IPFS Companion doesn't work while NordVPN is active

IPFS Companion doesn’t work while NordVPN is active and slows down Brave a lot. If I turn NordVPN off, everything works as expected, though compromising my privacy.

  • Could you expand on “doesn’t work”?
  • Are you configuring it as a system-wide VPN, or as a browser proxy?
  • Does IPFS desktop work?
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Need more information, but this is not related to Companion: most likely the VPN is the cause.

NordVPN has a history of blocking or special-casing P2P protocols, and routing them over different exit nodes, which could impact libp2p connectivity and DHT announcements.

Best move you can do as a customer of NordVPN is to ask them how they deal with libp2p traffic. Then you could experiment and either NoAnnounce every network that does not to NordVPN (eg. your LAN, your ISP), or only Announce VPN specific one, if you have a static address. Mind, it is up to you to make an informed decision about your security/privacy trade-offs when you do this.

PS. IPFS node will announce all your addresses by default to maximize the p2p connectivity. This means VPN or Tor does not provide you with any privacy unless you know what you are doing, are willing to configure your node manually, and be ok with the risk that you missed something (see ipfs/notes/issues/37).