as you probably noticed during the last couple of months, we have had several changes. Primarily noticeable from outward, were new servers or replacements of server locations.
We are putting the project Perfect Privacy on new legs altogether and are working on overdue radical changes, affecting all areas. This starts with a new team, continues with the selection of new server locations and ends with server installations.
In a nutshell, we try to rebuild the project to be able to meet future demands, and design it to be both flexible and expandable. Old stuff is being thrown overboard, and new things are being developed.
We want to thank our many loyal members for their patience and supportive manner, and hope you will enthusiastically embrace these innovations.
Let’s go through them one by one:
Our new Team
In the future Perfect Privacy will consist of three people, two of which being new in the team for a couple of months now.
First of them is Lars, responsible for server maintenance and adding new functionality and everything else that is part of operating our servers.
Also new in the team is Daniel. He is responsible for our website and english support. Basically adding new content to the website, writing the code to expand the new web panel for our members, and forum maintenance as well.
The third is Frank, which you know since a couple of years at PP. He will be taking on everything else. Abuse handling, payment processing, obtaining new servers, support and the organization of the project as a whole.
If everything works according to plan, we will launch the new website with the web panel for our members on monday evening.
However it will not be complete, it will merely be the foundation of future improvements. During the upcoming months we will have several subsequent additions, for example a german translation, automated payments to speed up this process for our members, and a couple more options in the configuration panel.
The main site will include a brief description, checkIP, the server status, for the moment a small members area, and the non automated payment options as you know them.
In the user panel, every member will find its registered email address, the accounts expiration date, a couple of settings regarding remote port forwarding, and an overview of bandwidth usage of the newly added servers (more on this later). One of the new options will be to click yourself an open port (or a couple) in the users panel. These port forwardings will expire after a few days for security reasons, and you will have to generate a new port. There will be no direct choosing of (external) ports however.
From our point of view this is a pretty good mix of security and convenience. The old dynamic RPF which had a new port with every connection was rather annoying. And a static RPF with a port being used for months or even years is questionable and raises security concerns.
The panel is accessible for every member with an active account, and for those whose membership expired within the last 30 days. After this time period the account will be deleted completely and can not be renewed. However this is no loss, since you won’t be loosing anything (like static RPFs). A member whose account is not renewed within 30 days, can simply create a new one, and if not in use already even with the old username.
Furthermore in the members area you will find an overview which servers are active and how their current bandwidth utilization is, as well as what their maximum capacity is. However this only affects the newly installed servers.
Additionally our members have the option to configure whether or not to use dynamic external IP addresses if available on the server (e.g. new Gigabit NL servers have 16 IPs each). This setting affects all VPN protocols, proxys are always dynamic.
After some discussion, we have decided to start with a new fresh forum rather than maintaining the old one, since often it is easier to make a clean cut.
The old forum has become quite a mess in some sub-forums. This requires you to re-register in the new forum if you decide to use it.
Additionally we ask our members to help us out: The old forum will be online in read only mode for the next couple of weeks (probably 4 to 8) still. We would appreciate a lot, if you could support us by transferring the really good posts (especially the instructions) over into the new forum. There will certainly be some members willing to look through the old forum and transfer the relevant posts in an orderly and clean manner.
The new forum will be consequently moderated, to achieve long term clarity.
Currently our plan is to have the new forum up and running later this week.
Now about the servers.
First Gigabit NL will be completely new, as well as Tokyo and Zurich. Gigabit NL will have twice the capacity it used to have (old: 1gbit/s shared on two servers, new: 2x 1gbit/s). These two machines also have a total of 32 IP addresses available. Furthermore Stockholm2, Brisbane and Moscow1 will be reinstalled and connected to the user panel. And there we are right on topic: During the upcoming days one server after another will have a couple of hours of downtime as they are being completely reinstalled. Sadly for our members, this implies you will have to download new OpenVPN configurations often. The reason is, a complete reinstall is necessary and makes it easier to connect the servers to the user panel, to improve a couple of services, ensure consistency across the server park and deploy a new OpenVPN configuration (multiple ports for UDP, one for TCP, no packet fragmentation) also.
We beg your pardon that this will be accompanied by some inconveniences for our members. But surely you will have some understanding for this, since you want Perfect Privacy to improve and the project to be kept sustainable.
One last word about the SSH client for Windows. Right now sadly we don’t find the time to keep it up to date, since it statically contains the IP addresses and keys necessary. This SSH client will not be maintained by us any more. But a new one will be written in the future, which might take some time still.
As an alternative a member in our forum has posted another SSH client and provided instructions on how to use it, along with up to date configurations.
We hope you appreciate these numerous changes and outlooks and we would be happy to have some feedback and constructive criticism in our forum.
With kind regards,
Frank, Lars and Daniel