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Ideas to help forum member with internet shutdowns

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
As many of you know, we have a dear forum friend who lives in a part of the world where regular internet shutdowns and slowdowns have become a fact of life. She is able to access email and zoom, but getting on the forum is nearly impossible.

I am unable to offer any suggestions, but I am happy to be the go-between.

I wish I could connect with Ivar or Rick because they might have some other ideas besides getting rid of my cache/cookies and reinstalling Firefox. The speed is the same on my phone or my laptop, and while sometimes I can get in to read posts (it takes forever), I'm wondering if the software The Forum uses shares some key characteristics with Facebook or Twitter, which are both blocked here.

I am happy to relay the messages, fingers crossed that some of you can help. Buen camino, Laurie
 
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Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017, 2018, 2019
Unfortunately, I think that social media like this forum are exactly the kind of thing that totalitarian governments want to limit access to in times of crisis.

Try using a VPN - NordVPN has a free plan for people in extremis
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
Are we talking problems, because someone might be turning it off (like china or myanmar), or problems because of bad infrastructure (like rural places, emerging countries)? Different problems with different solutions.
 
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Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
As many of you know, we have a dear forum friend who lives in a part of the world where regular internet shutdowns and slowdowns have become a fact of life. She is able to access email and zoom, but getting on the forum is nearly impossible.

I am unable to offer any suggestions, but I am happy to be the go-between.

Your friend might look into the TOR browser, which was designed to provide users with anonymity and works like a VPN. Some countries block people from using TOR, but if your friend can get a copy of it they show a way you can configure it to work around that.




 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
@peregrina2000 , In case it isn’t evident from those links, the TOR project gives an option to get their software by email in case the download page is blocked:

“Send an email to gettor@torproject.org. Write your operating system (such as Windows, macOS, or Linux) in the body of the message and send. GetTor will respond with an email containing links from which you can download Tor Browser, the cryptographic signature (needed for verifying the download), the fingerprint of the key used to make the signature, and the package’s checksum. You may be offered a choice of "32-bit" or "64-bit" software: this depends on the model of the computer you are using; consult documentation about your computer to find out more.”

 
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Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
It also occurs to me that depending what country you live in using TOR or a VPN may not be legal, or might get you into trouble in some other way. The point of these things is that you remain anonymous and they can’t track you, but of course the Camino forum might not be the thing you want to risk anything for.

I don’t have any specific knowledge, but I wouldn’t want any suggestion I made to get someone in trouble.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I’ve used DuckDuckGo as an anonymous browser, but repressive regimes are likely on to sites such as that.
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
As many of you know, we have a dear forum friend who lives in a part of the world where regular internet shutdowns and slowdowns have become a fact of life. She is able to access email and zoom, but getting on the forum is nearly impossible.

I am unable to offer any suggestions, but I am happy to be the go-between.

I wish I could connect with Ivar or Rick because they might have some other ideas besides getting rid of my cache/cookies and reinstalling Firefox. The speed is the same on my phone or my laptop, and while sometimes I can get in to read posts (it takes forever), I'm wondering if the software The Forum uses shares some key characteristics with Facebook or Twitter, which are both blocked here.

I am happy to relay the messages, fingers crossed that some of you can help. Buen camino, Laurie
I believe that the military in Myanmar are deliberately slowing the Internet and as a result Tor and VPN's are just as slow as a straight browser.

On her (Android) phone she could use Chrome Lite mode, see https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/2392284?co=GENIE.Platform=Android&hl=en&oco=0

This doesn't work on a PC though. On a PC if she can get Opera Mini from somewhere (downloading it will obviously be slow) then that may be slightly faster.

In addition, do the normal things to speed up browsing on both the phone and PC such as only have a single tab open and no other programs running.
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
She could try turning off graphics, that will speed things up but might make the Forum hard to navigate:
Chrome

In the upper right, open the Customize and control Google Chrome menu by clicking the three horizontal bars. Select Settings.

Click the Show advanced settings... ...

Under the "Images" heading, select Do not show any images.

Click OK, and then close the Settings tab.
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
A much more complicated method may help if she wants to go down the technology hole.

On a PC if she has a mobile phone that allows its internet connection to be shared over WiFi then it is possible to combine the wired PC connection with the phone connection to get a faster combined speed, see: https://techwelkin.com/combine-multiple-internet-connections

Good luck!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
That’s a good heads up. I will make sure to pass along this information.
I agree with Les. Hopefully there is someone on this forum or knows someone that is well versed in this area and knows what the serious repercussions may be if she attempts to use some work around that has been set up by a totalitarian regime. Even for just coming to our sight this person could face profound and life changing repercussions. I have no idea but better to be safe.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
A note from Myanmar —

It's late and I just blew through a couple of hours futzing around trying to install a VPN. I can download the app but then I can't sign in— that latter step seems blocked. But Doughnut's Chrome Lite mode does seem to make a big difference. So I can read at least. The thing is, the page never fully loads and what is missing is is any ability to interact, so I can't reply or even easily like a post. But it's hugely better than nothing.

So, many thanks to all the forum helpers. I am going to be the relay messenger — from Myanmar via email to me to the forum!

And I. have also communicated all the concerns about legality and possible repercussions. Thanks so much to everyone!
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
A note from Myanmar —

It's late and I just blew through a couple of hours futzing around trying to install a VPN. I can download the app but then I can't sign in— that latter step seems blocked. But Doughnut's Chrome Lite mode does seem to make a big difference. So I can read at least. The thing is, the page never fully loads and what is missing is is any ability to interact, so I can't reply or even easily like a post. But it's hugely better than nothing.

So, many thanks to all the forum helpers. I am going to be the relay messenger — from Myanmar via email to me to the forum!

And I. have also communicated all the concerns about legality and possible repercussions. Thanks so much to everyone!
I use Lite mode on my phone all the time and I don't have any problems accessing the Forum. This probably means that the problems are related to Internet issues.
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017 Considering Invierno late (2020) In lieu of VdlP (2020)
I’ve used DuckDuckGo as an anonymous browser, but repressive regimes are likely on to sites such as that.
DuckDuckGo is search engine and not a browser.

Just be aware that that Internet Searches on DuckDuckGo are visible to your ISP and hence local authorities who can request access to your search history. Similarly just looking up a web site address via the ISP default DNS server is also logged.

To be discrete you need to use an anonymous VPN service such as NORDVPN and to configure your device to use a secure DNS service. There are many Tutorials on the Internet who can show you how to do this and it is not difficult.
 
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NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
@Marcus-UK Thank you for fixing that info! I must clearly have been operating under wrong info.
 

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