Installation

  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General

Is it legal?

Yes it is. There is nothing illegal about using a VPN service.
The technology is well known, many large companies have their own VPN which traveling employees connect to (this is no different than our service). We don't know of any countries where it is illegal to access a website/service through a VPN, even if you are then circumventing a websites filtering of its users.
Even in countries such as China or Indonesia where access to sites like Facebook and YouTube is sometimes blocked, it is not illegal to use a VPN service as many use a VPN to connect to their workplace anyway. However, we can not know all the worlds laws at all times so please check your local laws if in doubt. Note that some countries forbid the use of strong encryption (more than 128bit). Our PPTP connections use 128bit and our OpenVPN use 256bit encryption (the more bits the stronger it is).

How do I know it is working?

When you connect to CitizenVPN, one effect is that your computers IP address appears to be changed to one of ours (this is how nobody can track you). Verifying that the IP address has changed is easy:

1: Before connecting to CitizenVPN check you IP address. You can see your current IP at the bottom of this page or go to any third-party website that displays your IP address, such as: http://whatismyipaddress.com/ which will display your IP address. This is your real IP address, make a note of it.
2: After connecting to CitizenVPN, refresh the webpage and see how the IP address has changed.

Can you see my real IP Address and do you store it?

Just as any other website can see your IP address, so can we. However, when connected to CitizenVPN our servers do not keep a log of what you do or what your IP address is. When you connect to the service we do not store what IP address you connect from.
However, when you visit our website then (like most other websites) we do store your IP address. This is in order to stop fraud and hacking attempts. Note that this is completely unrelated to the VPN service itself. You can read more about our no-logging policy.

Can I watch free TV and other blocked services from my country?

Yes, but it depends if we have a server in that country or not. Currently we have servers in USA, Denmark, UK, Germany and Norway so, yes, you can watch free TV online from those countries. We are working on adding many more servers, and all accounts can freely choose between which server they want to use at any moment. Note that some TV stations are not free and require separate subscriptions.

I have seen there are some free proxy servers, Why should I pay for your VPN?

Beware of the ones offering free proxy, they usually have an agenda they are not telling you about, bandwidth and servers are expensive so please ask yourself where the money comes from. We do not provide a free scam service, instead we provide an excellent and fast VPN connection that is very affordable.
Note that when you use a free proxy, only webpages are proxied and you will not be protected or anonymous when using skype, email, file-sharing etc. They also often inject ads and malware.
Always use a quality VPN service to be fully protected.

Will my connection get slower with VPN?

Regarding speed (bandwidth) then it will always be a little slower with a VPN connection. If, f.ex., you have a 4 mbit connection then you can expect to get perhaps 3 mbit through. Our servers are very fast and has plenty capacity so you will not experience speed (bandwidth) limits from the server itself. It does, however, require some computing power from your computer to encrypt/decrypt the signal so if it is very weak then the speed can be limited by the computers capacity. Most computers have no problem to be used for watching Vide streams/TV via VPN, even small notebooks or mobile units.

You can count on the speed getting slower the further away the VPN server is from you. Generally the further away it is the slower it gets.

In some cases, the internet providers will artificially limit the speed when they can see that you are using VPN. This is because many file-sharers use VPN (and therefore a lot of bandwidth) so they are more expensive for the providers. If you connect with PPTP then it is easy for the providers to detect and therefore it is often limited (especially in southern europe and USA). It is better to connect with OpenVPN if you can as it is much more difficult to detect (especially the 'Restrictive' server) and therefore more difficult to limit.

How do I get started?

You get started by purchasing an account. Try f.ex. an unlimited account for a number of months or a pay-as-you-go account which has a number of GB (if you want to watch a lot of TV/video online then we recommend an unlimited account as the most economic).
You will then immediately receive an email with your username/password and instructions for installing. Log in to 'My Account' at the top of this page and choose 'Get Started' then you will be guided through the installation process.

