Subject: Storage | April 19, 2016 - 09:00 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: SSL, remote access, NAS, DroboAccess, drobo, B810n, 5N
We are currently testing a round of Drobos here at PC Perspective, and Drobo recently rolled out a new feature that I thought would be better written up as a quick news post. This is a remote access feature that applies to the NAS-style models, specifically the 5N and B810n, and leverages the Drobo Apps capabilities of these devices. If you are a current 5N or B810n owner, you can update your Dashboard application and firmware to unlock this newly announced ‘DroboAccess’ feature.
DroboAccess falls under the ‘myDrobo’ category of Drobo Apps. These are apps developed and supported by Drobo (as opposed to coming from a third party). With Drobo more involved in the end-to-end aspect of this process, they were able to work some additional magic into their implementation:
After a Drobo owner registers their device, they can install any/all of the supported apps (DroboAccess, Koken, and Wordpress). Upon registering, each app prompts for a public URL (a subdomain of .mydrobo.com). Drobo handles the behind-the-scenes registration of a 2k SSL certificate which is installed in the chain, which means that any browser access to the new subdomain is over an SSL (HTTPS) end-to-end encrypted connection. Drobo has set up a relay server that manages incoming internet connections to the 5N or B810n. Home NAT routers are not an issue as the device running the app maintains an outbound link to the same relay server. This eliminates any custom router configurations / port forwarding necessary on the user-side of things, and that free SSL cert keeps prying eyes out of the data coming across the wire. I stepped through this process myself and it was about as simple and seamless as it could possibly be. Once set up, I could browse to (chosen subdomain).mydrobo.com from any internet-connected browser and see the files on the B810n:
The interface is similar to what you’d see from other remote access apps (Dropbox, etc). There is also an iPhone and Android app available, but Drobo has chosen to charge $0.99 for this app - an odd choice given the vast majority of remote file access companion apps are free downloads. I spent some time with the iOS app and while functional, I found it a bit clunky in its current form. As an example, sending a photo to DroboAccess from the iOS Share Menu gave an ‘Upload to’ prompt with no ability to choose a destination folder (images were simply dumped in the root, which is *not* mountable on the local network - only subdirectories of root are mountable on the LAN). This means that you would have to log into the Drobo via web browser to access those uploads and move them to shares so they would be visible to local SMB-connected machines.
In testing browser access, I discovered a few more issues:
- The data throughput rate appears to be capped at 8 Mbps by the myDrobo relay server.
- Downloading files >2GB failed silently, resulting in a 0-byte file placed on the host.
…so while things are a bit rough around the edges right now, the setup was quick and painless, which was Drobos initial goal for this feature roll out. We’ve fed back our findings thus far, and I suspect the other parts should receive more polish and tweaking over the coming weeks. I’ve include Drobo’s press blast for DroboAccess after the break.
Subject: General Tech | April 24, 2015 - 04:37 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: remote access, gps., google, Android
Looking for your phone? Well, Google will now let you literally search for it. A recent update to its Android Device Manager service, the search giant now allows users to type "find my phone" into Google search. So long as you have Android Device Manager turned on (and some sort of network connection) and you have the latest version of Google's Search application installed on your Android phone, you will be presented with the phone's location on Google Maps along with options to ring the device at the loudest volume, remotely lock the device with a new password, or remotely wipe it altogether. Note that you will need to be signed into your Google account on the PC to access these options, and you may need to re-enter your password. Hopefully you have a trusted PC (or backup codes) available that you will not have to authenticate with your, well, (lost) phone if you have two factor authentication turned on.
If your smartphone is nearby you can have Google ring the device at its loudest volume for up to five minutes (once you find it you can stop the ringing by pressing the power button).
The remote lock is handy if it appears the phone has simply been left behind somewhere relatively secure while the erase option is handy if the phone is on the move and appears to be stolen. If you don't have a backup of your data, you might try calling it first to see if you can get it back, otherwise it is best to erase it, report it stolen to the authorities and chalk it up to a lesson learned (backup, backup, and backup again! Bittorrent Sync makes this easy, btw).
On the phone side of things, you will get a notification card along with a timestamp of when the device was located by ADM. This locate, ring, lock, and erase functionality has been around for a couple of years now, but it is now even easier to use and all you have to do to get to it is run an intuitive Google search of "find my phone". It works well and is definitely a welcome update. More information can be found here.
This has been a public service announcement from PC Perspective. Stay vigilant out there folks!
Subject: General Tech | January 13, 2015 - 08:52 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: set-top box, remote access, pc game streaming, nzxt, DOKO
The new DOKO device from NZXT is an interesting spin on the living room streaming box, and it's a lot more than another Netflix player.
So what exactly is it? According to NZXT "DOKO is a low latency (50-80ms), 1080p 30 FPS PC streaming device that brings you the full functionality of your PC, anywhere in your home."
The DOKO provides the interface to remotely connect to computers over your network, providing access to whatever resources you have on your PC. The DOKO has USB ports to connect peripherals and though there is no proprietary hardware required, the company has compiled a “recommend” list of compatible keyboards, mice, and game controllers on their site.
The DOKO interface
And NZXT is making the gaming aspect of the streamer’s capability a big part of the product, though with a 30 FPS limit it isn't as exciting as it could be.
“DOKO brings you unrestricted, latency-free gaming direct to your TV. Experience a new way to play your favorite PC games, with complete access to ALL of them, whether they are from Steam, Origin, Uplay or any other source.”
