MLB.TV Blackout Workaround from Ghost Path

MLB.TV Blackout Workaround

MLB.TV is far and away the best sports streaming service that we’ve tried. The software and product are both great.

Our only complaint is the antiquated blackout policy that prevents us from watching our favorite teams, even though they are hundreds of miles away. The notion of a team’s “home region” is overreaching. For example, I’m a Braves fan. I can’t watch Braves games on MLB.TV anywhere in Georgia, the Carolinas, or North Florida. It’s probably the same for Tennessee and Alabama, but I haven’t personally tried there. The idea is that if you’re in the home region for a team you should be able to see the game on the team’s TV station on cable or satellite. The problem is that you have to have cable, which kind of defeats the purpose for having MLB.TV.

That’s where Ghost Path VPN comes in quite handy. By connecting your computer to our VPN you can make it appear as if you’re located somewhere else. For example, to get around a Braves game blackout I would connect to a VPN endpoint outside the southeast, like Denver. Once you’re on the VPN then you can use MLB.TV as you normally would.

MLB.TV on Mobile Devices

Unfortunately using VPN on iPhone, Android phones, iPad’s etc. won’t work. MLB.TV requires you to use location services (GPS) on your mobile device as a means of determining your location, and Ghost Path can’t help with that.

About Ghost Path

VPN means virtual private network, which is what we do at Ghost Path. Ghost Path VPN allows you to bypass geographic restrictions, like those used in MLB.TV.

We offer a 7-day money back guarantee here at Ghost Path, so it’s risk free to try out our service. VPN accounts start at just $10/month.

MLB and MLB.TV are trademarks of Major League Baseball. The Braves is a trademark of the Atlanta Braves baseball club.

 

New VPN Gateway in Chennai

VPN in Chennia India

Our latest VPN gateway is in Chennai, India. The new gateway gives Ghost Path customers in India another great option for connecting. The new location should be ultra-fast for users in and around India, the middle East, and southern Asia.

Ghost Path VPN Gateways

Ghost Path is now operating over 133 servers in 40 different countries, and we’re not slowing down anytime soon. We continue to build our VPN network so that our customers have a close, fast VPN connection no matter where they are globally.

About Ghost Path VPN

Ghost Path is a leading VPN provider in the United States. We offer a 7-day free trial on select VPN accounts, so give us a try today!

New VPN Gateway in Taipei

VPN Gateway Taipei

Our newest VPN gateway is in Taipei, Taiwan. This gives Ghost Path customers in Asia another nearby option for connecting. The new location should be ultra-fast for users in and around Taiwan China, and Japan.

Ghost Path VPN Gateways

Ghost Path is now operating over 128 servers in 40 different countries, and we’re not slowing down anytime soon. We continue to build our VPN network so that our customers have a close, fast VPN connection no matter where they are globally.

About Ghost Path VPN

Ghost Path is a leading VPN provider in the United States. We offer a 7-day free trial on select VPN accounts, so give us a try today!

Now Accepting Bitcoin Payments

Bitcoin VPN

We’re excited to announce that we are now accepting Bitcoin payments for our VPN service. Bitcoin is a great way to pay for our service while keeping your identity private. All we need to process a Bitcoin payment is an email address that we can send your username and password to.

All About Bitcoin

If you’re new to Bitcoin then there is a bit of a learning curve. Here are some of the best Bitcoin resources that we’ve found:

  • Bitcoin.it is a wiki with everything you need to know about Bitcoin.
  • Coinbase is an easy to use Bitcoin wallet. Great place to get started.
  • Bitpay is our Bitcoin merchant.

To create a Ghost Path VPN account with a Bitcoin payment you can go to our Pricing page and choose your plan. Then choose Bitcoin when asked. As always, we’re here to help if you run into any problems.

New VPN Gateway in Strasbourg

Strasbourg VPN

Our newest VPN gateway is in Strasbourg, France. This gives Ghost Path customers in western Europe another nearby option for connecting. The new location should be ultra-fast for users in and around France & Germany.

Ghost Path VPN Gateways

Ghost Path is now operating over 128 servers in 40 different countries, and we’re not slowing down anytime soon. We continue to build our VPN network so that our customers have a close, fast VPN connection no matter where they are globally.

Staying Safe While Using Panera Wi-Fi

Using Panera Wi-Fi

Like many of you, I spend a decent amount of time working at public wi-fi hotspots, particularly at Panera Bread. Panera Wi-Fi works well and is generally reliable. It’s also susceptible to packet sniffing, just like any other public Wi-Fi. That’s why the following precautions when working remotely.

VPN

It goes without saying that I use Ghost Path VPN anytime I hop on public Wi-Fi. Unless I need to connect to a specific location I  just use the default ‘Closest Locations’ settings in the Ghost Path VPN client. That will generally give you the best speeds because the software chooses the nearest VPN gateway and connects there.

I also use Viscosity’s VPN client occasionally for quickly connecting to a specific server or for doing competitive VPN research.

