Problem Not Resolved (VPN: PIA)

I’m creating a new thread for this unresolved issue: Can I make it to where people with VPN’s can access my site?

This ended with several answers on how to adjust your own VPN settings to make your site visible. This is an extremely unacceptable solution!

If people are going to be blocked from accessing my site on dreamhost, I will be forced to change hosts. It is unbelievable to me that you (dreamhost) haven’t recognised how serious this problem actually is for your continued viability as a service provider.

Find and implement a solution ASAP. Clock starts now!

Signed extremely disgruntled long time customer. Obviously I will no longer be recommending dreamhost to anyone so long as this issue persists.

Same problem here - 25 days and counting since I submitted the ticket on this.

I am a new customer that uses PIA and I’m very annoyed by this. I just transferred over my 3 domains and cancelled my old host to save some $, but now I can’t even view my site while connected. With the FCC on track to roll back net neutrality, I’m sure a lot of people will be leveraging VPNs to avoid snooping by their ISPs. I think that DreamHost should acknowledge they are actively blocking and provide rationale, or provide a timeline for resolution. I’m well under my 90 day refund period, so I’ll be actively monitoring this and it may play a role in my decision to request a refund and try a different host. I’ve got my site transfer steps pretty much down, so switching again will be relatively easy for me.

I did a live chat. Here’s the response:


It appears dreamhost is blocking all traffic from PIA (Private Internet Access) VPN users. Is this an issue that will be resolved soon? Or is this permanent?

Ryan T
So, the issue with VPN services is that they tend to have poor reputation IPs, since other customers share the same endpoints, and they can abuse the service to perform malicious actions. While you can open a ticket with our security team to try to get the IPs/Services unblocked, it’s very likely that they will end up banned again, due to another user’s actions.

Ryan T
Right, but I don’t know of any actions/security targeting PIA specifically. It’s more likely that most/all of their usable IPs have been blocked by our security team for user actions originating from the service. They wouldn’t preemptively go out and block an entire service’s IP range without a reason, assuming they do use a specific IP range.

The Security team may be able to provide more information about this issue via a ticket, but as far as I know, there’s been no action targeting PIA specifically.

Hello @kuma133

I apologize for the inconvenience, DreamHost blocks abusive IP’s after a predefined threshold. If your IP is blocked, please submit a ticket with you IP included and our Abuse team can investigate. They would also be happy to address any additional concerns you may have.

Tickets can be submitted via the Support > Contact Support tab of the panel here:

Thank you!

Everything that has come out of dreamhost seems to still be related to solving my ability to access my own site. This is not the problem!

You are a webhost. If you’re blocking VPN IPs, that means a VERY large number of people may not be able to access my website. This is failure at providing the basic function for which you are being paid!

Since you don’t seem to see this as a problem in urgent need of resolution, I have no choice but to begin searching for a new host. Way to flush your core business down the drain!

Further, please note that I use a VPN to protect my privacy on a near constant basis. Dreamhost is one of the only sites that I cannot access. I have no issue accessing thousands of other websites. This means you (dreamhost) are doing it wrong. As more and more people seek shelter from snooping ISPs and coffee shop data skimmers, you are swimming in the wrong direction! Heck, even Duet Display just announced they’ve launched a partnership with a VPN today!

You chose to hide your true identity/location by using a VPN. This is your decision. Take responsibility. There are always consequences to actions. If you don’t want to be blocked, don’t use PIA.

Dreamhost has explained that in order for them to block IP addresses, there would need to be repeated abuse. This protects all of us. Thank you Dreamhost.

You seem to have a mistaken impression of the value of a VPN. Yes, they can be used as you’ve described. But the primary reason more and more people are using them is encryption. By providing an encrypted tunnel, a VPN can prevent the data miner on your local coffee shop’s WiFi from stealing your login/password. So when you buy an app, order something off amazon or just login to a social media platform you’re not giving someone else access.

But again, this isn’t about MY use of a VPN. Or one of the better VPN providers: PIA. (Although that’s the only way I found out my webhost was being stupid.)

This is about the ever increasing number of people using VPN that won’t be able to access any of our sites hosted on dreamhost! If you don’t think this is a problem, you’re just not aware how much potential traffic this is blocking! Or how much MORE traffic it will be blocking by this time next year.

EDIT: I’ve noticed another thread where the creator actually wants to block VPN users from his store. He hasn’t really explained why he feels this is necessary or even desirable. So long as a customer provides valid payment information (and other necessary details for order fulfilment) I can’t understand why you care that the customer added another layer of data security to the transaction?

And I think because you use a VPN and understand the benefits for your interests, you may be missing the overall abuse that some use anonymous IPs for.

I’ve managed sites since the mid 1990s and have seen so much malicious activity from VPNs that eventually I had no choice other than to block all VPNs on all servers. So I understand why Dreamhost has also been put in this position.

However, out of 60 or 70 thousand daily page loads, I see very few coming from VPNs. Some niches may vary, but IMO they are not used as much as you think, and if a VPN user does get blocked from accessing a site, the user can easily use their actual IP if they’re truly interested.

I won’t deny the anonymising factor present problems.

Canadians initially began turning to them to bypass content restrictions. You’ll have to forgive that. It sucks getting dog’s breakfast on streaming media because local media companies (also the major ISPs) are hoarding rights to media content. Trying to force us to pay for several different sub-standard services to access the same content Americans are already getting on Netflix but we are denied by an archaic system of very regional media rights sales.

But we discovered that VPNs had other benefits. Most folks I know continue to use VPNs. After a rash of warnings about people getting data skimmed in coffee shops, airports and more, I personally never use my laptop anywhere without my VPN.

Duet (a rather pricey screen sharing app for using your tablet or phone as an additional monitor) just announced they’ve signed on with a VPN. I’m frankly startled that more Americans aren’t running to VPNs in droves in the wake net neutrality’s repeal and the revelation of the NSAs rather extreme digital snooping. We Canadians though, we may seem polite. But when you mess with our healthcare or privacy, you’re gonna get jersied!

At the end of the day, the marketing content I was planning to upload I want to be accessible. Dreamhost is blocking what I consider to be a significant enough portion of my audience that I’m very upset. I don’t expect my audience to bother figuring out that their VPN IP is the cause of their not getting to my content. I’ve just lost eyeballs that should have seen my content. That does not do me good.

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