Quentin from Fritz kindly sent me these intructions explaining how to tether a Smartphone to a Fritz 7390 to share a 3G/4G internet connection on a network.
For more information about the Fritz routers check out my reviews here.
I just read this disturbing article at the dailymail.co.uk about a report submitted to British MPs stating that 4 out of 5 16 year old boys and girls regularly access online porn while one in three 10 year olds have seen explicit online material, and no one’s really sure how this will affect the sexual development of the next generation. Already there are warning signs of girls feeling pressured to look and act in more sexually explicit ways in order to attract a boyfriend, and boys having unrealistic expectations of sex along with increasing evidence of “porn addiction” where guys actually prefer spending time with their computers than with a real person.
Obviously, solutions are needed and there are “opt out” options and filtering services available with many ISPs. However, not everyone wants a blanket ban on all content and would prefer to just shield this stuff from the younger eyes in the household. In that case the only solution is to stay opted in and take personal responsibility for filtering out the bad stuff.
While there are plenty of software “NetNanny” type solutions that can be installed on PCs, this means also being smarter than your kids to properly lock down their PCs so they don’t just circumvent the restrictions, and let’s face it, most kids know more about this stuff than we Gen Xers do, and if not they certainly know how to find out.
This leaves handling the restrictions at some point after the ISP but before it reaches the PCs – the router.
Now, most routers will allow some degree of keyword or URL filtering which helps but it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. A Google image search for example will still get past most keyword filters. The other problem is there’s usually only space for 20 or so keywords which isn’t anywhere near enough to even filter out accidental porn coming back from innocent searches let alone a deliberate effort.
The next step up is Netgear’s Live Parental Control system available on many Netgear Wireless-N router and
gateway products. This is basically a free open source web filtering subscription service which appears to do the job quite well.
Then you have paid subscription services like DrayTek’s Globalview Web Content Filtering service starting from around $30 per year on their base models. Without the subscription, DrayTek still have their CSM (Content Security Management) system which allows quite an impressive degree of manual control. DrayTek have a policy based system where a “group” of PCs can be created to be filtered while all other PCs remain unfiltered. Other routers usually have a similar option where a particular PC or several PCs can stay out of the filtered category.
DrayTek Australia just added a few new FAQs to their knowledge base including:
Check out DrayTek Australia’s blog post here for more.
Planet’s Aussie importer recently introduced a new line of products called “injector hubs” which I thought warranted a little further explanation. These at first glance appear to be similar to a PoE switch with only half the number of ports capable of PoE but they’re actually quite a bit different. They’re better thought of as a stack of PoE injectors built into one unit, and they’re hubs, not switches, which would quite often be used in conjunction with a switch per the diagram below. The other aspect is half the ports are inputs while the other half are outputs. eg in the case of the 48 port HPOE-2400G, 24 ports are inputs and 24 are outputs with PoE.
There’s 4 port, 12 port and 24 port versions available in either 10/100 or with gigabit throughput. (If the word “gigabit” isn’t in the decription assume 10/100). Check them out at the online shop here.
Raaj Menon, CEO of PCRange who import the Fritz and Billion amongst other products, recently got hooked up to the NBN and achieved an amazing 95Mbps downstream and 35Mbps Upstream using a Fritz AVM7390.
Click here to check out both of the Fritz routers.
I occasionally get requests from people wanting a router that can deal with blocks of public IP addresses, also known as IP Aliasing (information I don’t have in the Find-A-Router tool).
This old Snapgear Knowledge Base Article explains the pros and cons of the various ways routers can be configured for this situation. See also this FAQ in the Draytek Knowledge Base on the topic (also search “IP Alias” in the search box at the top of the Draytek Knowledge Base page for a few more articles on the topic).
Draytek report that the 3200 series and Vigor3300/3300V will support up to 32 public IP addresses per WAN interface. All other models will support 8. The 2960 has no fixed limit but the profile limit for port forwarding rules is 256.
Billion state that the 74xx, 78xx and BiGuard can support IP Aliases. All of them can support up to 10 IP Aliases.
Netgear report that all of their higher end routers like the FVS336G, SRXN3205 & SRX5308 have this feature. There is no limit to the number of IP addresses because it’s based on port forwarding. However they can forward to a public IP address instead of the WAN IP address.
Cyberoam report that all of their models support it with no limit on addresses.