Hardware

I use Apple hardware primarily, so my laptop of choice is my 11″ Macbook Air.  I also keep my iPhone and Galaxy Note 3 with me and use VPN on those as well if they’re connected over Wi-Fi.

Bonus Tips

  • Always try to sit in a place where no-one can see your computer screen.
  • Avoid phone calls at Panera; you never know who could be listening.
  • If you can afford it you should get a portable LTE hotspot and use that instead of public Wi-Fi. I use a Mi-Fi from Verizon and couldn’t be more pleased. It’s about $40/month I believe.
  • Even if you’re using a VPN, don’t do your banking or anything super-sensitive on public Wi-Fi.

New VPN Gateway in Lisbon

VPN Gateway in Lisbon

We’re excited to announce that we now have a VPN gateway in Lisbon, Portugal. Ghost Path users in western Europe now have another option for connecting. The new location should be ultra-fast for users in an around Portugal, Spain, and France.

Ghost Path VPN Gateways

Ghost Path is now operating over 121 servers in 39 different countries, and we’re not planning on slowing down anytime soon. We continue to build out VPN network so that our customers have a close, fast VPN connection no matter where they are globally.

Why You Should Consider Using a DD-WRT Router

Wi-Fi Security

DD-WRT is third-party firmware designed to upgrade and enhance the functionality of OE wireless internet routers by replacing the router’s original, integrated firmware. The big question is, “Why would you want to replace the original firmware?”

The problem with the original firmware is that router manufacturers often intentionally limit their product’s full capabilities. The limitations are designed into the preinstalled firmware. DD-WRT does not impose those limitations, allowing your router to become powerful enough to rival those used in enterprise IT environments. Using a DD-WRT router unleashes a variety of ways to realize enhanced performance and functionality. Even better, it doesn’t cost you a dime.

Benefits of Using DD-WRT

It’s one thing to have expanded power, but the real benefits are derived from knowing how to harness it for your benefit.

If we were to list all the benefits you can enjoy from using DD-WRT, the list would be longer – much longer than we have space or time to list here. So, is a short list of what we consider the top features and benefits of DD-WRT:

  1. IPv6 support. With IPv4 addresses becoming increasingly scarce, you’ll appreciate DD-WRT’s built-in IPv6 support.
  2. Advanced Quality of Service controls are available on some DD-WRT builds.
  3. A highly configurable and very powerful firewall that is based on iptables firewall construction. You can easily edit the iptables firewall via DD-WRT’s interface.
  4. DNS controls such as DNSmasq, which allows simplified DNS configuration behind the firewall and makes host-name lookup faster. You also get support for DNS providers such as No-IP, TZo, DynDNS and others.
  5. The access point is visible only to your wireless clients, preventing inadvertently giving access to each client’s shared files.
  6. Easy access to multiple source access-control solutions such as WiFiDog, HotSpot System, ChilliSpot and others.
  7. Extensions, extensions, and more extensions. You can add functionality far beyond the original limitations of the router, such as external USB connectors.
  8. DD-WRT plays well with VPN. Instead of configuring each of your devices to connect to a VPN (*ahem* Ghost Path) you can configure the router itself to connect over VPN, protecting all devices on your network.

The best thing is that DD-WRT is FREE! Well, at least for now.

Securing Your Entire Home

Because your home network gains the power of an enterprise-level router, you also get better security. No more neighbors stealing your Wi-Fi connection!

For one, DD-WRT ignores unrequested packets that go through your WAN port, making it difficult for a hacker to even know that you have a network there. It even provides better protection against Trojans, which do not pass through your Internet connection, hence, bypassing your firewall.

You gain a range of security protocols to make your Wi-Fi secure. There’s WPA that even supports RADIUS, there’s TKIP, AES and a combination of both. There’s WPA2 and WEP. You can choose the safest options: WPA + AES, WPA + TKIP + AES. Or, if you are feeling generous, you can disable these protocols and give Wi-Fi access to those who can see your network. Setting up security for your DD-WRT router is very easy, using its Web-based interface.

Again, DD-WRT’s built-in VPN connectivity allows you to automatically send all your network traffic over the VPN, greatly increasing security.

Need to Know

There are some things that you should know before trying, installing and using DD-WRT firmware for your router. First, using DD-WRT invalidates the manufacturer’s warranty support for your router. This is no different than what typically happens when you make performance-enhancing changes to your car. You will not be able to call Linksys, D-Link, NETGEAR, and others, if something were to go wrong with your router. Be sure to research the ramifications as well as the benefits before you modify your stock firmware with DD-WRT.

Second, it is entirely possible that your router will be bricked, turning it into a lovely paperweight. As with modifying anything, there is always the potential for suffering other unintended consequences. So, again, do your homework and weigh the risks before installing DD-WRT.

Third, manufacturers aim to make it easier for non-technical users (un-geeks and anyone over 55) to tinker with and install their routers.

