Pfsense, a linux based firewall and router operating system powered by FreeBSD. Very similar to untagle but it seems to have more features. Specifically features I am looking for such as ad block, and support for open vpn.

I installed it on an AMD machine with four gigs of ram. The processor is equvillent to a dual core processor. I installed a second ethernet card to support both wan and lan connection.

Similar to windows the installation did not take that long to complete, and also like windows it took some time for me to set things up. Once pfsense was installed I changed the router I used for a vpn connection to an access point.

Now an access point the router now gives me the ability to access the machine with my wireless devices. Pluggin in the settings for the PIA software to work took a bit of work. At the moment it is the most time consuming task so far.

I checked out the plug ins and found snort and pfblockerNG. Snort helps block out intrusions, but I haven’t played with it much yet. I have had a hell of a lot of fun setting up pfblocker inputing urls featuring host files filled with data to block pop ups, advertisements and malware.

After I changed my vpn router to an access point I rewired my computers and game consoles to connect to the access point or a hub connected to said access point. EVERYTHING in my office / man cave is not behind a PIA connection.

The download speeds range from 50mb to 70 mb down.

I am like what I see so far.

I watched Snowden staring that kid from The Dark Knight Rises and 10 Things I Hate About You.. He is not a kid he is like older now.. I just pulled him up on imdb, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He has been in a ton of stuff..

Anyway, I watched the Snowden movie staring him and it is a very good movie. It makes you really think about the government, privacy, etc. I know this is kind of convenient timing given the amount of time I have been playing around with privacy but whatever.

The movie is really freaking good, and it takes you on a journey showing you how easy it really is for NSA or anyone with the right skills to really pry into your life.

To set up a VPN server or connection through windows server is a fairly easy process. If you want to connect to your server from the outside there is a wizard for that. If you want to make a connection to connect to a vpn host elsewhere there is a wizard for that too.

If you want to install an open vpn connection for your windows server you can install an open vpn client and keep your data and downloading behind a vpn connection making your system more secure and out of the prying eyes of the internet and your isp.

Sounds great!

None of these options will work for what I want to do. Not entirely.

Earlier I mentioned my drive to put my toys behind a singluar vpn connection to provide better security and privacy. Windows Server came real close. There are two problems I ran into.

The first is most of the Open VPN services I looked into do not support windows server, thus their software does not work on Windows Server. The second problem is setting up a shared connection with in the networking control panel is kind of a pain in the ass to set up. Also worth noting when you do get it set up, the connection drops with out a method to reconnect when dropped.

Appearently I am one of a few people who have tried it, but if anyone has succeeded their success has not been shared with the rest of the world. The closest thing I found to a solution was use a third party software called, virtual access point.

Virtual access point is shit.

Perhaps using windows is not the way to go.

No, not linux. Mint flavored awesomeness!!

I love mint about as much as people like pumpkin spice. I do not understand the appeal of pumpkin spice, and some people do not understand my appeal with MINT! I suppose if I was keeping score that would make it even.

I am not a Starbucks kind of guy, I do not believe in paying the prices they ask for when it comes to coffee or anything else they sell. Those beliefs are out the window when during the holidays because I am a sucker for their 5 dollar cup of mint mocha heaven.

McDonalds has mint coffee and hot chocolate this year but it doesn’t hold a candle to that overprice controversial cup of awesomeness from the place down the street.

Mint M&M’s yes, home made coffee with a touch of mint? You bet!

Not everything I touch has to have mint, the craving is intesified more this time of year.

The past couple of years I use PIA (private internet access) for my main computers and tablet to help secure my data, my online searches, downloading, etc.

As I have continued using their services, I found many articles on how to set up a router to use an open vpn client. The purpose of doing this is to have one client host multiple connections simulaniously thus helping lift the restrictions of only using up to five devices or connections at a time.

This sounds like a great idea! I tried it once before with my main router and the speeds were below sub par. On a 100mb connection I was getting 10 at best. The speeds are so low because the processor on the router is so small it cannot handle the speeds it would normally support on the default softaware with out using an open vpn.

On the PC side of things honestly I didn’t notice a difference. However I have two people in the house who are diehard World of Warcraft players, (or minecraft) taking the household internet from 100mb to ten was not a good idea. As I mentioned before the router couldn’t handle it very well.

I set up a dual WAN, allowing the rest of the house to use the internet at it’s full potential while I had a seperate router in my office to allow me to use my gaming consoles behind a vpn providing better security and making it much more difficult to find my real location and have some n00blet use a lame script to ddos my console and boot me offline.

Why would someone want to DDOS me and boot me offline you ask? Simple people are poor sports when you are thrashing them. It doesn’t help that I am the self proclaimed midwest mouthpiece who can rub it in so much I have made other players rage quit or get their mommy on the headset. (no joke)

Anyway the benefits are nice, however instead of limiting the house hold behind a crappy internet download speed I have limited my self.

I must find a better solution.

I have been thinking alot lately about privacy and how much of it we privacy we really do not have anymore. With facebook, linkdin, twitter, snapchat, instagram and google as a whole your information is out there all the time.

