The Difference Between Network Illiterates, Amateurs, and Admins

To solve network connectivity problems, network illiterates will turn off the firewall; network amateurs will open ports, but true network admins will create conditional firewall rules. – P. Tanner Williamson

Turning off a firewall is just a bad idea. While usually a basic starting step to confirm that it is the firewall that is blocking your application connectivity, leaving it off as a solution is a very bad practice. You should only turn it off long enough to confirm connectivity works when it is off. If connectivity still doesn’t work when it is off, then you may have a compounded networking / application issue, and it may not be the only point of failure.

Opening ports or port forwarding is typically a NAT feature. On home routers, that do not utilize a dedicated firewall feature, this may be the only option you have. However on a true enterprise grade firewall device where NAT and Firewall rules are configured separately, but conjunctively in order to set up traffic, you would want to take advantage of the firewall configuration and define specifically which sources and types of traffic can be forwarded through a port, rather than letting anyone from any IP come through a port.

Another concept to think about, is that firewalls don’t have to only exist at the edge of the network facing the internet. You can also place firewalls within the network, to isolate areas of the network from other areas, depending on how you have designed your network.

Learn More

Self-Signed SSL Certificates cause Mozilla Firefox to say The URL is invalid and cannot be loaded.

If you have Mozilla Firefox telling you the URL is Invalid and cannot be loaded, chances are your Firefox installation has corrupted. I had multiple devices on my network which use self-signed SSL certificates. I have previously allowed them.


Bob on his userprofile can get to the SSL site just fine, but John on the same computer under a different profile can’t get there and is told the URL is invalid. Other browsers work just fine but Mozilla Firefox does not.


You have to Uninstall Firefox completely, and delete all the folders it has created.

YOU WILL LOSE ALL YOUR SETTINGS, BOOKMARKS, SAVED PASSWORDS, etc. SO it is highly recommended that you make a system backup, and at minimum backup your bookmarks. Create a list of the plugins you have that you want to reinstall, and get your saved passwords somewhere safe. I recommend Xmarks to backup your bookmarks, and LastPass to backup your passwords.

  1. First, go to Programs Files and Programs Files (x86) and delete all Mozilla Folders. (Warning, this will delete any other programs that you have by Mozilla such as Thunderbird.)
  2. Now, go to C:\Users\YOUR-USERNAME\AppData\Local\ and delete Mozilla
  3. Again, go to C:\Users\YOUR-USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\ and delete Mozilla.
  4. Now, reinstall Mozilla Firefox, and this issue should be gone.
Learn More

Symantec Backup Exec Agent Installation Fails with Error Setup Already Running


Remote Installation or Local of the Backup Exec agent fails.

 Install  — The job failed with the following error: Fatal error during installation.


Unable to run Setup.exe. Another instance is already running. WARNING: Installation has been canceled.

Applies to:

Backup Exec 2008, 2010, 2012.

The Cause:

I found the solution to the problem. The root cause is that

Learn More

Windows Update Error C8000710

If you’re getting Windows Update Error C8000710, it is most likely caused by a full disk. Check your OS partition to see if it has filled up. If it has, work to free up space immediately by either moving files and folders to another partition or drive, or clear temporary files.

This applies to Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and Server 2003, 2008, 2008 R2, and Windows Server 8.

Learn More

Backing up WHM/cPanel Reseller Accounts Offsite with WHMEasyBackup

Backups for WHM/cPanel can be daunting if you’re unsure of how you’ll do it for a decent price. R1Soft can be expensive and there isn’t a good niche for people who are hobbyists or smaller resellers.

After doing some research for my own needs, I came across WHMEasyBackup. For those of you who have entire WHM/cPanel servers or at least reseller accounts and need a way to back them up offsite, this is a product you may be interested in. WHM Easy Backup is a utility which you

Learn More

Analyzing DNSMasq Log with AWK

If you use DNSMasq with logging enabled and want to analyze the number of DNS queries you have for hostnames, this AWK script will help you do that.

I can’t take credit for this script. It came from the people in the mailing list found here:

This is a two part process. First to create a script, and secondly to load it and parse the log.

Create an AWK script to Parse DNSMasq

First, we’ll create a

Learn More

SonicWall Hidden Configuration Options

On occasion it may be necessary to make additional tweaks and customizations to your SonicWall router. Whether it is for the E-Series or NSA class of products, there are additional hacks that you can utilize if

Learn More