Server Issues, 13-Sep-15.

Things are back to normal. Thanks for your patience..

Server Issues, 11-Sep-15.

We're having server issues again. We're working through the problems.

Server Issues, 7-Aug-14.

The server issues should be resolved. Thanks for your patience..

Server Issues, 6-Aug-14.

We're currently having server issues that we're working through..

Heartbleed update, 14-Apr-14.

Just a note: no PublicVPN systems were, are, or have been vulnerable to the heartbleed issue.

Updated Windows 8 documentation

An updated version of our Windows 8 documentation is online. Click on "Setting up Windows 8" to see it!

Server issues update, 17-Feb-14

It seems that our authentication database somehow got corrupted, possibly due to a bad disk. The systems are up and running now, and we'll be validating accounts to make sure everyone's accounts are still good.

Server issues, 17-Feb-14

We've been having authorization and accessibility issues on and off today. Please be patient as we work through the issues.

Odd Account Info problem 04-Jan-14

The date shown in the account time seems to be wrong. We're investigating.

Update: fixed.

Ice Cream Sandwich VPN problem, 10-Dec-12

Apparently there is a bug in some versions of Android ICS that will cause VPN connection problems. There is a patch available here, attached to post 203

New Profile-based iOS configuration, 15-Aug-12

If you're using iOS, check out our new simpler configuration instructions here! It uses iOS configuration profile - download the profile, enter your username and password, and you're done!. The old instructions are still available if you want to configure manually.

Non-Paypal payments now accepted, 15-Aug-12

If you don't want to use Paypal, you can now enter your credit card directly. The email address you enter is where the receipt will be sent.

Android Note, 07-Aug-12

Ice Cream Sandwich L2TP/IPsec setup instructions are available here. Note that PPTP isn't supported due to bugs in Android.

Payment note

We finally are implementing a non-Paypal payment method. Look for it soon! You'll be able to pay directly, no Paypal account required. As usual, minimal information will be required.

Android Note, 16-Mar-12

Gingerbread L2TP/IPsec setup instructions are available here. Note that PPTP isn't supported due to bugs in Android.

Android Note, 05-Mar-12

Gingerbread devices or later should work fine with an L2TP/IPsec VPN connection. PPTP doesn't work, due to bugs in the Android PPTP code (it only works with unencrypted PPTP connections, which is pointless).

To set up an L2TP/IPsec VPN with Gingerbread+, do the following:

  • Go to Settings -> Wireless & Networks -> VPN Settings
  • Click "Add VPN"
  • Click "Add L2TP/IPsec PSK VPN"
  • As the VPN name, use 'PublicVPN'
  • As the VPN server, use ''
  • As the IPsec pre-shared key, use ''
  • Then click the menu button and choose "Save"

    Click on the PublicVPN name to connect. In the dialog box that pops up, your username should be your publicvpn username and your password should be the VPN password.

    SMTP notice 05-Jan-11

    SMTP access has been disabled due to excessive spam. If you need to send mail, the easiest way is to get a gmail account and use their SMTP server as a relay. Apologies, but there's no good way for us to filter spam out.

    Usage note: concurrent logins.

    The Terms of Service state that concurrent logins are prohibited. That means that you can't use your account on more than one device at one time. If you have two laptops, you can either (1) have one login that they share, making sure that only one laptop uses the account at a time, or (2) buy two logins.

    This policy hasn't been enforced until today (28–Mar–07). Now, when you log in the other logins using your username will be logged out.

    Maintenance 10-Dec-10 through 12-Dec-10

    The system will be undergoing maintenance this weekend.

    L2TP/IPsec should be working again 09-Dec-10

    The L2TP/IPsec server is finally back to normal.

    L2TP/IPsec problems 08-Dec-10

    We're currently having problems with L2TP/IPsec. Please use PPTP until further notice.

    Catastrophic failure recovery 06-Dec-10

    Our connectivity problem unfortuantely turned into a catastrophic failure, requiring a multiple server rebuild. The service should be operational, though expect issues here and there. Apologies to all our customers; it seems that a lack of training and some configurations by previous staff are the root cause of the issus.

    Connectivity issues 02-Dec-10

    We're having connectivity issues again. Please be patient as we wwork through the issues.

