In This Issue:Cisco 1RU Cable Management Kit | How to test whether your VPN is working? | News to Start Your Day
Happy Tuesday! We’re almost halfway through this week, and today we’re paying tribute to one of America’s original art forms. Tap dancing! Get your toes tapping, your rhythm in check, and hit the dance floor! Happy National Tap Dance Day!
The CK Daily – Tech I’m Loving
Happy Tuesday! Hope everyone is off to a strong start this week!
Are you someone who is into “smart home” types of products? These days it seems like there are no limits to what you can buy to make your home smarter (and your life easier!). The technology out there is incredible, but I’m actually a pretty low-tech person when it comes to my house. I don’t have smart lights, locks, thermostats, or anything like that. I don’t even have an Alexa or other voice assistant. Simple is my jam, but back in November I made a purchase that I described to my family as “either the best $100 I’ve ever spent, or the most frivolous $100 I’ve ever spent”. I knew that only time would tell. So, what did I buy? A robot vacuum cleaner, of course! I got it for around $150 off its normal price (gotta love Black Friday sales!) so that was how I justified it in my mind, but it still felt like a questionable decision.
Now that I’ve been using it for a while, I’m happy to report that it was a GREAT decision! So good, in fact, that I had to share it with all of you! I’m slightly obsessed with having a clean floor and am someone who used to vacuum every. single. day. This little vacuum has given me so much time back that it’s kind of unbelievable! It does a phenomenal job and requires zero effort from me! As an added bonus, it’s hands-down the most entertaining thing my 1 year old niece has ever seen. She could literally watch that little vacuum go for hours (cheering and clapping for it all the while… pretty cute!). All this to say, if you have had your eye on one of these, go for it! It’ll change your life!
Product Spotlights & Updates:
Today we’re highlighting a product that is perfect for controling you cables and clutter. It’s a fast and easy solution to your organization needs and better yet…it’s 10% off! The Cisco 1RU Cable Management Kit, CABLEMGMT-1RU, is essential for proper hardware management. Not only do they save you time and frustration, they also save you money by keeping your cables organized and preventing them from getting damaged. Cable management kits also make your networking closet look clean and may prevent fire hazards.
Keep your cables organized with this cable management kit for a 1RU rackmount kit. It will fit any rack kit that has the appropriate screw hole, but is specifically made for the STK-RACKMOUNT-1RU and RCKMNT-1RU kits. This is the standard (or shorter) 1RU cable management kit, the length is 3.25 inches and the width is approximately 1.5 inches.
How to Test Whether Your VPN is Working (and spot VPN Leaks)
If you signed up to a VPN and want to make sure it’s safe to use before browsing the web, then the best way to do so is to test it yourself. There are several free tools that allow you to test your connection’s security and determine whether or not your VPN is doing its job. You need no special knowledge to do so, so let’s get started.
What are VPNs?
In short, VPNs are services that will let you connect to the internet through their servers, effectively changing your IP address and partially protecting you from tracking by your ISP and any websites that you visit. If you want to keep yourself undetected while browsing, they’re an important part of your toolkit, although you’ll also need to use Incognito Mode and follow some other steps for anything resembling anonymity.
However, VPNs aren’t bulletproof: There are some problems that can pop up in even the best of VPNs that can potentially reveal your IP address to the sites or services that you visit, thus rendering your VPN useless. Thankfully, there are a number of free tools available on the web that can help you track down these issues and deal with them.
Types of VPN Leaks
When a VPN broadcasts your IP address instead of that of the VPN’s server, that’s called a leak. There are three types of leaks that you can easily detect with simple tools: IP leaks, WebRTC leaks, and DNS leaks.
IP leaks come in two flavors: IPv4 and IPv6 leaks. (We have an article on the difference between IPv4 and IPv6). An IPv4 leak is when the VPN fails to protect your connection, pure and simple. You won’t see too many of these, if ever, as they only happen when a VPN fails.
According to Dimitar Dobrev, founder of VPNArea, IPv6 leaks happen if both you and the website you connect to support IPv6, but your VPN only supports IPv4. With the IPv6 connection effectively unprotected, the site can see your IP address. The only good way to prevent this is to upgrade to a VPN that uses IPv6 protection or has the option to shut it off. If your VPN has neither, then get another.
WebRTC leaks are a different issue: In the words of ExpressVPN Vice President Harold Li, Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is a collection of standardized technologies that allows web browsers to communicate with each other directly without the need for an intermediate server. As this goes on, occasionally, a browser can accidentally reveal your IPv4 address and with it, your location. If this happens, you can disable WebRTC requests with a browser extension.
Last but not least are DNS leaks, which are quite common, and even high-end VPNs will occasionally suffer from them. They happen when your DNS requests are sent to your standard DNS servers directly without going through the VPN and using the VPN’s DNS servers. Changing servers should fix it, but if it happens regularly, you probably need to change VPNs.
Want to read more about the testing tools, testing the connection, and learn more about bad results? You can check out the rest of this post from HowToGeek here!
Today’s News to Start Your Day:
- As of this morning, in the US, active COVID cases are on a decline and are reported at 5,754,650.
- Moderna reported that its Covid-19 vaccine was 100% effective in a study of adolescents ages 12 to 17. The company said it plans to ask the FDA to expand the emergency use of its Covid vaccine for teens early next month. It is the second vaccine behind Pfizer’s to demonstrate high efficacy in younger age groups.
- Amazon is close to a deal to buy MGM Studios for between $8.5 billion and $9 billion. It would be Amazon’s biggest acquisition since it bought Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion.
- Airbnb announced more than 100 new changes and updates to its platform Monday with a focus on flexibility, ahead of a widely anticipated boost in travel as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to subside in some parts of the world.
- As high heels gathered dust during the pandemic, sales of Birdies “stylish flat that’s secretly a slipper” soared 300% year-over-year in April 2021.