My dad is living in the US and would like to watch French TV channels. I've looked a bit and saw several VPN services on the web which offer a solution to that issue.

I was thinking, would my Raspberry PI powerful enough to run a VPN client for my dad' TV?

EDITED for clarity

  • You dont need a Pi to do that. You get a VPN or VPS at france with allot of bandwidth and as little cpu/ram/hdd possible. Linux preferably. Then on your Machine you connect to that machine and select option, route traffic via VPN. Et Viola, your IP is now France and all traffic goes through there. To make it transparent you should use something like DD-WRT or pfsense. None of which run on ARM yet.. I think. Any other way is just a nightmare. – Piotr Kula Nov 24 '14 at 20:26
  • You don't get it. I want the PI to be the VPN client for my Dad's TV. – plus- Nov 25 '14 at 13:01
  • No, apparently no. For your dads TV? So, the TV must always use the VPN and pretend to be in France? Create a VPN tunnel to where ever (USA-> France VPS) over the primary LAN, and route "all" traffic via the tunnel (This is complicated). So whatever connects to the Pi "connects to France" You might need another LAN USB or WiFi and bridging. (Kind complicated) Also, DHCP server and DNS. This is pretty advanced stuff. The Pi is capable to handle this with Raspbian libraries, firewall rules and allot of hours of messing around. But, yea. It will work. Good Luck. pfsense is easier. – Piotr Kula Nov 25 '14 at 14:26
  • Yea, I am sorry but pfsense is not yet ported to ARM :( I am still waiting too. pfsense is really nice because it has a web GUI, you set up virtual LAN's, route traffic from TV to VPN, install plugins, all from the GUI. Its really great. But you need a x86. Any old clunker from P4 (power hungry) Celeron (will do and cheap on Watts). Old Laptop/netbook maybe? I wish pfsense ran on Pi. It would be awesome! New Atom dual core prototyping boards like the Pi are on the way for slightly more than the Pi but runs Debian 64Bit :) Who will be first. You can try and install FreeBSD also – Piotr Kula Nov 25 '14 at 19:09

From experience, I know that the Raspberry Pi is powerful enough to do this, however, keep in mind that the upload speed on the side providing the stream must be high enough.

If on your side (France) you only have a basic ADSL connection (e.g. from Orange), the upload speed may not be high enough to provide a usable video stream: audio will be fine, but video will be really low quality in that case (again, from experience !)

To enhance the answer, as I may have misinterpreted your use case: in my case the VPN servers are installed at the 'sites' where the TV channels are available for normal home use (i.e. watching on a regular TV set), but additionally are available for watching on a pc or tablet.

In your case, you (in France) would be running the VPN server (on a Raspberry Pi), allowing your dad (in the US) to virtually connect (using VPN client software) to your local network and watch TV (using your subscription) on his pc or tablet (or even stream it to a TV set, e.g. using ChromeCast like devices)

  • Well I plan to use one of the many paid service VPN that exist – plus- Nov 24 '14 at 13:50
  • So I take it, that you do not want to use a RPi? Renders the question a little bit useless. – Ghanima Nov 24 '14 at 14:51
  • @Ghanima The Rpi would be running the VPN client – plus- Nov 24 '14 at 15:05
  • Maybe you could edit your question to reflect that fact. – Ghanima Nov 24 '14 at 15:29
  • Sorry everyone, I think my question was confusing. I edited it to clarify I want the Pi to be plugged on my Dad's TV and run a VPN client. – plus- Nov 25 '14 at 13:04

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