Posts Tagged ‘wireless networks’

How to configure VIVACOM 3g USB ( internet ) modem HUAWEI Mobile broadband E173 on Debian and Ubuntu GNU / Linux

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

sakis3g-configure-usb-modem-kdialog-shot

I've been given a HUAWEI Mobile Broadband E173 USB 3g model. The USB modem contains a flash USB Storage segment storing a little install program dedicated to make the modem work fine on Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 7 and probably other M$ OSes. I'm a long time DebianGNU / Linux user and as a free software enthusiast I ofcourse wanted to be able to use Vivacom's 3G USB Modem on my Linux powered notebook.

Thanksfully as I've red on Vivacom's website the modem supports Linux OS 🙂

For those unaware in Bulgaria there are currently 3 major GSM network providers providing 3G internet this are;;;
 

  • VIVACOM – The ex Government ran national company BTC (Bulgarian Telecommunication Company)
  • M-Tel – The first GSM network provider that entered Bulgaria around year 1995
  • GLOBUL – The 3rd and last GSM mobile and net provider entered last and not so much used by Bulgarians today

Until today I had no experience in running any 3G modems on Linux, neither I had used the 3 networks 3G internet to determine which one is best, however I've been given for temporal use a VIVACOM 3G internet modem today so I proceeded to try installing it on my Debian host.

My Linux system is a bit strangely configured as I use wicd network connection manager -( wicd-gtk ) to manage wireless and LAN connections instead of the standard installed GNOME network manager – available through package ( network-manager-gnome ).

The reason I use wicd is not that it is so much better than GNOME network manger but rather for historical reasons because few years past I had impression it works better in connecting me to wireless networks. Another reason why I choosed wicd back then was the nice looking stats …

I tried plugging in the Vivacom USB 3G modem stick and checked in wicd to see if I can see a possibility to connect to the mobile opeartor 3G network but unfortunately nothing appeared.

Though the 3G adsl modem was unavailable straing in wicd, checking about it in the list of attached USB devices I could see it detected, e.g.:

noah:~# lsusb |grep -i huawei
Bus 001 Device 007: ID 12d1:1c05 Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

This was at least a good sign pointing me to the thoughts that the modem is probably gonna work.

I did a quick Google search to see if other people succeded running the device on a Linux host and came across a few blog posts in Bulgarian explaining a "success story" on Ubuntu Linux through using a tweakened shell script – sakis3g. For more on how the script works and script download check out Sakis3g

Here is a quote from sakis3g's website describing the script:
 

It automagically setups your USB or Bluetooth™ modem, and may even detect operator settings.
You should try it when anything else fails!

Sakis3g has different versions designed for for plenty of spacific hware architectures i.e. for (i386, amd64, armv4t, armv5t).
There is also a version of the script which by the way contains a combination of bash shell scripting instruction and some binary exec data.

To run sakis3g on my laptop I did:

1. Download sakis3g

My notebook architecture is 64 bit so I download and used the amd64 version of the script;;;

hipo@noah:~$ mkdir sakis3g
hipo@noah:~$ cd sakis3g
hipo@noah:~/sakis3g$ wget http://www.sakis3g.org/versions/latest/amd64/sakis3g.gz

I've made also a mirror of sakis3g i386, 64 bit and all architecture the mirrors just in case it disappears in future. The mirror versions of sakis3g are here:

a. sakis3g i386 b. sakis3g amd64 c. sakis3g all architectures source

2. Unarchive and make it executable

After downloading it as it is in gzip I had to do the usual de-gzipping and making the file executable;;;

hipo@noah:~/sakis3g$ /bin/gzip -d sakis3g.gz
hipo@noah:~/sakis3g$ chmod +x sakis3g

The script is then ready to run by either clicking twice on it or (as I prefer for debugging reasons to run it in terminal):

hipo@noah:~$ ./sakis3g

Something that I have wondered a bit was the dialog where I had to fill in some data of some variable APN abbreviation for – (Access Point Name)

