thing to one device. The video quality is choppy and horrible due to the slow connection. A friend of mine had me give it a second chance because he swore by it. He even helped me configure mine to match his specifications -- and we're still floating at 500 kbps.

I'd really like to keep PIA because it's simple enough to use but I need definitive help here to resolve this. If nothing works, I'm afraid I'm leaving PIA for another VPN.

Comments

  • edited November 17 Posts: 264
    Hi...

    Before I get 10 generic answers, I've tried everything this forum has discussed.

    Without PIA running, I get about 60 - 110 MBPS down from my ISP depending on time of day/night. My downloads off web browsing are lightning quick and my torrents are usually around 6 MPBS -- though I've seen it go to 10.

    With PIA running, no matter which configuration I run with Mac's Security and Networking prefs and no matter which configuration I have on uTorrent or my web browser, I cannot get more than 500 kbps. If I'm lucky, it will go to 1 MBPS but not likely.

    This has been confirmed by several different speed tests on the web at different times of the day and the speed is slow no matter what I configure on the PIA side of things. It's not my router or my computer or my modem. PIA is slowing things down and there's no way to speed it up.

    This is my second trip around the block with PIA. I ditched it the first time because it was far too slow for what I needed in a household that streams video to different rooms and to our tablets and phones. And good luck running just one thing to one device. The video quality is choppy and horrible due to the slow connection. A friend of mine had me give it a second chance because he swore by it. He even helped me configure mine to match his specifications -- and we're still floating at 500 kbps.

    I'd really like to keep PIA because it's simple enough to use but I need definitive help here to resolve this. If nothing works, I'm afraid I'm leaving PIA for another VPN.
     The only time I experience speed issues on my Mac while using the VPN is when the client software is a few versions out of date or when my Internet service provider is blocking the port which the software is attempting to utilize to connect your device to the secure VPN server. 
    Post edited by OpenVPN on
  • All right...how do you have it configured so as not to block the port because I tried that, too. Could you tell me what else I should do?
  • Posts: 264
    All right...how do you have it configured so as not to block the port because I tried that, too. Could you tell me what else I should do?
    While UDP provides faster speeds it can be easily blocked by our Internet service providers.  Switching to TCP provides slower speeds and is recommended to only be used when UDP is not available or blocked.  I normally only have problems with my connection when I am on public Wi-Fi in a hotel or coffee shop, in those situations I connect using TCP using remote port 443.

    https://helpdesk.privateinternetaccess.com/hc/en-us/articles/226851548-I-have-trouble-connecting-or-the-connection-drops-frequently-changing-ports
  • This doesn't work. Speed tests indicate maybe a 2 to 4 MBPS rise but downloading a 10 MB test file from the Internet shouldn't take ten minutes with that type of connection (and it does) and Torrent speed is still maxing out at under 1 MBPS.
  • All right, I finally just tried every combo of port config in that list. One of them gives me a max of about where I was...still not thrilled with losing 80 percent of my bandwith but whatever. I'll stay with PIA for the time being.
  • Posts: 264
    This doesn't work. Speed tests indicate maybe a 2 to 4 MBPS rise but downloading a 10 MB test file from the Internet shouldn't take ten minutes with that type of connection (and it does) and Torrent speed is still maxing out at under 1 MBPS.
    All right, I finally just tried every combo of port config in that list. One of them gives me a max of about where I was...still not thrilled with losing 80 percent of my bandwith but whatever. I'll stay with PIA for the time being.
    I’m glad that I could help. You could also try connecting to the service using the Vanilla OpenVPN application:  https://helpdesk.privateinternetaccess.com/hc/en-us/articles/219437987-Installing-OpenVPN-PIA-on-MacOS

    https://helpdesk.privateinternetaccess.com/hc/en-us/articles/218984968-What-is-the-difference-between-the-OpenVPN-config-files-on-your-website-
  • Posts: 600
    OpenVPN said:
    What OpenVPN said.

    Many Mac users have experienced a multiplicity of problems from the PIA app, myself included. Really a shame because the servers themselves connect quickly and have excellent speed and low latency.