We have two connection methods, OpenVPN and PPTP. We recommend to try OpenVPN first, it is very easy to install on Windows and works great in most cases. On Mac you can use Tunnelblick or PPTP. Tunnelblick is better but also slightly more complicated to install.
We have installation guides for both OpenVPN, Tunnelblick and PPTP in this help section.

When it is installed you simply choose to connect to a VPN server and then everything will be accessible to you.
Remember when you restart your computer you have to connect again. You can check that you are actually connected properly by checking if your IP address has changed. You can see your current IP address in the footer at the bottom of this page.

If you run into problems then we are ready to help, but most get it installed without problem. You can send us a mail, we always answer quickly (normally within a couple of hours, and some a lot faster). You may also phone us (see number at the top of this page) but we recommend to email us as we may have to send you detailed instructions.

Why are you registered in The Bahamas?

Our company is actually registered in two places, both in The Bahamas and in Denmark (it is two different companies). It is thus the Danish company you are trading with when you purchase our service which is also noted at the bottom of the page and in our Terms and Conditions. It is the company in The Bahamas that is delivering the actual service. We have specifically made it this way to avoid Danish and EU regulation regarding logging of internet usage. If our Danish company was delivering the service then we would have to log our users actions on the internet whenever they are using the service (e.g. logging each time they enter a website, with the time, IP address etc.). As we want to offer full anonymity to our clients it is necessary that we deliver the service from outside the EU.

Can I have a free trial account?

Unfortunately we do not have the possibility for free trials, but we do have a 6 months Full Satisfaction Or You Money Back Guarantee. If you are not satisfied for any reason then we can refund you 100%, even if you have used the service, just by letting us know this within 6 months of your purchase. Also note that all purchases are one-time purchases that expire on their own when the period ends (if you do not renew it).



Installation

It was working fine, then I rebooted and now it doesn't! I'm using Windows Vista/7/8. What's happening?

If you are able to log on, but your IP address is not changed and/or the website you were using is saying you are still outside the country or is blocked.
This usually happens if OpenVPN-gui is not running as 'Administrator'. You can see how to do this in Steps 9-12 in our guides (select guide above).

You can check if it is routing through our server by seeing if your IP address has changed after log-on. Notice your IP address, as reported by this website in the footer below or go to www.myip.dk and note your IP address. Afterwards log on to the VPN server and then reload the webpage to see if the IP address has changed. Note that the 'local' IP address (10.x.x.x) that you see when connecting is not the actual IP address that other websites can see.

Remember to restart OpenVPN-Gui after you have set it to run as 'Administrator'. You can do this by choosing 'Exit' from the OpenVPN icon and then starting it again from the CitizenVPN folder in the Start Menu, or simply by restarting your computer.
Every time you restart Windows it will ask you for permission to make changes, please allow this or it will not work.

Does it work with Apple TV?

Apple TV does not have built-in support for VPN so it is not directly compatible.
However, if you want to make it work with Apple TV then you can get your router to connect to our VPN (if it supports it) or you can insert a secondary router (between your Apple TV and your existing router) which then connects to the VPN. We can help with the setup for this so let us know if you want to try that (there are some pitfalls that we would like to tell you about before you go out and buy a new router).

Can I connect from different devices at the same time with the same account?

No. Currently you are not able to simultaneously connect from several devices. This is because we have to avoid abuse in such as a single account that is shared between several people.
You can, however, install it on as many devices you like. But you can only connect from one of them at a time. If you try it anyway then you will get an error like 'password incorrect'.
In the near future we will be adding a family-account type where you will be able to connect several devices at the same time on the same account.
Currently your only option for simultaneous connection is to use two or more different accounts. You might want to consider your usage, and choose a Pay-As-You-Go account as the secondary account if you do not watch a lot of TV/Video from that account anyway, this can greatly reduce the cost.

Can I use my router to connect to the VPN?

You can indeed use your account on a router.

Please note that most routers only support PPTP and not OpenVPN. As PPTP is often blocked or limited by internet providers it is a good idea to check if you can connect with PPTP from your computer first. If the speed is ok, then you can assume that it will also work on your router.

