A Guide to Using ÉlanVPN's VPN Products

For instructions on how to install the OpenVPN client for your particular device, and configure it with your login credentials from ÉlanVPN, please see the applicable page for your platform:

Windows
For Win64 and Win32 systems using OpenVPN
Linux
For 64-bit Linux systems using OpenVPN
Mac
For Mac OSX systems using Tunnelblick
Android
For Android 4.0+ devices using a port of OpenVPN
iOS
For iPhone and iPad devices using a port of OpenVPN


Performing Manual Authentication

Our user VPN configurations are shipped with automatic scripts which are meant to log you in automatically immediately following a successful connection to our network. (The exception is the Android platform, due to the fact that Android has no native scripting language available.)

Nevertheless it is a good idea to know how to perform a manual login when necessary, i.e. when the automatic login script fails. This might happen if your subscription has expired, for example, or if our website or one of its login services is temporarily unavailable. In these cases it is useful to login manually, so that you can see for yourself what is going wrong.

If the auto-login procedure fails, you should see some indication of this in your VPN logfile. Another symptom is that all surfing still fails after you connect to the VPN. (This can happen if, for example, your subscription has expired.)

Step 1. To begin a manual login, connect to the ÉlanVPN Max network and open your favorite browser to this URL:
https://www.elanvpn.net/auth/login.php
If you cannot access this page, please check that you are indeed connected to our VPN. Also check your basic internet connection. Our site is the one domain you can surf to on the VPN without being properly logged in, so that you can view our help and contact pages (such as this one).

A successful access of our login page will redirect you to a customized login page, with a name like this:

https://www.elanvpn.net/auth/login_form-3pFKkwvWewbVLrPNiwtB6EY2rnG8EjMGzdTyzQtfS9wk.php

(this URL is purely an example; this page does not exist)

If you do not get redirected to such a page, but can surf to other sites just fine, this is an indication that you are not actually connected to our VPN. You will need to resolve your connectivity issue first before logging in. (Check the logfile for your VPN client.)

Step 2. This page asks you for your Max Id and Password. (These are given in the README files found in the unzipped folders containing your VPN configurations.) Enter them and click the Login button.

Step 3. If your login is successful, you will see a text page indicating this, below a very large URL, which you need to visit in order to complete your login. Either paste the URL into your browser, or use the handy "Click here" link provided just below it. You should then see a line of text which says, "Connection authenticated, please continue surfing." If so, you are good to go!

If the manual login fails for any reason, you will be shown an error page explaining the problem. Normally you do not need to enter your credentials manually, since our auto-login script performs all these steps for you automatically.

If you need to contact us concerning trouble accessing your service, please do so at:
support AT elanvpn DOT net.
Please email us only from the email address registered against your account. If your problem is not related to your particular login credentials, we may ask you to provide us with an attachment showing extracts from your VPN logfile. Typically, you can just copy the contents of your log and paste it into your email, or into a file attachment.


Pro Tips!

1. Location, location, location
The effect of being connected to a VPN is to change your apparent IP address. Using a service called "GeoIP," blocks of IP addresses are mapped to a list of countries and ISPs. The ÉlanVPN Max VPN selects exit nodes for users depending upon traffic, and the location of the IP address (website) you are trying to visit. This means that your apparent IP address will change once you connect to our VPN. It also means that it may change dynamically during your session, and may be the same or different during your next session. While this is a cool feature, you do want to be careful not to inadvertently compromise your real IP address. Here are some do's and don'ts in that regard:

A. DO use only our DNS servers while you are connected to the VPN. If you have installed your client and credentials as we have recommended, then the list of DNS servers used by your device will be auto-edited to point to our DNS servers after your VPN is connected, and revert to its previous contents when you disconnect from the VPN. This prevents your ISP from seeing all the DNS lookups for the sites you visit while connected to the VPN. Note that our DNS servers are not accessible when you aren't connected to ÉlanVPN.