The APN host for VIVACOM mobile internet is;;;
APN: internet.vivacom.bg

I've used the Windows configuration progrma to gather also the following data that I thought might be important for configuring the 3G adsl modem on the Linux host;;;

Auth: *99#
User: VIVACOM
pass: VIVACOM

Here are all the configuration screenshots I've taken from sakis3g and all the data that I filled in.
Next the following tiny window appeared on screen:

Sakis3g configure usb modem kdialog shot 1 VIVACOM USB Modem Sakis 3g Shot 2 sakis 3g usb modem vivacom connect screenshot 2 vivacom 3g modem linux sakis3g enter pin dialog shot 4 Sending pin screenshot 5 sakis3g APN Dialog sakis3g screenshot 6sakis3g Internet Linux VIVACOM screenshot 7sakis3g Debian GNU Linux VIVACOM 3g Internet screenshot 8sakis3g initializing modem screenshot 9sakis3g successful connect to VIVACOM mobile 3g usb adls modem shot 10

Well that's all folks, now sakis3g succesfully connected to the I_net via an (PPP) VPN connection tunnel here is data from ifconfig command showing the succesful 3G connection to VIVACOM;;;

noah:~# /sbin/ifconfig ppp0
ppp0 Link encap:Point-to-Point Protocol
inet addr:10.58.146.232 P-t-P:10.64.64.64 Mask:255.255.255.255
UP POINTOPOINT RUNNING NOARP MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:2066 errors:1 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:1609 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:3
RX bytes:2232058 (2.1 MiB) TX bytes:341693 (333.6 KiB)

The internet via the 3G connection is not blazing fast but good enough to check your mail or read some webpages. VIVACOM currently has different (traffic limited packages) for their 3G internet, I'm not sure which package exactly is the 3G USB stick modem but probably the "quick" internet connection that is now would slow down once the traffic limit is reached …
Hope this post helps someone to configure 3G internet on VIVACOM in Debian and Ubuntu Linux. Though I've tested sakis3g on Debian it should work with no hassles on any other GNU Linux distribution that has bash installed.

How to make wicd systray to appear in GNOME on Ubuntu 11.10 / How to fix missing wicd network manager systray on Ubuntu

Monday, November 7th, 2011

After upgrading my sis’s notebook from Ubuntu 11.04 to Ubuntu 11.10 on her Acer Aspire 5736Z the default gnome wireless network manager started behaving oddly.
The Network Manager did not show any networks, even though the network drivers showed that are loaded properly on the Linux host and using the normal commands like iwlist or iwconfig I could list and see the networks and even connect to a network.

As my sister is not a console geek like me it was necessery of course to have an easy way to connect herself to the Internet with nice GUI application. I personally love WICD Network Manager and as the default gnome manager was misbehaving I immediately installed her wicd.
With wicd , the wireless networks were properly listed and there was no connection issues to the wireless networks, however the wicd system tray was missing and hence everytime she wanted to connect to a wireless network, she had to keep wicd-client running active in the Dock or run it manually every time on connect, when she had to change her physical location and connect to another wireless network.
This of course is quite unhandy and gives her a bad image of Linux and I definitely want to make her love free software and GNU / Linux. Thus I want to give her a GNU / Linux she will be easy to use.

To make her more satisfied with her Ubuntu I googled around to see what causes the wicd systray to be missing after some research online I found out, its probably due to either wicd bug or some kind of interface changes in unity newer versions of Ubuntu. Some people online suggested a fix via changing values in gconf-editor but this work around by changing the values in gconf-editor:

'desktop' -> 'unity' -> 'panel'

I tried this suggested fix which was reported to work on Ubuntu 11.04 but the gconf registry suggested pathway was missing at all so this solution did not worked.

I further read some other suggested solution using wicd-client by invoking it with two args like so:

stanimira@ubuntu:~$ wicd-client -n &
...stanimira@ubuntu:~$ wicd-client -a &

This proposed solution did not worked either, then I found in one of the Ubuntu bugs reports, a little shell script (add-wicd-to-whitelist.sh) that changes some values in gconf so I proceeded downloaded and give it a try:

stanimira@ubuntu:~$ wget http://www.pc-freak.net/files/add-wicd-to-whitelist.sh
...
stanimira@ubuntu:~$ sh add-wicd-to-whitelist.sh
...