You might want to try it out on your existing router first. This will cause all devices attached to use the VPN (which may not be desirable) but might be a good test before you invest in a new router.
The router has to support 'PPTP Client' (and not merely 'PPTP Passthrough'). We can recommend the Asus RT-N16 which is also powerful enough to handle the encryption (we have tested up to 10 Mbit). Most of the really cheap routers can not be recommended as they are not powerful enough and therefore the speed will be limited.

It is also possible to install a free open-source operating system on many standard routers, which is called dd-wrt and which supports OpenVPN. This is, however, not for the faint-at-heart and is only recommended for experts. If you still want to try it we can send you a 'startup' script that creates the setup when dd-wrt is installed. You can see more on dd-wrt.com.

If you have more questions or need help with the setup please let us know. It is a good idea to send screenshots of the menu in your router if you are stuck, then we can help more easily.

Which OpenVPN server (Standard, Alternate or Restrictive) should I choose?

For each country there are three OpenVPN servers: Standard, Alternate and Restrictive. Try them in that order and use the fastest.

For example:

First you choose which country-server to use.

For each country you will see, in the OpenVPN control panel, server-names such as:

CitizenVPN-DK-Standard (this connects with UDP on port 1194)
CitizenVPN-DK-Alternate (this connects with UDP on port 80)
CitizenVPN-DK-Restrictive (This connects with TCP on port 443)

Simply try them in that order. If you can't connect to the Standard server or if it is very slow then it is because it is being restricted by the firewall you are behind, try the other servers.
The 'Restrictive' server is so-named because it almost always works even if you are behind a very restrictive firewall. The 'Restrictive' server connects in a different way to the others (using TCP) which can sometimes be slightly slower, so if the others work for you then you might find them a little faster.

Internet providers often throttle the speed to save money. They might make websites show up faster and slow down downloads. As the OpenVPN servers mimic different types of data, the speed on each server might be different (if your provider is throttling). Simply use the fastest one.



Technical

What protocols do you support?

We currently support PPTP (with MSCHAPv2 and 128bit MPPE encryption) and OpenVPN (with 256bit AES encyption).
In the future we will also be supporting L2TP/IPSec, and your existing account will automatically be able to use any new protocols that we add.

Is there any bandwidth limit?

No. All accounts use high-speed servers with 100 Mb/sec connections hosted in tier-1 data-centers. Bandwidth will be increased as necessary.

Is there a bandwidth cap?

On Unlimited Accounts there is no cap. On PayAsYouGo accounts you pay by the amount of bytes that you use so there is obviously a cap depending on how many bytes you purchased.

Do you block or filter anything?

No. Our purpose is to unblock and remove filters.

Do you use Danish IP addresses?

Yes, the Danish server is hosted in a major data-center in Denmark so your IP address will appear to come from there if you connect to the DK server. Other servers are hosted in their respective countries and use IP addresses from those countries.

My ISP blocks everything but port 80 and 443, can I still use CitizenVPN?

Yes! You can connect with OpenVPN (download personalized installer from My Account) and choose to connect on ports 80 or 443 or 1194 with either TCP or UDP. All accounts may freely choose which type of connection (PPTP or OpenVPN) they wish to use at any time.

Does it work with NetFlix?

Yes! You can use NetFlix from anywhere in the world by using the USA, UK or DK server (NetFlix content varies from country to country). If using NetFlix on your TV either through a NetFlix-ready device or PS3,Wii or XBox360, etc, then you have to configure your router to connect automatically.

Does it work with Hulu, Pandora and other streaming media services?

Yes! Generally, if it works in the USA, UK or Denmark you can just use the appropriate server to access it from anywhere in the world.

What is the difference between a Proxy and a VPN?

