Open vpn / PIA slower on Vero4k + than older Chromebox

Hi all. Just received a Vero 4K+ and thanks, it’s great. Updated OSMC and installed the Confluence Kodi skin and it deals with 4K content plus lots of high res audio codecs. Brilliant.

One quick question though (and apologies if this perhaps covered elsewhere, but I’m not hugely tech savvy). I’ve installed OpenVPN and linked this to my Private Internet Access account and all works well, but when VPN switches on, the throughput speeds are quite slow compared to my old Chromebox (Haswell) running Libreelec. The setups are identical as far as I can see, I’ve played about with changing UDP port settings, but to no avail.

As an example, my Chromebox and Vero 4K+ both show between 200-300Mbs without VPN. Switching VPN on shows Chromebox speed at 80-100MBs but Vero between 15-30 Mbs. I’ve got the 2 boxes side by side and swapping cables and connections to keep things constant.

It’s not a dealbreaker, but is there any setting I should be looking at under OSMC that I can tweak? I assume the Vero should have the more advanced hardware, so not sure why this is the case.

Thanks in advance!

The Haswell is an Intel chip that’s lilkely to be faster than the Vero4K+'s ARM processor and accordong to Wikipedia, there’s a reasonable chance that your Haswell has AES-NI acceleration enabled, which isn’t the default on the Vero4K+.

Ah and thanks, although I’m not sure what all that means. I do get roughly the same speeds/ throughput on both devices without VPN connected though. It’s only when I switch VPN on that the Vero slows down. All settings on OpenVPN are identical on both devices as far as I’m aware.

Encrypting the data across the VPN requires processing power. The faster the processor, the more data it can encrypt, plus the Haswell might be making use of a built-in encryption engine in the CPU, which will make it even faster for AES encryption.

Thanks I understand that now. So I take it there’s no easy way to up VPN speeds on the Vero (short of trying another VPN provider)?

Well you could check the CPU usage of the Vero when you try to max out the VPN to verify if that is the bottleneck. Connect via ssh and run top

I think @dillthedog built OpenSSL with crypto extensions some time ago. This would likely yield a significant performance improvement.

This would be a good first step. You can also see CPU usage under System Info; but it won’t tell you what is responsible for the CPU usage.


Thank you. Don’t think I’m confident to understand nor implement OpenSSL with the extensions unless there’s a very simple step by step guide. I’m getting an average of 20-30MBs speed with VPN on the Vero and it’s not a deal breaker. I bought the Vero to use mostly as a plug and play Kodi box, which of course it is. Thanks for the quick responses again!

Is Vero connected via WiFi or Ethernet?
That’s another possible thing to check.


It’s on Ethernet cable. I’ve got a good internet connection of 250-300Mbs which works well with the Vero. It’s definitely the VPN that’s a factor of 10 slower. I’m fine with tinkering around settings through GUIs, less so using scripts and command lines. So unless there’s a really easy step by step guide, I’ll make do with the default settings.

Compiling OpenSSL would require a bit of command line work.
But: your request is reasonable and I will explore shipping an optimised version for this use case.


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Cool and many thanks.

Id be very interested in this Sam…is there a ‘how to’ to build OpenSSL with crypto anywhere?

Only reason is I suffer the same issue as @Bialykot and whenever I need to use my VPN for streaming I have to fire up a trusty old Mac Pro.
Its literally the only thing I use this Mac for now I have the 4K+, so id be able to retire the old beast for good if I could get improved performance from my VPN on my 4K+.
I find it crazy that that little box can do, and normally surpass, virtually everything that a Mac Pro can.

Im comfortable using the CLI.

That should actually help, if the builtin AES engine from the CPU can be used.
The Vero4k2 has it:

osmc@vero4k2:~$ cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep aes
Features:  fp asimd evtstrm **aes** pmull sha1 sha2 crc32 wp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp neon vfpv3 tlsi vfpv4 idiva idivt

If it helps a lot, I don’t know.
I do know, that in times of old VIA C3 Cpu’s that came out with it, I was able to double the encrypted traffic speeds.

It works, though stability hasn’t been tested.

@dillthedog Any chance you could do a throughput test (VPN) ?

As well as a distinct lack of time right now, my ISP speed sucks (a problem of location) and I don’t have a Vero4k+, so am restricted to 100 Mbps even if I run everything on a 1 Gbps network to a local server.

Hi Sam, you mention considering having a future optimised version of Open SSL to help speed up VPN. Would that come in a future update and be built in, or do you mean some instructions on how to get this working? Just interested how this might work.

On another note and for the benefit of others here, I’ve played about with using ExpressVPN with OpenVPN and it seems a little quicker than Private Internet Access. I can get over 40MBs with ExpressVPN compared to 30 on PIA, so a worthwhile improvement (but that’s on a 300 Mbs connection) although it would be great to speed this up with better OpenSSL.

It depends if there’s demand for this.