Category: privacy

How to easily switch between your normal DNS service and Tunlr under OS X

[notice]The use of services such as Tunlr, that provide access to geographically-blocked websites and services you might not normally be able to access, may be illegal in some jurisdictions.  We are not lawyers, so cannot comment further on this.  You are responsible for knowing your local laws.[/notice]

Tunlr is a service that describes itself as follows:

Do you want to stream video or audio from U.S.-based on-demand Internet streaming media providers but can’t get in on the fun because you’re living outside the U.S.? Fear not, you have come to the right place. Tunlr lets you stream content from sites like Netflix, Hulu, MTV, CBS, ABC, Pandora and more to your Mac or PC. Want to watch Netflix or HuluPlus on your iPad, AppleTV or XBox 360 even though you’re not in the U.S.? Tunlr lets you do this.

If you are in the U.S., Tunlr may allow you to access certain sites in Great Britain and elsewhere in Europe.  It does not yet allow access to sites in Canada (pity).  Again, we are specifically not saying that it is legal to to this, since were are not lawyers and cannot give legal advice.

You utilize Tunlr by setting your computer’s or router’s DNS addresses to Tunlr, but Tunlr does not want you to do this except when you are actually accessing content.  As their FAQ explains:

Why you shouldn’t set your DNS permanently to Tunlr

For speed, stability, privacy and security reasons we do not recommend to permanently set your computer’s or router’s DNS addresses to Tunlr. Setting the DNS permanently to Tunlr also puts a heavy strain on Tunlr’s network infrastructure. In order to render the permanent use of our DNS resolvers less attractive, we’re artificially delaying responses to DNS queries. What this means is that your Internet surfing experience will be a lot slower than if you’d just use your Internet service provider’s DNS resolver. However, your ability to download/stream audio or video content is not affected by this delay. To sum it up: do not use our DNS resolver for day to day web surfing.

The FAQ shows “links for more ideas about how to temporarily use our DNS resolver” and they do show some suggestions for OS X, but at this writing none of those links show the easiest way.  When you use the method described below, you will be able to simply click on the Apple logo in the top menu bar and select Tunlr as your DNS, or switch from Tunlr back to your usual DNS, like this:

Selecting Tunlr DNS from the Apple dropdown menu
Selecting Tunlr DNS from the Apple dropdown menu

Note that when you switch DNS servers in OS X your network connection will be momentarily interrupted, so you probably don’t want to do this while you have downloads or uploads in progress.

So, how do you set this up?  It’s relatively simple.  Go To System Preferences (which is another selection in the Apple menu shown above), and when it comes up, in the Internet & Wireless section click on Network.  You should then see a screen similar to this:

System Preferences | Network settings
System Preferences | Network settings

This image is from a system with only a wired ethernet connection – you may see additional connections. But in the left-hand menu you want to select the connection you’ll be using while using Tunlr, which is probably your wired (en0) connection unless you use wireless exclusively.

Before you go any further, click the Advanced button in the lower right corner, then on the next screen click the Proxies tab at the top:

Advanced Network settings, Proxy tab
Advanced Network settings, Proxy tab

What you want to see is what’s currently in the “Bypass proxy settings for these Hosts & Domains” text box.  If there is anything in that box, copy it and save it somewhere – you can open a TextEdit window and paste it in there temporarily if necessary.  Next, at the top, click on the Location dropdown and it should give you the option to Edit Locations, so select that:

Adding a new location
Adding a new location

Next you should see a popup window showing your existing locations:

Popup to add new locations
Popup to add new locations

Click the + in the popup and it should let you enter a new location, so enter Tunlr:

Adding new Tunlr location
Adding new Tunlr location

Click Done and the new location will be added. At this point it is not configured so you will likely be thrown offline, and you’ll see something like this:

New Tunlr location created but not yet configured
New Tunlr location created but not yet configured

Next click the Advanced button and go to the DNS tab, then click on the + and add the two Tunlr DNS addresses (69.197.169.9 and 192.95.16.109) as shown here:

Network settings, DNS tab with Tunlr proxies entered
Network settings, DNS tab with Tunlr proxies entered

After adding the two Tunlr proxies, click OK and then click Advanced again and go to the Proxies tab. What you want to do here is paste in any proxy information you copied from your original network connection back into the “Bypass proxy settings for these Hosts & Domains” text box.  So, copy that from TextEdit or wherever you saved it and paste it in here — it should look exactly as it did for the original connection:

Advanced Network settings, Proxy tab
Advanced Network settings, Proxy tab

Click OK and you should be taken back to the main Network settings window. Now it should show the two Tunlr DNS addresses:

Network settings, Tunlr location with Tunlr DNS addresses configured
Network settings, Tunlr location with Tunlr DNS addresses configured

The last thing to do is click Apply, which should enable the Tunlr location and start using the Tunlr DNS:

Network settings, Tunlr location configured and connected
Network settings, Tunlr location configured and connected

Note that the dot next to your network connection should have changed from yellow to green. Now open your web browser and go to the Tunlr status page (you can just click on that link). You are looking for the section near the bottom of the page headed Tunlr activation check, which should tell you whether or not Tunlr is activated.

Note that even if it says that you need to restart your device or computer after you change the DNS address, that is NOT true when you use this method.  Instead, when you want to access geographically-locked content that Tunlr knows about, you simply go to the Apple menu and select the Tunlr location, and when you are done accessing that content you go back the the same menu and select the Automatic location (or whatever your default location is called). Just keep in mind that any time you change locations, any in-progress communications (downloads or uploads) will be interrupted, and depending on the software and/or protocols used, you may need to restart those connections.

Link: How To Set Up Tunlr DNS Under Linux To Access Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ABC, Pandora and More Outside The US

Tunlr is a free DNS service that lets you use U.S.-based on-demand Internet streaming providers, such as Netflix, Hulu, CBS, MTV, ABC, Pandora and more, if you’re living outside the U.S. At the time I’m writing this article, Tunlr reports that the following streaming services are working:

  • US video streaming services: Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ABC, MTV, theWB, CW TV, Crackle, NBC, Fox, A&E TV, TV.com, Vevo, History, Logo TV, Crunchyroll, DramaFever, Discovery, Spike and VH1;
  • US audio streaming services: Pandora, Last.fm, IheartRadio, Rdio, MOG, Songza;
  • Non-US streaming services: BBC iPlayer (excluding live streams), iTV Player, NHL Gamecenter Live and TF1 Replay / WAT.tv (excluding “direct” stream).
In my test, Tunlr has worked as advertised, but there’s one issue: using Tunlr DNS permanently is not a good idea: for privacy/security reasons, speed and so on. Even the Tunlr FAQ page says you shouldn’t use the Tunlr DNS for every day web surfing. On Windows, there are some tools you can use to quickly switch the Tunlr DNS on/off, but there’s no such tool for Linux, so here’s how to properly use Tunlr under Linux.

Full article here:
How To Set Up Tunlr DNS Under Linux To Access Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ABC, Pandora and More Outside The US (Web Upd8)

Link: How to Setup your own Proxy Server for Free [Updated]

Do a Google search like “proxy servers” and you’ll find dozens of PHP proxy scripts on the Internet that will help you create your own proxy servers in minutes for free. The only limitation with PHP based proxies is that they require a web server (to host and run the proxy scripts) and you also need a domain name that will act as an address for your proxy site.

If you don’t have a web domain or haven’t rented any server space, you can still create a personal proxy server for free and that too without requiring any technical knowledge.

YouTube Video Link: How to Create a Proxy Server

Full article here:
How to Setup your own Proxy Server for Free [Updated] (Digital Inspiration)

Link: DSVR (Domain-Specific VPN Router)

[notice]This software may not be legal to use in some countries or localities, or for certain uses.  We are not lawyers, so we cannot advise you on this.[/notice]

From the README.md file:

PURPOSE

If you’re using a VPN service today, you may have found the following limitations:

1) All or nothing. Either ALL traffic goes down the VPN or none – unable to be selective.
2) Only one VPN at a time. Cannot selectively route certain sites down one VPN, and others down another VPN.
3) Unless you’ve configured your VPN at the router level, it’s likely that only a single device can use your VPN at one time.