    Connectivity issues resolved, 06-24-2010

    All the connectivity issues should be resolved by now.

    Connectivity issues, 06-24-2010

    We seem to be having connectivity issues. Please be patient as we work through the issue.

    Initial Windows 7 docs online, 18-May-2010

    An initial cut of the Windows 7 setup instructions are online here.

    Server problems resolved, 16-May-2010

    Access should be restored to all regions. We've discovered a hardware fault in our systems that under certain circumstances prevents an automatic service restoration. We'll be investigating with the vendor for solutions.

    Server problems, 16-May-2010

    We're currently investigating a server problem. VPN access from certain areas may not be working until we get everything up and running.

    Authentication problems?, 30-Mar-2010

    If you're having authentication problems, please contact support immediately. A few accounts seem to be having problems authenticating. We can't proactively fix them, because there doesn't seem to be any commonality between them. A quick reset will take care of the problem. If you're having "authentication failed" errors, please email support with your username and we'll fix the problem immediately./p>

    Status Update, 28-Mar-2010

    As far as we can tell, everything seems to be fine. We've had reports that connections in the Middle East (Qatar, Dubai) may be blocked, but blockage seems to be sporadic (ie: some people can get through, some not). If you contact support, please add the region from which you're connecting so we can track where the issues are./p>

    Status Update, 10-Mar-2010

    We're having continuing problems with our servers, and connectivity may be spotty for a while. In addition, there seems to be a problem changing passwords./p>

    Status Update, 08-Mar-2010

    The L2TP/IPsec servers seem to be OK as of early this morning. We were having intermittent problems with user accounts making their way to all the servers, which should also be fixed. Apologies for the inconvenience; we're adjusting our failover processes to deal with the new things we've seen over the weekend./p>

    L2TP/IPsec outage, 06-Mar-2010

    Sorry for the posting delay. There seems to be a problem with the L2TP/IPsec servers. Please use PPTP for the time seems to work fine.

    Windows 7 MTU 02-Dec-09

    Under Windows 7, the way you set a connection's MTU value has changed. To change it, do the following:

    First, find the name of the VPN connection. Connect to the VPN, then do the following from an admin command line (hold down control and shift while running 'cmd':

    netsh interface ipv4 show subinterfaces

    Assuming your connection is named " PPTP" in the list of subinterfaces, do this:

    netsh interface ipv4 set subinterface " PPTP" mtu=1200

    To make sure it stuck, do this:

    netsh interface ipv4 show subinterfaces

    Then, reboot your computer for the setting to take effect.

    Windows 7 Notes 25-Oct-09

    When creating your VPN connection, don't leave it on "Automatic." You'll need to explicitly choose PPTP or L2TP/IPsec. If you don't, WIndows 7 defaults to Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP), which we don't support.

    Windows 7

    We just got our copy of Windows 7 Unlimited, so instructions should be up shortly.

    Mac OS X 10.6 15-Oct-2009

    Mac OS X 10.6 is fully supported, but we haven't put the setup instructions online yet. Please use the 10.5 setup instructions.

    Service Disruption 11-Jan-2009

    The IP change seems to have had some side effect, so access to the VPN has been problematic for some areas. The situation should be resolved by 12 noon PST. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Service Disruption 06-Jan-2009

    Our IP addresses have been renumbered. It may take a while for the change to propagate through DNS. We don't recommend it, but you can replace '' with '' in your VPN connection documents if you need access immediately.

    Service Disruption 06-Jan-2009

    Our ISP is renumbering our machines. This means that there will be service disruptions sporadically all day tomorrow. Please be patient; things should be back to normal soon.

    Outage over 09-Dec-2012

    OK, everything seems to be good.

    Outage 09-Dec-2012

    It seems that we're having some kind of server problem. Please be patient as we work through this strange issue.

    iPhone news, 22-Jun-2012

    Well, now it works! Setup instructions are now online.

    More iPhone news, 20-Jun-2012

    Well, on further review the workaround didn't really work. More info as it comes in...

