CNET to the Rescue Ep. 32: Darren answers networking questionsThis week, we dive deep into home networking. How to set up a NAS? Can I tell how much bandwidth my kids are using? And how come my laptop won't print on my networked printer? Darren Kitchen answers these vexing issues, and more, on today's Rescue.
Hi everyone this. Welcome to CNET to rescue our weekly show we try to answer your tech questions. And help you live with technology were joined today by the return of the famous Darren Kitchen. Now you're famous I -- so I agree it there. -- an evermore is shall be dubbed. We I'm so glad to have you here because I've been collecting networking questions blending that you aren't -- -- I've been known to throw packet -- two yet Nokia. So if you have questions for. Networking stuff what they're back again or any other tech question any other tech if you. Send it to. Rescue at cnet.com or call us with your questions to get on an -- 08774386688. Again that number. 8774386688. No question -- two basic or when we have -- on the show. To the street we can help you configure your -- death is an auto exact dot. 1990. Called. All. This is cool yeah a network here have prevented Google -- from saving your changes who -- I think you're about to suggest somebody would do use the -- I know I thought at that become relevant that begin at Burton official -- -- Anyway before we get started with your questions we get about two really good networking -- Do little. The little -- here. I have been have I mentioned before trying powerline networking -- hotel EA -- mention that you were gonna have to do that because you don't wanna run capped by your house. Which probably imagine there's more all I have to -- through all the problem is active that you through its ceiling and that just requires cutting into. Poster or every now part imports of total video anyway. I wanted to move -- Windows Home Server which is old and -- noisy out of my office and into the garage. An idea and I put powerline network early -- -- on -- and the amazing thing is it works. Yeah I mean that figure -- but what kind of throughput you're getting -- -- the -- from February -- to back up files yet we are originally put it on a majority of it and and it -- Atlanta country and -- -- -- -- backup files and a have a running as my time capsule server. So -- which update every hour -- like. It habits gigabytes so it didn't work is of course you know that when I -- -- put it have you adage I'd like to suing file copy typing letter yet be better off just putting the things in the room taking. -- I'd imagine yet will never underestimate the throughput of a station wagon pulled that gates yes. Well put very very idea and apparently feasible -- -- are. Not only that but it's interfering with my X -- wire. Lighting system. I still had -- okay. Some of violence though my it lights the more you get any little remote thing to turn on inoculate Statehouse I actually have -- running through my Logitech Harmony. So when I sit next sit down -- pops -- down on the couch turn on all my AV equipment -- -- And that -- -- -- of those actually one of the first hacked we'd ever get behind five with a lot. You tell me about it -- -- I think I'm told to leave it -- no way ladies loved weeds. Syria some well the first ever episode of Hak5 that's what we did we took an X ten module that -- -- -- comp or -- thing to -- computer and then using PHP in some shell scripts and stuff. We basically -- up thing where you can use your M Smartphone and one thing that I mean you know Treo 600. U turn on inoculate your -- from your phone. -- -- -- Five years ago -- kinda did theme and then when -- episode went out. I didn't blur out the IP address of the house and then our -- started turning on and off and relate you watched. Well with the authority of medicine chat -- writes that the lights go down every time you played MP3 actually that's not far from the truth because I miss configured the harmony -- haven't figured out how yet. So sometimes I get into certain configurations state and I -- volume down for the Tivo or TV. The lights -- -- trying to say is whenever Marvin -- comes on the -- then I know and they -- -- quick fire does not know. Anyway so. Powerline networking it's amazing that it works but it is slow sprint overdrive. Yeah it works for you right after you do the software update before that absolute -- -- yeah. I I just switched over to a sprint four G phone via the epic four G. And it was an epic failure up until I replaced that you just went back and said hey this handset is junk in a replacement army did you get everything is beautiful Leo -- beautiful. -- -- works in areas that works and it's you know past there but. The GPS could not locking on to anywhere -- And then I just replace it with a new one in the G gift -- -- and -- on and it works on very very happy took it is to see us. I uploaded all look like real political when he -- Hak5 videos from CF and using the four G I worked. That's amazing yeah I could get my -- I could get nothing at it's -- -- mobile Blackberry and act that's yet anyway -- -- his equipment it took just yet but did not work helmet okay so here's my road test they got picked up a new Asus laptop and eat anybody that has me. Because I like the laptop so for me to take the extreme measure of getting a 515 and machine says a lot but I needed something that can edit in premier. Really quicken premier has a cool ability to do GPU powered rendering there's this thing that Nvidia has called -- -- can use -- video card need to do some really specialized software stuff and I can crunch numbers really really quick. Well the problem with