With a proxy you have to configure each program to use the proxy, and any program you have not configured does not use it. With a VPN you configure it once and everything you do on the net goes through the VPN so you are always protected. Also a proxy does not encrypt your connection so you are not protected against hackers or vira when using e.g. open WiFi hotspots. CitizenVPN provides VPN so you are always protected and your connection is encrypted with strong encryption.



Troubleshooting

I get Error 619 when I try to connect with PPTP?

Errorcode 619 is a general code that can have many causes but basically your computer can't reach our server for some reason so usually this is a local problem on either your computer or with your connection. Below are listed some general things you can try with regards to this error-code.

You can try the following steps, there are quite a few and they may not all apply, but try some of them (not necessarily in the order they are listed):

1) Restart computer and try again. (This may seem banal, but often works)

2) Delete the PPTP VPN configuration and create it again. Be sure that the server-name (also called 'internet address') is correct, and try again.

3) If you have the possibility then try with another computer (on the same internet connection). If it still doesn't work then it is probably a problem with your router or internet supplier so go to Step 8.

4) Install the latest service-pack for your operating system, if it is not already installed. After that, delete and re-create the VPN configuration.

5) Disable firewall software. Disable Norton Antivirus and Norton Internet Security. Norton and other anti-virus software can sometimes create problems. If it works after you have disabled this software then contact support for the software in question and explain it interrupts PPTP connections.

6) Re-install the driver for your network-card. This is for advanced users, if you are unsure then either contact support for your device or perhaps find a tech-savvy friend. Afterwards try the connection again.

7) Re-check that the server-name (or 'internet address') has been entered correctly. If it is possible to choose VPN type select PPTP (and not L2TP/ipsec or SSTP).

8) If you, in step 3, found out that another computer on the same internet connection also doesn't work with PPTP then it is probably a problem with your router. In your routers configuration, there is sometimes an option for 'PPTP Pass-Through' which should be enabled. This can also be referred to as 'Protocol 47' (not to be confused with 'Port 47') or 'GRE'. You can usually access your router config by entering 'http://192.168.1.1' or 'http://192.168.0.1' or 'http://192.168.0.100' or 'http://192.168.1.100' in your webbrowser (or please refer to your routers manual).

9) Contact your Internet Provider and ask specifically if they block PPTP VPN or if they can check your router configuration with regards to PPTP Pass-Through.

I get Error 800 when I try to connect with PPTP?

Your firewall/router might be blocking port 1723 or GRE (protocol 47). Please disable any firewall software you might have running (such as ZoneAlarm or Norton Internet Security etc) and/or check your router if it is blocking this and open it. Your router might have an option called 'PPTP Pass-Through' which should be enabled. If you continue to have problems, consider connecting with OpenVPN instead.

I get Error 868 when I try to connect with PPTP?

Most likely you miss-typed the server name in the configuration, please double-check it.

I can't connect to the VPN. It says the password is wrong (PPTP) or 'Auth Failed' (OpenVPN/Tunnelblick)?

This can sometimes happen if you are logged in and then loose connection (f.ex. the network plug falls out) without logging off first. It can typically take 5-15 mins before the server notices and logs you out automatically and in the meantime you can't log back in (if more than 20 mins has passed please contact customer support).

It can also happen if you are already connected on one computer and then try to connect from another. You can only connect from one computer at time so disconnect from the first computer and then you can connect from the other.

It connects ok with OpenVPN but I still can't access blocked websites and my IP address is not changed.

This usually happens if OpenVPN-gui is not running as 'Administrator'. You can see how to do this in Steps 9-12 in our guides above.

You can check if it is routing through our server by seeing if your IP address has changed after log-on. Note your IP address in the footer below. Afterwards log on to the VPN server and reload the webpage to see if the IP address has changed. Note that the 'local' IP address (10.x.x.x) that you see is not the actual IP address that other websites can see.

Remember to restart OpenVPN-Gui after you have set it to run as 'Administrator'. You can do this by choosing 'Exit' from the OpenVPN icon and then starting it again from the CitizenVPN folder in the Start Menu, or simply by restarting your computer.
Every time you restart Windows it will ask you for permission to make changes, please allow this or it will not work.

