Issues with online services due to appearing as using VPN; DNS appears to be the cause


As a bit of pretext, up until the outage in March I’ve always had pretty great service and support from this company, but I’ve had a lot of issues with trying to contact anyone in support over the last week or so ever since, which is a bit disconcerting

Anyway, wanted to see if anyone else has this issue.

Channel 4’s streaming services believes we’re in a completely different country and will not allow us access, and Discord has very limited functionality outside of basic voice calls; video streaming from a desktop PC is impossible from both ways, specifically to users outside of the UK. I also apparently live in Blackpool now, which is news to me.

There doesn’t appear to be any issues with connecting to either a local server or a few US servers via or; stable ping, still clocking in at between 700-800mbps for local servers and the US ones averaged out at around 150-250mbps, with around 12 ping local and 30-ish for the same US servers.

Connecting to the router via WiFi appears to circumvent the issue with discord, and the Channel 4 issue is related to being on WiFi instead of LAN. During the outage that started on the 15th March, we ended up being put onto a VPN while a transit error was being investigated. Apparently we got moved back, but it hasn’t been the same since and it still feels as if we never got migrated back from the VPN solution.

One idea I had was recent firmware updates being the culprit; it was fine for a few days after factory resetting the thing, but went back to normal after.

The router is the EX230v, and I’m using a static IP (149.18.86.x).

Any ideas? I’m really stuck here, and aside from the DNS/ISP, I really cannot think of anything else I can do, and my partner is meant to be streaming tomorrow and Wednesday; they’ve already had to cancel plans last week because of this.

Forgot to mention, but a thread on the TP-Link forum has a similar issue (Strange Discord Shenanigans over LAN - Unable to connect to US Central Discord Voice Servers - Home Network Community) but considering everything else is fine on the LAN, it’s mostly likely an issue outside of our house.

You weren’t put on a VPN - you were given an IP range that like all of them in the market has a history. It was previously rented from a 3rd party and could have been used for anything, that could include proxy/hosting/VPN services or indeed services elsewhere in the world.

Content providers - like C4, Disney, Netflix, BBC, Sky etc. - are all risk averse, they provide a ‘free’ or premium service within the UK, but don’t wish to have that abused, as such they try and geo-restrict content to UK IP’s and preferably residential customers. To do that, they rely on reputational databases, and if an IP range has been flagged, they block it and deal with the consequences when they are raised properly and they have suitable assurances that they are no longer being used for whatever they were flagged for or its been flagged in error. Essentially we have three options, the first two are much more efficient and likely to yield positive results:

  1. Yayzi raise the issue with the database.

  2. Yayzi raise the issue with the provider.

  3. We as individuals raise the issue with the service providers.

Realistically all of those are at the mercy of a 3rd party as to when they update things.

Hope this helps :+1:

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Thank you, this explains why this IP is apparently registered to New Jersey, and why the Channel 4 app won’t work. Sadly, doesn’t explain the issues with Discord streaming, however, or why the behaviour difference with using LAN or WiFi with the router etc? I could be wrong.

I currently have a ticket open with them already from two days ago that’s currently waiting for a reply, I thought I’d ask here to see if there were an alternative solution while I waited.

The LAN vs wifi issue is a strange one, however I suspect the devil may be in the detail - is it the same device connected via wifi as connected via the wired connection? It’s just for some ‘platforms’ (eg FireTV/Roku/some TV OS’) C4 seem to use a different back end, so if for example you are saying a firestick works via a wired, but not via wifi connection, then that would be odd. If you’re saying your PC works via wired, and your firestick doesn’t work via wifi, well that’s more understandable.

The only suggestion I have that may work is ironically using a VPN until it’s cleared up.