Can my Shake operate with a VPN?

I have been using a VPN recently for a variety of reasons. The Shake is located on my local ethernet with a Cat6 cable. The Shake has been up and continuously operating for over a year. I started having connectivity issues after I installed the VPN (NordVPN). Does this create a conflict with the Shake?

It should work via a VPN, always provided that the VPN is reliable, and doesn’t drop data or block certain ports/protocols.

In particular, it needs to pass UDP, which is not always true of VPNs - but in that case you would see complete failure, not intermittent problems.

From the manual, these are the ports/protocols needed:


These are the IP:port combinations that need to be open to use the Raspberry Shake:

  • rs.local:80 (http) [TCP] - the Raspberry Shake’s internal web configuration page
  • 123 [UDP] - NTP, necessary for time-stamping seismic data
  • [TCP] - Continuous seismic data is sent to the Raspberry Shake Community Server through this port in packets 4 times per second over a continuously open socket with the server
  • [TCP] - Meta-Data is sent to the Raspberry Shake Community Server through this port once at system startup

A third-party VPN provider is likely to have issues with “permanent” open TCP connections (such as the one on port 5555) and I would not be surprised to see that connection drop from time to time.

I would try to exclude your R-Shake from the VPN if you can.


Hello OBSeismo, and welcome back to the community!

We have other Shakers that use their instruments within a VPN, so when you changed to NordVPN, some settings must be adjusted for complete data transmission. If you follow Philip’s advice, you should be able to restore full connection between your Shake and our servers.

If not, please download the logs from the Shake itself and post them here, so that I can take a more detailed look into the situation. If yo need instructions on how to do so, you can find them at this page: Please read before posting!

Thank you.

RSH.R2DEF.2023-09-15T16_42_48.logs.tar (3.8 MB)

Hello Stormchaser and Philip:

I’ve been quiet out here because my little Shake has been purring along without any problems for quite a while!

I looked at settings for NordVPN and could only find options to exclude entire apps, rather than specific ports. So I could use some help there if possible.

This conflict seems to affect the connection rather than the device itself. After being down for several hours yesterday (9/14) I rebooted my desktop (not the Shake) and left the VPN off. All the Shake status lights looked normal. I got a good connection back when I unplugged/replugged the cat6 cable.

Here are the log files.

Thanks for the help!


1 Like

Where is the VPN installed?
If it is on your desktop, and the 'shake has it’s own connection to your router, there should be no interference between the two.

Some people put the VPN on their router, and EVERYTHING goes through it.
But if it is just installed on individual computer(s) only those systems pass via the VPN.

I do see some bursts of errors trying to connect to, but that could be due to the server (?) I will leave Stormchaser to sort through those.

1 Like


The VPN is installed on my Win10 desktop which is the primary network display. There are several other computers and devices on the network, but the VPN is not installed on them. The VPN is not installed on the router. The Shake has its own connection to the router. So that’s pretty clear.

But when I monitor the Shake locally via Swarm doesn’t the connection go through the VPN? Same goes for jAmaseis monitor via SeedLink. I’m showing my ignorance here about what’s really going on with the VPN.

What server are you referring to with respect to the bursts of errors? Related to VPN? Now that I have been watching, everything has behaved well (typical computer “gaslighting”).

Thanks, OBS

1 Like

Depends on how your VPN is configured.
I doubt that you have set up port forwarding on your router to allow access to your 'shake from the Internet? And that is where any connection via the VPN would be coming from. So if your connections to your 'shake were being VPN-ed, they actually wouldn’t connect. (Unless you did set up port forwarding on your router - which wouldn’t be a good idea, letting the unwashed massed of hackers loose on your 'shake.)

Most VPN configs exclude you local network. So accessing any local computer would go directly to it.
Otherwise, things would be a real pain to manage. Only IP addresses outside your local network get “captured” by the VPN and relayed to the VPN server. So it shouldn’t be having any effect.

1 Like

Thanks for your help. I am happy that the shake itself is not affected by the VPN. It appears that the VPN does affect Swarm and can shut down its connection the the shake, but that is a different problem and is manageable.
Again, many thanks for great support!!

1 Like

If I remember correctly, another user a couple of years ago reported the same problem with SWARM and VPN connections, and he had to add an exception in the VPN admin panel so that SWARM could continue reading data from the Shake.

If the problem you are experiencing persists, then it may be worth giving a look at your NordVPN documentation to see how you can do that.

Regarding the logs you’ve attached, albeit there are instances of failed connections (the ones Philip noticed) in the past, now your data stream is continuous and perfectly as it should be. However, if you require, both the community and I are always ready to help.

Thank you Philip for the excellent troubleshooting!

Swarm opens a read-only DOS window (command prompt) for Java script which stays open the entire session. I set the VPN on “split tunnel” to ignore Java windows. By the way, I had issues with Outlook and did the same there.
Now both work - I think . . .

Thanks again!