DNS Blocking

Had a user bring us a Windows 10 HOME computer that wasn’t able to get on the internet using Wifi or Ethernet. After toying around with it for some time here is what we notice.

  1. Would receive and IP address from DHCP server, but no Internet access.
  2. Could add a new port, usb ethernet, gets IP but still no Internet.
  3. Went through Google search finds to reset network, still nothing.
  4. Removed all the ports, drivers etc.. Still, nada

We found it odd that the computer would get an IP number from server, but then not do anything else with network. We found the user had install AVG anti-virus, took some work to remove without internet, but finally won over. However even after repeating all the steps above, no Internet. Checked resources and system apps, couldn’t see anything that stood out..

We figured it was a typical virus that ransomware the system, but none of the normal flags popped up..

So we finally just reinstalled the OS, oh we did try recovery, that failed. After the reinstall of course everything worked fine. A bit more digging and we found out this ‘issue’ is called Gateway or DNS blocking. Nasty beast. Anyclues how to get around it without rebuilding the whole system?

The Cloud – Really!

Just thinking:

After watching the development of “The Cloud” as a marketing tool for software companies, I’ve decided it is a con, a way for the developer to control the user and milk them for more money.

There are a many ways to utilize “The Cloud” the two major ones are as a personal storage space like DropBox, OneDrive (and its many incarnations) and iCloud, and then there is the way Nest and many many Phone apps developers  store your data on their servers for ‘security reasons’. Which is just a nice way of saying, oh yeah, we will charge you an unnecessary amount each month to use their app. After you have a few of these apps, the monthly charges really add up.

What happened to Individual Cloud storage, putting your own NAS on the internet and using that? (Hint: Most users don’t hold the skills to setup, no offense), or their ISP makes it almost impossible.. So everyone has to pay more for less.

 

CloudAtCost – VPN

After a friend that works with IBM suggested I try vpn, and a company called CloudAtCost, I figured I’d give it a try.

Ended up buying three packages with CloudAtCost. One cost less than $13, 1 node, 2 ip numbers, 1 cpu and 512 megs of ram.  So figured for the cost I’d try a bigger option, but made a mistake when purchasing, and ended up with 2 developer packages, both at less than $28..

configured one node to be a vpn server. Using OpenVPN was able to create a vpn server and client, that worked pretty well. So tried to manage many web site clients though this system.

Soon i couldn’t access any of our clients sites from my home where I work remotely. Took two weeks to resolve the issue.

Our ISP blacklisted my home static IP.

After removing all VPN software, getting a new router and modem, sending at least 3 tickets to ISP over a weeks time. They finally replied, oh, you were blacklisted.. I wasn’t happy, but wasn’t too mad, since the problem was resolved.. And it wasn’t on our network (my job), so. New equipment that was getting old was replaced. Just wish ISP would have informed/resolve their issue faster.

UPDATE: After a couple months of using CloudAtCost, we ended up having a password issue. We requested help, many times, never received any answers! .. So basically the system is useless. Do not recommend this service!

Outdoor Sensor Array


How many sensors can we plug into one Arduino and setup outdoors? This is how many I was able to cram into one Project Box.

The system uses a ESP8266 Wifi / Arduino Card with a screw terminal Shield. — I attempted to run it all with two 12 volt solar panels with a solar charger. Didn’t have enough juice, so ended up just plugging into outlet located outside.

Hardware

Screenshot 2016-03-06 12.32.51