Oct 19

The D-Link DNS-320 ShareCenterTM Pulse 2-Bay Network Storage shares your documents, photos, music, and videos across the network and on the Internet so family members, friends, or employees can access them. This ShareCenterTM Pulse can hold two 3.5” SATA hard drives and is able to create a central network point for backing up valuable files.

Installation – Windows Only

The Setup Wizard on the CD-ROM will give you step-by-step instructions how to connect, install, and configure your DNS-320.

Step 1:

Insert the supplied CD-ROM into your computer. When the autorun screen appears, click ShareCenterTM Pulse Setup Wizard.

Step 2:

Follow the on-screen instructions. Once complete you can log into the DNS-320 for advanced configuration.

Installation – Non-Windows/Manual Installation

For Mac or Linux users, or for manual installation, follow the steps below:

Step 1:

Remove the top cover of your device by moving the cover lock located on the back of your device and moving the cover lock to the right.

Step 2:

While holding the cover lock, slide the top cover backwards. After sliding the top cover backwards, lift the top cover up to remove it.

Step 3:

Insert a 3.5” SATA hard drive into an available drive bay. Then, re-attach the top cover.

Step 4:

Connect an Ethernet cable to the available Ethernet port. This cable should connect the ShareCenterTM Pulse 2-Bay Network Storage to your local network via a router or switch, or directly to a computer for configuration.

Step 5:

Connect the power adapter to the power receptor.

Step 6:

Open a web browser and enter the IP address of the DNS-320 to access the Web UI. If you have a DHCP-enabled router or server on your network, you may need to check the DHCP table to see what IP address the D-Link DNS-320 was assigned.

D-Link DNS-320 ShareCenterTM Pulse 2-Bay Network Storage

D-Link DNS-320 ShareCenterTM Pulse 2-Bay Network Storage

Note: The computer used to access the ShareCenterTM Pulse web-based configuration manager must be on the same subnet as the ShareCenterTM Pulse. If your network is using a DHCP server and the computer receives IP settings from the DHCP server, the ShareCenterTM Pulse will automatically be in the same subnet.

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Oct 18

This thing is great. I got it from VTech Industries for about $220 AUD. It is basically a mini GNU/Linux server with 2 giant hard drives in it. That price gets you a single 1TB drive and you can install your own drive in the other bay by removing the lid and dropping it in place. The unit, pictured below, is a bit taller and wider than three PC hard drives stacked together.

It comes with a reasonable web interface you can access over your LAN, but I installed the fun_plug hack on it by copying the files across the network and restarting the device – easy. That hack gets you SSH access, rsync, and a bunch of other Linuxy stuff.

We are storing our media and backups on it and it is basically perfect for that use-case. I now once again have a cron-and-rsync based regular backup of all of my servers in the USA, hooray! I’m also routing all SSH traffic to our ADSL router through to it so I can access the files on the device from outside our network if neccessary.

All in all I am very pleased with this purchase.

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Oct 18

There are a number of products currently available aimed to meet home storage needs. Rather than purchasing an entire computer to act as a file sever, these NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices are cheap, and you can typically stuff them in a corner and forget about them, using them to store backups or files that you want to share with other systems. They can be used to share files with those outside of the home network, or strictly for those inside.

One such device is the D-Link DNS-323, a two-bay NAS system that runs Linux. It is a small box, but large enough to store two 3.5″ SATA drives, so it can be stored nearly anywhere. By itself, the DNS-323 has a web-based administrative console, has multiple disk options (JBOD, RAID0, RAID1, or individual disks), gigabit Ethernet, allows for SMB (Windows file sharing) and FTP access. It has one USB port for a printer to allow it to be a print server as well, and it can also be an iTunes media server out of the box. All of this is available for roughly $200.

For the average user, this is great as-is. For the tinkerer, you should have zeroed in on the fact that the DNS-323 runs Linux, which makes this tiny little box a whole lot more compelling. If it runs Linux, then it can also run other server-related software that runs on Linux, and it should be infinitely customizable. The good news is that it is — and it’s easy to set up. It has also spawned a little community of hackers that have customized the D-Link DNS-323 to be a full-fledged Linux server, to provide NFS sharing, to be a web server with full PHP support, an rsync server, a subversion server, a BitTorrent server, and more.

The tool that is used to hack the DNS-323 is a set of scripts called fun-plug. As of this writing, the latest version is 0.5 and it is a snap to install.

To begin, mount the Volume_1 share from the DNS-323 via SMB. Then go to the directory where you have mounted it on your local system and download the required fun-plug files:

$ cd /Volumes/Volume_1/
$ curl -OL http://www.inreto.de/dns323/fun-plug/0.5/fun_plug
$ curl -OL http://www.inreto.de/dns323/fun-plug/0.5/fun_plug.tgz

Once these are stored in the root directory of the Volume_1/ share, unmount the SMB share and reboot the DNS-323 via the web console. Once it has rebooted, the fun-plug scripts will start, will have extracted the fun-plug tarball and all the tools and scripts it contains, and will have started a telnet server on the DNS-323 that can be used to log in as root.

