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Virgin Akamai Cache Congestion
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Old 01-06-2021, 10:30   #16
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Re: Virgin Akamai Cache Congestion

Bit of an update for anyone interested...

I was also having issues with Sky go / now tv / BT sport, HD quality was horrendous and 4K streams buffered and dropped to unwatchable quality.

After a bunch of various troubleshooting i worked out that virgin appear to be doing some kind of DNS hijacking (despite all my kit using 1.1.1.1/8.8.8.8) which was still sending various stuff to other IPs.

I got round this by setting up DoH on my pihole to cloudflare, i'm now getting sent to other IPs for all the above services and the quality seems a lot better.

Still testing but the above appears to have resolved this to an extent

---------- Post added at 10:30 ---------- Previous post was at 10:00 ----------

Just to add a bit of evidence to the above, with cloudflare but wiithout DoH, akadash0.akamaized.net gets me to that internal Virgin host in my OP.

However if i switch to my pihole with DoH enabled, i get sent to a104-77-160-89.deploy.static.akamaitechnologies.com [104.77.160.89]

This is repeatable every time i switch, i'm guessing virgin do this to direct customers to their own Netflix cache etc however it seems to be doing something weird in this case!
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:42   #17
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Re: Virgin Akamai Cache Congestion

So...that sounds exactly like my problem and pihole and cloudflare are also in use.

In-laws:

Router with DNS set to 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1

My house:

PiHole configured with Cloudflare on a docker instance in my Synology NAS

Both had the same issues as you e.g. buffering/incredibly bad 4K (BT ultimate) and really poor picture quality on NowTV sports (with boost) and BT sport HD.

I have set both houses to use VM's DNS for now. Will have to test properly.

Synthetic: Did enabling DoH fix this entirely? Can this be done through the PiHole gui or command line?

Last edited by Robertus; 03-06-2021 at 11:45.
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Old 03-06-2021, 15:19   #18
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Re: Virgin Akamai Cache Congestion

It's done via command line, you need to install cloudflared, there's a nice guide for it here - https://docs.pi-hole.net/guides/dns/cloudflared/

As a bit of an update, NOW TV etc is still working fine but BT sport is still poor, i dont believe they're using akamai so it could be another cache with issues but i'm still trying to track that down

---------- Post added at 15:19 ---------- Previous post was at 14:54 ----------

Scratch that, looks like BT use t1-live-euwe2-us-ak-streams-sport.akamaized.net but also seem to use cloudfront, the former appears to hit an ntl host, the latter appears unaffected and resolves to the same IP with DOH and without
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Old 03-06-2021, 15:29   #19
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Re: Virgin Akamai Cache Congestion

Yeah - think i'll stick with VMs DNS until something pops up RE the BT sport issue you're having.

Spiderplant - is this something you could take a peak at?
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Old 03-06-2021, 16:41   #20
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Re: Virgin Akamai Cache Congestion

Sorry, I can't help with this.
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Old 03-06-2021, 16:53   #21
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Re: Virgin Akamai Cache Congestion

Robertus, if you stick a static DNS entry in your pihole for the below hosts, does it resolve the BT quality issue? (might need to reboot your tv etc to flush the DNS cache)

t1-live-euwe2-us-ak-streams-sport.akamaized.net 88.221.87.171

britishtelecom.sc.omtrdc.net 18.202.158.78
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Old 07-06-2021, 21:28   #22
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Re: Virgin Akamai Cache Congestion

Can have a look, though don’t want to faff at the moment with so much sport coming up. Switching to vms own dns seems to have cleared up all of the streaming issues though.
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Old 07-06-2021, 21:37   #23
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Re: Virgin Akamai Cache Congestion

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Originally Posted by Robertus View Post
Switching to vms own dns seems to have cleared up all of the streaming issues though.
I feel a conspiracy coming on
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Old 07-06-2021, 21:48   #24
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Re: Virgin Akamai Cache Congestion

I wouldn’t say conspiracy, more a fault.

I have tried as you asked Synthetic and bt sport seemed ok for the brief time I tested. Nowtv was ropey again, as you’d expect.
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Old 08-06-2021, 09:11   #25
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Re: Virgin Akamai Cache Congestion

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Originally Posted by Robertus View Post
I wouldn’t say conspiracy, more a fault.

I have tried as you asked Synthetic and bt sport seemed ok for the brief time I tested. Nowtv was ropey again, as you’d expect.
Confirms my theory it's the akamai cache virgin's dns hijacking is sending you to (i think).

