Allison interviews Amit Rele from Netgear about their new outdoor version of the Orbi mesh WiFi system. The family of Orbi tri-band WiFi systems is designed for a broad range of home environments. The Orbi Outdoor Satellite (RBS50Y) extends high-performance WiFi coverage outdoors by up to an extra 2,500 sq. ft. with a weather-resistant, wall-mountable, add-on unit. The Outdoor Orbi is rated at IP55 and can operate over a temperature range of -20°C to +50°C. The setting is Pepcom at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at https://www.netgear.com/orbi/
Back in August of 2013, Bart helped me figure out how to wrest control from the Verizon Actiontec FiOS router and let my Airport Extreme control my network. It was non-obvious, so he drew a diagram that I turned into a full tutorial per his instructions. The basic idea is to disable WiFi on the Verizon router, and have it simply pass out IP addresses using DHCP and send traffic straight through to the Airport Extreme. We also set the DMZ on the Verizon router to a static IP and passed that right to the Airport. The purpose of that step was to eliminate the requirement to do port forwarding on both routers if I ever needed to access something inside the network.
All of this worked great, I was able to pretty much ignore the Verizon router for the last three years.
Allison interviews Daniel Peck from Luma about their new WiFi mesh router. Luma routers are controlled from the Luma iOS or Android app and use BlueTooth LE for easy set-up. A set of three Luma routers is generally sufficient to provide high speed WiFi throughout a normal home. The setting is the Pepcom Digital Experience show floor.
We WILL have episodes of the NosillaCast (and live shows) on both Christmas and New Years day (unlike those other slacker podcasters). Check out last week’s episode of Chit Chat Across the Pond with Chris Ashley from the SMR Podcast (fun with Windows!). I’m one of the new rotating co-hosts for Eye Chart Radio with Mike LaPlante. Bart comes on for just a few minutes to chat about the ginormous Yahoo breach of 1 BILLION accounts is even worse than it sounds. He explains why it was so absurdly bad that Yahoo was hashing passwords with MD5. Terry Austin sends in a review of Nomorobo for the iPhone. Shelly Brisbin does a dramatic reading of her poem, “I Did Not Buy the MacBook Pro”. I’ll tell you about a way to achieve simultaneous onsite and offsite backups using the new Amazon Duet drive from Seagate.
A few weeks back after the disastrous distributed denial of service attack on the DNS servers was found to have been caused by insecure Internet of Things devices, Bart suggested that we turn off automatic port forwarding. This is a technology that is built into routers that allows devices (and software) inside your network to punch holes through your firewall in order to talk to the Internet. The advantage of this technology is that you don’t have to understand or even know what port forwarding is in order to get your devices and software to work. Unfortunately, we’ve learned that our IoT devices are often spectacularly insecure. For example, there are devices with hard-coded Secure Shell (SSH) usernames and passwords that were largely responsible for the denial of service attack.
This automated port forwarding I’m describing on most routers is called UPnP, and on Apple routers they use a similar protocol called NAT-PMP. Bart recommended that we turn this service off, and only open ports manually when we know why they need to be opened. I have both a Netgear router and an Apple router, so I thought it might be helpful if I posted tutorials on how to turn off UPnP via the web interface on the Netgear router, and NAT-PMP from the Airport Utility. Thanks to Allister Jenks for helping put together the instructions for turning off NAT-PMP from an iOS device for the Airport. And of course we made the tutorials with my favorite app, Clarify.
Well Castaways, it was time to replace our router.
Our ISP caps our bandwidth to 450 GB per month and several times a year they assert we use double this or more. We don’t stream a lot of movies, our cloud data is pretty static, and we have a stupidly complex password, so this runaway bandwidth is a mystery I cannot solve with our aged Airport Express router.
We also need the ability to manage a lot of WiFi devices.
The wiring closet is at the far back of the house, which has always caused connectivity problems in the front of the house.
My 1953 ranch house is long and low, with a mix of old and newer electrical circuits. The cable modem and primary router, an Airport Extreme N, are at the far north end The “media” room juts out to the east, at about the middle, the front porch at the west middle, the bedrooms at the far south.
I ran an Ethernet cable to the “media room” and added a Netgear N900 router there and connected everything except one Chromecast with Ethernet.
There’s three wireless networks, #1 at 2.4 from the Extreme, #2 at 2.4 and #3 at 5 ghz from the Netgear. I assigned channels that don’t overlap each other, or the neighbors.
None reliably reached the front porch or bedrooms.
Bart Busschots did a talk for the Connecticut Macintosh Connection (aka CTMac) at ctmac.org a few weeks ago where he explained how the Internet of Things can be a concern for the security of your home network. Of course he didn’t stop there, he sent on to explain how for a fairly small amount of money, you can keep yourself secure.
Bart and I decided this would make a terrific topic for Chit Chat Across the Pond. He produced a 67 chart Keynote that we do NOT go through in its entirety, in fact we skip the middle 40 or so pages, but they’re there if you have in depth questions about how anything he discusses.
This week we’ll learn how awesome Smile, the makers of TextExpander really is (in spite of last week) and how Ditto can give you notifications without a smart watch. We’ll learn how you really NEED a wicked cool new router like the Netgear X8 5300ac, and Bart is back with Security Bits.