The grass may be greener on the DD-WRT side of the fence. Just be cautious when scaling the top of the fence and be especially careful of what you land in.

Analyzing the 1000 Most Common Wi-Fi Network Names

Wi-Fi SSID

I recently came across a list of the 1000 most commonly used SSID’s and thought it would be fun take a quick look at it. If you didn’t already know, SSID is the technical term for the name of your wireless network.

Here are some of the most interesting things I gleaned from the list. The percentages below represent how often the SSID shows up in the total list of SSID names survey, not just the top 1000 SSID’s.

  1. No name, or a hidden name, is really popular. Over 2.3% of the SSID’s examined had no name, a hidden name, or something similar.
  2. Routers that come with a predefined network are popular. AT&T’s Uverse routers are a good example and come with a pre-defined wireless network that includes a name like “2WIRE199”.
  3. Netgear also sells routers that come with predefined network names. “NETGEAR00” through “NETGEAR99” are all names that make it into the top 1000.
  4. “default” (0.6%) and “home” (0.3%) are used quite commonly
  5. Hotels, such as “Marriott_Guest” (0.01%), “Hyatt” (0.01%), “hhonors” (0.06%), and “laQuinta” (0.01%) make the top 1000.
  6. Among SSID’s named after people, “Alex”, “David”, “Mike”, and “John” lead the way.
  7. My personal favorites from the top 1000: “pretty fly for a wifi”, “skynet”. “boobs” was not in the top 1000, sadly.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Using a Common SSID

If I can find a list of the 1000 most commonly used network names then I know that the bad guys can too. Most of the time people allow network names to be broadcasted from the router, but a higher-security option is to not broadcast the name and require that users connecting be able to specify the network’s name and key. If you don’t broadcast your SSID then you certainly wouldn’t want to compromise that bit of security by using a frequently used SSID.

Now, let’s talk about Uverse for a second. People know how Uverse routers are setup generally. They know the number of characters in the network key and the character-set. Knowing these details makes it fairly easy to brute-force guess the network key. I believe that Uverse routers use only numeric characters in the network key… how much simpler could it get? If you use Uverse at home then you should immediately change your SSID and network key away from the defaults. It’s not hard to do and will greatly increase your security at home.

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks via Compfight cc

Looking Under the Hood of Privacy Statements

Privacy Statements

Do you remember how it felt the first time you bought a car? Do you recall the excitement of just looking? Do you remember when you first saw the one you just had to have? You loved the color. You loved the style. You loved the interior. And you especially loved the audio system!

If you are a parent, you probably don’t get that excited any more … about cars that is. The truth is that you almost certainly do feel that same way when you see something new from the field of technology, whether it is the latest in computers, mobile devices, or TVs. We can’t stand the idea of not having the latest-greatest-up-to-datest device or deal, even though it will be virtually obsolete before we get it home. Now do you remember the feeling? Of course you do. It’s just directed at different objects than it was before.

Now that you recall the feeling, do you also recall what your father said to you while you were in your original automobile ecstasy? I remember it as clear as if it were yesterday: “Don’t forget to look under the hood.” Not that I knew what I was looking at, but it sure did scare some salesmen. The practice also kept me from buying cars that I would have been a sucker for otherwise.

If you thought that this article was about internet security, you are right. I’m here to warn you to take heed to your father’s advice – “Don’t forget to look under the hood.”

With the proliferation of mobile devices, smartphones and smart TVs, and “the cloud,” our senses are being flooded with a plethora of things that we think we need because they provide more entertainment experiences, connectivity, and ability to do things like we have never been able to do before. But what do we know about how all this new technology is invading our privacy? Better look under the hood.

Asking a vendor about security, whether you are about to buy a product or a service, will always get you exactly the same thing that every waitress tells you when you ask if the restaurant makes a good hamburger: “It’s awesome!” Unfortunately, the waitress sometimes can’t tell hamburger from humbug. Did you really expect her to say, “Not so good?”

Visit any internet service site and you will see a statement that says that they would like to collect your user information in order to serve you better. You start to wonder if that could be a problem, but the site directs you to their privacy statement, and now you feel comfortable. That’s about as useful as the car salesman offering to throw in a set of floor mats. And, oh, by the way, if you are buying a product or service in person and you ask about the privacy and security of your personal information, what do you think they’re going to tell you? You are talking to a SALES person, not an internet security specialist!

Do you really believe that your information is safe in a cloud that you can’t even see? That is accessible by everyone else on the planet, including some rather nefarious individuals and the NSA? You may even think that GPS is pretty cool. I personally don’t want to have everyplace I go and everything I do, physical or cyber, tracked and saved for future information. Do you really want strangers to know your purchasing habits or viewing choices? Or your children’s? Think of the Security Policy statement as the hood. Lift it up. Examine what it really says, and think about what this latest-greatest thing has the potential to expose about your personal life and your family’s personal life, to anyone with a corrupt mind and a keyboard. Know what you are really getting into. The life and the identity you save may be your own. Or your family’s.