B. DO turn off Geo-IP and Wifi discovery spy features in your browser. For example, in Firefox you can go to the internal URL about:config and set:

geo.enabled
false
geo.wifi.uri
localhost

These values prevent your browser from revealing your real IP when asked by a website, or the list of Wifi SSIDs visible from your physical location. (Thanks to Google Streets, the Wifi "fingerprint" can localize you within a city block.) We encourage you to research these settings further (DuckDuckGo-SSL is your friend) and make your own informed choices.

C. DO NOT suppose that you always want to be connected to the VPN for any and all purposes. For example, suppose that you use it to log in to your online banking site provided by your local bank. Bam! They think someone from a foreign country has hacked your account. Quick, lock out the login and freeze the account balance! (This is not a joke, this could happen very easily.)

D. DO NOT assume that hiding your IP address hides your identity. Many websites (probably most, these days) use cookies and tracking pixels and social media logins to track you everywhere you go. So if you (for example) log into Facebook on the VPN, and then go to another site which uses the Facebook API, guess what? The other site will still know who you are, even though it may not recognize your IP address. This situation is best addressed by installing additional browser plugins such as uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger, NoScript/ScriptSafe, Priv3, BetterPrivacy, Flashblock/Flash Control, and HTTPS-Everywhere. Again, we encourage you to do your own research. (Although we don't necessarily agree with everything said therein, this guide is a good place to start.)


2. Dude, where's my mail?
Our VPN configuration blocks all traffic to port 25, which is allocated for SMTP daemons, i.e. to send email. This means that you cannot send outgoing email using this port. You can use a webmail service, or connect to an alternate mail server port. Many email services support alternate client delivery ports, 465 being a common one. Contact your email hosting provider.

The email ports for sending and receiving email related to your ÉlanVPN Max email account are only accessible when connected to the VPN. For more info on using this service, see our guide page here.

Your email username and password (which work for all of your email address aliases) are shown at the top of your README files.


3. Dude, where's my BitTorrent?
Dude, are you serious? Many uninformed (or disingenuous) providers of single-hop VPN services permit their clients to use filesharing and other p2p applications over their network. In order to support this, dedicated unique ports have to be opened up on the VPN exit IPs, and assigned to the user. (This process is known as "port forwarding.")

HELLO! This means that all of your p2p traffic is passing through a single port on the VPN exit, assigned to you and routed back to your actual home IP! In short, doing this negates your VPN anonymity. Completely. As in you're toast if any authority ever sends a polite note to your VPN provider. (Or even without that, if an observer can see all of the traffic.)

Since we take our customer's privacy very seriously, and have no wish to be able to deanonymize our own customers upon command, our network is properly configured, and therefore does not permit our users to create personalized ports on our exit nodes! This means that p2p filesharing applications in general will not work over our network. In particular, you cannot "seed" a torrent, or run a "full node" Bitcoin client, etc., to which other parties external to our network can connect. Security first. Deal.


4. And where's my private cloud storage?
Your subscription comes with 1 GB of free storage. This can only be accessed while connected to the VPN. You will find it in an OwnCloud at this URL:
https://storage.cryptogroup.net/
The username and password asked for are the same as your MaxId and Password found at the top of any README file in your credentials directories. More details about this service can be found here.


5. What is this L2TP "limited password" thing you mention?
This password, also shown at the top any README credentials file, is for access to the L2TP mobile gateway. This is used to connect a device, usually a smartphone, to the VPN using a simple Id and Password. (The Id is your Max Id used for VPN access, but the password is different.) The L2TP password is used only at this URL:
mobile01.cryptohippie.net
The "limited password" will not get you in to the Max VPN, nor into your file storage.

We suggest that you use LT2P only where you do not have access to a full OpenVPN client. For example, the "stock" VPN clients on many Android and iOS phones and tablets can only support LT2P connections using pre-shared keys. Please note that the security here is minimal, and the VPN becomes single-hop when accessed in this mode. In short: please do not use LT2P for anything terribly serious or sensitive. Instead, use a full OpenVPN compatible client on your device, equal to version 2.3.10 or later.

For additional help and information, we refer you to the Support menu above, and to our FAQ. Best wishes and we sincerely hope you enjoy our premium VPN services!