$ telnet [IP address of DNS-323]

You will be logged in as the root user without a password. Make sure the DNS-323 is not accessible via the Internet right now! We will setup SSH access and turn off the insecure telnet shortly. The next step is to set up the root account with a password. A few steps need to be taken here to ensure the password is set correctly and that it is written to firmware:

# pwconv
# passwd
# usermod -s /ffp/bin/sh root
# login

The login command that is last in the above output is used to make sure the password settings work. If they do, and you are able to login as root with your defined password, exit the session by typing exit; you should still be logged into the DNS-323 as root. Next, save the password settings to flash memory:

# store-passwd.sh

Next, we want to enable SSH access to the DNS-323. You will want to test that it works prior to disabling telnet. To set up SSH, execute the following as root on the DNS-323:

# cd /mnt/HD_a2/ffp/start
# sh sshd.sh start

From another terminal on the local system, try to ssh into the DNS-323 as root. If it works, we can enable SSH and disable telnet, by executing the following in the /mnt/HD_a2/ffp/start directory:

# chmod a+x sshd.sh
# chmod a-x telnetd.sh

If you’re paranoid, you may want to reboot the DNS-323 after enabling sshd to start at boot and before disabling telnetd. Once you know that SSH works when the DNS-323 has rebooted, then you should disable telnet.

Now you can hack around further. While I used the SMB access to the DNS-323, I would rather use NFS. This became available once fun-plug was installed; all it needs is to be enabled and configured.

To set up NFS, create the /ffp/etc/exports file with the following contents (customized to your IP address range):

And then enable nfsd, in the same way that sshd was enabled:

# cd /mnt/HD_a2/ffp/start
# sh nfsd.sh start
# chmod a+x nfsd.sh

You don’t need to restart the DNS-323 to make sure it works. From another system on the network you can mount dns-323:/mnt/HD_a2 (if “dns-323″ was the hostname of the DNS-323 box) and you should be able to access the contents of the NAS directly with full read/write access.

The options here are endless. The DNS-323 isn’t the fastest system in the world, but it does run Linux and it can do certain tasks extremely well. The fun-scripts package comes with a number of useful tools out of the box, and there are many others to be had. As well, using the fun-scripts gives you complete control over the DNS-323, unlike the web control panel which, while quite thorough, is still limited. For $200, this may be one of the cheapest Linux file servers to be had, and is certainly a bargain.

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Oct 16

D-Link still sees there being a place for powerline networking, such as a basement home theater, but knows that many of us don’t want an overly clunky set of adapters or to effectively buy a second network. Its new (if slightly awkwardly named) PowerLine AV+ Mini Adapter Starter Kit caters just to that desire for a no-hassle network in places WiFi won’t reach.

The bundle carries a pair of small, 200Mbps adapters that won’t monopolize the wall outlets, a pair of Ethernet cables to link up… and that’s it. Apart from the optional 128-bit AES encryption, there’s nothing else needed to either make a direct connection or graft powerline technology into an existing network. At $60, the already shipping kit is also just low enough in price that there’s very little standing between us and a reliable connection for a console or placeshifter.

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Oct 16

The easiest and most secure way to connect your wireless devices to the router is WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup). Most wireless devices such as wireless adapters, media players, Blu-ray DVD players, wireless printers and cameras will have a WPS button (or a software utility with WPS) that you can press to connect to the DIR-506L router. Please refer to your user manual for the wireless device you want to connect to make sure you understand how to enable WPS. Once you know, follow the steps below:

Step 1 – Press the WPS button on the DIR-506L for about 1 second. The WPS button will start to blink.

Step 2 – Within 2 minutes, press the WPS button on your wireless client (or launch the software utility and start the WPS process).

Step 3 – Allow up to 1 minute to configure. Once the WPS light stops blinking, you will be connected and your wireless
connection will be secure with WPA2.

It is recommended to enable wireless security (WPA/WPA2) on your wireless router or access point before configuring your wireless adapter. If you are joining an existing network, you will need to know the security key or passphrase being used.

1. Click on the wireless icon in your system tray (lower-right corner).

2. The utility will display any available wireless networks in your area.

3. Highlight the wireless network (SSID) you would like to connect to and click the Connect button.If you get a good signal but cannot access the Internet, check your TCP/IP settings for your wireless adapter. Refer to the Networking
Basics section in this manual for more information.

4. The following window appears while your computer tries to connect to the router.

5. Enter the same security key or passphrase that is on your router and click Connect. You can also connect by pushing the WPS button on the router.

It may take 20-30 seconds to connect to the wireless network. If the connection fails, please verify that the security settings are correct. The key or passphrase must be exactly the same as on the wireless router.

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