Entries Tagged 'Web Tech' ↓

Encrypt Your Email Address On Your Website

No one likes spam, except spammers.  When you put an email address on a website for the world to see, you expect that a human will be sending you something interesting to read.  What you get is a bunch of robots telling you how cheap they can sell you something to make your junk bigger, or your butt smaller.  
I found this sweet website that will let you put in your email address and a link text (what people will see), then hit submit and it hooks you up, right there, with an HTML encrypted anchor tag to copy and paste onto your website.  Sweet.  I’ve seen programs that do this, but this way there is no need to download anything. Robots won’t read it, but humans can. People can even click on it to open their mail application. Nice.

Here’s the link: Mysterious Ways

Separate Public and Private Wireless Network Using Two Routers

How to create a separate public and private wireless network using 2 routers

Setting up a separate public and private wireless network is not that complicated. It involves basic setup of a router, and its wireless network. In order to create the two separate networks, you set up both routers (R1 and R2), their wireless networks, and plug R2’s WAN port into one of the LAN ports on the back of R1. The networks will essentially be separate, but use a single modem (the same ISP connection for the Internet.)  I created a separate public and private network using this method for a client’s restaurant. The client did not want customers to have access to the private network, yet still wanted to provide a wireless hotspot for patrons.

As far as firmware goes, I recommend using DD-WRT’s firmware and a compatible router, which you can find a list of here: DD-WRT.  Not mandatory by any means, as you should be able to set up separate wireless networks with the stock firmware of just about any router on the market.  By following my setup, you will completely separate the public and private networks, other than access to the private router’s login page from the public network.  Be sure to set a strong password for both routers’ login information, which is mandatory no matter where you’re setting up a network.  If you have a couple of routers on hand and this isn’t clear enough, feel free to shoot me an email describing your setup, and I’ll do the best I can to walk you through that model’s setup screens.

Step 1: First, set up the private router (R1).  I usually do this disconnected from the Internet, by simply plugging an ethernet cable into the switch on the back of the router.  No need to connect to the WAN port yet.  Access your router’s login screen. Login and immediately change the password, make sure it is strong (upper and lowercase letters, at least one number, and a special character or two).

Step 2: Apply your settings, and login using the new password, if necessary.  Next, choose your router name, your IP range (I’m using 10.0.10.x for this setup), and turn on the DHCP server.  You can also set the number of clients, etc.  Set R1′s address to the first addressable host (x.x.x.1) on your IP range, for ease of remembering where it is.  I use 10.0.10.129 for my start range on DHCP because I like to leave a lot open for static IP’s; this allows plenty of room for printers, NAS storage, servers, etc.

Step 3: Next, set up the wireless portion of the R1 ( if you want wireless capability on the private network) This can also be set to “off” should you not require wireless setup.  You absolutely want a very strong passphrase (something like, n0W1rel3$$4U) on your private wireless network (use WPA, not WEP if you can). There’s no sense in going through the trouble of having a second, public router, only to leave your wireless access open.  You can leave the SSID set to broadcast, but this allows people to see the wireless network and attempt to connect.  This shouldn’t be a problem so long as you have a strong password.  Leaving broadcast “off” will not stop someone from finding it if they really want to, however, so the encryption still needs to be on.

Step 4: You can now plug in your WAN port from R1 to your modem, and verify you have access to the internet.  Check your wireless as well, to be sure everything is working as it should.

Step 5: Next, you want to setup your public network on your second router (R2).  Again, leave the router disconnected from the R1, simply plug in your computer to a port on the back of R2 and navigate to its setup screen in your browser.  If you also have a wireless connection (such as setting this up from a laptop) be sure to turn it off for now, as you will not need it.  This is especially true if you used wireless to set up the first router, as it might confuse the network connections and not allow you access to the setup screen on the second router.

Step 6: Set up a new username (if your router allows it) and password, and save your settings.  Next, setup the network address.  If you followed my first router setup and used 10.0.10.x for R1, use 192.0.10.x for R2. Again, set the router’s address to the first addressable host (192.0.10.1).  Turn DHCP on, and setup your maximum clients, and your DHCP range.  You could probably set this to 192.0.10.2 if you don’t need static IPs on the public network.  If you are going to have a public accessible printer, set it to 192.0.10.10, so you can have a few static IPs if you ever need them.

Step 7: Apply your settings, and log back into the R2 by going to the router’s new address in your browser.  It is highly recommended to set the R2′s WAN PORT to STATIC IP and set the address to something R1, outside of the DHCP range. See the screenshot below (click to enlarge).  Basically, I set it up to be the second host on the router’s network, 10.0.10.2.  The gateway will be 10.0.10.1, subnet mask 255.255.255.0.

WAN LAN Setup Screen Public Router

WAN LAN Setup Screen Public Router

Step 8: Apply your settings, and you can now set up the SSID (be sure to pick a name different from the private router) and client type for your public network.  If you want people to be able to access it, leave the encryption off, and broadcast the SSID.  You may want to look into a hotspot server, such as set up a DD-WRT enabled router with Chillispot, but that is out of the scope of this post. To really make this work efficiently, you may want to set the channels of both routers apart (i.e., one to channel 1 and one to channel 11), but you can also leave them on auto.  Another idea might be to have the public network on the 5ghz spectrum, as it would get less interference from surrounding networks and give your clients a better experience.  An Airport Extreme or a TRENDnet TEW-672GR offer dual band functionality, although you sacrifice not being able to run the DD-WRT firmware with either of those.

