DNS OpenDNS Security

OpenDNS: Your first line of defense for your Family on the Internet

This morning I was going through my home network configuration due to power outages caused by the storms that just rolled through. I noticed that my one of my wireless networks was using a weird configuration for DNS.

DNS (Domain Naming System) is one of the key services that allow you to access the internet. You see every website or service that you go to online uses a nickname to allow you to get to it easily. It’s like me saying meet me at Ken’s house, do you know where that is or how to get there? No, the same thing happens when you tell your favorite web browser that you want to go to,, or The first time you ask to go to one of those sites your computer has no idea how to get there, but it has something called a DNS server to ask for direction. Long story short, without DNS, getting to your favorite website or service would be very difficult if not impossible!!

Thankfully we don’t need to picture a world without DNS, but we should be worried about a few other things around DNS. For instance, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) which would be Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and others, provide you with a DNS Server to use. Even some wireless routers that you may have purchased have them pre-configured as well. Which is Great! Except for the fact that the servers that they have you pointing to are slow and old and can really slow down your Internet Connection.

You may be asking, “What can I do about this?”

Enter OpenDNS. OpenDNS is a Free (for home users) DNS Server that you can point to which will offer better performance than using your IP’s DNS Server. It doesn’t require you to sign up or give them a credit card. You can just go to their website and follow their setup guides.

You might now be asking, “Well this is great, but what about defending my family?”

Well I am glad you asked, OpenDNS is already configured out of the box to block access to Adult content and other things that you might not want your family to have access to. You also have the option to create an account with OpenDNS which will allow you to see all of the things your family is doing on your network. It also allows you to set the level of restriction on your home network

“How can I configure this to work?”

Well you can either configure every device in your house to do it manually, which lets be honest is a pain, or you can configure it one time on your internet gateway and be done with it.

If you have questions or are interested in getting something like this setup for your home/business (yes there is a business option available as well) feel free to reach out to me via our Contact Us form.

Google Wifi Network

Google WiFi Blocking FortiGate SSL VPN Connections

So back at the start of this whole Self-Isolation/Social Distancing thing started almost everyone was forced to work from home. During this time a lot of people started to notice issues that they never had before such as, being unable to connect to their Work VPN from their home WiFi. A few years ago I purchased a Google WiFi Wireless Mesh (I think it is now called Nest Wifi??) so my family would stop complaining about their wireless signal dropping as they walked throughout the house. I know I should have gone with something better like a Ubiquiti system, but I just didn’t have the infrastructure at the time. Anyway the Google WiFi had been working well for us, well with the exception of my Razer laptop which I posted about a while ago, but the rest of the family was fine with it. So my work uses Cisco AnyConnect SSL VPN which works like a champ. However I have a few clients that use Google Wifi in their homes, and also use Fortigate for their work VPN. They started complaining that they were unable to connect to their VPN and that it would get to about 10 % and just fail.

I was asked to look at a few of them and I discovered that the issue only exists with the Wireless connection. When you hardwire your laptop via an ethernet cable it will connect just fine which is very strange. I did some google searching recently and I discovered that “we” were not the only ones having this issue.

It would appear via this Reddit thead that the issue is resolved with a newer version of Firmware. So just for context the thread says that they are running 12371.52.22 ( oddly enough the same version we are all running) and they are eventually able to get their firmware to 12871. 57.12 which appears to be a later version that what “we” have running.

If you are not aware about Google Wifi (or Nest Wifi) they are supposed to be a 0 Administration Wireless Mesh setup, meaning aside from their app that you can install on your phone or tablet there is not much you can do to administer these devices. I personally think that Google Mesh is great for non-techie people and the coverage area on one of these little access points are great! HOWEVER, I am a techie person and I found the product to be very limiting as Google manages everything and a techie person would like to tinker with, including firmware updates.

According to that Redditor (I guess that is what you call them) the firmware update was applied to his router and he is now up and running. Lord only know how he managed to get it applied and there does not appear to be a way to request it. At this point I am stumped but I will keep you posted of any updates as they come.

I hope you found this post helpful and if you did please tell your friends. We are on a new site now and could use all the help we can get!