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#1626427 - 28/10/2018 13:53 2 technical questions (bingo!)
Jim_Clennell Offline
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16253
Loc: Corridor of Uncertainty
It's been a fair while since I've posted any "classic" me-style technical issues, but now I have two to put before the forum:

1 - Backing up small business data.

2 - General poor performance and instability of home broadband/wi-fi.

1 - As some of you know, MrsC and I run a ChipsAway franchise, repairing minor bodywork damage. We have around 10-15 customers per week and run as a limited company. This generates a certain amount of administrative data - not huge, but enough. What with our responsibilities to HMRC and the ICO to name but 2 bodies, we don't want our work data to be lost or misappropriated.
A few years ago, I stretched a long way out of my comfort (and competence) zone and constructed an UNraid NAS server. It has been OK, but the interface with my (Windows 10) laptop and MrsC's iMac is at best sketchy. It now appears that the SMB (v1.0) used by the NAS is deemed too insecure by Windows and it won't let me speak to my own data. I've solved that issue for now by reinstalling, but it's clearly not a viable long-term solution.

What I would like is something that - at one (or a few) clicks (or better still, automatically) performs an intelligent back-up (doesn't bother with anything that hasn't changed - is that a thing?) of our company files.

Q1: If we assume that something like this is possible, should I be backing up to a local server or should I get with the times and use the cloud? Or both? Or neither?

I've got to the point with the unraid that I know I'm out of my depth and the worry that it will pack in or require maintenance that I can't provide makes it more of a worry than a relief. I propose migrating the data stored on it to another storage solution then either selling it or reconfiguring it to run as a normal NAS.

2 - We have BT broadband on a nominal speed of 76Mb. It actually delivers more like 25Mb/s download and 5 up, which is probably ok (or would be if it worked), given that we are a household with 2 teenage VERY heavy streaming video/audio/gaming users and MrsC and I with our occasional Youview and spotify. I don't know if it's relevant, but there's a BT exchange about 50metres away as the crow flies, though we can only have fairly poor FTTC.
The main problem is that it simply isn't reliable. We have the BT Homehub 6 (or business hub in our case: issue 1) set up in the room where the previous tenant had the socket installed. It's at the far end of the house and on the next floor up from the living room/office (issue 2), so I've run a Cat 6 flat cable down to the living room, where it feeds a TP-Link Archer router (issue 3) configured as an access point with a normal and a 5G wi-fi network. From the Archer, I've also used our old Devolo wifi extender to run the NowTV box and GoogleTV.

The BT Home Hub and the TP-Link routers both regularly drop out and are about as stable as democracy in, well, pretty much anywhere at the moment. This makes work hugely frustrating as well as watching TV/missing recordings or trying to use Spotify.

Q1: Are there other routers out there that are genuinely much better than the free hand-out BT one or the £100 TP-Link (that I bought because it can take a 4G SIM card, but I no longer need that feature)?

Q2: Could running a brand new, unkinked 15m Cat6 cable be part of the problem?

Q3: Help! Will someone please just MAKE IT WORK!
_________________________

Jaaaag!

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#1626444 - 28/10/2018 18:44 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Nigel Offline
Club member 123
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16947
Loc: Staffordshire
A reliable backup is something that you'll never need, right up to the point when you REALLY need it

One initial word of warning - there are two parts to a backup - one is putting all your precious files somewhere safe and two is getting them back again. Many people forget to test the second part and only find out there are issues when they desperately need to get some of their files back. Test both aspects regularly.

I run three small businesses and I use two backups for each

1) to a simple external 5Tb hard drive, using incremental backups (the one you mentioned where it only backs up what has changed). That said, I also do a regular full backup, just in case

2) I also do a cloud backup, using a system called DepositIt. Very simple and very intuitive and extremely easy to restore files. However, DepositIt is really only good value for small backups and I've now outgrown it, so I'll be moving to something like Amazon (on the basis they're probably big enough to be around for quite a while...)

