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QNAP FTP Client by using File Station

QNAP FTP Client by using File Station
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Occasionally I have those FTP jobs to either download or upload a truck load of files – for example when I want to make a backup of my website.

Now you could start a regular FTP client on your PC and have it run all night to do just that, or … you could use your QNAP for that – mine is running 24/7 anyway, so why not? The biggest issue is: where do you find a FTP client that can download or upload entire directory structures?

Download Station, and the likes, only take one URL at a time, or other apps do silly things like zipping all files before up- or download (who came up with THAT idea?).

After a long search I found something interesting; One of the best hidden features of File Station, the file manager in the web-interface of your QNAP, is the fact that it supports FTP … albeit poorly documented and hard to find … in this article: how do we do this with QTS 4 (tested with QTS 4.2.1). Note that this only supports regular FTP, so not SFTP!).

Remotely Wake up your Computers with Wake On Lan

Remotely Wake up your Computers with Wake On Lan
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Wake On Lan, the Ethernet standard for waking up (switching them ON) network enabled devices remotely, has (again) gained popularity, especially under NAS/Server users, who use their server or NAS only a few hours a day. Wether it’s to save on your Power bill, reduce your Carbon-Footprint, or to spare your equipment, Wake On Lan is here to stay …

Now come these question though,… how do I enable Wake On Lan on my network enabled device, and how do I send a “wake up” call to my device?

In this article, I’ll try to cover as much as I can – since it can be a pretty hairy process to setup Wake On Lan. It very strongly depends on the hardware and software capabilities of your device. Even though I cannot every device on the planet, I sure will try to help you get started with Wake On Lan.

miniWOL – Tiny Wake On LAN tool for Windows and MacOS X

miniWOL – Tiny Wake On LAN tool for Windows and MacOS X
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I had not used the good old Wake On LAN option in a while, until my brother-in-law (Jean-Pierre) was looking for something like that to wake up his NAS.

Most of the Wake On LAN applications I found for him were just too extensive, too complicated, or not free. I wanted just a simple menu in the System Tray (Windows: next to the clock, lower-left corner of your screen) or Menu-bar (MacOS X – top of your screen). Well, after quite a bit of searching I could not find anything suitable or to my liking and I decided to just write something myself.

Timing couldn’t be better, since I just wanted to implemented Wake On LAN in another application – ConnectMeNow (for MacOS X).
Reusing the code, making it suitable for Windows and MacOS X, and wrapping it in a small application was done relatively quickly.

This application has been tested under MacOS X 10.11 (El Capitan) and Windows 10 and it’s FREE.

QNAP – The better download manager Aria2 revised

QNAP – The better download manager Aria2 revised
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Some might have read my previous article on how to install Aria2 as your alternative download manager.

Now Aria2 has been great, but the QNAPWare version is rather old. “jokies” in the QNAP forum has created a QPKG file which handles it all, and … is up to date. (kudo’s to jokies!).

So in this article, the quicker and faster way to get the more recent Aria2 running on your QNAP.
I will describe how to remove the old Aria2 version. You can keep the Web Interface, it works with the new one out of the box, or you can try an alternative Web Interface (YAAW) which I will show you in this article as well.

If you’ve done everything right, the Chrome Addon Aria2-Integration will work right away as well.
Please note that this QPKG is Intel only!

QNAP – How to install Aria2 as a better download manager

QNAP – How to install Aria2 as a better download manager
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For those using a QNAP and that have looked a little further than just storing files on it, both pyLoad and Download Station should sound familiar. And they work … most of the time. Since it’s “most of the time”, I started looking for an alternative and found one in Aria2, which so far it has proven to be rock solid and faster!

Now Aria2 is actually just a command line utility which supports HTTP/HTTPS, FTP, SFTP, BitTorrent and Metalink. There is no webinterface, so we will add WebUI-Aria2 as the webinterface. Both are free, but strangely enough nobody made a “one package does all” QPKG for this.

Unfortunately, I have no idea (or time) how to create a QPKG so I’ll describe, step by step, how I installed it on my QNAP.
Note: This should work for ARM (untested) and INTEL based QNAP devices. This article was based on QTS 4.1.4 build 910.

