Friday, February 17, 2012

ATT Uverse Internet boost

So I feel its my duty to tell some of you about ATT Uverse internet. Just to get this out of the way, I dont hate it and it wont be a bashing session at all. In fact it works great and is just as good as internet from Cable Companies. In fact it runs over fiber. Fiber is awesome and the best option you have for the price now adays. However it all depends on if your house is wired with Fiber. If not you will see a speed decrease, so paying for premium internet might not be the best idea and you should probably do speed tests so you know what speed your home can max out on.

Anyhow the main part of this article is talk about ATT's gateway/internet. Better know as a 2wire.  Att gives you this 2wire to basically be the hub of your home. It runs your TV, Internet/wifi, and Home Phone depending on what your plan is. A lot people do not know that their 2wire setup only broadcasts it's wifi in B and G. Its my opinion and my opinion only that if your a gamer and/or a heavy movie streamer that you need N network. So after countless attempts of using bridges and repeaters and switches I decided to add a router. The model I choose was Cisco-Linksys E4200 Dual-Band Wireless-N Router. But by doing this I had to make the 2wire gateway a Switch or a Bridge, To put this in terms that cable people can understand, essentially I needed to turn the 2wire Gateway into a modem.

Please keep in mind you can't break this thing. You can always reset the 2wire to factory settings. Give yourself some time while doing this because while your making these changes and restarting or saving, your TV and Phone connection could go down.

How did I do this. Well here you go

If you have an existing router, start of by resetting it to its factory settings. This makes life a bit easier. If you have a brand spanking new router than you can skip that.

Make sure your router WAN interface is set to DHCP. This way your 2wire will see your router.

Plug an ethernet wire into one of the WAN slots of the router. Plug the other end of the Ethernet wire into the LAN interface of the 2wire.

Plug the power cable into the wall and let if boot up and get a DHCP address

Log into the 2wire. Go to the settings. From there the Firewall. Then Applications, Pinholes and then DMZ

Select the your router.

Click the DMZPLUS button

Save all the changes you have made.

From there restart the router or move it to your desired location.

Log back into the 2wire. Go to settings,firewall, advanced config.

Uncheck the following unless already unchecked.

Stealth-mode, Block Ping, Strict UDP Session Control. Almost all of these were already checked for me.

Check everything under Outbound Protocol Control EXCEPT Netbios.

Uncheck Netbios under Inbound Protocol Control.

Uncheck all the Attack Detection checkboxes. Again I didnt have these previously checked.

Save the settings.

Your all set from there. The great thing about this setup is that you can still use your Gateway as a switch. Now you have the ability to run a N network along with Dual Band frequencies for better overall network performance. Unfortuneltly there is not one button to check to get these settings. I wish Att and 2wire would recognize that B and G wireless is old tech and they need to offer something better or give you control over the device.

Good Luck

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How do you rent movies?

So if you didnt know, I'm a big movie slut. I love TV in general, movies, tv shows, documentaries, etc etc.... So when people ask me if I use a rental service, it usually leads to a long diatribe about who I use and why. After seeing todays news that Amazon Prime just signed a deal adding 2,000 new titles I thought that it would be a great post. After all whats better than sharing my love and knowledge.

I was with Netflix. Was being the optimal word. I like most people loved paying one fee for streaming and mail service. I really started to feel bad about netflix when they started charging extra for blu ray service. In my opinion once you go Blu Ray its hard to go back. The quality is soooo much better. But I was ok with Netflix charging more for the blu discs because they cost more.  But there greed didnt stop there, they started increasing prices slowly and then regularly, but after the split of Mail and Streaming with a huge rate increase I began to look for different options. With there diminishing movie and tv show library for streaming and there seemingly lack of anything new its hard to justify there price increase. I jumped off the sinking ship that is Netflix and never looked back.

What did I go to you ask. BLOCKBUSTER.. I still feel like I'm part of an under ground cult that I should want more people to know about so it can grow and become even better, but do I really want it harder to get the movies I want. I pay $19.99 a month for three movies at a time. Basically the same amount I used to pay for Netflix mail and streaming service. However I get all blu ray for free. I also get unlimited in store exchanges. That is a topper because I think I would still be with them without it. I use the exchange service at least once a week and usually end up with new movies that I havent received in the mail. They also have Blu Ray tv shows. Like netflix, it's not perfect. They dont offer free streaming with there service like Netflix. They offer streaming but you pay per movie and it's hard to find a set top box, game console or internet tv that has a Blockbuster Streaming App. Netflix has this covered and dominated.

Like, Netflix, sometimes blockbuster has a hard time getting me that movie I must see now. 99 percent of the time I have a great backup plan for that. Its called Redbox. I love Redbox for that movie I can't live without seeing right now. While they have limited locations and sometimes limited stock, there are several locations close to my home and usually have what I want in stock. The awesome thing about them is that you can reserve a movie online at a location of your choice. (if that paticular box has the movie).  Blu Ray flicks are $1.50 per movie and if your lucky you can find a code somewhere online to make that blu ray movie only$0.50.. The only downside is you have to take it back the next day before 9pm or you will be charged a late fee.

Finally you ask me, about the ability to stream shows over the net kinda like Netflix. I bought a Amazon Prime account for $79.00 dollars a year. The benefit is not only the ability to stream movies and tv shows but you get free two day shipping with the service. If your like me, I use AMAZon for just about everything so free shipping is an awesome feature and the ability to stream Movies and Tv shows in a Netflix fashion is an added bonus. The library isnt to the size of Netflix but will continue to grow.

Since everything always comes down to money I decided to do the math and added all the services I use in one year.

Amazon $80

Blockbuster $25 a month = 300 a year or so rounding up for tax.

About $5.00 a month on random Redbox movies. $60

I spend about 440-500 dollars a year on movies and tv shows.

Compared to buying everything I watch at $30-$50 dollars a movie its a bargain.

If I paid for just HBO, Showtime and Cinemax I would be Paying $540 a year to watch a lot of crap I really don't watch or need.

This is how I get my movie watching on and I think it works best for me for a price that I can live with and I feel like I'm getting my money's worth. In the end thats really all that matters. That you feel like your getting your money's worth.


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