How we can make SoftEther VPN better

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andrewfer000
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed May 27, 2020 4:07 am

How we can make SoftEther VPN better

Post by andrewfer000 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:22 pm

I know I just posted about IPv6 connection issues but that got me thinking on some of the other (few) weaknesses and problems with SoftEther VPN server and how we can possibly solve them. While I am not a skilled programmer or network engineer myself (yet) I hope my suggestions can help brew some ideas for the developers of this killer VPN software.

Here is a simple list of what I will be talking about -
  • More SecureNAT features such as setting IP and Virtual NAT based on username that spans across all protocols and IPv6 DHCP support.
  • Full IPv6 support for SoftEther clients and OpenVPN (and maybe SSTP? and others if possible)
  • Remove all references to the old PacketIX software
  • Improve documentation. Especially client setup on modern GNU/Linux distributions such as Ubuntu 20.04 (Maybe a GUI client written in Python or C++ & Qt in the future?)
  • Remove as many "Soft Limits" as possible
  • It's not 2011 anymore! Make the website and icons more 2020!
  • Mobile Support
  • Now here's the most important one, Open up for donations!
Okay so here is where I go into more details in order of the list
  • SecureNAT is one of the best parts of SoftEther VPN since it allows me to create isolated virtual networks in just a few commands or clicks.
    It's great to have the ability to have an isolated network for my family and another one for friends but there is one major issue and that is the IP addresses do not stay static for users or connections. Once a user gets an IP address for their connected profile it should stick with it until either the DHCP lease expires or the IP is manually cleared. I know that every device over every protocol have virtual MAC addresses and even hostnames (I can see them in the SecureNAT Virtual DHCP status) so why can't I set dedicated IPs to them when they are connected? Also IPv6 would be a huge benefit not just for a person like me who wants a networking sandbox. IPv6 is the future so the sooner it's supported the better.
  • Once again, IPv6 is the future so the sooner SoftEther supports it the better. If somehow the developers can make it so SoftEther VPN server can use both IPv4 and IPv6 at the same time on their SoftEther protocol and OpenVPN that would be huge and would very much help the adoption of IPv6 for SoftEther VPN users. Also if the developers can find some way to get the protocols that technically don't support IPv6 to work with it that would be awesome but at that point I'm asking for too much.
  • PacketIX VPN was the old commercial version of what is now SoftEther VPN. Even though PacketIX VPN as a product is basically gone it just causes confusion in some places such as OpenVPN configuration files and some other parts of the software still mention it or have unnecessary parts of it still such as the licensing module commands in the vpncmd program. Removing the unnecessary traces of PacketIX can save some space in the OpenVPN config file and prevent confusion and by removing the license related commands from vpncmd can save some people from confusion and save some space in terminals so people don't have to scroll when looking through the commands list. Also removing the whole "Opensource" version thing from some commands would also save some people of confusion since there is no other version.
  • I am going to be honest, Your documentation on the SoftEther website is not the best and can use a little updating and touch-up. While the server setup isn't an issue the client guide is. There is NO information on how to setup SoftEther Client on GNU/Linux and that isn't good because I really want to create a home backup server for my two Virtual Private Servers running my website and using SoftEther and NFS to securely connect it all together but its very hard because the guides I use either work fine on one distributions like Debian but have issues on Ubuntu. If I had more experience with SoftEther I would be glad to share my updated guides with the SoftEther team. As for a GUI on GNU/Linux that can be done with Python or C++ and Qt. I know it's not easy and there are reasons why it may not exist but as GNU/Linux becomes more popular with Desktop users it could be a major plus.
  • About your "Soft Limits" as specified here they are a little small. At least just for the concurrent connections. While I will never get to that limit some larger organizations might.
  • For awhile, SoftEther VPN was kinda un-attrative to me because it did not look very modern with it's website and the logo looks like it came out of Windows Server 2008. Not that that's a bad thing (now I kinda appreciate it) but it can turn new users away because to someone who doesn't view the GitHub may think that the software hasn't been updated in a long time. Also putting more work into getting the admin features working on the HTML 5 control panel would be a good start and then styling it later. That would be a major step into bringing more attention to SoftEther VPN.
  • Mobile Support would be awesome and while it may be impossible on iOS I think it is perfectly feasible on Android without root. An official Open Source SoftEther VPN app would be a just awesome! Also on Android you do not have to get an expensive developer license since you can just build it and serve it as an APK on the GitHub.
  • Last but not least I saved the most important for last. In my opinion SoftEther VPN is worth a lot to the Open Source community and I know for a fact that many of the individuals like myself and businesses that use SoftEther wouldn't mind donating $5, $10 or more once or even monthly! I know you have a donations page buried in the GitHub and I think it's time for you guys to offer more and better ways for receiving donations such as a Cryptocurrency Wallet, Patron, PayPal, or better yet GitHub Sponsors! (While its on wait-list it is available in Japan and I'm sure the main SoftEther developer(s) will qualify) Even if users like myself cannot give back in code at least I can contribute back with a donation.
That's all I have to say for today and I just want to thank the SoftEther VPN developers for making such a great piece of software and I hope you take some of my suggestions. SoftEther VPN is the coolest and most advance VPN software in the world and I hope it continues to grow and get better with every new commit!

Also, I wanted to mention that creating a Discord Server may be a great way to get new users on board in the SoftEther community. Forums are so last decade and a Discord server can be a great way to give quickly communicate weather it be Developer to Developer or User to Developer and it can be a place for user's to give each other support without the forums mess. Discord also gives benefits to Open Source projects free access to premium features like HD screen sharing. Also you can give special ranks and perks to donators and contributors on the discord server to add some incentives to giving back.

That is all. If you support this or thought I missed something or got something wrong feel free to leave a comment!

drkrool
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon May 25, 2020 4:38 am
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: How we can make SoftEther VPN better

Post by drkrool » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:14 pm

First off, i'm just another user just like you, not a dev nor affiliated with softether

- I replied to your other post about IPV6, will skip this part
- I read about the entire doc and I don't recall seing reference to PacketIX. Maybe if you find such reference link them here.
- The documentation is one of the clearest I've seen. It sure skips mose of the user configuration part, but anybody with or without VPN knowledge but with networking skills can get one up and running very quickly.
- Mobile support of the softether protocol was a brought up subject somewhere here or on the github, but currently AFAIK it's not in the dev's priority as there is little demand for this as openvpn is well supported, but it's doable.

And I agree for the donation, if it can help motivate the devs, i'm all for this.

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