    Because of all the problems I experienced I junked the PIA app a couple years ago, installed Viscosity and the PIA OpenVPN files, and have found the combination to be extremely stable. One limitation with Viscosity is no "kill switch." However, PIA's kill switch itself has caused plenty of problems anyway. Thankfully there's a better option for that too.

    Use a BT app that allows you to select your network interface. I use qBittorrent and highly recommend it. In qBittorrent select "Advanced" and "Network interface". Note the interface choices available when not connected to PIA. Connect and note the new interface available. That's the one you want to select for you BT app to tunnel torrent traffic. Should your PIA connection drop your BT connection immediately drops with it. No need to have to reboot your Mac because of goofy "kill switch" issues.

    Be sure you also disable uTP in whatever BT app you use. uTP doesn't play well with vpns.
  • Posts: 264
    tomeworm said:
    OpenVPN said:
    What OpenVPN said.

    Many Mac users have experienced a multiplicity of problems from the PIA app, myself included. Really a shame because the servers themselves connect quickly and have excellent speed and low latency.

    Because of all the problems I experienced I junked the PIA app a couple years ago, installed Viscosity and the PIA OpenVPN files, and have found the combination to be extremely stable. One limitation with Viscosity is no "kill switch." However, PIA's kill switch itself has caused plenty of problems anyway. Thankfully there's a better option for that too.

    Use a BT app that allows you to select your network interface. I use qBittorrent and highly recommend it. In qBittorrent select "Advanced" and "Network interface". Note the interface choices available when not connected to PIA. Connect and note the new interface available. That's the one you want to select for you BT app to tunnel torrent traffic. Should your PIA connection drop your BT connection immediately drops with it. No need to have to reboot your Mac because of goofy "kill switch" issues.

    Be sure you also disable uTP in whatever BT app you use. uTP doesn't play well with vpns.
    I only suggest this option when you have exhausted all other forms of troubleshooting with the official PIA application.
  • [snip]
    Without PIA running, I get about 60 - 110 MBPS down from my ISP depending on time of day/night. My downloads off web browsing are lightning quick and my torrents are usually around 6 MPBS -- though I've seen it go to 10.
    [snip]
    This is my second trip around the block with PIA. I ditched it the first time because it was far too slow for what I needed in a household that streams video to different rooms and to our tablets and phones. And good luck running just one thing to one device. The video quality is choppy and horrible due to the slow connection. A friend of mine had me give it a second chance because he swore by it. He even helped me configure mine to match his specifications -- and we're still floating at 500 kbps.

    I'd really like to keep PIA because it's simple enough to use but I need definitive help here to resolve this. If nothing works, I'm afraid I'm leaving PIA for another VPN.

    tabascoman77,  I'm new to paid for VPN services myself and so test drove a handful before stumping up for PIA.
    Settled on PIA because support responded to all my initial queries, and the app felt the most 'Mac Like' if that makes sense?

    Also like you I'm finding a HUGE loss in speed: with VS without VPN 

    without: I average 386Mbps
    with: I see 50-150Mbps (at best!)

    incredibly frustrating but better to be safe than sorry

    Now I appreciate there will be some loss, but as much as I'm seeing?

    Support have been very good in things to try and ping-pong answers, back and forth.

    latest response 'Speed issues can sometimes be caused by latency or a bad hop on the route to the server you are connecting to, or the site you are trying to visit. The best way to determine this is with an MTR test'

    I'm yet to run those tests as I have multi LANs, and so cant just reboot this and that to prove points that dont seem to make a great deal of difference in the overall VPN speed dept.

    Wondered what other VPNs you've been with and wether the speed loss was similar or worse?
  • ...interesting discovery  :|

    I'm onsite on my laptop, using WiFi on a pretty reasonable network and notice VERY little loss with the VPN up Vs none

    UDP
    AUTO

    without: test1 91Mbps down / 75Mbps up
    without: test2 87Mbps down / 94Mbps up

    VPN: test1 81Mbps down / 84Mbps up
    VPN: test2 71Mbps down / 79Mbps up

    ....so could it be the originating ISP that causes the loss?
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