I been using Pi-Hole to block ad sites, and analytic sites that are used for tracking. Well since I added a custom list to block all google’s analytic sites I noticed that my google drive started to fail. So when I started to look into it, I found it uses the URL www.google-analytics.com and that the only way to upload to them, even 3rd party applications have to use that URL. So what am I to do, let google track me. Or, I do have a subscription to Office 365 from MS, along with said subscription they give you a 1TB of one drive storage. The program I used in the past to sync my google drive with my local storage also can sync with OneDrive (program is called inSync) And as I am not nearly as anti-MS as I was in the 90’s or early 00’s I am not opposed to using MS products now. I tested it, and I don’t have to let some tracking site be accessible from my home network to use it. So I went and deleted the files out of my google drive, then went and canceled my google extra storage space, and setup inSync to sync my main document directory to OneDrive (from under Linux) So now that $3 I don’t have to spend for 200GB of storage, as I have the 1TB from MS. Best part as MS is not a advertising company I can be a bit more secure in knowing they are not going scanning my documents to get advertisement data. So now as I type this, I am uploading the 111Gb of data I have in my main Data Directory. So in googles “need” to track everything they lost $3 a month from me. Why they would make the google drive go thought the main analytics URL is beyond me, but hay, I am now off of google there. I don’t even us Gmail, for email I have a rack space account for my email.
I just looked at what WiFi analizer shows for what is on the WifI airspace around where I live, in the building I live in there are 11 units, 1 is empty, and below is what the WiFi airspace looks like. This is one reason for things that need a good connection to the internet you want to hard wire them. The amount of traffic on the air is very high, and there are not that many people here.
Well it been a week and a half since I put the USG in as a firewall/router for my home network. On data point that I find interesting, is I look at my average transfer rate on my home network. I have a 1Gbit connection from Verizon, but do I really need that speed? The answer apparently no. looking over the 1, hour, 1 day, 1 week average, I never really go over 200Mbits and that is rarely and not for very long, only see it on the 1 day averages. But most times looking at the 1 week averages and the month one (not fully filled out) I vary rarely get an average over 50Mbits. So while I am going to keep the 1Gbit, as I started at a 75Mbit, and they offered me for $10 more a month when my 2 month contract was up 1Gbit, so for the few times I would like the higher speed, it will be nice to have, and as I said it is only $10 more then I was paying for 75Mbits. But if you are looking to get new services, think about how much you really need, do you really need 1Gbit? I am a single person, and even when I am streaming 1 HD videos I use about 50Mbits of data speed. Also remember for gaming you don’t need high bandwidth you just need low lag, and this not a measure of speed of data being downloaded but how long it takes for a message to be sent to the server and back, the data is not that much data, probably could be done in a few Kbits, it just how long it takes to get there and back. Yes it is still nice to say I have 1Gbit, but truth is I don’t need more then 100Mbits. See stats below for my last week of usage.
I am for fun watching the logs of my Pi-Hole (the local DNS server on my network) and it interesting to see how many requests are going on per second, and a lot of them are being blocked (resolving to 0.0.0.0) the requests for all kind of tracking sites (mostly google tracking sites, and many facebook tracking sites [and I don’t even have facebook open, they are really tracking people hard]) And this is while I am just sitting here doing nothing on the web (I do have many tabs open in my web browser like I normally do, probably ajax calls) I am just sitting at the computer watching the requests scroll by. Below is the stats for the Pi-Hole
Well it has been one week since I setup the new firewall/gateway on my home network, and I just looked at the statistics for my usage of the internet. According to the router, I have used 476Gb in one week. But on average I don’t use more then 100Mbits of traffic speed. I never knew I used so much. Makes me glad I don’t have a bandwidth cap on my internet connection as this data means I probably use up to 2TB of data in a month.
While I do have 1Gbit I really don’t use it much, there are a few times I use it, and it nice to have it when I use it, but the amount of time I use it is not often, maybe for 30 seconds when downloading a large file.
Last week my guitar teacher and I had problems again with google duo connection for my weekly lessons, this is one of the issues we have had with google duo. The other issue is it only half duplex, not idea while taking music lessons, as when I am playing the guitar I can not hear my teacher. Well last week was for me the breaking point with google duo, as I missed my lesson as I never got notification of the call from my guitar teacher. So I suggested we at lest try MS Skype this week, he had not used Skype for a lesson before, and I was willing to try anything other the duo. Well we rescheduled my lesson for Friday (yesterday) We did not have any issue on connecting. and he even noted the audio was a lot clearer then it was on Duo. Also getting the sound into the computer is much easier as I have an old M-Audio that I had not been using and it has a guitar plug on it. So the music from the guitar was even clearer. Also I could hear my teacher when I was playing my guitar, Skype apparently is full duplex instead of half duplex like duo.