I am getting a slow speed when using the VPN. Why?

Generally there can be several reasons for speed/bandwidth problems:

1) If your computer is not powerful enough. As the connection is encrypted your computer needs to use extra power to decrypt what it receives. If you have a small or old notebook computer or a mobile device then this can be the issue. Try on a bigger computer while using the same internet connection if possible and see if this changes anything. If you have configured your router to connect to the VPN then maybe it is too small/weak (try instead to configure your computer directly).

2) Your internet provider is limiting the bandwidth/speed on PPTP or OpenVPN. To save money, some internet providers limit the bandwidth on purpose as many VPN users use a lot of bandwidth. To find out if this is happening try your computer on a different internet connection that is using a different provider (at a friend, at work, at a cafe, etc.) if you have the possibility. It is most common that PPTP is limited but it is also possible to limit OpenVPN but fewer do this as it is technically difficult/expensive. Try OpenVPN and use the 'Restrictive' server, this is the most difficult to limit in bandwidth (but still possible). You can also change the 'Alternate' server to use port 443 instead of 80, contact customer support for help with this.

3) Your speed/bandwidth measurement may be wrong. Speed measurements can be quite wrong sometimes.
Perhaps the connection between your internet provider and the server you are speedtesting on happens to be slow or congested. It is therefore important to speed-test several times and compare the results. If you use speedtest.net then do several measurements to different speedtest.net servers and calculate an average.
Speed-tests to danmark can be done at hastighedstest.tdc.dk.

4) If you are experiencing low download speeds with BitTorrent it might be because most seeders are behind a firewall and so are you when you are using our VPN. Unfortunately it is not possible to open a port so outsiders can connect directly to your computer (which in theory could increase the speed). Try to download other files with many seeders to see if the speed is different then.

Why does the ping (latency) increase when I connect to the VPN?

It is normal for the ping (latency) to increase when using a VPN.
The ping time (latency) simply means the amount of time it takes for a signal to go from your computer to the server and back again. When you connect to a VPN server then the signal has to go to the VPN server first, then to the website and then back to the VPN server and then back to your computer. If you are located e.g. in the US and use the VPN server in the UK but access a webserver in the US. Then the signal has to cross the Atlantic ocean four times: 1) From your computer to the VPN server. 2) From the VPN server to the Website. 3) From the website to the VPN server and 4 from the VPN server to your computer.
As the signal travels almost at the speed of light and there is no way for us to change this (yet) then there is nothing we can do about this unfortunately.

If you can, use a VPN server that is closest to you (or the site/service you are using) as possible. This will reduce the latency (ping time).< br/>
Also note that sometimes signals go via satellite which have an even higher latency. This all depends on where you are connecting from and where the service you are using is located.



Security

If I use BitTorrent, am I still anonymous?

Yes! Others will only be able to see our VPN servers' IP address, not yours.

How can I trust it is encrypted and can you monitor my data?

We have two different connection methods with different encryption. Tunnelblick for Mac and OpenVPN for Windows are both OpenVPN clients (an open standard) which use AES-256bit encryption (very strong) and if you connect with PPTP (can be done easily with most operating systems, incl. iPhone/iPad/Android etc) then MPPE 128bit is used (less strong, but still strong).

To see if your connection is actually in fact encrypted it is best to check the log-file.

For OpenVPN/Tunnelblick:

Tunnelblick and OpenVPN each has their own log-file that shows the same things when you connect. You can find the logfile in the menu. It is quite long so you have to search for something that looks like the following:

Data Channel Encrypt: Cipher 'AES-256-CBC' initialized with 256 bit key

Data Channel Encrypt: Using 160 bit message hash 'SHA1' for HMAC authentication

Data Channel Decrypt: Cipher 'AES-256-CBC' initialized with 256 bit key

Data Channel Decrypt: Using 160 bit message hash 'SHA1' for HMAC authentication

Control Channel: TLSv1, cipher TLSv1/SSLv3 DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA, 1024 bit RSA

As you can see there are two 'channels', a 'Data' channel where all your internet traffic is sent and a 'Control' channel where control signals are sent back and forth to control the traffic. In this example it shows it is using 'AES-256-CBC' encryption on the data-channel with a 256bit key. On the control-channel it is using TLS which also is AES encryption but with a 1024bit key.

