Stolen APs

I have two access points stolen from one of my clients, a mid-size hotel somewhere in the Bay Area. Six days later, the thief decides to connect one of the access points to his network. Of course, the access point reconnected to my cloud controller giving me complete access to the stolen unit. Just to mess around with the dumb thief, I decided to change the Wi-Fi password of the access point. I also changed the SSID to “Stolen from xxx hotel.” I’m sure his neighbors are delighted to see such a unique SSID. And one more thing, I turned on the “locate” feature causing the access point to blink every second. I hope the thief sleeps through fine with a blinking blue light at night.

Linksys WRT1900ACS

Linksys upgraded one of their top routers, the WRT1900. The latest version is called WRT1900ACS. This is the second installment with faster processors and faster results. The 2.4GHz band has a theoretical throughput of 600 Mbps, while the 5.0GHz band has a theoretical throughput of 1300 Mbps. Here’s one good review from PCWorld.

Chromecast 2

Google is coming out with a new version of Chromecast later this month. This is at the heels from an announcement Apple when it released the latest version of the Apple TV a few weeks ago. Chromecast is also competing with Amazon and Roku in the media streaming space. Details of the newer Chromecast have been sketchy, but rumors have been swirling around that the newer versions can connect to the faster wireless signals, namely 802.11ac.

Amtrak’s Wifi

You knew WiFi on trains and buses were not good. What you didn’t know is they are really bad, according to a review by Dan Berman of NationalReview.com. “In some stretches between DC and New York, you basically don’t have the Internet at all.”

OnHub Router

Google is in partnership with TP-Link to release a new router called OnHub.

Here are some of it’s features.

Despite the unassuming look, there are 13 antennas inside the OnHub, with the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands getting six each, plus a congestion-sensing antenna to make a baker’s dozen. They’re arranged in a circular pattern to ensure reliable coverage throughout your home. OnHub is an 802.11ac router powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of DDR3L memory. It also has 4GB of eMMC flash and 8MB of NOR flash, a USB 3.0 port, built-in 3W speaker, WPA2-PSK security, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.15.4 conformance. It supports speeds of up 1,900Mbps.

OnHub will retail at $199. It will be available in a few weeks.

WiFi on 900 Mhz

A couple of researchers (hackers) have been able to transmit WiFi signals on the 900 Mhz amateur ham radio band. Signals were successfully received as far as 20 miles away. But due to the technological approached being used using frequencies on the noise floor, the top speed is only achieved at 56 kbps, reminiscent of the dial modem speeds of the past. Nevertheless, the range is quite impressive. Read the rest of the article.

11 Attacks on Fiber Backbone

The FBI is investigating 11 attacks on Internet Fiber backbone in the San Francisco Bay Area this past year. The cutting of the fiber cables resulted in the disruption of Internet access to local businesses, as well as residential areas. Is this an act of vandalism or something more sinister? The attacks reveals the vulnerability of the Internet infrastructure. How do you exactly protect hundreds of miles of fiber optic cables? You can’t put up thousands of security cameras as a deterrent. That would be impractical. In this particular incident, the attackers were able to get to an underground vault. Why aren’t these vaults secure? Why aren’t there any surveillance cameras?

TP-LINK TL-SG1008P

In my previous post, I talked about the TL-SG1008PE, an 8-port Gigabit POE switch. If you need a cheaper alternative, take a look at the TP-LINK TL-SG1008P 4-Port Gigabit PoE Switch. It essentially the same switch, but it only has 4 POE ports instead of 8. It will support IEEE 802.3af compliant powered devices. Notice it’s 802.3af only. It doesn’t support 802.3at. This PoE switch currently sells for $80 at Amazon.

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TP-LINK TL-SG1008PE

If you’re looking for a POE switch to power your networking devices over power over ethernet, check out the TP-LINK TL-SG1008PE 8-Port Gigabit PoE Switch. It has 8 Gigabit POE ports. It will support devices that are compliant to IEEE 802.3at/af standard. The switch has a maximum output of 124 watts. Most of all, it works quite well with the Ubiquiti Unifi products, in particular, the Unifi Outdoor Plus. The TP-Link switch currently sells for $130 at Amazon.

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