MikroTik Hairpin NAT With Dynamic WAN IP Tutorial Update

I’ve had my YouTube video out there for a while now (link) and whilst it does get a fair amount of traffic I have always wanted to follow it up with something written as well.

I’ve now just added in a full written tutorial of how to achieve this by using my easy to use drag and drop .rsc file. Head over to the MikroTik section to see more or for a direct link go here

Testing the UBIQUITI Unifi USG3

As I’ve been shifting the home network around a lot lately I’ve taken the chance to have a test of the Unifi USG3 router. Whilst I have used it very briefly previously, I have never given it a good chance to stretch its legs and implement a lot of the features always having shelved it in favour of a MikroTik system.

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The cherry on the icing with the USG range of routers has to be the brilliantly executed DPI (more about that later).

The home screen of the controller lights up the 2 left hand bubbles and the left hand middle (WAN) with information relating to the connection, the latency is a bit off as it pings ubnt.com and there is a variable but I found that this broke it completely so reverted it to UBNT. A couple of neat graphs under showing average throughput and latency over time with a summary of wireless channels and users to the right. Some more information towards the bottom of screen about device totals, user totals and then a brief overview of traffic and protocols causing it.

DPI is where the router comes to life though, if you want a nice user friendly interface to see who is smashing through your connection then the USG is definitely for you. the statistics page comes to life and clearly displays your traffic types for you in a format that even a networking noob could take in.

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Which can be expanded upon category by category by clicking on the protocol identified

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It also has a users option so you can see exactly who is causing the most or how vibrant a particular user is on each protocol

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You can also click onto the clients tab (down the left) and click on a client and choose the DPI option to seeĀ  that users history exclusively

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The Unifi routing is where I start to lose interest though, it’s basic with some room for more advanced features and I can only but hope the Ubiquiti development team will expand upon this, for a basic consumer device this would be brilliant but the more corporate or power users will begin to feel hindered by this. I’m currently feeling like both hands are tied together coming from a MikroTik RB3011.

I will admit the lack of L2TP client (through the gui) is a bit of a pain for me and not being able to create lists of either IP’s or self resolving hostnames is also a major let down. Static routing you can do without any issues if you know the destination IP range but that’s about as far as I could take it in testing.

I will admit though that I am very taken by the Unifi App, it manages to cram all of the information which can looked crammed on a full screen down onto my iPhone SE screen. I often find myself sitting there flicking through the pages just out of pure interest.

All in all, I’m really happy with the USG3. I love having the clarity of seeing what device is putting traffic where but there is a downside, I miss the overwhelming control I get from having a MikroTik in there. If the USG were to be developed on a bit further and I could appease myself that the Pro rack mounted model could be quiet then I’d probably convert. For now though it will stay where it is until I convince myself that a CCR is really what I need.

Home Router Downgrade?

After having some what of a very quick and easy build process for the ESXi server I was hoping to put a new CHR installation on I’ve struggled massively with noise levels with the kit. Even though I knew to expect “some” noise, I just can’t get the Dell quiet enough to live in my rack permanently.

My cave is a very nice tranquil place and even though my Ryzen build hums at times, the ESX server just wasn’t cutting the mustard for me.

I have now down / side graded back to my RB3011 however I have made a slight change to the network. As I receive service through FWA the cat5 comes down and goes into an RB260GSP where it is converted to fibre and then that is fed from the house out to my cave. The RB3011 having an SFP port is ideal so now is connected directly without going through further multiple copper links and patches.

The LAN has not been left alone either, a copper uplink into a CRS112 has been used (due to it’s 4 SFP slots) and also extend the RB3011’s 10 copper ports. The CRS112 is now feeding a Unifi 8 port PoE switch in the attic, a CRS125 (for non PoE) in the attic and also the PoE switch in the cave as well as the “Tutorial” RB2011.

A busy and disappointing weekend (week really), but it has left me wanting a bit more. I’m thinking about possibly looking in to a CCR1009 with 2 SFP slots (WAN and LAN) but that’s a fairly large amount of money that I won’t be getting my hands on with the new Ryzen Zen+ lineup launching in 2 months time.

For the time being I’ve also managed to tidy the attic up, I had been using 1m patch cables and it was getting extremely messy up there so now have properly mounted the Unifi switch with the CRS and things have neatened up a treat.

Home Router Update

Quick update on the state of play with the router.

After the Dell server was phenomenally loud when running I had decided not to make the move over however some deep googling and checking through the Dell forums turned up that there were BIOS releases that addressed this problem. With the combination of the new BIOS and turning all the power settings onto custom and opting for power saver the server has quietened down now to what I would class as below acceptable levels.

Project CHR is back on track! I’m hoping that this weekend I can get the copper to fibre converter in so I can get the CHR spun up and routing as my main router.

Exciting news for CHR in RouterOS 6.42RC

CHR has been the best way to deploy a virtual version of MikroTik’s RouterOS for a long time now. The dedicated virtual version includes some additional drivers and whatnot to make sure that it plays nicely with the popular virtualisation programs out there, Xen and VMWare being the 2 big ones everybody tends to go for.

Whilst some instances of CHR can now be found even on Amazon AWS there was still this niggle for those running Xen and VMWare that bugged them, traditionally on a “normal” VM you install it and then run the relevant “additional tools” installation so that the host cna pull out some information from the guest and also certainly in VMWare’s case, soft shut down or reboot the machine rather than a hard power off (we all know how RouterOS likes to log that as a fault!)

With 6.42RC things have changed though! Both xen-tools and open-vm-tools can now be found within the package and to ensure this wasn’t a joke I quickly span up a machine from the supplied OVA file and there it was feeding it’s name back to me as well as being able to soft reboot it. Good times!

A word of caution though, I personally would never recommend anyone use an RC for anything other than testing. New features introduce new bugs that need to be ironed out, whilst the wait for 6.41 to go to bugfix had started, now the wait is on for 6.42 to go to current!

you can download the latest version and see all the change logs openly on the Mikrotik website just here.

MikroTik Router OS 6.41

MikroTik have released their version 6.41 of the current build. Whilst there are some new features the most obvious one now is the removal of the master-slave relationship ability to allow hardware switching. MikroTik have done this in a bid to simplify the configuration meaning that now you can use the bridge functionality.

Previously bridging was all done through the CPU so switching on lower end hardware meant that you may not always get full speeds and often ended up with a 100% CPU utilization for a simple file transfer.

MikroTik have now made it so that you can add single, multiple or all ports into a bridge with a check box available to take advantage of the “hardware offload” function. Again, whilst not technically a new feature for the series, it is a redesigned way of achieving hardware switching. The result is a brilliantly clean implementation which resulted in the following from my testing on an older gigabit router.

hwoffloadtest