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Noisy and nosey Netgear routers

If you run your own DNS server like pihole, you can see in the logs that Netgear routers wants to contact a couple of Netgear servers hundreds of times a day.

Netgear has been silent on why they need to do this in public forums. Pihole has a pretty simple way to block this request using per-client blocking.

Tips on switching NBN ISP if you have a FTTP Gigabit plan

It is not as simple as just ordering a new plan. While the NBN supplied termination device (NTD) has four data ports, UNI-D 1-4, and theoretically can have four separate ISPs providing simultaneous services, this doesn’t work if one of the services is at gigabit speed, such as a 1000/50 plan.

NBN won’t allow you to order two gigabit services, so if you currently have a gigabit service and want to switch to another ISP, you have three options. Downgrade your existing service to something not faster than a 100mbps; order a new service not faster than 100mbps, and then upgrade that after the initial gigabit service is disconnected; or “churn” by replacing, rather than adding, your existing gigabit service.

If you choose the first or second option, you will have more than one service with one being gigabit. This is a problem. If you try to have more than one service active, by connecting it to a router or computer, NBN will terminate one of the connections and prevent the disconnected service from connecting. In my situation, I actually had 3 services connected. Two 100/20 and one gigabit. I couldn’t get multiple services working concurrently if one of them was the gigabit plan. NBN just won’t allow it. Practically, this means that it’s impossible to test and compare ISPs concurrently if one of them is at gigabit speed.

 

Enpass is my pick for password manager

I’ve used quite a few password managers. I was an early adopter of 1Password in 2007 and have been using these managers since then. With version 7 of 1Password, the developers moved to an annual subscription revenue model and the Safari browser extension from version 6 stopped working with Safari version 13 in mid 2019. Since I use Safari, I needed to find an alternative. I looked at Dashlane and Lastpass. Password managers do the same thing. They create random passwords for web sites and some apps, and recall them when needed. Newer features include the ability to generate one-time passwords so you don’t need to use an app like Google Authenticator.

I ended up settling on the Enpass manager. It has all the core functions. Works on Macs and iOS devices. But importantly, because it is available for purchase as a lifetime licence, without an annual subscription. A licence is now A$115, it was cheaper in 2019. But I think it’s still better value as I have two iOS devices, and two macOS devices I actively use. And a few more that are less often used. By comparison, this would cost US$40 a year, and LastPass would be $54. Enpass is cheaper.

Here’s a review: https://au.pcmag.com/password-managers/4371/enpass-password-manager. If your needs are simpler, and you only use Apple devices and software, the built in Keychain is going to get a nice upgrade in macOS Monterey. This will give you password management, but probably not one-time passwords.

File transfer services

First there was FTP. Then browser-based services like WeTransfer, and cloud-sync services like Dropbox and OneDrive, and newcomers like Filemail.

But now there are services designed for video creators and production houses:

Here’s a comparison. https://www.filemail.com/the-ultimate-guide-on-how-to-send-large-videos and another one https://massive.io/how-to-send-large-videos/

MBR2GPT: Failed to update reagent.xml

I might be late to the game, but just updated a Windows 10 install from MBR to GPT using the “mbr2gpt” command.

However, as many have discovered, the convert results in an error message as shown in this video.

But, as the video shows, once you reboot the system after changing the bios to UEFI, the error goes away and all is well. Why Microsoft hasn’t fixed this is anyone’s guess. Like so many issues with Windows.