Friday, August 16, 2013

Chromecast on the Open-sourced Asus RT-N65U firmware

After 3 hours of fiddling around with settings, I finally got my Chromecast up and running. Video played from Chrome websites runs smoothly.  The setup was a bit frustrating, but once all of that's taken care and out of the way, things are smooth from then on. I just wished there had been a bit more information provided about network router settings or an explanation of what the setup process involved so that I could figure out what settings I needed enabled.

There are several things that you need to be mindful of:

1. The Chromecast stick needs to be able to send UPnP packets to whatever device you are using to configure ChromeCast. If you have a software firewall policy on your computer, you'll need to make sure that it accepts incoming connections for the ChromeCast app -OR- for UDP ports 32768 - 61000. On my MacBook pro, I had "block all incoming connections" enabled by default. You'll need to disable this, or make an exception to the relevant UDP ports. If you don't have admin rights on your computer, a work around is to use your phone or tablet where there isn't a firewall setting by default. 

2. If you have dual wifi mode enabled (i.e., 2.4GHz wifi and 5GHz wifi), you'll need to disable the 5GHz wifi.  Make sure UPnP packet routing is enabled.  NOTE: You do NOT need to allow UPnP packets through your router's firewall. Allowing incoming UPnP packets from the outside world into your LAN is a bit dangerous.  You only need to make sure that UPnP packets can be routed internally on your LAN. 

3. Make sure AP Isolation is disabled. On my router, this is two settings. "Set AP Isolated" and "Isolation between Main and Guest AP". Both have to be disabled.

4. Finally, if you're still struggling with getting ChromeCast to connect:
  - Turn on IGMP Snooping.
  - Disable WMM and also disable Packet Aggregation temporarily.
  - If you can, set the multicast rate to HTMIX (1S) 30 MBps

I'm using the rt-n65u firmware hosted here ( ) and had to make the following changes:

Under Advanced Settings --> Wireless 5GHz:
  - Enable Radio = OFF

Under Advanced Settings --> Wireless 2.4GHz:
  - Goto Professional tab:
  - AP Isolated = OFF
  - Isolation between Main and Guest AP = OFF
  - Enable IGMP Snooping? = ON
  - Multicast Rate (Mbps) = HTMIX (1S) 30 Mbps
  (optionally, you can change this back later):
   - Enable Packet Aggregation = Disable
   - Enable WMM? = Disable

Under Advanced Settings --> LAN --> IPTV:
   - Enable multicast routing = ON
   - TTL correction for multicast packets = NO
   - IPTV UDP Multicast to HTTP Proxy Port = 0   [disabled]
   - eXtensible UPnP agent (xupnpd), Web port = 0 [disabled]
   Multicast traffic - WiFi 2.4 Ghz
   - Enable IGMP Snooping = ON
   - Multicast Rate (Mbps) = HTMIX (1S) 30Mbps

Under Advanced Settings --> WAN
   - Enable IGD UPnP = NO   [You'll never want to allow WAN UPnP packets in] 

[Edit: 2014.02.02]:
Following the advice of one of the comments, try turning off IGMP snooping after setting up Chromecast. It seems to have resolved issues with dropped casting connections. Also, try enabling WMM as well. I'm testing this pre-Superbowl (

Friday, August 9, 2013

LinkedIn ?

It seems like everyone in the Silicon Valley area uses LinkedIn. I remember signing up for an account when they first started out. As a joke, I wrote that my profession was a farmer and that I loved milking cows. Then, over the years, friends added me. People I met added me. And then, one year, I forgot my password.  I learned after my interview at my current job that LinkedIn is actually quite popular and a place that employer's use to search for employees. (Side-note: my current employer doesn't actually use LinkedIn. They require someone at the company to have personal knowledge of you and refer you. But they do look at your LinkedIn profile if it's provided.)

Shortly after joining my current employer, I removed my joke "farmer" profession, but I haven't really updated my profile to include any technical expertise or information about myself. To me, LinkedIn seems like the perfect place to gather intelligence and profile someone you want to hack. I once worked for a government intelligence agency -- so, I've heard all the scary stories.

I've re-considered the benefits of LinkedIn and decided to throw in the towel. I've yet to add additional details to my LinkedIn profile. It seems like doing so would be beneficial to all of the folks who know me. I can offer feedback about their work experience, etc.

Just my thoughts.. have anyone of you used LinkedIn ? Any interesting stories to share?