    Maintenance update, 20-Jun-2012

    We're reserving 12:30AM PDT/PST for updates. Note that service disruptions may occur during this time.

    iPhone update, 19-Jun-2012

    It looks like we were able to work around the problem with the iPhone and iPod Touch, and they've been officially moved to the supported list. Setup instructions are forthcoming. Note that the settings will be migrated to production by 20-Jul-2012 9AM PDT.

    iPhone update, 2-May-2012

    As an FYI, the iPhone problem seems to be UDP related. We're working on Apple with this, hopefully a fix will be forthcoming in iPhone firmware 2.0.

    Note that you can also set your iPhone up using our proxy. See below for more information.

    Guyana problems, week of 2/18/08

    Guyana's telecom provider has been blocking access to our servers over the last week or so. If you are a current user and are blocked, there may not be much we can do; contact support for alternate IP addresses. It does look like they're blocking our alternate IP addresses for some users; if that's the case for you, we'll issue you a refund for your unused balance.

    Note that Belize blocks on a per-user basis, not systemwide. It may be that Guyana does the same.

    You probably want to complain to your ISP about the VPN block as well.

    Outage, 2/2/08

    Our primary and backup servers went down at about 11:35pm Pacific Time due to what looks to be a power failure of some sort. Right now (2/3/08, 12:55PM) we got one of the backup servers up and running. However, L2TP/IPsec doesn't seem to be accepting connections. We had to do a lot of reconstruction, so if you can't log in, try changing your website password and trying to log into the VPN again.

    Update: L2TP/IPsec seems to be OK

    Mac OS X 10.5 setup instructions posed, 27-Jan-08

    We have finally posted our Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) setup instructions. See the link to the left.

    SMTP access update, 09-Jan-08

    SMTP access has been disabled again. So for now, if you have a mail server that you use, email and it'll be put on our whitelist.

    SMTP access update, 24-Dec-07

    Currently SMTP access has been re-enabled. We're implementing rate limiting on port 25 connections, which should make us completely unattractive to spammers. Note tat it might take longer to send mail due to this change.

    SMTP access, 18-Dec-07

    Apparently someone has been using us as a SPAM point. Thus, port 25 access has been closed off. That shouldn't affect most users, but if you suddenly find that you can't send mail you can use our email server. See the setup instrutions at left for the basic settings.

    Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) support, 25-Oct–07

    The VPN works fine with Mac OS X 10.5, as expected. Formal instructions are coming soon. Internet Connect is gone, so you set up everything from the System Preferences->Network pane.

    WARNING: there's a big gotcha in the setup: the Leopard VPN doesn't send traffic over the VPN by default. To remedy this, go to System Preferences->Network and click on your VPN connection. Click the "Advanced..." button, and in the "Options" tab make sure that "Send all traffic over VPN connection" is checked.

    I can't tell if this is just for new connections or if it applies to connections that were migrated using "Archive & Install," since I just installed over my test machine. So for now, be sure to check your VPN settings after installing Leopard.

    iPhone proxy, 02-Oct–07

    For iPhone users, we've set up an experimental proxy. That way you can get to the web when you're connected to the VPN. The VPN DNS bug exists in the 1.1.1 firmware, so you may or may not be able to use your iPhone when connected to a VPN.

    If you can't seem to do anything, try using the proxy instead. You won't be able to get mail, but you can use Safari at least.

    Go to the home screen, then choose Settings->General->Network->VPN->Settings. In the proxy settings, click the "Manual" tab and enter the following information:

    Port: 8080
    Authentication: Off

    We've filed a bug with Apple about the issue; hopefully they'll fix it in the next firmware update.

    Outage, 19–Sep–07

    There was an outage today from approximately 6:30 AM PDT to 11:AM PDT due to a DoS attack from, of all places, Guyana. All users from Guyana please contact support for either a refund or hardware setup instructions.

    UPDATE: the IP address has been isolated, so most users from Guyana should be OK.

    Belize users, 5–Sep–07

    Note that BTL seems to have blocked access to our servers. It may be worth it to drop them a line and complain. Please contact support for alternete IP addresses.

    iPhone notes, 17–Aug–07

    If you're using iPhone software 1.0, there's a bug where you have to type the password in every time you connect. That's fixed in the iPhone software 1.01.

    However, iPhone 1.01 has a different problem: DNS resolution doesn't work if you're connected to a VPN, making the connection pretty useless. Hopefully Apple will fix this in an iPhone 1.0.2 update.

