Wifi Speed Draft-N: 2.4GHz vs 5GHz

Just a quick comparison, after using my Airport Extreme with Draft-N Wifi in the 2.4GHz b/g compatibility mode for some time I realized how much more speed you can get using the N only 5GHz mode, just for comparison:

Using 2.4GHz B/G/N mode: 140MBit

Using 5GHz N only mode: 270MBit

Since I have 2 Wifi routers at home using 1 for B/G and the Airport Extreme for N only really pays of, suddenly copying large files via Wireless makes sense and is useable. Knowing that the addition of the second Wifi Set in the latest Airport Extremes make a lot of sense, especially when sharing Media over Wifi.

Get Wireshark to recognize the Networkinterfaces on MacOSX

Since working extensively with PXEBoot, TFTP, Xen Virtual Networking and all this good stuff I’m very depended on Wireshark for my debugging. Sadly the way Wireshark works on BSD style Network devices, like in MacOSX, it would have to be run as Root to be able to read the capture. Since I’m kind of security conscious, I really don’t like running Apps as root, and especially Apps exposed to the Network. Looking around I discovered 2 workarounds, one good one and one hack.

1. The Hack:

Make the capture devices readable by the user by running:

sudo chgrp staff /dev/bpf*

sudo chmod g+r /dev/bpf*

This works great if you are administrator on your Mac (I’m not, I’m a standart user), and if you are willing to enter this every time you reboot in the Terminal.

2. The Good way:

Install a Startup Item which is executed at boot by the lauchd as root, to change the Permissions on the capture devices. To do this first you need to login as Administrator once to create the Startup Item then you need to create a Folder

sudo mkdir -p /Library/StartupItems/ChmodBPF

in this Folder there will be 2 files: 1 executable shell script which sets the Permissions and 1 plist, which just has to be there I guess. On how to create those files you can look here or just download the once created already from here and put it in the Folder.

Now make sure the Permissions are set correctly

sudo chown -R root:wheel /Library/StartupItems/ChmodBPF

sudo chmod 644 /Library/StartupItems/ChmodBPF/StartupParameters.plist

sudo chmod 755 /Library/StartupItems/ChmodBPF/ChmodBPF

Now after a reboot Wireshark should work fine, recognizing all the Interfaces, and being able to capture from them.

Using SSH as VPN replacement

I played around with VPN for personal use for a long time. Since I set up a VPN using IPSEC for a company before I know how to do it but it seems just way to overpowered for personal use. On the other hand, I like the Option to encrypt my traffic if I’m on open WiFi or something like this, so what came to mind was using SSH Socks Proxy.

SSH Socks Proxy opens a Tunnel to a specific Server using SSH and then sents all the traffic through the tunnel if you configure your local machine to use this proxy. Setting it up is easy and for everybody in fear of the Terminal on MacOS, you won’t need it. For me SSHKeychain and the MacOS Proxy Settings do the trick.

So first just to check if everything is workin later go to: MyIP

Now to setup SOCKS Proxy in a couple easy steps:

  • Start SSHKeychain and go to Preferences and Tunnel
  • Click the Plus, to add a new Tunnel
  • Name it unter General to something descriptive
  • Enter your SSH credentials for any Computer you got SSH Access
  • Go to Dynamic Ports and add a Port (ie 9999)

Now you can active the Tunnel via the Tunnel Menu. All you gotta do now is, to tell Safari to use it

  • Go to Safari Preferences and to the Advanced Tab
  • Click on Change Settings next to Proxies
  • Activate SOCKS Proxy and Enter localhost and port (ie 9999)
  • Click OK and Apply

Now to check if everything is working reload your MyIP and it shoud give you the IP of the Server you connected to.

Those Proxy Settings also affect Mail and other Apple Programs so you are form now on using a safe encrypted connection even though your on a open WiFi or any other untrusted Network.


Safe Browsing

Getting your XBox360 to Connect to an Ubuntu Box

Owning an XBox360, and using it as a Media Center a lot by running Connect360 on my Mac, I wanted to stream Music from my Ubuntu Notebook, too. Looking around I found this little nifty tool x360mediaserve
To get this working to stream to you XBox you need to do the following:

  1. Install all the dependencies: sudo apt-get install faad flac sox lame sun-java6-jdk sun-java6-jre
  2. Unzip the x360mediaserve: tar -xvf x360mediaserve-x.x.x.tar.gz
  3. Start the Tool: cd x360mediaserve-x.x.x && ./start
  4. Configure: go to set the Music Folder, and the name

Your Done!
Enjoy all your Media on your XBox360.