This project serves to address each of the above – see the FEATURES section.

Please review my blog post here http://darranboyd.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/selective-vpn-routing-solution-dsvr/

Note that this software runs on a Raspberry Pi. Full text and download links:
DSVR (Domain-Specific VPN Router) (GitHub)

If for some reason you don’t want to run this on a Raspberry Pi, but would instead prefer to do something similar using a DD-WRT based router, the same author covered that topic a couple of years ago:
StrongVPN PPTP on DD-WRT – Source based routing (improved) (Darran Boyd)

Link: arkOS: Building the anti-cloud (on a Raspberry Pi)

arkOS is an open source project designed to let its users take control of their personal data and make running a home server as easy as using a PC

…..

arkOS is not a solution to the surveillance state, but it does offer an alternative to those who would rather exercise some measure of control over their data and, at the very least, not lock away their information in online services where its retrieval and use is at the whim of a corporation, not the user.

Full article here:
arkOS: Building the anti-cloud (on a Raspberry Pi) (TechWorld)
Related article:
arkOS aims to let anyone host their own cloud with a $35 Raspberry Pi (Liliputing)

Link: Raspberry Pi SOCKS 5 Proxy Server (AKA browse the web with an IP from a different country)

This is a small tutorial, which will show you how to set up a local Raspberry to serve as a so-called SOCKS 5 proxy-server for your local network. The Raspberry itself will connect to a remote server, which will then make the requests to other Internet servers with it’s own IP, thus masquerading the original requestor’s.

All computers on your local network can be configured to connect to the Raspberry, so they all can share the same connection to the remote server.

Full article here:
Raspberry Pi SOCKS 5 Proxy Server (AKA browse the web with an IP from a different country) (pi3g Blog)

Link: Tunnel DNS through ssh -D socks proxy

When using ssh -D to setup a socks proxy, DNS queries and DNS traffic are not sent through the ssh tunnel. However, with Firefox a config change can be made to send DNS traffic through the ssh tunnel. Here’s how it works!

Full article here:
Tunnel DNS through ssh -D socks proxy (scottlinux.com)

Link: How to remove Zeitgeist in Ubuntu and why

Quoting from the article:

On my desktop I use Xubuntu 12.04, and today i noticed that this distribution shipped by default the Zeitgeist daemon, a thing that I’m not using at all, for what i know.

From Wikipedia:

Zeitgeist is a service which logs the users’s activities and events, anywhere from files opened to websites visited and conversations. It makes this information readily available for other applications to use in form of timelines and statistics. It is able to establish relationships between items based on similarity and usage patterns by applying data association algorithms such as “Winepi” and “A Priori”

Zeitgeist is the main engine and logic behind GNOME Activity Journal which is currently seen to become one of the main means of viewing and managing activities in GNOME version 3.0

Personally i don’t use any tool that use the Zeitgeist Framework and I’d prefer to open a terminal and use locate or find to search for files than having something that log all my activity and so slow down my system, so I’ve decided to remove this daemon totally from my system, please note that if you use Gnome 3 or Unity you could have some side effect, or perhaps the system will just become more faster, like the author of the article: Removing Zeitgeist Sped Up Unity .

Just remember that the information collected by Zeitgeist are stored for use in various forms in Unity: showing what were the last application you used, what are the applications you use most, which are the files that were used lately, the music you listen, among many other aspects. If you think you can live without these information probably your system will gain a good sped up.

The remainder of the article at Linuxaria gives provides the actual removal instructions.

Link: 10 Annoying Apps We’re All Stuck Using (and How to Make Them Better)

There are probably at least two or three things on this list that you use almost every day, and some of you may use all of them:

10 Annoying Apps We’re All Stuck Using (and How to Make Them Better) (Lifehacker)

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