Step 9: Finally, disconnect your computer from the R2.  Plug R2’s WAN port into one of the switch ports on R1.  You can now use a wireless connection to verify internet connectivity through the public router’s SSID.

Step 10:  You should probably reboot everything at this point.  Power down the modem and both routers. Leave off for 30 seconds, and plug the modem in again.  Allow it to fully boot, then turn on the first router, allow it to fully boot.  Turn on the second router, and you should be good to go.

Letter to Congressman Regarding Net Neutrality

I’ve been entertained lately by Fox news and some other reading on net-neutrality.  So much so, in fact, I felt obliged to write my Congressman John Hall, who is in district 19 here in NY.  The last letter I wrote to him was begging him not to vote for Bush’s money for the banks bill that Congress really had no time to review.  He went ahead and voted for it anyway, which was disappointing.  Alas, I digress.  Here is the letter I sent him:

“It is imperative for the future success of our country that you form stringent opposition to Sen. John McCain’s proposals against net neutrality. Net neutrality is making the infrastructure neutral, meaning data is data no matter who put it on the wire.

Forcing people (or allowing) payment in return for priority on the national grid is absurd, and will only serve to keep and strengthen the basic oligopoly that stands to weaken and destroy our country.
Separating the infrastructure from the content providers is paramount to quality, affordable prices, and universal access to services. It is time we catch up to the rest of the world on this issue. We have gone from 4th to 15th in broadband penetration due to the policies of the last administration, and cannot afford to slip backwards any longer (even though we are still declining.) Please read the Berkman Broadband Study (Harvard University) here: http://www.fcc.gov/stage/pdf/Berkman_Center_Broadband_Study_13Oct09.pdf which was presented to the FCC for a better understanding of what the government policies across the globe have accomplished as compared to ours here in the United States. It is very well researched and makes it very obvious where Mr. McCain gets his money. They spend less, and their country gets more. The trend is not in our favor, and will only get worse if we keep or strengthen the current policies in place today.

Don’t let us down!

I try to stay informed the best I can on this issue, and hopefully when it comes time to vote, we can see some real change.  Here is the response I received from Congressman Hall:

Thank you for contacting me about “net neutrality.”  I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this issue.

Over the last decade, the Internet has grown and evolved at a rapid pace. People now shop online for clothes, cars and even groceries. People can buy music and movies and download them immediately. They can also send photos and home movies to friends and family all over the world.  The development of the Internet has revolutionized the way people communicate, innovate, and do business all over the world.

I believe that much of the Internet’s ability to spur innovation and change is rooted in the ability of individuals to enjoy equal access to a wide array of sites and services.  There is significant concern that this principle, known as “net neutrality,” could be undermined by 2005 decisions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)and the U.S. Supreme Court that broadband Internet service is an information service as opposed to a telecommunications service, and therefore not subject to the more stringent regulations that govern telecommunications services.  Specifically, questions have been raised about whether or not telecommunications providers will be able to create a “two-tiered” internet that will allow individuals to connect to provider-owned or favored sites and services more quickly than those run by competitors or small businesses and groups that cannot afford to pay for high-speed preference.

I am concerned that compromising the principle of net neutrality would undermine the fundamental principle of open access that has fueled the growth of the Internet, and could hurt consumer choice, discriminate against sites involved in public discourse or espousing political views, and disadvantage small businesses.

I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind as Congress considers this issue. Please feel free to contact my office whenever I might be of assistance to you.

What I am particularly concerned with, is this quote:

“the fundamental principle of open access that has fueled the growth of the Internet, and could hurt consumer choice, discriminate against sites involved in public discourse or espousing political views, and disadvantage small businesses.”

The rest of the world has been putting in place legislation that truly affords open access to the backbone, whereas our legislation has not.

If you managed to read this long-winded post (and maybe even that Harvard study linked up top in my letter), tell me what you think.

How do you feel about net neutrality?

If you care about a free and fast internet…

Berkman Broadband Study
Please visit the above link and read their pdf, a worldwide broadband review for the FCC. It outlines why the infrastructure of the United States is outdated and ultimately fails us as a society.  There aren’t enough providers because the companies who laid out the infrastructure (on our dime) also control who gets to use it, even though we heavily subsidized their implementation as taxpayers.  This Harvard study seeks to inform our government what has worked worldwide to advance other countries telecommunications policies, and why they are “winning” a technology race.

I think the only thing to get the average person in this country to get up and voice their opinion is to be scared about being behind.  If this research doesn’t wake you up and get you to vote for a better future, nothing will. Here’s to hope about getting rid of the terrible oligopolies in the US, and to a brighter future (with faster internet :D .)

Please read this and exercise your voice to the FCC about it.  People who install cable shouldn’t have the final say in who gets to use it, as they are given heavy subsidies and grants to install it.  They should be broken up into separate businesses and made to compete, like everyone else has to do.