this laptop and it's really the same with any laptop has this chipset is it has sure has an Nvidia graphics card but also -- an Intel graphics card. And that has existed for years and years -- original graphics trade used to be able to go into bios through -- be a hardware switch on the computer to switch between the two. Well then I guess in video thought to be a great idea to do it via software so the Kindle with a single Nvidia -- And only works on windows I mean okay that aside the fact that it can't do any cool graphics up and Linux may -- that's just me right. But -- inspire a premier and say premiere here use this you know Nvidia graphics card to do your your HD rendering faster than real time it goes. What in prettier graphics card and all I know -- -- because Adobe has their own drivers and well it's because the the Nvidia drivers just. Aren't up to -- and you can't manually switch between the Q because when you -- gets and -- -- I actually just picked up three sandy bridge I -- the other day yeah yeah try those -- I really do like it that those were for servers now. The things done back gap of government -- that -- How to get a hot to get last gen just to get what they need to the care of the processor when his -- works of art on your -- questions. The -- we got a bunch first from Josh Wagner says -- considering buying a NAS enclosure that pet store conclusion hooked to my router so I can share files and backup all the computers in my household over a wireless network. I have a few questions how dozen apps work how the easiest is to set up a NASA closure. And are there any recommendations for products that I should use to get them running so -- -- wanna say we did a if you at the rescue all on storage is that link in the show notes check that out. In a nutshell a network attached storage or Nast works at like a hard drive except instead of plugging into computer you plug in directly to the network. So. If you have write software your computer -- it's using -- protocols onto your computer it just looks like a hard drive. -- some are really easy to set up like the pogo plug which is and my current pick. Personally I happen to be looking at its technology. Device beta and don't recommendation to regulate when you're really just the app and looked at is -- you make the game fantastic review my WHS is like dead in the water first generation product that's noisy it's that well there's nothing more for it it just has gone they're killing it anyway so. What's your advice for NAS and this is a great way to consolidate files for -- home network. -- okay if your router doesn't already supported because many wireless routers and home routers have USB plugs in the now and and will support wireless frontier -- in us support the ability. For you to put a hard drive on it or like an external hard drive over USB or a printer if you don't have something like that erect a -- plug is the least expensive way to do it that doesn't -- Some people suggest. I think it's a little overpriced for what you get. Personally I'm -- do yourself or if you feel like you know get your hands -- There's some great open source software they can do to recycle an old PC and turn into -- network attached storage device so you know. You could Democrats lot of maintenance bill and the great thing about the -- will play out -- they'll donate to us this analogy is you turn on -- you set -- you -- -- -- -- just walk away for a month -- two -- -- -- had. Network attached storage systems that have built that lasts long you know as long as until I feel like replacing them something else -- -- like. You know up time as long as that we had power so my my recommendations there are free Nath and open -- These are checked by dot -- we've done shows on both of those the neat thing about open filer if you wanna get old really -- is -- supports yearly serial attached SCSI. So you could put something like twenty hard drives on the thing with a couple controller cards and we'll have -- -- in the show notes to this case that it found that. That's wicked -- that or you rack mount chassis with when he hot swap mobile. SATA or SAS drive bays from my Nortel and -- -- that pop you know 335 dollars down on it. You -- an amazing piece of. Now we're hearing that was pretty serious for a home network overbilling whopper here when people just like I wasn't quite that goes in a closet and doesn't -- -- -- -- you -- but you could have 200 terabytes. It actually it doesn't matter you could have a few hundred -- Understood. Our right speaking of networking -- Brad and opal said in our household we have a Linksys WRT 54 GS wireless router. There to PS3'S -- for laptops that connected using Wi-Fi if we exceed the monthly download limits separate cable company that we must pay per gigabyte fee which is high. Between myself my wife and -- two teenage children. We cannot come to an agreement as to who is the bandwidth hog. Heated debate but -- everyone claims it can't be them I have my suspicions but I need proof. I've searched the web for tool that would enable me to track how much band with each device using I was surprised to find this is a disease is -- would've bought. Unless I'm missing something the only potential solution to upload new -- -- -- tomato W to the W port of your key to the router. It seems that their features and -- that money. Might allow me to do I want. I would've thought this -- -- management feature would be standard but it isn't any ideas I can't believe we're -- counseled him that question. This is really interesting question -- you would think I had the same problem etiquette you would think that given a router which is the hub