And what did I mean when I would not have believed you about this post in the 90’s or early 00’s, well back then I was extremely anti-Microsoft. I am still not a fan of Microsoft, but I will give it to them Skype apparently is a good piece of software. And my guitar teacher and I have agreed we will use it in the future. I am thinking I should scan my music into the computer so I can look at the screen while playing the guitar.
I still have Linux on all my personal computers (except one, and that is 8 computers all running Linux, and I very rearly use the window box, I am not counting the work laptop as that is not mine)
The latest thing I done for home network, is I set it up to connect to my T-Mobile hot spot if the main ISP goes down (this has not happened in the 6 years I have had Verizon, but it could away happen) So the plan is if the router losses connection to the internet via my Gbit connection it can switch over to the T-Mobile hot spot. True the Mobile Hot spot is much much slower then the Gbit connection but something will always be better then nothing. I have tested it, it takes a bit of time for the switch over, but the network really does not see a difference when the switch over happens all it sees is the internet is unreachable for about 30 to 60 seconds, then it come back. I have tested this and it works well enough. So now I plugged the hot spot into the main power line instead of leaving it just on the battery. I can still unplug it an take it with me when I go somewhere (if we are ever allowed to go back to our lives again, and these stupid lock downs ever end, but for now since we are still stuck at home and pretty much not allowed to go anywhere, it not an issue, the hot spot can stay plugged in, I can finally use it again after almost a year of having it and not using it, sure I am still not using it, but it there for a backup now)
Truth is it not an ideal solution, as it only has 10GB of usage allowed a month, I want to look into if I can white list what devices will stay online when it on the fail over, and what does not. No reason my consoles should stay on line, but I would want the security cameras around my home to stay on. My game computer can loss connection, but my work computer I would want to stay on. Things like that. So I have some things to look at for the weekend to see if I can set that up in the new router.
Sadly scam calls seem to be on the rise. Today I got one of those scam calls for your car warranty. Well when the person came on the line all I did was scream as loud as I could into the phone over and over again till they hung up. I hope they don’t have volume limiters. Yes I know mean but it was a scammer so who cares they deserve it. Another one I have done in the past when getting called for you were over charged by your electric company and when they ask for account number I claim not to have one. Just messing with those lossers, and maybe waste their time a bit.
I have done a lot of work on my home network as of late, as I been posting about. But I think it has come along nicely. I do really like the USG I put as a router/firewall. A nice thing is it also show stats of my usage of the network. It will be nice to see how much data I use in a month. Once a month passes I might put up the month’s data usage, it would be interesting to see. I also for my home guest network I have left that on the ISP’s modem to keep it isolated from my main home network. They say you should do that for your home network (isolate it from your main network) most WiFi access points have some form of isolation built in for guest networks, but having it on a complacently different system then my home network should isolate it even more, as there is a firewall between my home network and the WiFi that does the guest network. I still have more work to do on my home network.
But for The last day here is my data usagle
Port Down Up
WAN 83.9 GB 8.54 GB
So I setup the Eero WiFi access points in my home about a week ago. And so far, they have been something you can forget about. Plus as noted in a prior post it nice that they do self healing on the network, so if a Ethernet connection go down between them and the rest of the network they will reroute the traffic over the WiFi network (still not as fast as Ethernet, but still it will keep the connection going) I did have a bit of an issue with 2 of them going off line today, but the WiFi stayed up since the 3rd on was still active. I did figure out why they went down, and it is a stupid reason. But at lest they let me know there was a real issue. I was messing around with my DHCP sever, and I typed in a bad character in a config file so it did not restart like it should have, fixed that and they came back up shortly. Stupid on my part, but the Eero seem to be earning their keep.
Well this is a first reactions post to the my new Unifi Security Gateway I got. From what I read it sounded like it would be hard to setup. It really was not that hard. I plugged it in between my home network and the Modem, from what I read it is setup on the 192.168.1.0/24 network. While all my computers are on the 192.168.42.0/24 network it would not be reachable on my home network, but what I did on my main Linux laptop I issued the command “ifconfig eth0:0 192.168.1.10” this created a virtual network device and placed it on the 192.168.1.0/24 network (for the LAN side). From there I was able to gain access to the Gateway, and set things up, how I wanted it. Put it on the 192.168.42.0/24 network. Turn off the DHCP server on it. Then I setup my Verizon Modem back to the old (default) 192.168.1.0/24 network. Went into the Security gateway and set it WAN to 192.168.1.2 with the WAN gateway to 192.168.1.1 (the Verizon Modem) Everything then just worked, then I installed the Unified Software control software on a Rasberry Pi, then went to the Pi’s address on port 8443, Adapted it and it then preventioned it. After that I was able to setup all the other things I wanted. On the Verizon Modem I forward the SSH port and the OpenVPN port to the Security Gateway, then on the Security Gateway port forwarded that on to the correct computers. Then using my T-Mobile Hotspot, I connected one of my computers to that (so I was on an outside network) and tested to see if I could SSH in and also use the OpenVPN to get in, both worked the way I expected it.