For my surprise running the script doesn’t immediately changed nothing and wicd wireless connectivity indicator was still missing from the tray.
I thought it might need to reload gnome so I give it a restart and HOORAY! after the restart the WICD connected wireless strength show up, like you can see in the screenshot below 😉

Wicd indicator running in systray on GNOME in Ubuntu 11.10

Now hope this fix will, help out there experiencing the same issues to work around his wireless network connectivity issues 😉 Cheers.

How to connect to WiFi network using console or terminal on GNU / Linux

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

iwlist-screenshot-howto-connect-to-wifi-in-text-console-linux-wpasupplicant

Sometimes its useful to connect to Wireless Networks using console . The reasons for that might be many, one possible reason is to be able to debug, Wireless connection failures or simply omit the use of the many available GUI wifi connection programs.

As a first step before connecting in terminal is to look up for the wifi networks available for connection, this is done with cmd:

linux:~# iwlist wlan0 scanning
wlan0 Scan completed :
Cell 01 - Address: 00:24:01:90:8F:38
Channel:7
Frequency:2.442 GHz (Channel 7)
Quality=70/70 Signal level=-39 dBm
Encryption key:on
ESSID:"magdanoz"
Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s
Bit Rates:6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
Mode:Master
Extra:tsf=000000034f5c786b
Extra: Last beacon: 68ms ago
IE: Unknown: 00086D616764616E6F7A
IE: Unknown: 010482848B96
IE: Unknown: 030107
IE: Unknown: 32080C1218602430486C
IE: Unknown: CC0700CC020000018A
IE: Unknown: CC0700CC0300000100
IE: WPA Version 1
Group Cipher : TKIP
Pairwise Ciphers (2) : TKIP CCMP
Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1
Group Cipher : TKIP
Pairwise Ciphers (2) : TKIP CCMP
Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
Cell 02 - Address: 00:1E:2A:60:5E:DC
Channel:1
...

To just list the ESSID s of the wifi networks:

linux:~# iwlist wlan0 scanning|grep -i 'essid'
ESSID:"magdanoz"
ESSID:"default"
ESSID:"todorov"
ESSID:"BTC-ADSL"
ESSID:"Zahari"
ESSID:"Drago"

1. Connecting to Open Wireless Network

Now from the above output it is clear 6 wifi networks are available for connection. The default wifi network from the list is an Open network (e.g. without pass). To connect to it I use cmd:

linux:~# /sbin/iwconfig wlan0 essid 'default'
linux:~# /sbin/iwconfig wlan0 key open

After connected to configure IP, Gateway and DNS from a DHCP server running on the WIFI router, dhclient cmd is used:

linux:~# /sbin/dhclient wlan0

2. Connecting to WEP 64bit / 128bit encrypted network

linux:~# /sbin/iwconfig wlan0 key 1234-5678-9101-1213

3. Connecting to WPA / WPA2 encrypted wifi network

To connect to WPA or WPA2 encrypted network its necessery to have installed wpasupplicant package. The name of the package might vary in different distributions on Debian and Ubuntu, the name of the package is wpasupplicant, on Fedora, CentOS and RHEL the package that has to be in is wpa_supplicant :
After having installed the wpa_supplicant to connect to the network with ESSID name magdanoz , wpa_passphrase is used first:

linux:~# /usr/bin/wpa_passphrase magdanoz Secret_Wifi_Password | tee -a /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
network={
ssid="magdanoz"
#psk="Secret_Wifi_Password"
psk=6f7590250c4496ff7bf8dd25199ac3bb5a614d4bc069975aa884bcf084da73bc
}

As you see in above command the secret password key is generated printed on the screen and then added to /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf , necessery to establish the wireless connection with wpa_supplicant with cmd:

linux:~# /sbin/wpa_supplicant wpa_supplicant -d wext -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -B

-d wext instructs wpa_supplicant to use (Linux wireless extension driver).
-B tells wpa_supplicant to background the connection to prevent the wireless connection to drop off, if the console / terminal from which it is launched gets closed.