For what its worth, both systems are fully automated - I don't have to remember to do anything. If I had a couple of data-hungry teenagers in the house, I'd simply schedule the backup to run in the early hours of the morning.
_________________________


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#1626445 - 28/10/2018 18:46 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Jim_Clennell Offline
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16253
Loc: Corridor of Uncertainty
Thanks, Nigel, very good info.
_________________________

Jaaaag!

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#1626447 - 28/10/2018 19:12 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Nigel Offline
Club member 123
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16947
Loc: Staffordshire
PS - just been checking - Amazon will give you 100GB of space for £16.99 a year - pretty good value
_________________________


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#1626521 - 29/10/2018 22:02 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: Nigel]
Wishy Offline
Forum is my life

Registered: 05/01/2006
Posts: 5921
Loc: Sunny Darlo
My three penneth.

Am I right in thinking that you've got two routers running wireless networks and a wireless range extender as well? If that's the case and the Archer is in the middle of the house then I'd be tempted to switch the radio off the BT homehub and just use it in modem mode if that's possible to see if that improves things. Do you know whether it's wireless issues or broadband issues or a combination of both. Running a laptop over CAT6 directly to the homehub (eliminating any form of wireless issue) could help test this.

I wouldn't say the CAT6 would be causing problems, the opposite in fact. After various wireless range issues with this house (our entry point for our broadband is as far away from my office as could be), I've paid a sparky to run CAT6 from the router so I now have 4 wired sockets at strategic locations and the amount of internal connectivity related swearing that I do has been virtually eliminated.

Get rid of the teenagers, they're a PITA. Alternatively, does your router have some form of QoS (quality of service on my ASUS but may be called something else on the Archer or Homehub). This enables you to set a bandwidth limit per device. Ours think nothing of watching youtube whilst streaming music despite knowing that we have a measly 2.5Mb (yes that decimal point is supposed to be there!) and knowing that I'm trying to work. Using the QoS to limit their bandwidth keeps me sane (ish).

FWIW streaming video is the bandwidth killer followed by audio. On line gaming isn't really that bad in terms of constant throughput volume. Yes, games require a fast connection to be responsive but there isn't anything like the amount of data sent in relative terms.
_________________________
Up yours Photobucket.

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#1626550 - 30/10/2018 18:31 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Hyperlink Offline
Forum is my life

Registered: 28/06/2006
Posts: 5231
Loc: Watford, Herts.
Jim

what version of unraid are you now running? Current version is 6.6.3

You can disable SMB v1 by simply putting this into the SMB settings under Setting/Network Services.

#disable SMB1 for security reasons
[global]
min protocol = SMB2

as per here -http://kmwoley.com/blog/securing-a-new-unraid-installation/

some other ideas on what to do on there as well.

There shouldn't be any issues with access so maybe thats related to your other networking issues? I run timemachine and windows backups from a few machines to my unraid and then backup the lot to crashplan.

I would look at a dedicated backup service like backblaze, crashplan etc.


Edited by Hyperlink (30/10/2018 18:36)

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#1626569 - 31/10/2018 06:26 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Jim_Clennell Offline
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16253
Loc: Corridor of Uncertainty
Thanks gents.
Wishy, the BT router really needs to be WiFi enabled as it is by far the strongest network upstairs in the house, though I wouldn't be surprised if this dual usage were part of the reason it falls over so often.
As it's a rented property, I don't want to put too much (semi)permanent wiring around the place, but I'm tempted to run another Cat6 to my laptop or to MrsC's iMac for work purposes. Not sure this will reduce the drop out rate of the BT Router, but it should deliver better speed.
Hyperlink, I'm sorry to say I've forgotten all my hard-learned unraid knowledge that you so patiently helped me with. I just can't remember how to edit the software. I never upgraded from the original v4.3(?) that you walked me through. That's why it's such a source of anxiety instead of peace of mind!
_________________________

Jaaaag!

