Blacklisting IP Addresses in my Sophos XG Firewall

I have begun to start blacklisting IP addresses in my Sophos XG Firewall.  I needed a more powerful firewall than what I was currently using due to a few services I have been running.  So far I’ve had the new router live for just a few weeks.  The firmware is still new and certainly isn’t bug free.  The biggest issues are lots of false positives and the ability to stream media on non computer devices.  The latter is fixed by creating a policy to white list the devices.  I did this by listing their MAC addresses.  I am also having a few http and https issues with sites not always working on the first attempt.  This includes my own sites and even my bank.  Not sure if it is the router or not.

As far as blacklisting IP Addresses using policies I have deemed four IP addresses so far to be excessive.


Each IP address listed above attacked a different part of my network.  Some tried brute-force attacks while others just used scripts.  I’ve now setup a report that I will review each morning to make sure the really bad ones are taken care of.

One other way to do this is to setup fail2ban but that only works with linux based systems.  I have that setup on two systems but prior to the new router I couldn’t drop the packets before they hit my network.  Sometimes I would get thousands of hits from the same IP and that was just worrisome and scary to think that they may actually get through.

My Reflections on using Custom Firmware in a Router

My Reflections on using Custom Firmware in a Router by Jacoi Frett.

I am going to talk about my experience installing my first custom firmware on a Buffalo Airstation WHR-G54S router. My goal was to get the router to connect to the internet wirelessly and ultimately to change the firmware on it. I was told that this process would provide me an insight as to why people take the time to use special firmware on their routers.

The first step for me was to get the buffalo router to connect to the internet wirelessly.  I thought I could just plug my modem into the router and then connect to the wireless internet.  Unfortunately,  I ran into a problem. I couldn’t get internet access to my router even though i had my router hooked up to my modem properly! Turns out the router was stuck in bridge mode and I just needed to disable bridge mode in the settings.

Once bridge mode was disabled the first thing i did was see if i could access the internet on the router if i hardwired it to my computer. Once i hardwired the router to my computer i still couldn’t get internet access. My next troubleshooting step required a modem reset.  To reset my particular modem (motorola) all you have to do is hold in a pin into a small hole on the back of the modem for 30 seconds.  Normally a person just pulls the power cord out but this modem comes with a battery in it. I also unplugged the router.  After the 30 seconds I waited another five seconds and replugged in the router.  This little trick allows the modem to bind the mac address to the buffalo router. Success!  After resetting the modem i was able to access the internet with wireless and by hardwired.

My next challenge was to get the rest of my devices to connect to the router.  I ran into another problem though. Two of my devices wouldn’t connect to the router!  After checking the settings I realized that I was using the wrong IP addresses. This is because i changed the buffalo router subnet to and my previous router was set to On the two devices that wouldn’t connect to the internet i had set a static IP that corresponded with the subnet. I had to change it to the same subnet as the buffalo router for it to connect.  Once again it worked!

To be certain I was getting a handle on this I setup some port forwarding to make sure that worked.  My test application was UltraVNC.  I was able to connect on the first try!

Next, I changed my firmware from DD-WRT to Tomato. The purpose of this test was to get the hang of several different firmwares and to see what they could do.  I was told that you coul d turn a $25 routers into a $2000 router and I was interested to see why.  Thankfully even switching firmwares to Tomato turned out to be a breeze.  No bricked routers and no issues.  Doing that was simple and I didn’t run into any issues. I downloaded tomato, unzipped the file and in the settings upgraded firmware.

Author: Jacoi Frett, St. Thomas, VI. 

Edited by Ben Uecker

Having WiFi issues? Try these items out

These are some suggestions that I offered up when one is having WiFi problems in their home.

1.  Location of the router in relation to the wireless computers.  It might be that something is causing interference or the location of the router is too far from the laptop.  Wireless routers give off a signal in a doughnut shape from it’s antennas.  This means that you could possibly be directly above the router and not be able to receive a signal.  Wire mesh inside of walls and brick will also decrease the signal.   You probably want to try and keep the router as centralized as possible if you want coverage throughout the house.  You can do this by just moving the DSL Modem that is connected to the router along with it to another telephone jack.  I know my parents don’t have that option but that is a rarity.
2. Static on the line. If you have DSL, make sure to have the adapter that the phone company gave you is between the DSL Modem and the wall.  This will help reduce static.  However, the static could be originating from the telephone box on the outside of the house in which case the phone company would have to come out and test it.  This works the same way for cable.  A weak signal will cause intermittent drops.
3.  Wireless card drivers need updating.  While rare, you should make sure you are running the latest drivers.  You can find that out by going to the manufacturer’s website and comparing the dates of the drivers to the dates on their website.

I’ve personally had all these issues at one time.  Always go into your troubleshooting with a plan.  Don’t take anything for granted.

The Simplist Answer is Usually the Correct Answer

I mentioned this before but I’m going to hit this point once again.

Example:  Shortcut to a file wasn’t working.

A co-worker states that he can’t get a shortcut to work for a file on a networked drive.  My initial response without looking was to state that it was probably because the shortcut was pointing to a file that was located on a network drive that the person did not have access to.

Well, I looked this morning and it turns out that was the problem.  Other possibilities included the original file being moved or deleted, the co-worker was in the wrong area or he was just clicking on the wrong shortcut.

A Quick and Simple Networking Suggestion

This is one of those easy tips for people to remember.  I currently run PCPrime on evenings and weekends and still maintain my day job as an underwriter for SBA loans.  Well, this afternoon I decided to try and fix our printer/copier.  It’s a copier with a networking card.  The networking portion hasn’t worked for sometime.

I was told that our outsourced IT didn’t know what was wrong and that the copier repair person stated that it just needed to be replaced.

The first thing I did was look at the copier to see if there was an external module or if the network cord just plugged directly into the machines.  It turns out it plugs directly into the machine.  I followed the cord to make sure the cord was plugged in. (we’ll come back to this)

I found the drivers on the internet and proceeded to download them and install them.  Most printers have drivers issues due to the wrong ones being installed.  This is actually the case in this situation however, this problem wasn’t cause we are using the wrong drivers.

I couldn’t find the printer via the network even though I had the IP address.  After unsuccessfully finding the printer via the IP address I decided to check the network cable.  This is what I should have just checked in the first place.  I replaced the cable with a spare one I found lying around and viola!  Works like a charm.

The simplest answer is usually the correct answer.

Reset your Linksys Router to Factory Default Settings


I plan on using this blog as a means of posting simple tidbits of info.  I help people on a daily basis with items that could be corrected without going to a specialist.  I want to start this blog off with one (maybe two) of those instances that occurred yesterday.

Resetting a Linksys Router

1. On the back of the router there will be a small pinhole.  Depending on the version of the router it should be on the left or right side of the router.

2.  Using a pen or the end of a paper clip, push a small object into the pinhole to depress the button located inside.  Do this for 30 SECONDS.

3.  Once the 30 seconds is up the lights on the front of the router should flash.

4.  This will bring your router back to its original factory settings.

5.  Depending on the version of the router your default username should be “admin” and the password is left blank.

6.  To access the router’s admin menu all you need to do is open up your browser (internet explorer or firefox as examples) and type and hit enter on the keyboard.

That’s it!