You can read more about AES here: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Advanced_Encryption_Standard
and TLS here: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Transport_Layer_Security

With PPTP:

It varies on the different operating systems but basically when you are connected you can choose to see a 'Status' window which will then show it is using MPPE encryption with 128bit. You can also in the configuration set it to use 'Strongest encryption' instead of 'Automatic', this will not really change anything but you can then be sure it is actually using 128bit encryption because if our servers should one day not use encryption (as this is an option in PPTP) then it will not connect at all (which it would if it is set to 'automatic').

You can read more about MPPE encryption here: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/MPPE

Regarding if we can determine what type of data you are sending/receiving or if we can see this data, then it is technically possible for us. We have to stress though that doing so would be strictly illegal, just like it is illegal for your internet provider to do the same (although they do have to log your usage). As we are administering the servers from our Danish company then we are under Danish law in this regard. We must also stress that the security/privacy of using a VPN lies in the fact that even if the authorities (or others) were to monitor the data-traffic from our server then they would only be able to see what data is sent/recieved but not be able to determine which of the many current users it belongs to. This is because there is always a number of users on the server at the same time and they will not be able to determine which user a given data-stream belongs to as they are all mingled together.

Can someone on the same network see what I am doing on the internet?

If you are each using your own computer on the same network (that is, if the person doing the surveillance does not have access to your computer but is monitoring the network as you are using it), and if you are using our VPN then the person doing the surveillance can NOT see what you are doing as long as you keep connected to the VPN. When you connect to the VPN, an encrypted tunnel is created from your computer to our server and everything is sent through this tunnel so nobody can monitor what you are doing or what you are searching for etc.

If you are both using the same computer (that is, if the person doing the surveillance has access to your computer), then he/she can pretty easilly see what you have been doing and been searching for etc. even if you have been using VPN. Your computer keeps a copy of all the web-pages you went to. However, you can tell your web-browser that it should delete everything is has been keeping by choosing to clear the 'cache' (in Firefox called 'Clear private data' in the tools menu). Alternatively you can use your browsers 'incognito' mode (f.ex. in Chrome choose to open an 'incognito' window) which makes it so that it is not keeping copies of every site you visit in that window.

Also note that the person doing the surveillance could have installed a spy-program on your computer which will then make him/her able to see everything you do even if you are using VPN. It is therefore recommended to use good anti-malware software like f.ex. the free LavaSoft Ad-aware (works like an antivirus program), as well as of course a normal antivus program (the free AVG Free is recommended). These programs will likely be able to detect most spy-programs.



My Account

I forgot my password, how can I recover it?

There is a link in the My Account page just for this, or click here. Just enter the email-address you used when you bought the account and we will send you the details immediately.
If you do not have access to the email-address you used when you signed up for the service then please contact customer support as we will have to verify that you are the rightful account owner.

I changed my password and now I can't connect to the VPN server.

It depends what you think is the easiest and what your exact situation is, but you can do one of the following:

1) Change your password back to the original, your installation should then immediately be working again.

2) If you connect with OpenVPN for Windows then download the installer again and re-install on top of the old installation. The installer is custom-made for you and automatically contains your current password.

3) If you connect with Tunnelblick for Mac then it should ask you for your new password when you try to connect.

4) If you connect with PPTP then it should be asking you to enter the new password when you try to connect.




Ask Us

We are ready to answer your questions and help with installations.

It's best to send us a mail, we reply to most mails within a few hours of reception and some much quicker. You can also phone us, but often email works better as we might need to send you detailed instructions or links etc.

You can contact us from the contact page