NETGEAR R6300 Dual Band WiFi 802.11AC Router

AC1750 WiFi—450+1300 Mbps speeds

  • Broadcom BCM5300 chip rev 1
  • 5GHz: IEEE® 802.11 a/n/ac
    2.4GHz: IEEE® 802.11 b/g/n
  • 2 USB Ports: one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port
  • 4 10/100/1000Mbps LAN Ports
  • 64/128-bit WEP,WPA / WPA2,WPA-PSK/ WPA2-PSK encryption

Firmware Version: DD-WRT v24-sp2 (04/17/14) kongac – build 23900M
Kernel Version: Linux 3.11.10 #109 Thu Apr 17 20:39:01 CEST 2014 mips

Works well with Windows XP and Windows 7 and 10 clients, OS X, Android, iOS, Blackberry and Playstations. USB keys may get hot when remained inserted for a long period. Supports three simultaneous networks, including a guest network. Great network performance for speed and coverage.

performs extremely well with dd-wrt firmware


Upgrade to dd-wrt firmware

This router has been upgraded from Netgear Firmware Version V1.0.2.78_1.0.58 to a dd-wrt firmware.

Please refer to the dd-wrt.com site for the detailed documentation and instructions.

myopenrouterCheck also the articles on MyOpenRouter.com (Downloads are here).

The key to a successful upgrade is to reset the router before and after each step. Hence,  after each step, the router will restore its default values. This  R6300 V1 model was initially installed with the  Kong K3-AC  version. Once this was succesfully completed and tested, it was upgraded to the Firmware Version: DD-WRT v24-sp2 (10/06/14) kongac – build 25015M-SP1. Later I tried with DD-WRT v3.0-r40672 giga (08/17/19) but found it unstable and returned to DD-WRT v24-sp2 (04/17/14) kongac.

The dd-wrt firmware works stable and provides an equal perfomance as the stock firmware but with more features for wireless channel controls and use of VPNs. The user interface is the big drawback and is not recommended for novice users.

Read also The Silicon Underground articles about DD-WRT settings recommendations.


Wireless settings used, based on other user’s recommendations:

Basic Settings:
Regulatory Domain – EUROPE (change this to your country’s setting)
Regulatory Mode – off
TPC Mitigation Factor – 0
 
wl0 (2.4ghz)
Wireless Mode – AP
Wireless Network Mode – Mixed
Wireless Channel – Auto (a weekly reboot selects the best for the area)
Channel Width – 20mhz

wl1 (5 ghz)
Wireless Mode – AP
Wireless Network Mode – AC-Only
Wireless Channel – 108 (DD-wrt exposes the middle frequencies under 149 and above 48 as selectable [per DFS preemption])
Channel Width – 80mhz
Extension Channel – Upper Lower (depends on the channel you use. lower lower for above 149, upper upper for below 48 )
Optimize Multicast Traffic – enabled
Explicit Beamforming – enabled
Implicit Beamforming – enabled
Airtime Fairness – disabled (this currently causes wireless dropouts over time)

Wireless Security:
WPA2 Personal with AES only (unless you run a RADIUS server or something, in which case choose enterprise..)

Advanced Settings (both bands):

Basic Rate – All
Transmission Rate – Auto
CTS Protection Mode – Auto
Frame Burst – Enabled

Beacon Interval – 100 (set this a bit higher than 100 to save mobile clients some battery. Not too high so that wireless client’s don’t drop out from missed beacons)
DTIM interval – 1 (set this higher for battery saving of mobile clients, but since it works in tandem with beacon interval, it can cause drop outs if set too high as well)
Fragmentation Threshold – 2346
RTS Threshold – 2347
Max Associated Clients – 128 (Personal preference. Say you want to restrict a certain number of IP’s for wired clients only. This setting would prevent wireless clients from taking all the IP addresses in the address range from the DHCP server)