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#1626576 - 31/10/2018 09:49 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Hyperlink Offline
Forum is my life

Registered: 28/06/2006
Posts: 5231
Loc: Watford, Herts.
I figured that might be the case....

Are you using the free version or did you get a licence? They have changed how things work so to upgrade you will need a licence of some kind as the free version now only works for 30 days but is full featured. Its $59 dollars i think for a basic licence.

It may be easier for you put money towards something like a Synology or Qnap. Probably worth getting some new disks as well.

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#1626589 - 31/10/2018 16:09 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Wishy Offline
Forum is my life

Registered: 05/01/2006
Posts: 5921
Loc: Sunny Darlo
Originally Posted By Jim_Clennell
the BT router really needs to be WiFi enabled as it is by far the strongest network upstairs in the house


How about swapping the Archer and the BT router round? In other words, use the Archer to connect to broadband at the far end of the house and then have the BT router at the other end of the CAT6 run somewhere in the middle of the house instead.
_________________________
Up yours Photobucket.

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#1626718 - 05/11/2018 10:39 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: Jim_Clennell]
bockers Offline
Hon Club Member 007
Forum Fossil

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 21003
Loc: Chertsey in the Thames
One more note on any Back up. Make sure you have at least one copy at a different premises and NOT connected to the internet. That will cover theft/fire and, by not being connected, also hostage of data .

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#1626770 - 07/11/2018 12:51 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: Jim_Clennell]
sugerbear Offline
Je suis un Coupé

Registered: 17/12/2005
Posts: 7673
Loc: Harpenden
One of the guys I work with is looking to get fibre to (http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/36968/~/how-is-fibre-to-the-home-installed%3F) It works by removing the copper line that currently runs from the BT Cabinet to your front door. That is most likely the reason the connection is not so good. It does cost more but you will get an improved signal.

I have broadband through plusnet (same as the BT router) and it did keep dropping, when I checked my account online I found that the firewall setting (incoming) was set to "off". Set it on and I think the connection speed has improved (in my mind because those chinese hackers aren't able to ping the router). I am definately getting much less dropping and stalls on the wifi.

I have been using a mac for a number of years and updated it recently to use the icloud solution. it intgrates the desktop of my mac with icloud and it works and costs about £2.50 a month. Everything is backed up to the icloud account. I have used NAS solutions before and USB sticks and what not, but I almost always forget to make a regular backup or because you have bought both drives at the same time they fail at the same time.

Two factor authentication on the icloud account (or any backup solution) is also a must to avoid bad people.

I have tried many routers (Apple ones included) and the most recent BT ones are very good. The problem with adding more and more hotspots into a home is that you will just swamp the one signal with many others. I am a fan of one wifi connection and everything else being ethernet (preferably gig ethernet). There are some other options that I have seen like putting the wifi router higher up in the home and placing tin foil behind the router to deflect signals back towards the house.
_________________________
How to make a startrek widget cable >> http://tinyurl.com/dyje6fy

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#1626771 - 07/11/2018 13:19 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Hyperlink Offline
Forum is my life

Registered: 28/06/2006
Posts: 5231
Loc: Watford, Herts.
I would say iCloud is not backup. It offers little to no file version history or delete file recovery and wont allow recover of a computer only files in the assigned folders.

This also applies to Amazon/Dropbox/Box/OneDrive/Google Drive/etc. Whilst they can be used to backup its not a very good solution.

On the network from have you considered powerline adapters?
Have looked at what wifi channels are being used they may be interfeering with each other and possible other things like DECT phones etc.


Edited by Hyperlink (07/11/2018 13:20)

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#1626773 - 07/11/2018 15:00 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: Jim_Clennell]
sugerbear Offline
Je suis un Coupé

Registered: 17/12/2005
Posts: 7673
Loc: Harpenden
You can make backups of an iCloud drive.

https://www.imore.com/how-make-archived-backups-icloud-drive-files

is the socket you are using a a spur from the main BT socket? You might want to trace it back to where it enters your property and see if there is a BT box.. and if there is then connect an ADSL router (no wifi) in that location and run ethernet to another Wifi router somewhere else in your house. Ethernet is worlds better than the bellwire over long distances. Keeping wire lenghts short is always good.