Everytime I sign up for a service and it offers me to log in with my google or facebook account I cringe, and choose create my own account. Sorry but I don’t need people to know what I do and have all my crap connected to facebook.

Fuck facebook, yet I am on there. I have two facebook accounts now; my private account for my friends, family and people I want to stay in touch with. It is not searchable, you cannot add me, even if you type in the url it will not pull up, oh, and it doesn’t have my last name in there either.

Like most things I have registered for on the internet I use my first name and middle name. I like it that way, makes me feel a little more secure and I can keep my private life, more private.

Then I have a normal facebook account with my full name and it has a bunch of silly stuff that is linked to co-workers facebook pages so I can “network”, etc. That profile is also set to not be searchable on the internet. If I don’t want to know you, or want you to know me it’s no ones business what I do.

Twitter is another tool I use for work and personal. My work twitter much like facebook is used to communicate and network with co-workers etc.

My personal twitter is used for things I really care about, or to tweet to the president erect how much of a bafoon he is.

Instagram, and other services all have the same set up. It’s me, but not the searchable real me.

My inspiration for this is for potential future employers or even people in the current company I work for. I don’t need or want them to find things out about me, or see things I have posted on my personal stuff.

I choose to not be judged for who I am or what I share on the internet. They will have to do it the old fasion way and judge me in person. 😉

Privacy has kind of become a hobby of mine to make it hard to find me on the internet. I do not claim to be an expert, but it is definately a hobby I enjoy.

One of my many hobbies includes collecting transformers. I am not balls out insane like the collectors you see with wall to wall top to bottom covered in transformers including multiples of the some still in their packages etc.

However I am close. I have a few shelves and a book case highlighting certain series I enjoy. (The bookshelf holds all the classics I had when I was a child). It is not often I purchase a transformer I am not satisfied with. Sometimes I research before I purchase.

One particular transformer was the exception to both rules. That transfomer is the Titas Return Galvatron. Out of the box he is an amazing replica of the cartoon version and possibly one of the best they have released in 30 years.

The problem is he is a headmaster which is what the Titans Return series are all about. Titans Return series robots all have removable heads that transform into mini robots. You can switch the heads around and shit but that never interested me.

Galvatron’s head is actually terrible. It has a face mask that the head hides behind making Galvatron look like a complete dork. Fortunately, a third party company shapeways made a replacement helment that goes over the head when attached to the body making galvatron look whole and the badass I think Hasbro had in mind.

I don’t understand the point of making EVERY transformer in titans return have removable heads especially since most of them didn’t in the old series but that is just it. I’m old and this isn’t the old series, at least they still look pretty decent.

facemaskwithoutmaskreplacementhelmetwithnewmods

I haven’t painted the helmet yet to make it look more like the third picture. I snapped a picture so you would get the idea of how it looks now with the modifications.

After all the trouble I had trying to find a way to stream my music through my playstation, I decided to connect my old stereo to my media server. I wired a pair of plan speakers into my office.

Now I can listen to any music to want without restiction. I can listen to radio stations, play youtube playlists, itunes, google play or whatever. This means I really don’t need to play music through my playstation anymore, unless I really want to thump and pissoff my neighbors even more when I am in the cave having fun.

Another interesting fail is the HDMI splitter for the PS4 does not support surround sound correctly. It will play stereo but it does not allow, PCM, etc.

The spliter on the playstaion 3 works just fine, but the playstation 4 is less open to cooperating with me. I am sure it has something to do with the HDCP restrictions, I might grind on reddit at some point and see if I can find a way to make it work. Not really a priority at this point since I can still switch out the cable on the back of the playstation 4 if I want to use a monitor on my desk.

I managed to successfully stream from my server to the PS4. I tried many programs all of them failed, (UMS, pulptunes, iTunes, Plex, and subsonic.) I finally found the soultion from Sony themselves. It is a software called, Media Go.

The upside of Media go is I can stream all of my music from my server to my playstation 4, and have it play in the background while I game. It does allow me to import my music and play lists from itunes.

The downside is I have to suspend my game and get kicked off line if I want to change playlists. Now I can use Spotify but I absolutely detest commercials and I refuse to pay for a service to do something for me that I can do using the equipment in my own house.

 

Since I work from home there are times when I will have a little bit of free time on my hands and I want to turn on my PS4 to watch / listen to a movie, etc.

All my consoles are connected through my stereo with the output going out to a 42′ inch TV. My desk is not positioned where I can view that TV so I wanted to run a cable to my small TV I have on my desk.

At first, I had two HDMI cables twist tied together that I would change out when I wanted to use the console on which ever screen I wanted to use. This sucked. While researching a different project I found this; OREI HD-102 1×2 1 Port HDMI Powered Splitter.

With this device I can use either or both screens simultaniously with out moving cables around each time. I have had this for a couple of months and I have been VERY pleased.

After tinkering around with the device, I decided to connect it to the output of the stereo. By doing this I am not able to use ALL my HDMI game consoles on either screen (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360) and my roku on both TV’s.

When I return to streaming from my computer, I can use any of those consoles through the Hauppauge HD-PVR. (Yes I can stream from the PS4, but I have more options doing it though the PC.)