Private Sync Network Using Hamachi & BitTorrent Sync

Once you have setup BitTorrent Sync re-configure to use with Hamachi to increase security - all for Free.

1) Download logmein Hamachi, a free VPN, to each computer you are syncing with.  The free unmanaged version will suffice for most people. https://secure.logme...i/download.aspx

2) I setup a mesh network which allows every computer in the VPN to see each other. This type of network will allow for more syncing bandwidth and redundancy than the other two types of VPN's they offer.

3) Add the computers you are syncing to the network. The free networks have a capacity of 5 computers per network. You can get around this by creating several networks and adding different combinations of computers until all computers can "see" each other.
eg: If you have computers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 set up networks A, B, and C
  • A will have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • B will have 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
  • C will have 5, 6
Now all computers have access to each other through the Hamachi VPN service. Each computer is given a IPV4 address 25.xxx.xxx.xxx. I am aware of no limit to the number of networks you can have. The only restriction for the free accounts is that there may be a maximum of 5 users per network.

4) Now right click on the folder you are syncing in BitTorrent Sync and click on "Show Folder Preferences". Go to the properties tab. Uncheck "use relay server when required", "use tracker server", and "search dht network". Check "use predefined hosts". You can check or uncheck "search lan" depending on your particular application and/or preference.  Now click "add" to add the Hamachi ip address and BitTorrent Sync port other computers (The Hamachi ip address is shown in the Hamachi program and the BitTorrent Sync port is shown on the preferences tab of the main program.). It should look something like this.


Now your files are more secure. Even if someone is able to get a hold of your secret they will be unable to sync any of you content because your computers will only sync to the predefined hosts. You will also have one more layer of encryption to protect your data from the prying eyes of governments. One known limitation of this is that the Android (and probably IOS) apps do not have an option to configure predefined hosts but hopefully this will change for the next release. 

PS. Hamachi is currently in beta testing for android and IOS. To setup the mobile device you must use their preview site, then click add client.  There will now be an option for adding a mobile device (this option is not shown if you access through they standard hamachi login). https://preview.logm...al/Central.aspx

Image Resizer for Windows

Image Resizer for Windows is a utility that lets you resize one or more selected image files directly from Windows Explorer by right-clicking.



Mac Mail Phantom Messages in Message Count

1) Quit Mail.

2) In Finder, press Shift-Comand-G, and in the "Go to the folder:" box, enter:


3) Drag the following files to the Trash:

Envelope Index
Envelope Index-shm
Envelope Index-wal

4) Start Mail; it should tell you it needs to reimport all your Mail messages; allow it to do so.

When this process is complete, you may see Flagged messages are once again indicated, but this time when you select the Flagged mailbox you should see the messages Mail thinks are flagged, and you should be able to take whatever action you want on those messages (unflag, delete, etc.)

5) Reboot before restarting the Mail app, otherwise you won't be able to empty your trash.


Google Apps Password Recovery

You can manage your Google Apps users and account settings at www.google.com/a/YOURDOMAIN.com

We often get calls about forgotten admin/management passwords. The regular methods of recovering this password involves answering lots of questions, starting from https://www.google.com/accounts/recovery/

However, if you have control of the DNS entries of the primary domain name, this recovery process is much simpler; though not linked from Google's Account Recovery page. The link to this DNS recovery method is  https://www.google.com/a/cpanel/DOMAIN.COM/VerifyAdminAccountPasswordReset

The process is fairly straightforward:
  1. Enter the email address to which you want Google to send the password reset instructions.
  2. Click Continue with domain verification.
  3. Complete the steps described on the page that appears to create a CNAME record.
  4. Click I've completed the steps above, continue.
  5. Please allow up to 48 hours for Google to verify the CNAME changes and send the password reset instructions to the email address you entered at step 2.
  6. Sign in to that email address, open the message with the subject line Google Password Assistance, and follow the link that appears in the message.
  7. The link takes you to a page where you can select which administrator account to reset the password for and enter the new password.
  8. If you don't find the message in the Inbox, check the Spam and Trash folders to ensure that your provider hasn't filtered the message.


Tools for testing your Internet speed

There are many reasons an Internet connection will become noticeably slower — including not getting the bandwidth you’re paying for.
Internet speed-testing services might help reveal whether your ISP is at fault, but only if you understand how they work.
The good news is that there are many free broadband speed tests available online. The bad news is that the speed numbers from those tests tend not to match. So to start, here are the two most important tips to keep in mind when running any Internet-performance test:
1. Never rely on a single set of readings from a single speed test (more on why below).
2. Local wireless connections have lots of potential potholes that can affect download/upload performance. So run the tests on a computer that’s connected to your network — and the Internet — with an Ethernet cable.