In case of succesful connection with wpa_supplicant , once again IP, Gateway and DNS is configured fetching the settings from the wifi hotspot dhcp server:

linux:~# /sbin/dhclient wlan0

General information about the wireless network and info related to the established connection can be obtained with /usr/bin/iwconfig :

linux:~# /sbin/iwconfig
lo no wireless extensions.
eth0 no wireless extensions.
wlan0 IEEE 802.11abg ESSID:"magdanoz"
Mode:Managed Frequency:2.442 GHz Access Point: 00:24:00:90:8F:38
Bit Rate=54 Mb/s Tx-Power=15 dBm
Retry long limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
Encryption key:off
Power Management:off
Link Quality=70/70 Signal level=-39 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0

To configure the exact channel over which the wireless connection will be established again is done with iwconfig, for instance to configure wlan0 wifi connection established to be on wifi channel 7:

linux:~# /sbin/iwconfig wlan0 channel 11

By default iwconfig is set to automatically set the channel based on connected network ESSID , if the channel is modified to some specific number to revert it back use:

linux:~# /sbin/iwconfig wlan0 channel auto
 

How to fix wicd 1.7.0+ds1-5 Connection Failed: Bad Password on Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Merkaaat)

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

I’ve been struggling with fixing a nasty error with wicd network manager for about 2 hours.
The exact error message I faced was:

Connection Failed: Bad Password

The issue occured after some suggested updates from the Ubuntu graphical update tool.
The wireless network to which it was connected was a WPA-PSK (WPA2) Passphrase authentication.
The network key was properly typed in and was working well on another system so the error Connection Failed: Bad Password made no sense.

There was nothing unusual in /var/log/wicd/wicd.log , that made me even more curious about what might be causing the error.After a lot of try outs and a lot of readings and tests I finally got the cause of the weird Bad Password errors produced by wicd

Weirdly enought, somehow the Ubuntu package update tool has installed the default gnome network-manager package.
The installed network-manager package has mismatched somehow the way wicd connects to wireless networks and as a cause the wpa_supplicant binary was not properly invoked.

As a consequence of the network-manager being present on the system the wpa_supplicant process which made the exact connection to the wireless network was not launching in, the exact wpa_supplicant invocation missing was:

wpa_supplicant -B -i wlan0 -c /var/lib/wicd/configurations/0022b0aa424a -D wext

Luckily the solution to the notebook wireless device unable to connect to the Wireless network was simple.

All I had to do is completely remove all occurance of network-manager packages installed on the Ubuntu system, by issuing the commands:

ubuntu:~# apt-get remove --yes network-manager
ubuntu:~# dpkg --purge network-manager-pptp-gnome network-manager-pptp network-manager

The reason for issuing the a dpkg –purge command was my desire to completely get rid of all kind of network-manager related configurations.

Now after re-connecting with wicd wireless manager, it worked fine 😉

How to install Toshiba Satellite L40 B14 Wireless Adapter ( ID 0bda:8197 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8187B) on Ubuntu and Debian Linux

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

http://pc-freak.net/images/toshiba-satellite-l40

How to install Toshiba L40 B14 Wireless Adapter ( ID 0bda:8197 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8187B) on Ubuntu and Debian Linux
I've been struggling for more than 10 hours to fix up issues on a Ubuntu Maverick-Meerkaat with a rtl8187B Wireless Adapter

The RTL8187B almost drove me mad. I could see the wlan0 which meant the kernel is detecting the device, I could even bring it up with ifconfig wlan0 up , however when I tried it in gnome's network-manager or wicd the wireless networks were not showing up.

