Third step – Finally

So finally i realized the final configuration on my network. I integrated my Security Gateway into my network and i am enjoying the statistics the thing is showing me. I am fully satisfied for the moment. For sure i am hoping for more options especially some kind of protection for children or other non wanted pages. I’ve been used to Ipfire for some time, but for my private needs the USG should be doing it.

But what should i tell you? I’ll show you some screen shots which is better than any long report! Ah yeah… I just ran into one issue during installing my device. It’s default IP is in the 192.168.1.X Range which may become a problem if your router / Internet Connection is in the same range! So before i realized that i really had a hard time. But finally changing the Modem’s IP solved everything and from that on the system keeps running.

           

Second step – Make my W-LAN big

So after my start with one hotspot I ordered last month one UAP-AC-LR and this month another UAP-AC-LITE from Ubiquity. So my network now counts 3 hotspots, on 3 different floors and it covers most of my home. Maybe next summer I will reorganize everything but I am confident that the system should be able to handle my wishes ;-)

So where to start? First I needed a controller for the hotspots. My Virtual Computer could program everything but I wanted statistics to see the problems and the usage of my home. To be honest I didnt want to buy the controller. It is nice, it does its job, but I think that doing it yourself is always the best way to go. So I took a Raspberry Pi Model 3, packed everything together with a PiDrive from Western Digital I had lying around and with a little help from over here, I created the controller myself. It now runs for already some time, without any issues and the power consumption is okay. So the controller issue was solved easy and fast.

Buying more hotspots was the second step and it only was a question of time. I will have to see where I will place the different devices, but that’s for the summer and I need to get a network cable into the garden to maybe place one over there. Time will tell.

Next step in my project will be the Security Gateway (the USG) which I want to include. This should give me more detailed statistics and it should increase my security level for the connection. We’ll see that next time =)

First step – Reorganizing my W-LAN at home

So i started of a few month ago to reorganize my W-LAN. The problem is that i need a hotspot on every floor. The concrete is of such good quality that the signal will not pass. Even from the basement to the first floor is such bad quality that it will not pass. When I installed my first system, I didn’t pay attention to the devices. The only plan was to stay cheap and to have a good signal everywhere. After a year I even needed to ad an extra hotspot so I had network on the terraces on the outside of the house. Long story short, I realized that the private hotspots which are sold on the regular market often don’t bring out updates for their devices. Never ever! So if you have devices older than a few years, there are definitely security issues. So I decided to upgrade my network and finally get a semi-professional system.

As you might know, I am a fan of a company called Ubiquity. I found them a few years ago and ever since we had devices from the company at work. An on a professional level I cant complain at all! Prices and ranges for those devices are more than correct. Quality is excellent and even after years you get updates and the devices work in extreme conditions. So I give them a thumbs up. I finally decided to get their W-LAN Hotspot system for my home as well, due to the fact that you can manage them centrally, that they update regularly and the range is better than regular devices I used.

After having a look at the actual product range I decided myself for one of the UniFi Mesh devices, the UniFi AC Mesh to be exact. The decision was taken because of its size, because I wanted to hide it behind furniture or on top of it. So the fist devices was bought for testing purposes and start of finally.

The software of the “UniFi Controller” to manage the hotspot was installed on a Virtual Machine. The first thing I realized after that was that this controller always needed to be on otherwise you couldn’t get the statistics. Okay… Not everybody wants statistics but I do ;-) So I needed a solution for the second step.

Eclipse by Native Union – My first impression

Today I would like to talk about a Kickstarter Project called “Eclipse” I backed a year ago, and where the product was delivered a few weeks ago. I really wanted to give it some testing and usage before producing my review.

So first I have to say that the creator Native Union did communicate over the whole time in an exemplary way! They explained delays and problems they ran into an always kept the backers up to date, so I never got the felling that the product would not be delivered. So thumbs up for that! As a backer of such projects, you have to consider that the product will arrive later than they expected! But if they keep the clients updated, I think regular clients will not argue around the delay.