Using Internet-connection speed-testing services is generally easy. For example, on the Bandwidth Place site, simply click the big Start button (see Figure 1). Many services also let you pick the Web-based server used for the tests.

Bandwidth Place

Keep in mind that, for a variety of reasons, the connection-speed results produced by testing services can differ significantly. The speed figures below represent testing done at midday. Some tests returned significant speed variations, depending on the time of day.
The differences between tests were significant. The overall results are:
ServiceDownload (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)Ping (milliseconds)
Bandwidth Place53.06.1118
CNET Internet Speed Test48.85(na)(na)
XFINITY Speed Test59.36.18
DSL Reports Speedtest49.65.966
Geek Squad16.85.96106
Ookla Speedtest59.46.158
SpeedOf.Me Lite65.06.711
Visualware MySpeed56.15.9526

To summarize, reported download speeds ranged from 16.8Mpbs to 65Mbps, a variance of over 48Mbps or about 75 percent. Ping speeds ranged from eight milliseconds to 106ms, a far greater variance. Even if we throw out the Geek Squad tester’s results as an outlier, download speed measurements from the other testers varied by as much 25 percent.

Is one test more accurate than another?

For many reasons, it’s impossible to accurately measure overall Internet-connection speeds — or even to say whether one Internet testing service is more or less accurate than its competitors.
To start, the Internet is a far-from-homogenous infrastructure; it’s a mashup of different routers, servers, cable types, and so on. Typically, each browser-to-webserver connection uses different routes over the Net and passes through various devices that manage Web traffic — all of which impacts connection speeds.
Moreover, Internet users might use different browsers or FTP apps at different times. Some browsers might have accelerators that employ multiple HTTP threads for transfers; others might not. In short, there’s no consistency with Internet connections.
There’s also no consistency with testing services. As noted above, services use the same three types of tests — download, upload, ping — but the tests themselves can be quite different. Some services use a single file for uploads and downloads, while others use multiple files of different sizes. Even the format of test files can impact transfer speeds, depending on the protocols used, the size of packets, and the amount of overhead they contain.
Some services transfer files in a single thread; others use multiple threads. For the most part, it’s unknown whether a speed test that employs a single-threaded transfer — as most of them do — is more, or less, accurate than a speed test that employs a multi-threaded transfer.
And while some tests always use a single online server, others search for the fastest available server or allow the user to select a server.
Internet performance will vary greatly based on the location of servers used for testing. Typically, the farther they are from your location, the lower your speed numbers — especially latency. As noted above, many speed tests scan servers in several locations and select the one that’s closest. Some speed tests — SpeedOf.me (Figure 2), for example — run data through several servers in different locations during a test.

The time of day can also result in wildly different speed results. A business might see lower speeds during the day, when numerous users share a single Internet connection. Home users will typically see slower speeds in the evening, when you and your neighbors are downloading YouTube videos and streaming movies.
Bear in mind, too, that test results can vary significantly depending on numbers of other users simultaneously using a local ISP node. For consumers, that might be everyone in an apartment building — or it might be the number of employees sharing a single, leased business connection. If you notice performance dropping after 3 p.m., it might be because all the students in your neighborhood are returning home and jumping on the Internet.
Most speed-measuring services download a small app for running the tests. Some use Java, others use Flash. A few of the newer services use HTML5, which requires that no software be installed on your computer. In theory, HTML5 tests are more accurate because there’s no overhead imposed by the downloaded, local software. But Ookla (Figure 3) claims that its Flash-based tester adjusts for protocol overhead and application buffering before reporting results.
Ookla speed-testing service
Figure 3. Ookla has a relatively simple interface for displaying upload/download speeds and ping time.
Bottom line: No matter what assumptions an Internet-testing service makes, it can’t build a test that fits nicely into the real world. There’s no practical way to account for each user’s PC configuration and Internet use — especially when our Internet connections will vary from place to place, session to session, website to website.

What to do if your speed is slower than you expect?

The tests can give a rough approximation of Internet-connection speeds — but only if we run multiple tests at various times of the day and week. If possible, run the test from different computers to see whether you get consistent results. That can help eliminate local machine and networking issues.
And again, make sure to use an Ethernet cable between the PC and your router/modem. Various types of wireless-network interference can significantly reduce Internet-connection speeds.

Run the tests from several different services and throw out the highest and lowest results. If the majority of tests consistently show lower-than-expected performance, it’s probably time to contact your ISP.