In-home streaming is already a part of Steam, but the idea of an agnostic gaming experience without a second computer is attractive if it works as well as advertised. The company also points out the advantage of being able to do everything your PC can do… (Uh, we’re talking about spreadsheets, right?)
The DOKO will be available exclusively from NZXT’s online store (sorry, online "Armory") for $99, and will start shipping January 28.
Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2014 - 06:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: logmein, remote access
If you are a user of the free version of LogMeIn you may have received an email today informing you that the free version of this product has been discontinued, immediately. Even if you didn't get the email, logging in to the service will display the warning below. For the more technically inclined this may be meaningless or a great excuse to finally set up SSH on a Linux box. For those relatives who purchased a decent version of Windows, Remote Desktop Connection is also a reasonable choice, assuming you can set up a user on that machine and properly configure your network to allow RDP to connect successfully.
However as the commentators on Slashdot are quick to mention this won't help you with old aunt Bessie who lives on the other side of the country. You can't get to her machine to configure the proper settings nor is she going to be willing to have to interact with the machine in order to allow you to connect any more than she has in the past. In some cases join.me will suffice for now, keep in mind it is also a free service from LogMeIn and could also disappear without warning at any time if today's move is any indication of their plans. Alternatives such as TeamViewer and Crossloop may be able to fill in for LogMeIn in those situations; have you had any experience with those solutions or have other suggestions for remote assistance of those less technically inclined friends and relatives we all have in abundance?
"The remote desktop service LogMeIn sent an email to its users today notifying them that 'LogMeIn Free' will be discontinued — as of today. This is a major shock with minimal warning to the millions of users who have come to rely on their service, made all the more surprising by the fact that 'consensus revenue estimates for LogMeIn in 2014 are $190.3 million,' suggesting that their system of providing both free and paid accounts for what is ultimately a straightforward service that could be duplicated for well under $1 million was already doing quite well."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- How to Move Files Using Linux Commands or File Managers @ Linux.com
- Sandisk's future is far from ULLtraDIMM: Diablo tie-up holds promise @ The Inquirer
- Cooler Master Goes Apples at 2014 CES, Gets HAF Stacked @ Benchmark Reviews
- InWin 901: A Story of Tempered Glass @ Benchmark Reviews
- 4K-ing hell! Will your shiny new Ultra HD TV actually display HD telly? @ The Register
- iPhone 6 rumours, price and release date @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | October 28, 2013 - 04:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, secure, remote access
Sick of the Logmein.com email 'updates'? Annoyed that join.me isn't for Linux and aren't sure what the alternatives are? Linux.com has put up the second in their series of how to remotely control PCs running Linux with this installment focusing on Network Manager which is an OpenVPN client. Windows users may find Network Manager a little hard to grasp at first as it does not pop up a GUI of a remote computer so the article offers a good analogy, "think of OpenVPN as a virtual Ethernet cable to your server or LAN, all wrapped in a nice stout layer of encryption". Using OpenVPN creates a secure tunnel to the remote PC which you can then use to run secure (or insecure) applications such as SSH to interact with the remote machine.
"Greetings fellow Linux users, and welcome to the second part of our glorious OpenVPN series. When last we met we learned how to set up a simple OpenVPN encrypted tunnel between a home server and a remote node, such as a laptop. Today we're adding refinements such as how to daemonize OpenVPN so we don't have to start it manually, use Network Manager for easy connecting to our remote server, and access services."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The TR Podcast 144: Flagship cards and broken backs
- Facebook reveals 700TB of tiered RAM and flash power Graph Search @ The Register
- Play Elite, Pitfall right now: Web TIME PORTAL opens to vintage games, apps @ The Register
- Netgear router admin hole is WIDE OPEN, but DON'T you dare go in, warns infosec bod @ The Register
- Ubuntu Linux Gaming Performance Mostly On Par With Windows 8.1 @ Phoronix
- Backing Up Your PC & Some tips @ CoD
- $2,200 in prizes up for grabs in TR's Dear Diary contest @ The Tech Report
Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2013 - 02:21 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: remote access, NAS, media streaming, DLNA, central shared storage, backup, ces 2013, CES, Seagate
At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Seagate announced a new home backup and media streaming box that it is calling the Seagate Central Shared Storage. Featuring a form factor well suited to your AV rack in the living room or next to the PC, the Central Shared Storage box will act as a NAS and DLNA server with additional software that enables automatic backup of multiple PCs throughout the home and Facebook photos. The Seagate software will run on computers running either Windows or OSX and will organize audio, video, images, and documents for viewing and streaming on a variety of devices.
In addition, the Central Shared Storage box will also back up your photos stored on Facebook. You can stream or access multimedia on mobile devices (using the Seagate Media App), PCs, or Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray players. ON the mobile side, Samsung supports IOS, Amazon (Kindle HD), and Android devices. You can also access your stored content from afar with the remote access feature. social network accounts. Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray players will further offer up a customized interface for the viewing your music, movies, and photos on the big screen TV.
It will be interesting to see what the performance is like over the network, and whether the software required for auto-backup is worth using. Unfortunately, there is no word on Linux support, but it may still be possible to get Linux computers backed up to the NAS using something like Wine.
The Seagate Central Shared Storage will be available in March 2013 and will come in three capacities. The MSRPs are as follows:
- 2TB is $189.99
- 3TB is $219.99
- 4TB is $259.99
You can find the full press release here.
PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!