AP Isolation – Disabled
TX Antenna – Auto
RX Antenna – auto
Preamble – Long (Long is for compatibility with older wireless devices. Most everything within 15 years works with short)
Shortslot Override – Short (another compatiblity setting that affects G-clients in relation to older B-clients. Reduces the time in between sending packets to clients after collisions)
TX Power- Auto (This will change as needed for the client while obeying regulatory domain)
Bluetooth Coexistence Mode – Preemption (tells a bluetooth client which 2.4ghz channel the router is using to avoid transmitting on that frequency)
Wireless GUI access – enabled (else your wireless clients can’t configure the router)

Radio Time Restrictions – Disabled (personal preference)

WMM Support – Enabled (Wireless-N and newer require this for higher transmission rates)
No-Acknowledgement – Disabled (disable this if you are getting frequent throughput drops from a noisy wireless environment)


Configure a Guest WiFi network with dd-wrt firmware

Refer to the the tutorial: ‘Guest WiFi + abuse control for beginners

My objective of a guest network is to offer isolated, yet protected, access to the Internet. Guest users should not have access to my private LAN. This can be achieved with the following settings:
Wireless Basic Settings (‘Virtual Interfaces’): AP isolation enabled.
Network Configuration: Unbridged, NAT enabled.
Enable Forced DNS Redirection and fill in the Optional DNS target field.
You will need to assign a dedicated network range and enable DHCP.

VPN added to the 2.4 GHz wireless network

Safer browsing on the Internet

privacy-cookiesSafer browsing on the Internet

If you are concerned about the ´behind the scenes´ of your Internet access, you may apply the following changes on your network:

– use DNS servers that block sites hosting malware, phishing schemes, and scams:

guidelines for using alternative DNS servers can be found on WikiLeaks

a list of Free & Public DNS Servers is published by about.com

– install tools to detect and protect against web page trackers (scripts, pixels, and other elements):

here is a list of Browser Extensions that Protect Your Privacy

use Ghostery to control page trackers

Check your pc or mac for IP leaks and see what your give away on information: IP/DNS Detection.

ZTE Home Station ADSL Modem, Router and Wireless Access Point

Home-Station-VDSL2-ZyXEL-Prestige-P870HNU-51B-2Home Sation ADSL-ZTE-H108N

The Home Sation ADSL-ZTE-H108N is a combined ADSL Modem, Router and Wireless Access Point.

The default adress of the Access Point is http://192.168.1.1 (factory setting).

Works well with Windows 7 clients, iOS, Android and Blackberry. Supports the WPA2 wireless clients authentication and encryption methods. Simple setup menu.

Firefox may not work to access the setup menu. Use Internet Explorer instead.

Spotify

spotifylogo1Spotify

Spotify offers streaming music and holds a vast choice of popular music. You can download Spotify for free and then log onto their service enabling the on-demand streaming of music. While the use of a facebook account is suggested, it is not mandatory and you can sign up for an account by using an email address only.

Spotify is available on different platforms and devices: PC, Mac, Tablet, Smartphone and audiostreaming devices. To learn more about the features, you can have a look at the user guides.

When using the PC or Mac version, you can listen to all music for free. Spotify  works well on Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 10.

When using other devices, you must use paid subscriptions without ads and with a range of extra features such as higher bitrate streams and offline access to music. We recommend to use this version to fully benefit of the flexibility and quality. Keep in mind that this is a single user account. You can use the same account on all your devices but you cannot listen with the same account to your Smartphone and iPad at the same time.

We are using Spotify accounts on the following devices:

Spotify can also be used on an Android tablet and some Blackberry models.

Enjoy!

iTunes Audio protection removal

iTunes Audio protection removal

These steps explain how the iTunes Audio protection can be removed. Note that this should only be used for backup purposes only (in case Apple ID’s are lost) and copywrite laws should be respected. (Dutch version)

importsettings1. Adjust the import settings

The Protected AAC audio files are only @ 128kpbs. Hence, you should match your import settings accordingly.