    Support Change, 2–Aug–07

    Due to problems with the support provider, support is now being handled in-house again. Sorry for the problems that the switch may have caused.

    SMTP Change

    If you’re using as your SMTP server, you’ll need to change your port number from 25 to 587 or 3115. This should improve mail sending reliability.

    Outage, 7/10

    Yet another DoS attack occurred. We've isolated what the attackers are doing, and we should be OK from now on.

    Outage, 6/13

    We suffered a DoS attack today. Traffic tailed off enough for us to get everything going again. Right now we're trying to find a way to identify and remedy these events sooner. Thanks for your patience.

    Slow connection speeds?

    If you connect to the VPN but web pages take forever to load, you may be running into the MTU issue. See here for more information and a fix!

    Please use L2TP/IPsec insead of PPTP.

    There seem to be more and more issues with Hotspot providers and PPTP connections, namely, they don’t allow PPTP. If you’re travelling overseas or if you’re in the US using off–brand hotspots, using L2TP/IPsec will connect more reliably than PPTP.

    Of course, if one connection type doesn’t work, try the other one; some providers allow one and not the other.

    Support Window, Mondays 1AM PDT.

    We're reserving 1AM Pacific Time for continuing maintenance. If we need to do anything, we'll do it at this time. Please note that the service may be unavailable for a few minutes around this time.

    Posted: 21–Apr–07


    If you’re have comments, questions, or suggestions for new features, feel free to email us! Some of the best ideas come from you, our users. Just email us at

    Windows Vista Setup Instructions.

    New Windows Vista setup instructions are now online! If you’re using Windows Vista and haven’t been able to figure out the all–new configuration, this is for you! Read the instructions here.

    Note: we now recommend that Windows users use L2TP/IPsec by default instead of PPTP. This has been reflected in the Windows Vista setup instructions and in the FAQ.

    Posted: 22–Apr–07

    Support Window, Sundays 1AM PDT.

    We're reserving 1AM Pacific Time for continuing maintenance. If we need to do anything, we'll do it at this time. Please note that the service may be unavailable for a few minutes around this time.

    Posted: 21–Apr–07

    SPAM update

    Looks like the new spam filters are working; we're down to about 60–80 a day, which is mostly manageable. Support should be as speedy as usual.

    Network maintenance, 10–Mar–07 and 11 –Mar–07 12AM to 6AM PST.

    Our ISP is performing some network maintenance. There may be a few minutes of downtime during these time periods.

    Support issues!

    Due to large amounts of spam (thousands a day), support may be a bit slow. Sorry for the inconvenience; it may take a while to get to your emails.

    Power maintenance, 24–Feb–07 and 25–Feb–07 7PM to 8PM PST.

    Our ISP is adjusting the power load in the cages. There will be a few minutes of downtime during these windows.

    Outage, 17–Feb–07.

    There was a server outage for a few hours. The DNS bug on 20–Jan–07 was actually a natd problem, not a dns problem as we were led to believe. Apologies for all the outages this year; between software problems on the server and the infrastructure issues. We think the server has been stabilized, but only time will tell.

    Outage, 21-Jan-07.

    Our ISP seems to be having technical problems today, and our servers are unreachable. Please be patient as our ISP work through their issue.

    Outage, 20-Jan-07.

    The servers were down due to a hitherto unknown system bug related to DNS. The issue has been fixed. Sorry for the delay, it took a while to isolate the exact issue.

    Scheduled ServerMaintenance on 12-Nov-06.

    The servers will be offline from 12PM to 1PM PST on Sunday, November 12.

    Outage, 19-Sep-06.

    Intermittent connectivity issues and DNS problems made connectivity to the servers problematic. Those should be resolved now.

    New Windows XP Setup Instructions Posted , 03-Aug-06.

    A user discovered that Windows XP sometimes does not use the DNS server. This means that people around you could have seen your DNS queries, though they still wouldn't be able to see your data.

    The Windows XP setup instructions have ben updated to show how to set connection-specific DNS settings, which stops this data leak. For more information, see

    Maintenance, 26-Jul-06 5:00 AM EDT.

