Geek Freely: UPNP

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    The whole point in this post is to run your own VPN service, and allow you to connect remote devices to your home network.

    To start off yo…

    Showing posts with label UPNP.

    Showing posts with label UPNP.

    The Hardware

    After approximately 10 years of using XBMC, the old name for Kodi, I have tried a variety of hardware end-points.

    Always searching for the best bang for my buck. My conclusion is the Chromebox, I have a single

    and I am considering replacing my Pi’s with two more Chromeboxes. Raspberry Pi’s are nice and all, but they just don’t have the grunt, you are constantly modifying settings and over-clocking. The Asus Chromebox is a no hassle Kodi player.

    It’s silent, powerful, and it comes at the great price ~$160.

    Now I know a lot of people will be saying the Pi is cheaper, but let’s be honest – you need to spend at least $95. For that you get, the

    (~$45),

    (~$10),

    (~$10),

    (~$15) – and that doesn’t even include cables or a power supply, because you may have it lying around.

    The only question about the Chromebox is to consider which version. Some will , and some will give you , and of course some will give you both.  I have a basic , but am tempted by the

    for the AC network adapter.  provided some insightful comments on the Chromebox support of 4k and Wireless AC. AC network support can be gained in the cheaper Asus box with the , and there appears to be no difference in 4k support between models, however I had previously read the i5 would be required for 4k.

    Update: Some other readers noticed hardware omissions, I’d love to hear feedback on other hardware users have had success with, but a comparison always helps.  Here are a few I would love some more performance comparisons on:

    The Software

    There are a bunch of approaches, with the only real restriction being the hardware your running it on. I have tried the following:

    If you have ever read any of my , it will be no surprise that OpenELEC is the clear winner for me.

    The Remote

    For me this was a simple decision, nothing fancy here – I have tried a variety of solutions.

    At this time I am using the USB receiver from a

    and USB IR receiver I purchased for my initial XBMC HTPC, I have programmed my to send MCE commands – and that’s it. You could also use and have IR commands converted to keyboard commands – which gives you a lot of flexibility (I used to have a remote button programmed to send “w”, to update watched status quickly.)

    Update: One attentive reader, , noted the omission of . Utilizing the CEC adapter leverages your current TV remote to take care of the basic HTPC functionality. I personally find I want a few more buttons, but if you need the basics this is certainly worth investigating.

    The Installation and Configuration

    So you have your hardware and software, all you need to do now is install the software and you are ready to enjoy your music and home movies!

    I created a

    some time ago based on several different sources, but  has an

    that is a much better resource than my dated post.

    provides a simple installation script for running, after you have prepared the hardware, and the guide also recommends settings and covers some known issues.

    The Extras

    Personally, since I run three of these boxes in my house I like to have a synchronized library, providing watched/un-watched/resume status throughout the house. . Kodi is certainly moving towards a shared library implementation using UPNP – but I’m not sure it is quite there yet.

    Port forwarding is a bit of a necessity, because your only alternative is UPNP, which is a huge vulnerability.

    UPNP

    allows programs to automatically configure port redirection (NAT

    traversal) and therefore if you happen to get a malicious program on

    your computer it could reek havoc if UPNP is available.

    Port

    forwarding, as I discuss here, is the act of manually configuring your

    router to redirect ports to specific computers on your network.

    What is the point of port forwarding, you may ask?

    Lets

    take an simple example, imagine you have three computers on your

    network, and one of them has a web server, port redirection will allow

    all webpage requests coming to your WAN IP to be routed to the

    appropriate device.

    To expand.

    WAN IP: 72.67.180.4

    Internal Computer 1: 192.168.1.1

    Internal Computer 2: 192.168.1.2

    Internal Computer 3: 192.168.1.3

    If the web server is running on Internal Computer 2, you must forward all web request (assume HTTP, port 80 here) to it.

    The

    router will request ALL external requests from ANY source to port 80 to

    be redirected to port 80 at internal address 192.168.1.2.

    A

    more complex example would be Remote Desktop. Lets say you want to

    access any of your PCs from outside your home network, while at work

    possibly. If all computers are running Windows the RDP (Remote Desktop)

    port associated with this service is 3389. You can’t use the same

    external port redirection, that is to say you can’t redirect 3389 to

    multiple destinations – it’s just not possible.

    There

    are a couple of options to overcome the problem. One is to change the OS

    (Operating System) RDP port, the other much simpler method is to use a

    different external port.

    To expand.

    WAN IP: 72.67.180.4

    Internal Computer 1: 192.168.1.1

    Internal Computer 2: 192.168.1.2

    Internal Computer 3: 192.168.1.3

    Lets

    say you redirect port 1 to Internal Computer 1 port 3389, port 2 to

    Internal Computer port 3389, and port 3 to Internal Computer port 3389.

    Now,

    to access your PC from an external location all you need to do is start

    the Remote Desktop application and enter the following:

    72.67.180.4:1 to RDP to Internal Computer 1

    72.67.180.4:2 to RDP to Internal Computer 2

    72.67.180.4:3 to RDP to Internal Computer 3

    Using

    ports 1-3 are not recommended by ICANN.

    You should use anything above

    49151.

    See the following link for more information.

    As

    for actually configuring Port Forwarding on your router you can either

    check the manual, the manufacturers website, or the following web page:

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