One other thing is that the splitter dongles might not be great, these are very good and replace the ADSL splitter that plugs into a normal socket. They are easy to wire in.

https://www.solwise.co.uk/adsl_splitters-extensions.htm

You may be 50 meters from the exchange but what you really want to know is how far you are from the BT cabinet that your broadband is connected to - see what shows up here when you put your details in https://www.btwholesale.com/includes/adsl/adsl.htm?s_cid=ws_furls_adslchecker (it also tells you which cabinet you are connected to). Then go and try find the cabinet! https://kitz.co.uk/adsl/cabinet-lookup.htm

What you want to know is if the issue is with BT or your home.
_________________________
How to make a startrek widget cable >> http://tinyurl.com/dyje6fy

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#1626813 - 08/11/2018 21:19 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: sugerbear]
Hyperlink Offline
Forum is my life

Registered: 28/06/2006
Posts: 5231
Loc: Watford, Herts.
Originally Posted By sugerbear


May as well just backup the source computer directly if your going to do that.....

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#1626828 - 09/11/2018 16:03 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: Hyperlink]
sugerbear Offline
Je suis un Coupé

Registered: 17/12/2005
Posts: 7673
Loc: Harpenden
Originally Posted By Hyperlink
Originally Posted By sugerbear


May as well just backup the source computer directly if your going to do that.....


But the backup in that case will be very close to your PC unless you are intending locking it in a fireproof safe. Never a good idea to have the two sources close together.

The mac/icloud backup is instant, the copy from icloud can be done once a week. You have three physically separated places that are storing the information.

If someone steals your computer equipment you have the icloud backup.

If your home is struck by a meteorite and all your computer equipment is trashed you still have the backup in the cloud.

If a hacker gets into your PC and wipes your mac / icloud then you still have the last backup.

If your icloud goes belly up then you still have the imac and the physical backup.

If you get struck by a meteor and icloud goes belly up then you are probably going to win the lottery the following weekend so no bother.
_________________________
How to make a startrek widget cable >> http://tinyurl.com/dyje6fy

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#1626837 - 10/11/2018 08:30 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Jim_Clennell Offline
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16253
Loc: Corridor of Uncertainty
I know this forum is not as busy as it used to be, but I'm still hugely impressed and grateful to all of you who have contributed.
Given that we have our workshop just a mile down the road, I think I might opt for making 2 simple back-ups on a weekly basis to reasonable quality external hard drives, then keep one offline here and one at the workshop.
Best external hard drive to use with both Mac and PC, anyone?
_________________________

Jaaaag!

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#1626876 - 11/11/2018 10:04 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Hyperlink Offline
Forum is my life

Registered: 28/06/2006
Posts: 5231
Loc: Watford, Herts.
I think you have got the easiest solution but it will require some diligence. It might be easier to have separate disks for windows and Mac so you would need 4 disks. To use timemachine, apple need to use its own disk format which windows doesn’t read without extra work.

Make sure you encrypt the disks so they are not readable if stolen especially if they contain customer data.

Western digital and hitachi/IBM are normally pretty solid.

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#1626877 - 11/11/2018 10:15 Re: 2 technical questions (bingo!) [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Hyperlink Offline
Forum is my life

Registered: 28/06/2006
Posts: 5231
Loc: Watford, Herts.
SB where were you backing icloud to though? Another computer or an external disk so basically the same as backing up the computer to an external disk which can be taken else where but you only have the iCloud files not the whole computer.

iCloud is not a backup. Apple don’t call it a backup for a reason. The only real reference to backup is for iOS devices. It’s a syncing tool. If you use the optimised photos options it’s definately not a backup as the original photos are only in 1 location.

If you want easy cloud backup you should look to crashplan, backblaze etc. It’s potentially cheaper too.

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