Trying to scan for networks using the commands:


ubuntu:~# iwlist wlan0 scan

was also unsuccesful, trying to bring up and down the wireless wlan0 interface with:


ubuntu:~# iwconfig wlan0 up

or


ubuntu:~# iwconfig wlan0 down

Both returned the error:
iwconfig: unknown command "up" and iwconfig: unknown command "down"

Running simply iwconfig was properly returning information about my Wireless Interface wlan0 :


wlan0 IEEE 802.11bg ESSID:off/any
Mode:Managed Access Point: Not-Associated Tx-Power=20 dBm
Retry long limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
Encryption key:off
Power Management:off

The exact information I could get about the wireless device was via the command:


ubuntu:~# lsusb | grep realtek
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0bda:8197 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8187B Wireless Adapter

Trying manually to scan for wireless networks from console or gnome-terminal with command returned also the below weird results:


ubuntu:~# iwconfig wlan0 scan
iwconfig: unknown command "scan"

More oddly tunning wlan0 interface with commands like:


ubuntu:~# iwconfig wlan0 mode managed
ubuntu:~# iwconfig wlan0 essid ESSID
ubuntu:~# iwconfig wlan0 rate 11M

were succesful …

I read a bunch of documentation online concerning the wireless card troubles on Ubuntu, Gentoo, Debian etc.

Just few of all the resources I've read and tried are:

http://rtl-wifi.sourceforge.net/wiki/Main_Page (Returning empty page already a lot resource)
http://rtl8187b.sourceforge.net (A fork of rtl-wifi.sourceforge.net which is still available though it was not usable)

Some of the other resources which most of the people recommended as a way to properly install the RTL8187B wireless driver on linux was located on the website:

http://datanorth.net/~cuervo/rtl8187b/ (Trying to access this page returned a 404 error e.g. this page is no-longer usable)

I found even a webpage in Ubuntu Help which claimed to explain how to properly install and configure the RTL8187B wireless driver on which is below:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Device/RealtekRTL8187b

Even the Ubuntu help instructions were pointing me to the broken cuervo's website URL

Anyways I was able to find the rtl8187b-modified-dist.tar.gz online and made a mirror of rtl8187b-modified-dist.tar.gz which you can download here

Another rtl8187b driver I found was on a toshiba website made especailly for the wireless linux drivers:

http://linux.toshiba-dme.co.jp/linux/eng/pc/sat_PSPD0_report.htm

The questionable file which was claimed to properly be able to make the Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8187B Wireless Adapter to work out was called rl8187b-modified-804.tar.gz.
I've made a mirror of rtl8187b-modified-804.tar.gz is here

None of the driver archives rtl8187b-modified-dist.tar.gz and rl8187b-modified-804.tar.gz that was supposed to make the Toshiba L40 realtek wireless to work out, after compiling and installing the drivers from source worked out …

Both archives produced plenty of error messages and it seems on newer kernels like the one on this notebook:

Linux zlatina 2.6.35-28-generic #50-Ubuntu SMP Fri Mar 18 19:00:26 UTC 2011 i686 GNU/Linux, they're no longer usable.

The compile errors I got when I tried compiling the rtl8187b driver provided by the archive rtl8187b-modified-dist were:


root@ubuntu:/home/zlatina/rtl8187b-modified# sh makedrv
rm -fr *.mod.c *.mod *.o .*.cmd *.mod.* *.ko *.o *~
make -C /lib/modules/2.6.35-28-generic/build M=/home/zlatina/rtl8187b-modified/ieee80211 CC=gcc modules
make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.35-28-generic'
scripts/Makefile.build:49: *** CFLAGS was changed in "/home/zlatina/rtl8187b-modified/ieee80211/Makefile". Fix it to use EXTRA_CFLAGS. Stop.
make[1]: *** [_module_/home/zlatina/rtl8187b-modified/ieee80211] Error 2
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.35-28-generic'
make: *** [modules] Error 2
rm -fr *.mod.c *.mod *.o .*.cmd *.ko *~
make -C /lib/modules/2.6.35-28-generic/build M=/home/zlatina/rtl8187b-modified/rtl8187 CC=gcc modules
make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.35-28-generic'
scripts/Makefile.build:49: *** CFLAGS was changed in "/home/zlatina/rtl8187b-modified/rtl8187/Makefile". Fix it to use EXTRA_CFLAGS. Stop.
make[1]: *** [_module_/home/zlatina/rtl8187b-modified/rtl8187] Error 2
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.35-28-generic'
make: *** [modules] Error 2
root@ubuntu:/home/zlatina/rtl8187b-modified#