QNAP – Automatic TV-Series download with Sonarr (NZBDrone)

QNAP – Automatic TV-Series download with Sonarr (NZBDrone)
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Tools like Sonarr have always fascinated me – it’s a good indicator that our way of watching TV has changed from fixed schedule to on demand, or: watch what we want, when we want.

I have played with SickBeard, which works very well. After that, I tried SickRage, which is a fork of SickBeard, but offers just a few of those nifty little additional features SickBeard was lacking, making it even better (and that’s just my opinion).

Over time another alternative appeared: Sonarr, also know as NZBDrone.

I’ll admit, it took me a long time to give that one a try, and I have to say … I’m regretting having not done this earlier, it looks and works pretty slick. Don’t get me wrong though: SickBeard and SickRage are great! I just favor Sonarr a little bit more at this moment.

In this article I’ll show you why I like Sonarr better and how to install it on your QNAP NAS.

Note : This article is in no way meant to promote pirating! Verify what the legal limitations are in your country before proceeding!

Quickly connect Network shares on a Mac with ConnectMeNow

Quickly connect Network shares on a Mac with ConnectMeNow
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In this day and age we are more network connected than ever before – at home and at work. Some of us have network shares on their computers, want to access company network shares, or have a dedicated file server or NAS (Network Attached Storage) to store our shared information or make our backups.

Unfortunately, at times anyway, it can be rather cumbersome under Mac OS X to connect to those “shares” (also known as the so called mounted “Volumes“). In Finder, a server doesn’t always appear right away, we need to go through a list of shares on a given “server”, get confused if we need SMBCIFSFTP, SSHWebDAV, NFS or AFP, and I’m not even mentioning the need to enter a username and password on protected shares.

Additionally, Wake On Lan is being supported as well.

I do have a NAS and I do have several shares on that device and … I just got freakin’ tired of going through each step over and over again. So, instead of complaining, I started looking for an application that would just that – and didn’t find one to my liking. So I just created one … free for all … enjoy!

High-Speed Data Transfers between two Macs with Thunderbolt

High-Speed Data Transfers between two Macs with Thunderbolt
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Back in the day, when Firewire was a standard for any Mac, we could use Firewire to directly connect one Mac to another and transfer files at a very respectable speed – the so called “Target Disk Mode” or “IP over Firewire”.

This did not only help us in sharing files between 2 Mac’s, it even allowed you to boot one Mac from the DVD or CDRom drive on the other Mac, which is great when you have only one Mac with a CD or DVD drive.

Unfortunately, Firewire has gone out of the graces of Apple and has been replaced with Thunderbolt (and USB 3.x), and the trick to connect 2 Mac to each other over a Firewire cable have been lost and forgotten.

Please keep in mind, in case you’re having old Mac’s that have Firewire: this works exactly the same as with FireWire, you’d just use a Firewire cable instead. The firewire trick works under Windows as well (see this old WeetHet.nl Article).

In this article, I’ll show you how you can have a very fast data transfer between two Mac’s, using a Thunderbolt cable.

Mac OS X SMB Fix, or How to install SMBUp

Mac OS X SMB Fix, or How to install SMBUp
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If you’re a Mac user, and you’re enjoying the newer MacOS X versions, then you might have noticed that Apple’s own implementation of SMB simply sucks … it just doesn’t work and for a company like Apple to just leave it this way is beyond me.

SMB is a network protocol, commonly know as “Microsoft Windows Network” or Samba, which allows sharing of files and devices over a network. Most of us use this on our Windows computers and theoretically (it seems) MacOS X should support this as well.

For me it’s to share files with family, friends, or to share media files with my XBMC/Kodi setup.

In this article, I’ll show you how to quickly get started with a working Samba implementation, instead of using Apple’s broken implementation – for this we will make use of SMBUp.

WiFi Encryption and Why It Matters

WiFi Encryption and Why It Matters
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This week I was asked numerous times about Wireless Encryption (encrypted WiFi), asking if they should enable it, which method to use and why this encryption was needed. Since some aspects regarding this topic seemed puzzling at best for those who asked the questions, I decided to write a short article about it.