for all that that the bits that are coming into going out of household that you just go to the router and we'll tell you which of the connected devices are using how much bandwidth but they don't. So. You can get router or router software that will do this like -- -- router. Com or -- a wireless sort of has a built in cargo Robert -- will sell you a web links in there. -- -- first few assign all your computers static IPs and then it knows yet or the guard. -- -- -- I just gonna say that very here is not it is is that wireless access point that yeah it's only has one ethernet Jack for the win and it does not have a land out Jack for you go into a switch to you have. Computers that need to be on a wired network is well that might not be your best choice but only for wireless because -- based on an act on the march 30 to a two day. -- -- Have lots of experience -- Now the -- Yeah nobody will get to it so the other things you can do and in chime in here there with your -- well the other thing you can -- you can put monitoring software on your computers. My that's not gonna work -- -- because then you gotta put this on the computer hurry -- probably didn't put on Xbox exactly how PS3'S you can't do that but if you want to find out if you are the hall you can get this thing which I've been trying called networks with an X from soft perfect. That will tell you how much data as coming into and out of your computer and put on your wise and you can put on your teenage stroke and computers but they'll just -- right -- Exactly. You know I had a very very similar problem not with a wife and the kids are anything but let -- back in Virginia lived at what we dubbed hack house -- in all of the Catholic Hak5 lived there. And as you might imagine we've got for geeks in one house and one cable modem. It just gets hammered so. That brought up to situations that are relevant because first of all. We were not gonna get away with a little Linksys or Netgear or take your pick router if you could -- -- had a big box store it -- -- going to work for us it was made out of plastic it's a -- That is the first thing you need to get through among the comes to routers because in this -- stuff that. You'd you'd pick up at those are there are literally just toys they don't have the kind of monitoring features they don't the kind of advanced networking features they are looking for and this is exactly you're saying. So what we did was we built our own router using -- PC you know so recycled metal -- behavior not turning it into -- -- Turn it into a router as long as as two ethernet ports. I highly recommend to pieces -- here first of all untangle. That's what I'm currently running and also smooth wall of -- that in the past both of those will give you bandwidth meters -- with -- Per IP address I know. Smooth -- in particular we've done Hak5 segments on both of these third -- uses software really easy to build a machine that does this. You know if you wanted to start -- you could maybe you know put together a nano like Xbox for. Under 200 dollars. I know it's a lot to spend -- and get lot of work so much more. It's so much more when you do that. I mean the alternative if you really wanna stick with your -- router is -- -- the firmware if you have something like an -- -- you have. A the BRT 54 do you or one of the more common routers are the links -- and here you could probably go and check out DD WR TM or open WRT. A lot of those how those features that you're looking for and they have hardware compatibility list on their site. Course you get up to void the warranty on your. Piece of hardware -- for a hundred a look at our partners well I'm just saying -- dollar piece of -- humans will kick in the other 5200 bucks and build you know and system. Now I'm not sure yet the WE RT 54 GS and and -- the GO -- GS is totally gonna -- it. -- -- G because it GL is the one that has the original firmware brings -- S might be one with the crappy miserable cheap. Firmware. I had one of these corrupted the GO that had a original actual good for a -- -- you know in Apple's line. Mature open to your T says it it is. Anyway. Yes rate for ruling it got kicked out. There -- they added they've they've got a huge write up on its own assuming that is. Compatible and -- table of hardware. While Darren does that I'm gonna get into the next question I I suspect that the GS model if you got at a best buy or something is not what you want -- GL model with what you want and it's now only available over the web's. Sasha 500 writes to us and says -- a desktop a laptop one printer and wireless router how to what's that all these to work together and most importantly how electric from the laptop. Everything is connected by cable except the laptop I've tried but cannot get it to set up correctly. So this is interesting because everything should be -- -- laptop and all the -- devices should be on the same subnet which brings up questions of how does -- printer or any device in your home no. What is connected to it in the house -- what's connected on the Internet outside of the house and the answer to that is. In your router. Your routers sets up what's called -- -- which is just local devices only. And on the wireless connection that should be on the same -- same subnet as all of the wire connections I don't know why it wouldn't be less. If for some reason your -- if your wireless devices connecting to a different network. Or. You have one of those routers. That gives you two wireless. -- one of those I all right authoring those are my -- has one so there's the inside that the super secret one which is inside the firewall. -- on the subnet the end and