Another driver I tried which was found on aircrack-ng.org's website was rtl8187_linux_26.1010.zip

Here are the error messages I experienced while I tried to compile the realtek wireless driver from the archive rtl8187_linux_26.1010.0622.2006


compilation terminated.
make[2]: *** [/home/zlatina/rtl8187_linux_26.1010.0622.2006/beta-8187/r8187_core.o] Error 1
make[1]: *** [_module_/home/zlatina/rtl8187_linux_26.1010.0622.2006/beta-8187] Error 2
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.35-28-generic'
make: *** [modules] Error 2
make: *** [modules] Error 2

I tried a number of fix ups hoping to solve the compile error messages, but my efforts were useless, as it seems many things has changed in newer Ubuntu versions and they could no longer be compiled.

As I realized I couldn't make the native drivers provided by the above sources compile, I decided to give a try to the Windows drivers for Realtek 8187B with ndiswrapper, a link for download of Realtek 8187B (RTL8187B_XP_6.1163.0331.2010_Win7_62.1182.0331.2010_UI_1.00.0179 is found here

I untarred the
RTL8187B_XP driver
and used ndiswrapper to load driver like so:


root@ubuntu:~# tar -zxvf
RTL8187B_XP_6.1163.0331.2010_Win7_....L.tar.gz
root@ubuntu:/home/zlatina/RTL8187B#
root@ubuntu:/home/zlatina/RTL8187B# cd Driver/WinXP
root@ubuntu:/home/zlatina/RTL8187B/Driver/WinXP# ndiswrapper -i net8187b.inf

In order to test the RTL8178B Windows driver I used:


root@ubuntu:~# ndiswrapper -l
net8187b : driver installed
device (0BDA:8197) present (alternate driver: rtl8187)

To finally load the Windows XP RTL8187B driver on the Ubuntu I used again ndiswrapper:


root@ubuntu:~# ndiswrapper -m

Further on I used the ndisgtk graphical ndiswrapper interface to once again test if the Windows driver is working on the Ubuntu and it seemed like it is working, however still my wicd was unable to find any wireless network ….

There were many online documentation which claimed that the driver for rtl8187b works out of the box on newer kernel releases (kernel versions > 2.6.24)

Finally I found out there is a driver which is a default one with the Ubuntu e.g. rtl8187.ko , I proceeded and loaded the module:


root@ubuntu:~# modprobe rtl8187

I also decided to check out if the hardware switch button of the Toshiba Satellite L40 notebook is not switched off and guess what ?! The Wireless ON/OFF button was switched OFF!!! OMG …

I switched on the button and wicd immediately started showing up the wireless networks …

To make the rtl8187 module load on Ubuntu boot up, I had to issue the command:


root@ubuntu:~# echo 'rtl8187' >> /etc/modules

Voila after all this struggle the wireless card is working now, it's sad I had to loose about 10 hours of time until I come with the simple solution of using the default provided ubuntu driver rtl8187 , what is strange is how comes that it does not load up automatically.

Thanks God it works now.

Speed up your DNS resolve if your Internet Service Provider DNS servers fail or resolve slowly / Privacy concerns of public DNS services use

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

In my experience with many network Internet Service Providers by so far I’ve encountered a lot of DNS oddities and therefore surfing (web) and mail slowness.

It’s sometimes very irritating especially in cases, when I use my internet over Wireless public or university wireless networks.
In principle many of the Wireless routers which distribute the internet especially in organizations are badly configured and the slowness with DNS resolvings is an absolute classic.
If you haven’t encountered that slowness in opening web pages when connected from your University’s canteen, whether it’s fill with people for the lunch break, then I should say you’re really lucky!