    The system will be down for about 5 minutes at 5:00 AM EDT on 26–Jul–06. This will disrupt any active connections, so if you’re cut off please wait for 5 minutes and reconnect.

    Server Outage, 16-Jul-06.

    There seemes to be some kind of intermittent server problem that's causing connectivity problems. Another one happened today, between 12:51 PM and 3:50 PM.

    Server Outage, 14-Jul-06.

    The PublicVPN servers weren’t able to accept new connections for a few hours. The problem was resolved, and everything should be working.

    MTU issues, 4/30/06

    Lately, we seem to be having more MTU issues. If you can connect but can't seem to surf or collect email, then it's likely you've run into the MTU issue. To fix it, see the entry in the FAQ titled "I'm connected to PublicVPN.cpm, but I can't seem to collect email or download any web pages."

    Outage, 4/26/06

    Apparently the new server brought with it a new bunch of issues. The service was down for much of yesterday, but was back up by 9PM PDT. Apologies for the inconvenience that the outage caused.

    New Server IP

    While we don't recommend using the direct IP address of the server, in some situations (if you don't seem to have a working DNS server) you need to. The new server IP address is If you're using the old IP address (, please switch to the new one soon.

    Server transition, 21–Apr–06 …

    We've changed over to our new host, and should be pointing to our new server. It'll take a few hours to propagate to everywhere. The transition should be competely seamless. However, if you run into any issues, please mail immediately. While extensive testing was done, there may be glitches here and there.

    The biggest benefit of the new server is a fix that allowed interoperability with Windows XP's NAT-T L2TP/IPsec. Previously, you needed a real IP address to connect via L2TP/IPsec. Now, you can connect via L2TP/IPsec when you're behind NAT.

    One other change is that the byte totals are no longer available. That information was handy, but not that useful, and is not available anymore in this new version.

    Upgrade in the works…

    We'll be upgrading the VPN servers soon, stay tuned! The cutover should be pretty seamless, but if you’re using the IP address of the server ( instead of you should change back to the hostname.

    Outage 03/19/06.

    The VPN service is currently down for unscheduled maintenance. It should be accessible by 03/19/06 9am PST.

    Outage for 39 minutes this morning.

    A clumsy tech knocked the power cord out of my server this morning. The server was offline from 9:54AM PST to 10:36 AM PST on 02/13/06. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Eudora for Windows SMTP setup instructions!

    We’ve just added setup instructions for Eudora for Windows. See the article “Eudora for Windows SMTP Settings” to the left.

    BidPay no longer accepted as a form of payment

    Western Union has discontinued their BidPay service, so payments using BidPay are no longer accepted.

    New accepts e–gold and BidPay! now accepts e–gold and BidPay as payment methods. These payment methods require extra support, so please email support to arrange payment via these methods.

    New 10.4 Specific Instructions! 06-Jul-2005

    New Mac OS X 10.4 instructions were added in the setup area to the left. While the instructions are the same, one of the screens changed in Mac OS X 10.4. So we redid the set for Mac OS X 10.4.

    New Dashboard Widget! 24-Jun-2005

    We here at have jumped on the Dashboard bandwagon! Click here to go to the new Dashboard widget page and download our widget, and check your connection status whenever your Dashboard is active. For Mac OS X 10.4 users only!

    Can’t connect? 22-Jun-2005

    If you’re finding that you can’t authenticate with, make sure your account hasn’t expired. Sign in, and look at the “Time Remaining” section.

    Updated status page, 31-May-2005

    The status page has been updated to make it more obvious when you are and are not connected. Thanks, Bruce!

    New SMTP settings page, 25-May-2005

    The SMTP settings page has been updated to reflect that port 587 is available for sending mail, along with the standard port 25. Also, direct IP address settings are given in the case that DNS is not available.

    New connection status page, 24-May-2005

    We’ve added a connection status page, so you can see if you’re connected to the VPN. Go over to to see if you’re connected or not. service update, 17-May-2005

    The PublicVPN website had an outage from about 2 PM to about 4:30 PM PST due to issues with the web hosting server. VPN connectivity was not affected, though the account website was unavailable. service update, 10-May-2005

    The PublicVPN service provider had an outage today at about 3 PM PST. Connectivity before then may have been intermittent. Full service was restored by 3:30 PM PST.


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