Make your home network scream with a high performance router and firewall. Darren builds a custom network appliance using cheap parts, free and open source software and more power tools than he’s typically allowed to touch. Plus, need an online backup solution? Fancy 50 gigs in the cloud for free? Shannon’s got the hookup.
Chuck that plastic router
Sure you could go out to your local big box store and pickup a cheap plastic box that claims to route packets for you and your dozen Internet loving devices, but unless you fancy your multi-core gaming rig being limited by a network-toy with a smart phone processor it’s time to step it up a notch. This week we’re breaking out the mini-itx boards and, wait, someone let Darren touch the power tools?
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Building a cheap acrylix mini-itx case
Why pay for a fancy mini-itx case when you can easily build one out of scrap parts for next to nothing? In this segment Darren breaks out the power tools to find out just how skillful he can be. Be forewarned that Darren makes no claims at being handy. Please send all hate mail to email@example.com
Innovative Online Storage
Props to JPG for sending this in!
Lets face it, local backups only get you so far. And unless you’re shipping hard drives to grandma’s place every other week a true offsite backup solution is, unfortunately, not commonplace. Of course there are services like dropbox and sugarsync, but with a paltry 2 gigs with the free accounts it beacons back to the 2 meg days of Geocities. And don’t get me started about Geocities Thankfully there is a service that, if you’re willing to contribute to, will offer you up to 50 gigs of cloud storage.
Wuala is a service by Lacie that let’s you store a gig of data up in the cloud. Of course like any other similar service you won’t be backing up operating system or program files, this is just for the priceless material. Photos, documents, and. Um. Maybe music.. Anyway, what sets Wuala apart from the rest is the ability to trade gigabytes of local storage on your own personal hard drive for storage in the cloud.
Some of Wuala’s features include:
private, shared and public modes
personal folders and groups
secure file storage
Pro users get version control
If you’re not keen on sharing your precious hard drive with others there is a paid version of the service that starts at $25/year for 10 GB and ramps up to $1000/year for a terabyte. Personally if you’ve got that much stuff that needs a home on the web you might be better off with Amazon’s S3 storage solution — as long as you don’t need to upload and download it frequently.
Wuala is available for Windows, Mac, and oh yes, Linux. Thanks to Go To Assist Express I can easily walk you through the simple Windows setup on one of our Hak5 cloud labs boxes. Downloading Wuala is very easy, you just follow the steps that pop up and tada! You’re done. I would suggest checking out the included tutorial for a very quick look at how to use Wuala in a nutshell.
To upload a picture I simply click add files, choose my image, and open it. Once the image is uploaded, it’ll have a little green bullet next to the file. You can also drag and drop a folder or file into Wuala. To change the privacy settings of a folder, right click, go to properties, change the visibility by clicking change, and choose private, shared, or public. I’ll choose shared, then I’ll select ‘all’ friends. Since I dont’ have any yet, just picking this will include all my future friends. if you have friends already, it’ll list them in that popup. I save, and in a few seconds my folder will turn red, showing me it’s a ‘shared’ folder.
Wasn’t that easy, now your essential files are backed up to the cloud using industry standard encryption. I <3 online backups nearly as much as I <3 portable apps. Do you? What are you using? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any of your thoughts!
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With our hardware built our focus shifts to setting up the software for our spiffy new router. There are quite a few free open source solutions to choose from, including m0n0wall, Smoothwall and pfsense. I’m a big fan of Smoothwall so in this segment I’ll be guiding you through the interactive installer.
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