My personal experience with this bad configured devices DNS services has been quite negative and every now and then I use to set and use public DNS servers like OpenDNS and Google DNS

Very often when I connect to a wireless network with my notebook running Debian Linux and the internet is too slow in opening pages I automatically set the Google or OpenDNS servers as a default DNS IP resolving servers.

1. DNS IP addresses of Google Public DNS are:

8.8.8.7
and
8.8.8.8

2. OpenDNS Public DNS servers has the IP addresses of:

208.67.222.222
208.67.222.220

I do set up and use the upper public DNS services addresses via the commands:

3. Set and use Google Public DNS services on my Linuxdebian:~# cp -rpf /etc/resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf.orig
debian:~# echo "nameserver 8.8.8.7n nameserver 8.8.8.8 n" > /etc/resolv.conf;

I first create backu pof my resolv.conf under the name resolv.conf.orig just to make sure I can revert back to my old DNSes if I need them at some point.

If you prefer to use the OpenDNS services for some let’s say privacy reasons, you do it in the same manner as in the above commands, you only change the IP addresses. 4. Configure and use the OpenDNS public DNS services

debian:~# cp -rpf /etc/resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf.orig
debian:~# echo "nameserver 208.67.222.222n nameserver 208.67.222.220 n" > /etc/resolv.conf;

Of course using Public DNS services has it’s disadvantages over the domain resolving speed up advantage.
One major issue is that Public DNS services are running on a top of a cloud and if you have red my previous article Cloud Computing a possible threat to users privacy and system administrator employment you might be agaist the idea of using a services which are powered by cloud.

The other primary concern is related to your SECURITY and a PRIVACY by using Public DNS networks, you risk that your Public DNS provider might use some DNS spoof techniques to mislead you and resolve you common domain names which usually resolve to let’s say 1.1.1.1 to let’s say 1.5.5.10

Even though this kind of practices on a side of a public DNS provider is not a likely scenario the possible implications of Public DNS providers using DNS forgery to fool you about domain names locations is a very serious issue.

As public DNS providers does contain again the good old philosophy of cloud computing embedded in themselves and they strive to become some kind of a standard which people might vote to adopt and use, the future implications of a wide adoption of Public DNS servers might be a terrible thing on internet users privacy!!!

Just think about a future scenario where we users of the Internet are forced to use a number of public DNS servers in order to use the Internet!
Usually a very huge companies are possessing the Public DNS services and do pay for the tech equipment required for building up the cluster clouds which provide the DNS services and therefore, if in the short future public DNS becomes a fashion and (God forbid!) a standard which shifts up the regular ISP DNS servers to resolve domains to IPs then it will be terrible.

The corporations which does own the Public DNS service/s might have a direct control over filtering and censoling information posted on any website on the internet.
Even worser if the world decides to adopt public DNS services somewhere in the future this means that large corporations owning the open dns cluster or clusters will be able to check each and every resolving made by any user on the net.
If you think closely such an information possessed by a company is not the best thing we want.

So let me close up this article, I’m not a fan and an evangelist who preaches the use of Public DNS services. Right on Contrary I do honestly hate the idea behind public DNS.
Nevertheless apart from my personal opinion I’m a practical person and using the public DNS servers every now and then when this will accelerate my access to the internet is still an option I do enjoy.

Maybe it’s time for a free software project (a tor like), which will provide users with an OpenDNS alternative which will run on hobbyist computers around the globe (just like with tor).

What’s rather funny is that the loud name OpenDNS is a big lie in reality OpenDNS is not opened it’s a company owned closed source service 😉

Selecting Best Wireless channel / Choosing Best Wi-FI channel for Wireless Routers or (How to improve Wireless Network performance)

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Wireless AP
Below are some valuable advices on Wireless Access Point initial install and configuration to better off your Wireless connection.It’s worthy to note that the 2.4 GHz

Wi-Fi signal range is divided into a number of smaller bands or “channels,” similar to television channels. I decided to run my wireless on channel 12 since this there was no other wireless routers operating on that frequency, though most routers are preconfigured to spread it’s signal on channel 6.

