Netflix stalls on iPad – Problem Resolved

9 02 2011

If Netflix streaming does not play on your iPad it could be a simple fix for an incompatibility with your wireless router.

iPads are quite notorious for having wireless issues, maybe this will be resolved with a future software upgrade for the iPad.

The symptoms I experienced are as follows. After clicking on play the Netflix app would say “Preparing to view….” and the bottom half of the screen was blank cutting off part of the movie cover graphic. Then the app would return to the movie browsing page without starting the movie.

Will Apple allow Tethering to the iPad?

To fix this issue go into the iPad settings menu for your WiFi  network and change the DNS entry to 208.67.222.222

Return to Netflix and the problem should be resolved.

The reason for the problem is that if your router utilizes DNSMasq the iPad/Netflix app misbehaves. By entering a manual DNS server address for OpenDNS service the iPad bypasses your routers DNS Cache which it is incompatible with.

In my case I use DD-WRT software in my router which by default utilizes DNSMasq to speed up your DNS queries. The problem could also be resolved by disabling DNSMasq on the router. Alternatively one could enter 8.8.8.8 into the DNS entry on the iPad wirelsss settings which would use Googles DNS service. Personally I prefer OpenDNS due to its richer feature set.

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OpenDNS – Web-filtering for the enterprise. Really ?!?

7 02 2010

I was intrigued when invited to a webinar hosted by OpenDNS regarding their enterprise DNS offerings. I have been an OpenDNS user at my residence since 2006 when their service was first launched.

Traditionally OpenDNS has been targeted at the residential consumer, providing a more secure and  reliable DNS service than the consumers ISP bothered to be. You see, ISP’s make no money from DNS, its a sunken cost for them; so they put as little money into DNS as necessary to keep things running. Corporations pay considerably more for their internet service and have Service Level Agreements in place to ensure they get consistent an reliable service. So the same motivation to switch does not exist at the enterprise level. Additionally internal network infrastructure requires a local DNS service to be managed by the host company anyway, they often don’t need the technical help in managing connections to the public DNS infrastructure.

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No WiFi? Tether your Droid and use it as a Broadband Modem

30 01 2010

We’ve all been there, you visit a holiday home or a business and no public internet is available. Maybe the Hotel or Airport you’re at want to sell you a full days access just for the few hours you’ll be there.

Tethering computers to your cell phone is one way to overcome this, and with the Droid or another 3G cell phone one can achieve pretty decent data rates. So how is it done?

PDA Net

Click to Enlarge

Visit PDA Net and download their PC/Mac client software and install it. It will prompt you to connect your phone using its USB cable or connect via  Bluetooth when it is ready to install the software on your phone. On Android phones such as the Droid, it is necessary to switch the phones USB mode to debugging mode for PDA Net to work. (Debugging mode is accessible via the phones setting menu, Applications, then Development). The advantage of using a USB cable is that the phone will be charged at the same time you are using the internet on your laptop, giving you hours of use.

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Google DNS to take on OpenDNS?

4 12 2009

I have used OpenDNS for several years now with great results. I encourage others to use the service where possible. ISP’s really don’t want to sink money into services such as email or DNS, it’s a money pit as far as they are concerned so their services can bog down due to underfunding or otherwise be managed poorly.

Google now announce they have a DNS service. Is this a OpenDNS killer or will the Google name brand simply legitimize the idea of using an alternative DNS provider and actually help grow the market for everyone including OpenDNS?

OpenDNS are serving almost 20 billion DNS requests per day and have presence in ten markets around the world. It is likely that Google can reach more markets more quickly and have the money to provide more equipment. However failed URL requests from OpenDNS end up at a customized google search page, why would Google want to hurt this extra business? I see the Google move as benevolent towards the internet in general and also towards third parties like OpenDNS. Poor DNS can spoil the internet experience, Google want to ensure you can get to websites (including theirs) quickly an efficiently.

Which is best, Google or OpenDNS?

OpenDNS offer content filtering that rivals that from premium appliance providers such as WebSense. For small to medium businesses this is a great enhancement to their internet productivity. For those with kids, it serves as net nanny without having to load down the PC’s in the house with filtering software. Neat!!

Google will probably have a DNS server closer to you, but without the extra features of OpenDNS it is a service of last resort, not one of choice.

I’ll be interested to see if Google starts adding services to their DNS offering in the coming months/years. Then we will know what their true intentions are.