Netflix on iPad/iPhone does not work when connected to a router running DD-WRT [Fix]

I was pretty frustrated when I realized that for firing up my new iPad I needed to install iTunes to my desktop. On top of that, I needed to add a credit card number to download a free application from the App Store. I worked it around by generating a one-time number from citicards.

I decided to install Netflix and did not work, even tried resintalling and changing SSIDs. The only way to make it work was by using a backup SSID from the U-Verse router.

After researching I found out that the DNSMasq package from DD-WRT thinks that the connection from Netflix on the iPad looks like a DNS Rebinding attack.

There are a couple of workarounds:

  1. Use a different DNS server in the iPad/iPhone wireless configuration, like the one provided by OpenDNS: 208.67.222.222
  2. Add a startup rule to DD-WRT to stop DNS rebinding:
1
2
3
killall dnsmasq
sed -i -e 's/^stop-dns-rebinding/#&/' /tmp/dnsmasq.conf
dnsmasq --conf-file=/tmp/dnsmasq.conf

I pursued the second workaround as it allowed me to keep the wireless connection “stock”. Netflix is now working properly on my iPad.

Stop DNS rebinding

Stop DNS rebinding

Cisco E2000 Router is solid when flashed with DD-WRT [Networking]

Over a year ago I owned a Linksys WRT-54G V4 router configured as the main and a Netgear WNR8348 configured as a repeater bridge. Both running DD-WRT on wireless G. The solution was rock solid.

After several months, I decided to go the N route and got a Trendnet TEW-637AP and sold the Linksys. A very bad move. The Trendnet would not work as a repeater bridge (or client bridge), so I installed it as main router instead. The Netgear WNR8348, then configured as repeater bridge, started dropping packets and lost connectivity consistently.

Later I replaced the Netgear with an Asus RT-N12 and gave it away. I ended up in worse shape as the Asus lost connectivity every 15 minutes when copying large files; Netflix streaming was just impossible. I tried all kinds of configs (N, G, mixed, 20 Mhz, 40 Mhz, different power settings, you name them). It just did not work.

I was frustrated to the point of thinking about running physical cable but did not execute as it was going to be a very challenging task.

Last attempt to migrate to Wireless N:

I decided to give it a try to a pair of Cisco E2000 routers to replace my repeater bridges which got flashed with DD-WRT as soon as they arrived. I was really surprised with the positive results they gave me after transferring ISO files over wireless, to the point that they were maxing out my PC LAN port consistently. The only change I made was to lower the TX rate to 50 mW (default is 70 mW). The main Asus streaming wireless router is configured to serve N Only connection at channel 7 (2.4 Ghz) and Turbo Channel Width (40 Mhz).

Maxing out the LAN port

Maxing out the LAN port

From now on, I will stick with Cisco or Linksys for my networking needs.

This is how my home network is configured currently:

Home Network

Home Network

Your Smartphone. What if you lose it? [Security]

Ever thought of that scenario? Not yet? Better start thinking about it now. If you work for a large corporation you might already be backed up by an enterprise level security system, but if you are not, then it’s time to get something in place to protect your information.

Work/Personal email, text messaging, sensitive documents, Facebook, Twitter, personal banking applications; you name them. An stranger can get access to them very easily (with banking application might be trickier, but at least they can try).

I use two products to protect my Android based phone in the case it gets lost or stolen.

  1. Protector, an application that allows to setup a pin to access certain applications (fully configurable). This is very useful when you want to lend your smartphone to a friend for them to search but not allow them to open your email inbox for example.
  2. Lookoput (available for Android, Windows Mobile and Blackberry). Protects your phone from viruses and backs up your information to their systems (calls, sms, etc). If you pay you get the premium options to locate, remote lock and remote wipe. These last 3 are the most important features for me.
Lookout

Lookout

There are several other products out there you can try yourself.

Good Luck!

What’s happening in 2011

2010 came by pretty quickly. It has been a very busy year with all kinds of expansions, migrations and consolidations. We installed HP Blade Servers, VMware, SQL Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2, CentOS 4.2 X64, F5s, Dell R710s/610s, Dell Equallogic Storage, TFS 2010, Windows 7 X64 for all DBAs and BI developers, etc. The list continues.

So what is happening next year? Many exiting things, with a core focus on HA, DR, Analytics, SharePoint 2010, and VMware on production databases.

On the Database side:

  • Homogenous environment. All instance running under SQL Server 2008 R2 (some edition downgrades in the mix)
  • Isolated Development, QA and UAT environments with proper edition (Developer, Standard, Enterprise). VMWare and MSDN come to play.
  • Management Data Warehouse deployment to collect health information from all production instances. Birds-eye view of all instances in one location.
  • Central Management Servers Implementation
  • Policy Based Management Implementation
  • Data-Tier Application Implementation
  • RML utilities for pre-production load testing
  • PowerShell

On the Analytics side:

  • All legacy cubes migrated to SQL Server Analysis Services 2008 R2
  • Deployment of Star Schemas for the remaining business units
  • Dedicated instance for transformations (SSIS)
  • Fire up 3rd and 4th VM for our Scaled-out Deployment of Reporting Services
  • Mastering DAX. PowerPivot for Excel 2010
  • GUI implementation for browsing our cubes. We are in the process of evaluating products.

High Availability & Disaster Recovery:

  • All instances to be moved to HA (2, 3, 4 node clusters). No more single point of failures.
  • Zero-Downtime database migration with Mirroring
  • Block Level Backup and restore offsite
  • Full-Log-Daily Differential Backups across the board.
  • Backup file test by restoring to our UAT environments

Storage:

  • Footprint Reduction by archiving historical data that can be rolled up
  • Storage Expansion to benefit from the spindle count
  • SSD for the most demanding applications (over iSCSI)

Training:

  • I am encouraging my team members to use twitter, to follow knowledgeable folks and read tweets from the #sqlserver and #sqlhelp hash tags.
  • To Read Blog Posts and subscribe to RSS feeds
  • To attend to SQL Saturdays
  • To buy books (and e-books)
  • To get trained online and if necessary bring someone to get us trained.
  • To attend the SQL Rally 2011 or SQL Pass Summit 2011
  • To read about SQL Server Denali and install on a VM to test.

I see 2011 being an excellent year for us.

Happy Holidays everyone.

2011