2. Create a playlist with the songs that must be converted

Note that the total size of your playlist songs should not exceed the size of an audio cd. Create multiple playlists if necessary and repeat the steps 3 and 4 below for each playlist.

burncd3. Burn the playlist on an Audio CD

Select the playlist and choose the ‘Burn playlist to Disc’. Make sure you have tagged the Audio CD option.

Once the songs have been burned on the CD, do not eject the CD.

import24. Import the Audio CD

If you did not eject the CD, the songs of your playlist will be shown as the CD contents. Choose to import the songs. iTunes will import the songs according your import settings in step 1. At the end of the import process you can eject the disc and your files have been created without the DRM protection.

iTunes – audio file formats

AAC audio file: This is a standard AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) file. It can be created by the iTunes built-in AAC encoder.

Matched AAC audio file: This is a standard AAC audio file, downloaded from an iCloud account, using iTunes Match.

MPEG audio file: This is a standard MP3 file. It can be created by using the iTunes built-in MP3 encoder.

Protected AAC audio file: This is the default filetype for songs purchased from the iTunes Store prior to the introduction of the DRM-free iTunes Plus format in April 2009. The DRM built into the file prevents it from being copied/shared beyond the iTunes account it’s associated with.

Purchased AAC audio file: This is the default filetype for songs purchased at the iTunes Store after April 2009. The Purchased AAC audio file format no longer has the DRM-based copy restrictions.

 

SONOS CONNECT:AMP

sonosampSONOS CONNECT:AMP

AMPLIFIER Class-D. Rated output 110W RMS (2x55W)

2-port switch (10/100Mbps, auto MDI/MDIX)

AUDIO STREAMER supports MP3, WMA Internet radio streams and iTunes libraries (Apple Protected audio files are not supported).

For help on radio streams read my post on streaming URLs.

 Easy set up. Works well with Spotify and iTunes libraries.

 No support for IR remotes. Needs use of Tablet, Smartphone, PC or Mac Applet to operate. Automatic update of MacOS Sonos Controler App may not work properly.

Works well with SonoPad for Sonos, the alternative Controler App that still supports iOS 9 devices.

No native Bluetooth® support.

Works well with Philips AEA2700 Bluetooth® HiFi-adapter connected to the Line-In.

Works well with Monitor Audio Radius 90HD speakers and the R360HD active subwoofer.

Sonos___Monitor

iTunes library notes (iTunes 12.x):

The (imported) playlists may appear duplicated; in that case remove all (xml) library files in the iTunes directory except the ‘iTunes Library.xml’ and update the Sonos music library (‘Manage’ menu, ‘Update Music Library Now’).

If after the Music Library update process no imported playlists appear, you may need to re-generate the xml library. More details on the iTunes library files can be found on the Apple support pages.

How to convert iTunes Protected AAC Audio files

iTunesMatchHow to convert iTunes Protected AAC Audio files

Early shoppers on iTunes may still own Protected AAC Audio songs. These tracks cannot be converted from within iTunes and may not play on non-Apple branded media players.

I have used two different ways to convert these Protected AAC Audio tracks:

  • keep the 128k bitrate and remove the protection (see separate post), with hindsight the easiest method and that will serve as your fallback solution if the iCloud solution does not work
  • upgrade to a higher bitrate (256k) and convert to a Purchased AAC Audio file

Obviously, the latter benefits of a better quality result after the conversion. This conversion requires an annual subscription to Apple’s iCloud services. Converting more than 25 tracks will break you even. If you own less than 25 tracks, you might opt to buy a new copy of the song, rather than going to all the hassle. Apple’s iTunes Match will scan your music library and if the track is also available in the iTunes Store it will add that music at 256 Kbps iTunes Plus quality to your iCloud library. A copy of the music in the iCloud library can be downloaded to your iTunes library. To avoid ‘matching’ of your whole iTunes music library, which may hold thousands of tracks, I suggest to create a new (dedicated) iTunes library. Below, you find a procedure that you may follow to use this method of conversion.