There is a difference in channels available for setup for 802.11b and 802.11g wireless networks in the United States and the European Union. In the USA the wireless channels available are from (1 to 11) whether in the EU it’s in the range of (1-13). Each of the Wireless channels run on a different frequency.

The lower the number of the channel is the lowest the radiating frequence band on which data is transmitted .Subsequently, increasing the channel increases the frequency slightly. Therefore the higher the channel you select on your AP the lesser the overlap with other devices running on the same channel and thus the lesser the possibility to overlap and interference.
It’s quite likely that you experience problems, if you use the default wireless channel which is 6.
If that’s the case it’s recommended to use either channel 1 or channel 11. In case of interference, i.e. overlap with other wireless networks, cellphones etc., there are 2 possible ways to approach the situation. In case of smaller interference, any change in channel on which there is no wireless device running could fix it up. The second way is to choose a wireless channel for your router in between 1,6 or 11 in (The USA) or 1,7,13 in Europe.
Up to 3 networks can run on the same space with minimum interference, therefore it would be a wise idea to check the list of wireless routers in your and check if there are others running on the same frequency.
As I mentioned in the beginning of the post I initially started running my wireless on channel 12, however after I discovered it is recommended to run your wireless router either on channel 1 7 or 13 in Europe I switched my D-Link DI-524 wireless router to transmit it’s signal on Channel 13.

I should testify that after changing the wireless channel, there was quite an improvement in my wireless connection.For instance before I change to Channel 13 (when my wireless internet was still streamed on channel 12) my wireless had constantly issues with disconnects because of low wireless signal.

Back then My wireless located physically in like 35 meters away set in another room, I can see my wireless router hardly connected on like 35%, changing to channel 13 enhanced my connection to the current 60% wireless router availability.

It’s also an interesting fact that Opened Wireless networks had better network thoroughput, so if you’re living in a house with a neighbors a bit distant from your place then you might consider it as a good idea to completely wipe out Wireless Router security encryption and abandon the use of WEP or WPA network encryption.

In case if all of the above is not working for you, you might consider take a close look at your Wireless Wireless LAN pc card and see if there are no any kind of bumps there. Another really interesting fact to know is that many people here in Bulgaria tend to configure there Wireless Access Points on channels either 1,6 or 11 which is quite inadequate considering that we’re in the EU and we should use a wireless channel between 1, 7 or 13 as prescribed for EU citizens.

Another thing not to forget is to place your wireless in a good way and prevent it from interferences with other computer equipment. For example keep the router at least few meters away from PC equipment, printers, scanners, cellphones, microwaves. Also try to put your wireless router on some kind of central place in your home, if you want to have the wireless signal all around your place.

At my place I have a microwave in the Kitchen which is sometimes an obstacle for the Wireless signal to flow properly to my notebook, fortunately this kind of interference happens rare (only when the Microwove is used to warm-up food etc.).Upgrading 802.11b wireless card / router to a better one as 802.11g is a wise idea too. 802.11g are said to be like 5 times faster than 802.11b.

You can expect 802.11b wireless network to transfer maximum between 2-5 Mbp/s whether 802.11g is claimed to transfer at approximately (12 to 23 Mbp/s). If even though the above prescriptions there is no wireless signal at some remote place at your home, you might consider adding a wireless repeater or change the AP router antenna.

By default wireless Routers are designed to be omni-directional (in other terms they broadcast the wireless signal all around the place. Thus is quite unhandy if you intend to use your Wireless net only in certain room or location at your place. If that’s the case for you, you might consider upgrading to a hi-gain antenna that will focus the wireless signal to an exact direction. Let me close this article with a small diagram taken from the net which illustrates a good router placement that will enable you to have a wwireless connection all over your place.

improve wireless router placement diagram