ViewQwest. China. Slow. You can make any sentence with these three words without negating them and the resulting statement will be true.
This is a personal, independent review of the service which I have paid for, and is in no way affiliated with AWS.
As mentioned in the inauguration article, I was in the market for a VPS with excellent internet connectivities to improve my streaming experience for content hosted in certain countries. My household streaming consumption is about 1.6TB per month, of which about a quarter, or 400GB, could use some accelerations.
Traceroute helps you quickly find out the network path and measure the transit delays of packets across the internet. The standard implementation displays only the IP or rDNS entries, which may not allow you to identify the geographic path at first glance.
We love to use Cloudflare CDN because it improves latency and uptime, and the price is just right (free) for the starter pack.
Normally, a web server’s ports 80 and 443 would be opened to the public internet, with access restricted by selected IP ranges by either ASN or country, depending on what the administrator has configured. But if you are using Cloudflare’s CDN service, you can permit TCP 80/443 access only to their servers, and block all other incoming requests. You can then fine-tune access control using Cloudflare’s web application firewall. It would greatly reduce your web server’s attack surface.
If you have been in the market of shopping for a cloud instance, you will notice the offerings are deceptively similar: 1 vCPU + 1GB memory with a 20GB disk and 1TB bandwidth, for the same price. Are they really similar though?
Far from it.
Let’s say you have a Cloud VM lying around with, it is entirely possible to turn it into a personal proxy for your internet traffic. It is probably not going to help you unlock region-protected content since services like Netflix and Hulu would probably have blocked the IP range operated by hosting service providers, but it may still be useful in cases where you need to get around your ISP’s slow network transit and peering issues.
So you’ve got your first Linux VM, hurray! Here is a quick prep guide to get it up to speed.
In this example (and throughout this blog), I’ll assume you’re using the Debian-based Ubuntu 18.04 LTS – which is ideal as it comes with newer software packages and is quite a bit easier to manage than CentOS.
Setting hostname and timezone
After SSH-ing into the terminal, the first two things you’d want to do is update the hostname and timezone settings of your VM. These can be done by the following commands:
In the course of the past few months, I have deep dived into a cloud journey over a myriad of service providers. From the big boys like Azure, AWS, and GCP, to the more traditional VPS hosting companies and niche cloud players such as Alibaba Cloud and Oracle Cloud.
I have been a Windows guy for the longest time. The last time I’ve actually touched a Linux machine was in my university days, and it was not by choice. I like Windows for its ease of management with 90% of the things presented in the GUI. Windows being resource-hungry also didn’t concern me much. After all, my Hyper-V server comes with an abundance of CPU power and memory, and I can always assign more vCPU/RAM or create additional VM at little to no cost.