• Networking

    How to set up a VPN in Windows

    Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) in Windows will use a secure “tunnel” connection between your PC and the VPN provider. This secures and encrypts the data which means no one or ISP can see what is happening on your internet connection such as websites visited. VPN’s are commonly used to surf websites in private at home or connect to a secure corporate network remotely. When you sign up to a VPN provider they will usually give you instructions to download their software to connect to the VPN. Alternatively if you want to setup a VPN in Windows yourself here are the instructions: These instructions describe how you would setup…

  • Networking

    Unifi Switch offering to downgrade it’s firmware?

    Today I realised in the Unifi App that my Unifi Switch is offering a downgrade firmware from to It usually shows upgrades, not downgrades. What is the reason behind this? After further research I discovered that: "There was a regression in 4.0.67 until 4.0.73 which would block DHCP traffic over the 6th LAG interface. That was fixed in 4.0.73, but there are stability problems related to DHCP snooping in 4.0.73 which might spontaneously reboot switches. While that's being identified and resolved, the last safe stable version for all use cases is 4.0.66. If you're on a newer version than that and not having any problems, then there's no…

  • Networking

    Free Parental Control for Families – CleanBrowsing DNS

    CleanBrowsing is a DNS-based content filtering service that offers a safe way for kids to browse the web safely. How to set this up: You will need to adjust your DNS address which is provided to your devices usually via DHCP on your router. CleanBrowsing provide install guides on setting this up for free filters and paid filters. Free filters: There are 3 content filters such as: Security Filter   Malicious domains blocked (phishing, malware). Adult Filter  Adult domains blocked; Search Engines set to safe mode; +Security Filter Family Filter Proxies, VPNs & Mixed Adult Content blocked; Youtube to safe mode; +Adult Filter If you…

  • Networking

    Cisco Quick Tips

    Compilation of my go to Cisco commands. I hope they are useful for you. Show all ports on interface: Show ip int brief Show all ports with speeds: Show int status Show POE ports: Show power inline Show mac addresss: Show mac address-table Create an EtherChannel: Channel-group 1 mode active Show EtherChannel: Show etherch sum Show transceiver detail: show int gi1/1 tran det     (Change gi1/1 to your interface) Transmit power is typically good when it is in the 6 dB range between -1 and -7 dBm. Receive power is normally expected between – 1 and -9.9 dBm.  If either Tx or Rx is in the -25 or -30 dBm…

  • Networking,  TSF Knowledge Base

    WD MyCloud + Time Machine

    Experienced an issue with a WD MyCloud drive & Mac OS 10.12 Sierra backing up to the drive via Time Machine. The backup failed with the error “Resource temporarily unavailable”. I rebooted the MyCloud drive and the same issue occured. I noticed there was a firmware update 04.04.05-101. Applied this and it fixed the issue. Here are the release notes to the firmware fix. Firmware Version 04.04.04-101 (09/20/2016) Resolved Issues:  Resolved issue where macOS-10.12 user is unable to create a new Time Machine backup If your firmware version is using 2.x it has been fixed with 2.21.119 (09/20/2016) Remember to update to the correct firmware depending if you are using 2.x or…

  • MS Office,  Networking

    Visio available for the web and iPad

    Visio Viewer for iPad and Visio Online Preview has been released. This will allow users to share and access diagrams from a web browser or iPad (iPhone app is coming soon). It looks like you will be able to add realtime data into the online visio, allowing you to have a realtime map of your diagrams/networks. You will need access to a Microsoft account or home/school Office 365 subscription. For more details see the Microsoft link here.

  • Networking

    What is PortFast ?

    PortFast is a cisco proprietary STP enhancement. It can be used with STP or RSTP. Let’s first discuss STP or Spanning Tree Protocol. Spanning Tree Protocol is used to quickly prevent and eliminate bridging loops. If you enable PortFast on a port that is connected to another Layer 2 device, such as a switch, you might create network loops. The time Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) takes to transition ports over to the Forwarding state can cause problems such as booting into WDS or a workstation getting an IP address to login to a domain. PortFast can be used to speed up this time on a port. Turning on PortFast or using…

  • Networking

    Upgrading Cisco Switch Firmware Slow

    I recently upgraded a Cisco 3560X switch. I upgraded from 12.2(53)SE2 to 15.0(2)SE8. I thought this would take 5 minutes max. After ten minutes I was worried. I connected a console cable and found the console reporting “Front-end Microcode IMG MGR: Programming device 0…rrrrrrwsssssssssssssssssssssspssssssssssssssssssssspsssssssss” Solution: After googling I have discovered it is quite normal to take up to 40 minutes due to an upgrade to the MCU (Micro Processing Unit). This happens when updating to a higher version with newer microcode. PHEW! It was a heart stopping 40 minutes.  

  • Networking

    Cisco tdr command

    I recently discovered a really cool command on a Cisco 3560 switch. It has a TDR (Time-domain reflectometer). It basically means you can test how long the cable is, if it has a short, pair of wires open and any other problem. TDR works on 10/100/1000BaseTx. Fibre optic ports are not supported. TDR has been available after Cisco IOS Release 12.2(25)SE or later. This is a table of the different pair status results and their meanings. More info is available here from Cisco. Here is an example: Switch# test cable-diagnostics tdr interface g0/1 TDR test started on interface Gi0/1 A TDR test can take a few seconds to run on…

  • Networking

    802.11g and 802.11n differences

    802.11g 2003 – Speed 54Mbit – Operates in 2.4 Ghz band – One can have 3 non overlapping channels (channel 1, 6 and 11) 802.11n 2009 – Up to speeds of 300 Mbit – Operates in 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz band If 2.4 Ghz used still have 3 non overlapping channels (channel 1, 6 and 11) If 5 Ghz used still have 23 non overlapping channels The n draft uses the MIMO technique, this means that the normal 20Mhz (150Mbps) channel is doubled to 40 Mhz (300Mbps). This doesn’t mean that you’ll have 2 times the number of non overlapping channels. It assures twice the data transfer rate due…

  • Networking

    Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a and Cat6e Cabling

    Information from different websites put together to make sense of the different cables. Dates: * Cat5e was defined in 2001 in TIA/EIA-568-B standard * Cat6 was defined in June 1, 2002 as defined in TIA-568-B.2-1 standard addendum. * Cat6a was defined in February 2008 in ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2-10. Info about Cat6a: * Cat6a cables operate at 500Mhz, twice that of 250Mhz Cat6 cable. * Cat6a can run at 10Gbps up to 100m. * Cat6a cables have improved shielding and protection against alien crosstalk. Crosstalk occurs when signal from one cable leaks to another. * Cat6a cable is thicker then Cat6. It is harder to work with using cable management. * Cat6a cables…