Yes this is more work then most people would do, and most people would just accept the default settings of a consumer router, well they would not get one, as they probably would use the all in one solution their ISP gives them, but for me the one Verizon provided was not going to be enough for me. Yes in the past I made it work, but when they changed out the modem on me, it was a pain to set things back up to how I wanted them to be. This way (as I said before) my home network is now 100% decoupled from the modem that the ISP provides, and I can swap out the modem very easily.
I will probably report back later on the device. But I also like that it will keep statistics of traffic on the network something the Verizon modem never did for me, I would like to know how much traffic I really use a month on average.
Well Yesterday, I found out what one of the features of the Eero Wifi Mesh network really meant. It says it is a “self healing” network device. I just thought it meant would work to keep the Wifi going if one went down. But wow I was wrong on what it really. What it looks like it meant is if a connection is broken it will use the mesh network to reconnect so the data can still flow. Case in point the Ethernet cable to my living room got disconnected. And for an unknown amount of time I did not know this, not for lack of using devices in the living room, no I had my PS5 plugged into the Ethernet, it should have lost signal to the router and had no internet connection, but it did not. Apparently the Eero noticed the lost of the Eithernet connection and rerouted all the traffic though it via the Wifi, so will there was no cable connecting the PS5 to the rest of the network, it was still connected via the Eero Wifi.
I see this as mostly good, but can have some bad. Good in that I don’t have to worry about the network going down if something disconnects the cables, the speed will just drop from 1Gbit to about 300Mbit connection, but the data will still flow. The problem that can arise is if I don’t notice that the Ethernet is disconnected. I only found out the cable was disconnected Yesterday when I looked into app to manage it (to grab the MAC address of the devices for documentation of how my network is setup) and saw that the living room Eero was labeled as connected via WiFi and not Ethernet.
It does use an app, so I wish maybe the app when a disconnect like this happens should give a notification that the mesh network is switching the traffic over from wired to wireless, so that I can know that there is an issue, I can then decided to take care of it when I want to. But still a very nice feature to have.
So far I am happy with the Eero mesh network setup.
Along with all the work I have done on my home network the last couple of weeks, I have also worked on reorganization my home. including the living room and the computer room/lab. While I have not gotten rid of anything I have also opened up more room to live in, and work with. I have more work to do on this front too. But my place feels a lot more open then it did 3 weeks ago.
This is something better to do then just play video games when I am not teleworking. Don’t get me wrong I am still spending a lot of time playing video games while stuck at home (probably more then I should be)
While I can not leave the home, these are some projects I can do as I can not go out as there is a stupid mask mandate here in md, and I can not breath with a mask on, so I am stuck here at home. I am just glad for Walmart grocery delivery, and Amazon so I can get everything I need to continue to exist.
I am now looking at Ubiquiti Unifi Security Gateway (USG) in my search for a Router/Firewall for my home network. Yes I know it a professional grade system. But at the same time it seems to have the features I want. Plus it lacks the WiFi, which I don’t need as I now have the mesh network. Plus it has a few more features I might not need now, but it will allow me to grow my network as I need in the future. Also it will make sure I do finally decouple my home network from the modem provided by the ISP, and if I need to replace the modem it will not affect my home network. Also reading from another person some one talked about how you can set it up to use a mobile hot spot as a fail over connection, so in the future I can set up a fail over connection. And it would put my whole network on a WiFi hot spot (which I already have) in case I needed. I think using something like TP-Link N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router to connect WAN port 2 to my T-Mobile hot spot if ever needed. The good news is I can put that project off for a while I have not had any issues with my internet going down.
What started to be a weekend revamp of my network has turned into a muli month task, but in the end I think it will be worth it, as it will make my home network more robust.
The PSP can not do the new WPA2 or WPA3 encryption for wireless. Also the PSP does not have any way to connect to Ethernet. But I came up with a solution, I got an old WiFi bridge that can do WPA (the new WiFi mesh network does not support WPA, as it to old and considered less secure) So the old WiFi bride I put on low power (so it should not have much travel distance) and added MAC address filtering only accept MAC addresses I tell it about, and put the PSP’s MAC address into it. Then finally I turned of SSID broadcasting, to make it harder to find. So now my PSP can rejoin my home network.