Step One: save the protected tracks in a separate folder

  • backup all iTunes files (i.e. \iTunes folder plus all its subfolders)
  • identify all the Protected AAC Audio tracks that you want to convert and copy them in a new playlist (e.g. ‘protected tracks’)
  • create a new folder on your desktop (e.g. ‘itunes tracks’)
  • copy all files of the ‘protected tracks’ playlist to your desktop folder ‘itunes tracks’ (you can do this in iTunes 11.x by drag and drop)

Step Two: create a new library

Exit iTunes and restart it holding the shift key. iTunes will ask you to choose an existing library or to create a new one; choose to create a new library (e.g. ‘mytemplib’). iTunes will open with a new and empty library to which you add the ‘itunes tracks’ folder on your desktop. Only the Protected AAC Audio tracks are now in your library. Check if your computer is authorised and the music plays correctly.

Step Three: use iTunes Match

  • Now Turn On iTunes Match. You will be asked to subscribe to the iCloud services. After you have completed the subscription, your iTunes client will start to ‘match’ the tracks with iTunes Store. In some cases no match can be found because the track is no longer available in the iTunes Store or the metadata (i.e. track information like Title, Artist, Album, etc.) has been changed by you. Once all tracks have been matched (you will notice the cloud icon), you should delete all Protected AAC Audio tracks.
  • Exit and restart iTunes. While the iTunes Match is still turned on, the iCloud library will now try to sync with your iTunes library and will offer you to download a copy of the song in 256 Kbps iTunes Plus quality. Note that all your purchased songs will be shown, not only the Protected AAC Audio tracks. Once you have downloaded the copies, you should Turn Off iTunes Match and exit iTunes.
  • Restart iTunes, De-authorise your computer and check if the music plays correctly. If the music plays correctly you have successfully upgraded to a higher bitrate (256k) and converted to a Purchased AAC Audio file.

Step Four: save the converted tracks in a separate folder

  • identify all the converted AAC Audio tracks and copy them in a new playlist (e.g. ‘matched tracks’)
  • create a new folder on your desktop (e.g. ‘itunes plus tracks’)
  • copy all files of the ‘matched tracks’ playlist to your desktop folder ‘itunes plus tracks’ (you can do this in iTunes 11.x by drag and drop)

Step Five: restore your initial library

Exit iTunes. Restore all iTunes files from the backup in Step One (i.e. \iTunes folder plus all its subfolders). Start iTunes

Alternatively (if you did not restore), you can start iTunes, holding the shift key. iTunes will ask you to choose an existing library or to create a new one; choose to open an existing library and select the initial library in your iTunes folder (most likely ‘iTunes Library.itl’).

iTunes now should open with your full music library to which you must add the ‘itunes plus tracks’ folder on your desktop. Remove the Protected AAC Audio tracks which may appear as duplicate in your library. Check if the music plays correctly and authorise your computer again, if required.

 

 

 

 

Popcorn Hour A-400 media player

popcornhoura400Popcorn Hour A-400

The A-400 features a dual core 800Mhz CPU.

  • CPU SMP8911 Dual-Core 800Mhz w/512KB L2 Cache
  • Video: HDMI, Component
  • Audio: Coaxial, Optical, Analog
  • I/O: 2 x 2.0 USB Host, 1 x USB 3.0 Slave, eSATA, SD Card Reader, 1 x SATA
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • WD Green WD40EZRX – Hard Drive – 4 TB – intern – 3.5″

currently installed version:

Firmware Version : 05-05-140112-25-POP-422-802

NMT Apps Version : 05-01-130708-25-POP-422

 media player with excellent video quality output, the forward and rewind media playback performs very well, convenient remote control

 too expensive, compared to the existing flaws: firmware updates may freeze the player; video library cover-art match is not always accurate; setup with Synology DiskStation DS213+ initially failed, no support of AAC protected audiofile, weak AirPlay support, limited customisation of menu’s; local drive wake-up is slow.

error codes are available here

NMJ Toolbox website (NMJ windows editor)