In this article I’ll explain the different encryption standards (WEP, WPA, WPA2), show you which one to use, and why you should use it. The short version: Enable WPA2 and use a strong (long) password.

MacOS X – Determine WiFi Connection Speed

MacOS X – Determine WiFi Connection Speed
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While working on my DD-WRT project for my NetGear R7000 router, I ran some tests to see what the ideal connection setup for my router would be.

During the testing you’d typically want to see the speed of your WiFi connection, possibly including noise, RSSI, channel, country code, used frequency, etc. and initially it can be a bit daunting where to find this information. But … surprise: this info is readily available on your Mac, no extra software is needed, you just need to know where it’s hidden …

Therefor in this article 4 methods to figure this out on your Mac, without the need to install specific software for the task.

UnoTelly – Watching regional locked content anywhere …

UnoTelly – Watching regional locked content anywhere …
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This week was an interesting week – I travel quite often between my home in the USA and family and friends in Europe. With a world that has become smaller due to the Internet, you’d expect that services you’re used to are still available when traveling … well that’s not the case. I guess the movie industry still hasn’t gotten the message that region limitations is simply ridiculous. So my NetFlix suddenly got neutered and forced to the Dutch version.

I didn’t ask for this, and I most certainly did not pay for this … why not simply link content to your account, which has an address and therefor determines where you reside? Or even better: Just drop the nonsense with regions entirely … I’m sure it will reduce piracy as well.

Anyhow, long story short: to get to my real account (US) I could spoof my location by using well known VPN service like Astrill. Works great, looks a little suspicious, slows down your connection due to encryption and it’s not always “cheap” or easy to use.

Along comes UnoTelly (and I’m sure there are other services like that) offering to try their DNS service for free (8 day trial). This article is about my findings with their services (DNS and VPN) … in short: it’s worth it!

QNAP – Tweaking and using pyLoad for Put.io downloads …

QNAP – Tweaking and using pyLoad for Put.io downloads …
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If you’re familiar with the Put.io service (article) then using pyLoad as your download manager is your best choice (at this moment) when running it on a QNAP.

Put.io is a service that downloads torrents for you to their cloud service, where you have your own private space so you can download it from there like any other file. Put.io even supports the use download managers that split downloads into multiple chunks so that you can maximize your Internet bandwidth (they even recommend it).

Other download managers on the QNAP however do not support multiple chunks, so you’re “stuck” with pyLoad and that’s where you might run into small issues, but we will get to that into this article.

UPDATE: You might find Aria2 to be a more suitable Download Manager for this purpose – read our Aria2 on QNAP Guide.

Put.io – Download torrent safely with a cloud service …

Put.io – Download torrent safely with a cloud service …
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Downloading a torrent safely can be tricky. All kinds of options and services out there offer you privacy protection and most of them (VPN’s for example) can be cumbersome to setup or maintain, and are often slower than the real deal.

Put.io however offers a cloud service that does all this for you. It downloads (and even seeds) a torrent safely for you into their cloud service and stores the downloaded files in your private storage space (starts at 50Gb!!).

Once a download has been completed, you can then download the downloaded torrent as a regular file. They recommend and support the use of a Download Manager to get the maximum speed out of your Internet connection.

For $0.99 you can take it for a spin for a day and you’ll be surprised how well it works.

NetGear R7000 – How to install DD-WRT …

NetGear R7000 – How to install DD-WRT …
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I recently purchased a NetGear R7000 Nighthawk WiFi router capable of 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wifi. This router so far has been awesome – compared to my old ActionTec WiFi router: it right away gave met a 10% speed increase on my downloads and it supports 5Ghz WiFi (great for Apple products).

Now I wanted to try something different: DD-WRT.
DD-WRT is an open source firmware available for numerous routers, offering a vast amount of features that you will not find on normal routers. For me the main reason to try this was: Support for DNSMasq, so I can assign multiple hostnames to the same IP address for my Test Webserver, and build-in VPN. Not just VPN support as most routers claim (meaning: pass through of VPN traffic)! No, we’re talking real OpenVPN build in so the router actually maintains the VPN connection.

In this guide I will use Kong’s DD-WRT firmware and go through the steps and go back to stock if needed.

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