you've -- another -- that on the local DMZ yet the guest network yet and what people come to my house they get the guest network and that actually gives them access to the Internet but not the devices inside my house so that could be the -- -- all -- means getting into your browser quick and easy way to find out and that's just to look at the IP address and there are several ways to do that for example and windows you -- Double click on the icon in the bottom right hand corner the one that's -- Q -- computer screen lights. You could also pull a command prompt and run command I key Theo and half IGC. Through accurate view or you know on. On Linux at IF seal an -- But what you'll see is not typically in a home network you'll see something like 19 -- -- once exceed one dot something we're zero dot something. Well. If that if one of the machines is 190 don't want to take out one that's something and the other machine is 190 -- -- to -- -- zero does something. Chances are -- not going to be talking to each other. So get in there check it out found that not. We don't necessarily have enough information to solve this problem definitively. But it's a -- -- -- Also at the WRT 54 G -- all versions are supported by -- to be RT from the fever firmware alternative rock song cool. And that'll that'll give you that per IP -- with. Yeah there was just one version of the latest version of the 54 GI GS -- when you're thinking where they only gave half the memory you have to Emory and the lower processor and all that -- cost saving equipment. We're talking about these little -- routers that have 200 bigger processor than others and it you know you only have -- -- -- -- Corey Glenn says I use SSL and HT TPS whenever possible my question is this. Every once cable modem is on the same -- how can we be sure that are not encrypted packets reach their destination. Securely. Well I guess that's really question noble. Where you trusts. You know what -- you trust because at some point any -- at any unsecured. Traffic on the Internet for example right now where and when I'm on like Wikipedia. I'm on HTTP. You know there's no there's no real reason. Q encrypt that's because who cares that and looking at an article on Cox's well. If if that was to be HTTP -- it would be secured to -- the server that you're speaking tonight at some point -- that's that server it's going to be on encrypted just so that it can. You know make your -- and whatnot. But at that point you know its its end to end encryption and now you can do things like -- that you can tunnel. -- between certain. Parts of the of your you know your hops on its way to the server for example unlike the open Wi-Fi network at a copy -- something. And I do -- VPN tunnel over Q my home router war to a hosted service provider I can do that over a secure connection than that at that and point it will come out as an encrypted. But if you're not trusting -- or. Your Internet service provider with fewer data than -- to -- you you -- more you know problems. Well. I guess the issue is and that's what the Internet service provider but. If can somebody in the house next to me -- -- traffic. Indeed there's a big misconception. There's -- there's the bunch of myths. About. You know when we DSL and cable were new on the market -- but you're like -- we'll do DSL because it's totally dedicated subscriber line. Where is cable you are. Actually sharing the band width with everybody but the way that's. Your cable modems are made a uses protocol called boxes and part of that is this thing called PPI -- it's been renamed to FTC. By its Mac address layered. Encryption. And it's it used to be five and 56 bit. 128. Bit AES it's gotten better and better since it first came out. The original implementation of docs -- was -- -- susceptible to a few attacks. And I'm not. On whether or not those attacks included packet sniffing which is -- -- packed into work for eavesdropping. If you're somebody that knows something about that one hit me up on -- Hak5 dot org the DA -- H -- K the number five but. Yeah -- there is some attacks where you could like get the firmware off -- somebody else's modem but all the hacks that it's cheaper for cable modems are really dealing with. Getting free cable Internet or unlocking your modem to get the full speed potential but that is docs -- as the cable modem networks. Evolved these security gets better and better. Good article thanks -- we have a few more networking questions and some non networking issues which we'll get to right after this quick word. All right so Jake says to us we made the jump to laptops in our house only laptops. Am looking for easy way to get a large one terabyte external drive that we can both safety is it just as easy as plugging in the back of my Linksys WRT. Through a stretch of cat five horse or some other way to you can recommend -- -- the -- Hak5 -- meet each -- more stuff and went -- I love hearing that I guess and they. Emails from like you know an engineer -- the -- show their kids and that's why am adamant about not drop in the moments ago there you go yes good man so quick answer here I think you must have -- -- because you would connect your. Hard drive via USB port the back of whatever router it is that has the drive sharing and there. And -- -- -- -- -- had that feature and given a -- absolutely and and if it doesn't it's you know you were just talking about the network attached towards -- -- -- option. The pogo blog is really the least expensive way to do it that doesn't that isn't junk. He -- there's a lot of that and there's a lot better junk. In go to -- -- seriously the reviews of math devices and it's pathetic. What's