Linksys report that nothing in their consumer range had this capability.
SMC state that all of their routers can support at least two public IP address but can’t qualify beyond that.
EnGenius tell me their routers don’t support it.
A quick Youtube movie demonstrating the ease of using Netgear’s Parental Control system.
For more information or to download click here.
To check out the range of Netgear Routers and compare features and prices, select “Netgear” in the first section of my “Find products according to features” facility on the find-a-router page, go through and select any other features you’d like and then click the “Go” button.
More at jbprojects.net.
For more information about the WRT54GL see my quick review at http://www.ozcableguy.com/review.asp?router=WRT54GL.
It could happen to anyone and it happened to me.
A couple of weeks ago my little internal server PC refused to boot up. I had all of our office PCs backing up to its hard drive as well as some other important data so I took the hard drive out and put it in my workstation to retrieve the data off it and then my workstation wouldn’t boot up either. Hmmm…
It turns out both PCs (both connected to the same surge board incidentally) had blown motherboards. Not quite a total disaster and after just a day of mucking about later we were up and running again. Thankfully nothing was lost apart from a day’s work.
But it could have been much, much worse…
I started thinking about house fires and burglaries where the PCs might be lost forever. Insurance would cover the hardware but some of that data would be irreplaceable and could even mean the end of my business, so I needed a better backup solution for starters.
What I was doing was a good starting point where I have all the important data from all the office workstations backing up to a spare hard drive in a PC, but I needed to go one step further and have that copied to a 3rd source and that’s the beauty of the NAS (network attached storage) devices that many manufacturers now have on the market. These are basically enclosures with hard drives inside (hard drives are usually not included. Check manufacturer specifications for details and supported hard drives) that you can connect to a PC network. They show up on the network in “My Network Places” the same as a PC does so you can drag & drop files across or use a scheduled backup application like ezbackitup or windows backup. (I like ezbackitup because it only backs up files that have changed since last time, doesn’t compress and retains the same directory structure so it’s easy to find and retrieve single files).
A small NAS enclosure can be hidden or placed anywhere you like to make it an unlikely target for thieves and at the same time be easy to grab and chuck under your arm if you need to vacate the premises in a hurry. They start small & cheap to suit home and small business owners right up to rack mountable units with RAID and other options.
Click here to check out available NAS devices from my online shop.
The next problem was to deal with why those motherboards blew in the first place. We get quite a few surges in my house that we’ve never been able to get to the bottom of. (They tend to happen early in the mornings when everything’s turned off and no one’s even out of bed. Electricians are mystified). Since the surge protection board didn’t save them in this case the obvious solution was an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
A UPS is basically a battery pack plugged into a power point to keep the battery charged, while any PCs or other devices plugged into it run off the battery power. If the power fails the PC keeps running for however long the battery can last and then will automatically shut the PC down safely before the battery is depleted. (There’s a serial or USB cable between the UPS & PC and software to facilitate this process). How long the battery lasts is dependant on the size of the battery and what you’ve got plugged into it. The cheaper ones tend to give a “clean” power supply to your PC and just enough battery power to automatically shut the PC down safely in the event of power failure.
I chose a Powerware 51101000A (currently selling for $234.30 at my online shop) which should give me 10 – 20 mins of power for my PC and 2 monitors in the event of a blackout but I’ve configured the software to shut me down after 5 minutes just to be on the safe side (which is generally heaps of time to make it outside to flick the circuit breaker back on anyway). It passed the first test with flying colours so was money well spent.
Click here to check out the range and prices of UPSs from my online shop. I like Belkin and Powerware brands because they back their products up with connected equipment warranties and I get favourable feedback from my customers about them.
A couple of quirks worth mentioning with the installation of my shiny new Powerware 51101000A: The manual mentions removing the front cover to connect the battery lead prior to plugging it in. My cover was connected by a couple of screws which weren’t mentioned in the manual and my battery lead was already connected when I did get the cover off. A bit of unnecessary confusion there…
The other issue not explained was before installing the shutdown & monitoring software you need to install the UPS drivers. Without doing that first it won’t be able to detect the UPS so it can do its thing. I assumed the driver installation would be part of the same application but that wasn’t the case. It has to be done manually first.
All in all a valuable lesson learned from something that could happen to anyone any time. I strongly advise not to delay putting off doing something about this stuff.
Sort it out today!