No idea how we'd get this raised to anyone in Virgin, i havent tried with virgin's own DNS, it's strange everything is fine with that

I wonder if VM have forgotten they were hijacking other DNS to an old cache, and as most customers will use their default DNS its not been brought up before now
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Old 08-06-2021, 09:40   #26
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Re: Virgin Akamai Cache Congestion

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Originally Posted by Synthetic View Post
Confirms my theory it's the akamai cache virgin's dns hijacking is sending you to (i think).

No idea how we'd get this raised to anyone in Virgin, i havent tried with virgin's own DNS, it's strange everything is fine with that

I wonder if VM have forgotten they were hijacking other DNS to an old cache, and as most customers will use their default DNS its not been brought up before now
So to confirm:

My in-laws:

Using 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1 as DNS entries on the Asus router

My house:

Using pihole, in docker on my Synology DS918+ and cloudflare (NOT cloudflarED)

Both pretty much started at the same time, roughly 2-3 months ago.

Spiderplant, I realise this isn't your bag, but could provide any assistance to getting this looked at by the relevant team? If not no worries, appreciate your responses regardless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthetic View Post
Confirms my theory it's the akamai cache virgin's dns hijacking is sending you to (i think).

No idea how we'd get this raised to anyone in Virgin, i havent tried with virgin's own DNS, it's strange everything is fine with that

I wonder if VM have forgotten they were hijacking other DNS to an old cache, and as most customers will use their default DNS its not been brought up before now

Strange it worked, wouldn't put it past reverting to type and failling next time I try :lol:
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Old 08-06-2021, 10:36   #27
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Re: Virgin Akamai Cache Congestion

Looks like Virgin are hijacking anything on port 53, which is why using another DNS like 1.1.1.1 / 8.8.8.8 doesnt work, but DoH/DoT does as port 53 is only used from your devices to your local pihole, then encrypted to the upstream DNS with DoH/DoT.

I'm not sure Virgin will even listen to us on this as it appears to be how they redirect customers to their Netflix cache (which works fine) and who knows what other caches, i know they used to do it with youtube aswell but i'm yet to notice an issue there
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Old 08-06-2021, 11:39   #28
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Re: Virgin Akamai Cache Congestion

Synthetic - are you able to post in this thread:

https://community.virginmedia.com/t5.../false#M272628

---------- Post added at 11:21 ---------- Previous post was at 10:38 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthetic View Post
Looks like Virgin are hijacking anything on port 53, which is why using another DNS like 1.1.1.1 / 8.8.8.8 doesnt work, but DoH/DoT does as port 53 is only used from your devices to your local pihole, then encrypted to the upstream DNS with DoH/DoT.

I'm not sure Virgin will even listen to us on this as it appears to be how they redirect customers to their Netflix cache (which works fine) and who knows what other caches, i know they used to do it with youtube aswell but i'm yet to notice an issue there
Looks like I'll need to figure out how to enable DoH via pihole then.

Assuming this fixes all of my issues. It is strange that this did actually work fine though.

---------- Post added at 11:39 ---------- Previous post was at 11:21 ----------

---------- Post added at 11:39 ---------- Previous post was at 11:39 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthetic View Post
Looks like Virgin are hijacking anything on port 53, which is why using another DNS like 1.1.1.1 / 8.8.8.8 doesnt work, but DoH/DoT does as port 53 is only used from your devices to your local pihole, then encrypted to the upstream DNS with DoH/DoT.

I'm not sure Virgin will even listen to us on this as it appears to be how they redirect customers to their Netflix cache (which works fine) and who knows what other caches, i know they used to do it with youtube aswell but i'm yet to notice an issue there
is there anyway I can test my DoH - I've installed cloudflared, however using the cloudflare encryption test I get a question mark for DNS sec
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Old 08-06-2021, 11:56   #29
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Re: Virgin Akamai Cache Congestion

Easiest way to test - https://1.1.1.1/help

Yes i'll post my finding over there too
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Old 08-06-2021, 14:29   #30
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Re: Virgin Akamai Cache Congestion

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Originally Posted by Robertus View Post
Spiderplant, I realise this isn't your bag, but could provide any assistance to getting this looked at by the relevant team? If not no worries, appreciate your responses regardless.
Sorry, I wouldn't even know who the relevant team is.
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