So the product itself arrived at my home. Again shipping and tracking etc was no issue at all! Perfect packaging made it again a thumbs up again. So the unpacking could take place. I have to admit that the box, its content and the protection of the device itself were perfect. Honestly, I haven’t had so much fun unboxing a device for some time. Yes I was excited for some time because I was anxious to get the charger into my hands since I knew it was on its way, but I have to admit that the designers definitely did put time into the packaging! Nice job there again! But the packaging isn’t everything. How does the device work and behave?

The device definitely does what it is designed for! It charges up to 3 devices simultaneously, has an LED light which can be turned on and for the main part it looks good. Yes! It is a nice looking, well designed stylish charger for Phones and other USB devices. The cables appear to be of high quality and I think that the designer did put a lot of thoughts into the small details of the charger.

So the first look was not disappointing at all! I had decided myself to buy a nice, well designed and stylish charger to put it onto my nightstand and to charge my phones. That was the idea and unfortunately my story has a downside…

After a few weeks my wife decided to ban her charger from her side of the bed! Why? So at night, when everybody calms down and everything becomes quiet, you often hear the things and the sounds your house makes, which you do not realize due to all the background noises during the day. And unfortunately the Eclipse does such a noise… Yes you have to listen very closely but if you charge at least one device the device starts to make some humming noise, some dissonance or whatever you would like to call it. It is that kind of noise which is annoying if you ever heard it and that once you know it is there, hunts you over and over again. It is that kind of noise cheap chargers might do, but I am sure that the creators used high quality components.

So my final opinion is not yet fixed. I will not be using the chargers, I bought two of them, for the purpose they were thought for. I am using one now in the living room and it fits in there perfectly! The second one has not yet found its final position and that’s why I am a little bit disappointed about the product. But that’s the risk if you invest into a Kickstarter Project! You might not get the product you hoped for.

 

                

Managing multiple WordPress Sites

So do you need to update more than one WordPress Site? If this is the case you might look around for managing multiple Sites over a singe interface. A few weeks ago I did have a look into that topic due to the fact that I didn’t want to spend an hour every month logging into various sites I keep an eye on, simply to click and update everything. So I had a look over the horizon of these programs.

I found a few but most f them were managed somehow by companies where you needed to somehow provide them your log in’s, which seems logical if you want them to update your sites. But as I am a somebody suspicious, I wanted to stay the boss of my data and so I decided myself for a tool called “MainWP”. So if you should ever consider getting something similar, you might have a look at the program.

You simply have to install the plugin on your main Site, and install on the sites you want to manage a child plugin. That’s it! No fancy registration etc. Very easy! And you stay Master of your passwords and log in’s!

The tool itself comes as a simple plugin for WordPress. They recommend setting up an own WordPress Site for the tool, which I definitely can confirm! It simplifies things and keeps it more clear and clean. Another thing I recommend is enabling the unique security ID on the “child” sites, those are the sites you want to manage over your central site. This gives your managed sites more security. I am not sure that without enabling this feature, it would not be possible for anybody to modify your site. But anyway… Enabling security features isn’t a mistake! Never!

For the rest you should simply try it out yourself. It’s worth a try! Yes there are other sites with more features and you might need to put up an own cron-job, but you stay your very own Key-Master.

P.S. Sites / URL’s have been blanked out!

Virtual Server made easy

I was shown by a colleague of mine a nice tool I wanted to share. Ever wanted to have your own cheap Linux server on the net? So did I and the prices were not so, let’s simply say, attractive! Either you get a real Virtual Server and these come starting for at least 10€ / month, but you can find prices for about 5€ / month where you get a scalable server.

The service I tried out is called DigitalOcean and it appears to be one of the most simple services in this sector. You can, in less than a Minute, create a new server, scale them up and much much more. And the best of it, you pay as you use it. Not using any space or CPU etc, means you’re not paying anything.

It’s easier than running your own Raspberry at home and not having a fix IP etc. For the fix IP you’re already paying much more, and many tools need an own IP so if you’re interested in this, you might have a look at it.

That’s the way the cookie crumbles…