the Jeff from Olympia -- and says I've never had -- to get into routers yet since I've never had more -- one machine on at a time. I recently upgraded my laptops and now I have to I'm going to hook my old one -- -- the -- key TV with the S video I think it's -- programming. My wireless is from a module plugged into my DSL modem is there -- way to connect the two without a router. So that though the one that laptop on the TV has access the library -- on the external drive on my new laptop. What is my next step. That's very confusing there's and -- things wrong with here but this. Well let's see so first of all if you've got -- DSL modem you do have a router -- of the easiest thing if you loved -- everything to the router. Yeah I mean it because it wireless on -- DSL modem than that would imply they as a router now is his desktop. -- house -- the machine needs replacing that now wireless. Well. You know yet yeah I've yet seen DSL modems you still -- -- -- -- -- wireless I am on my case a spot -- together at the -- same subnet as we just discussed. There yellow -- and at all and bringing all of that and then you know you don't is that a oh you know file share on a laptop and you essentially have announced. There you go -- You could you can theoretically plug two machines directly to each other. We're doing file sharing with. -- -- term crossover cable cross over into. But then it's one of them it's gotta be on the Internet and share its connection with the other one and that just use the router yeah trust -- Internet connection sharing I mean -- been around since ninety or an automatic actually a really that's pretty -- nineties and when distance that idea but -- again -- -- needed to use. Some not networking questions here. Ponds in Geneva says. I'm hoping and help me I'm going to be purchasing purchasing a new desktop computer and a netbook type portable soon. Along with getting a phone that I can tether to the netbook for when I'm out doing field work. I want to be able to use the netbook and phone when I'm out in the field during the growing season that work for university and is that a lot of vineyards. I -- with. On -- with academically and then I think the netbook with my desktop when I'm in the office once per week MI better off staying within the window seven. Or the Apple ecosystem in order keep everything is integrated and simplest possible. What -- think would be better. It doesn't matter at this -- it really doesn't. Apple verses PC you know it's not. Lake used to be it's really a question of what applications are what allows you trying to think now if -- -- -- everybody get the drinks ready. If you're taking notes. Evernote. Knew it was coming. The works it works on Mac -- elsewhere windows -- iPhone in regards. Google docs for files and documents absolutely. If you want access -- files and then drop box via -- -- Or something like that. That the issue is really not so much the OS anymore to applications you want to use and so many applications and utilities will help you synchronize your files your data together there's rituals on both platforms. 32 more for Steve -- says. Amid -- hunt for an Android app that will allow me to primarily send instant messages not -- -- -- amendments analysts and be able to transfer basic files and pictures and video. He needs to be able to run all the time load on the iPhone start and be free help and not a battery -- the -- exist. Have you tried text plus. Now I don't really use a an instant messaging app on on Android. Haven't really done I -- stuff and so long and other all of the major players like a -- -- -- Yahoo! and Amazon have their own clients but -- In an MB bell has one which is kind of interest as idle web one -- I'm a which is and when I've been trying atom iPad and iPhone name which. Pretty much works the last person -- didn't quite work with Skype and everything -- worked really well. -- text -- try final name. And then there's an episode of -- judgment and a Revision 3 show that has. A roundup of the best instant messaging apps for Android so -- -- -- shipments. Finally chase or JC says in response to the guy with a 2009 Hyundai it's -- not and who wanted to stream Bluetooth audio into his car I have a solution. I use a Blackberry stereo Gateway and plug into my aux Jack and then powered through my cigarette lighter. You can -- -- through the USB Jack as part because just a part in mini USB port to power the Gateway sinks with more than just blackberries and this method has worked for me so maybe it will work for him. Thank you for the -- And -- closing words. Trust -- trust your -- for a -- technolust technolust death -- are right -- where we find more wonderful -- stuff. Who you find it over H -- K the number five dot org because we are. Hacking our way through an awesome series of building your own virtualization cluster that's right with a couple thousand dollars you too can have a super computer in your home. It's a cluster -- gives it -- Remember send your tech questions are way mail us mail them to us that rescue at cnet.com -- -- message at 8774386688. The rural operators always standing by join me on Friday for reporters' roundtable can be really fool will want. It's gonna be really cool one we're talking about connect multi touch and the future of the user interface with -- -- the quick and quite the of Forrester Research. And Jon stokes of ours tech Mecca that's the bond I have -- up to -- you up there about that I don't wanna hear the that you rated show alright everyone no no and -- -- -- -- thank -- for coming -- Yes absolutely. He -- and here it has always. Kelly thanks for producing what he -- -- next -- 51.