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FlashRouters Blog - The Latest Information on DD-WRT Routers, Wireless Security, and VPN Benefits.

Sling TV: A Live Streaming Solution for Cord-Cutters & Cord-Nevers

Live TV for Cord-Cutters and Cord-Nevers: Sling TV

Sling TV: Live TV on the Internet

Each day, it becomes clearer that streaming services like Netflix Instant, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime Instant have worn down the resolve of major cable companies. Streaming movie and TV services offer plenty of entertainment without the burdensome price of a cable package.

And yet another clear sign of the dominance of cord-cutters (people who’ve ditched their cable packages in favor of streaming services) and cord-nevers (those who only watch movies and TV over the internet and, in fact, never had a cable package in their lives) has arrived in the form of a brand new service from a subsidiary of Dish Network…

Sling TV – Streaming The Cable Channels You Actually Want

Meet Sling TV, a service that brings live television to viewers over the internet without the pricey, cumbersome cable package for the cost of $20 a month.

Officially launched on February 9th, Sling TV is hoping to integrate the benefits of streaming services and cable packages into one affordable whole. But is it worth your while? Does Sling TV provide the services you need at a cost you can live with? Read on to find out.

What Cord-Cutters & Cord-Nevers Should Know About Sling TV

Sling TV - Stream ESPN on a Roku without pricy cable package

Watch Live Sports TV on the Internet with Sling TV

What Do You Get?

For $20 a month, a Sling TV subscriber gets 14 basic cable channels, which are ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Disney Channel, ABC Family, CNN, El Rey Network, Maker, Galavision, and AMC (coming soon).

That’s the basic core package called “The Best of Live TV”, though there are add-on packages called “Sports Extra”, “Kids Extra”, and “News & Info Extra”, which will add a handful of channels from your genre of choice for an extra $5 a month.

You’ll be able to stream Sling TV through TV-capable devices like Rokus and Amazon Fire TVs, as well as computers and mobile devices. Sling TV will be eventually be accessible on Samsung & LG Smart TVs, Xbox Ones, Chromecasts, Google Nexus Players, and select Android TV devices. Unfortunately, Sling TV has no plans to offer its services on Playstation 3 & 4.

The best news to come out of this is the availability of ESPN & ESPN 2. Many customers reluctance to part with their bloated cable packages and bills has to do with live sports. But with SlingTV getting ESPN and a few popular channels at $20 makes that excuse a thing of the past. Plus you’ve got something for the kids with Disney

Any Drawbacks?

Well, live television streaming leads us to one unfortunate result: the return of lengthy commercial breaks. Other than that, you won’t be able to stream the major broadcast networks like NBC, CBS, ABC, etc. but you can work around that with a Hulu Plus subscription or an antenna (in some places).

You should also be aware that Sling TV allows only one stream at once, so no sharing your Sling subscription with friends. Those of you who are used to watching television with DVR will be disappointed to find out that the recording, rewinding, and pausing functions are fairly limited on some of the Sling TV’s best channels, such as TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ABC family, and all of the ESPN channels.

So consider a Sling TV a big first step (albeit an imperfect one) towards a more harmonious future between streaming services and cable companies.

Get the Most Out of Your Sling TV With a VPN-Capable FlashRouter

Sling TV promises picture quality on a level comparable to Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime Instant, which means your wireless network better be in good shape if you’re going to want to enjoy your new toy.

As the brief video above indicates, the best way to make sure you can enjoy your Sling TV is with a VPN-capable FlashRouter.

At FlashRouters, we ensure that our customers get the best streaming experience possible by offering top-notch routers flashed with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware. With these replacement firmwares, our wireless devices perform with the kind of speed and power that cannot be found elsewhere. Access advanced security options, extend your wireless range, and control how your bandwidth is allocated (you’ll want to know this trick if you intend to stream live television).

Pair your new router with a VPN Service subscription, and you’ll add the benefit of securing your network. You’ll even be able to access Sling TV from anywhere in the world with the help of a VPN, all the while certain in the knowledge that your online data is not accessible to hackers and identity thieves. If you subscribe to any VPN on our official supported provider list, we’ll send your FlashRouter ready to work with your subscription right out of the box!

Best Routers for Streaming ESPN & Live Sports

Deciding between our high-performance devices and the superlative VPNs we support is no easy task, which is why recommend taking a look at our recent best-seller list. There you’ll find every kind of router you could imagine, from thoroughly dependable economy models, such as the Cisco Linksys E2500 N600 TomatoUSB Router, to gargantuan beasts of wireless networking, like the ever-popular  FlashRouter Asus RT-87U DD-WRT AC2400or the recently added Linksys EA6900 DD-WRT Router. We’d also recommend you take a look at the brand new Netgear R8000 DD-WRT Router, the ultimate Asus networking centerpiece with power and style for future-proofing your WiFi network to next-gen Wireless-AC standards.

Want more news and information about how to stream live television and movies in your home? Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook

Introducing PureVPN DD-WRT & TomatoUSB VPN Routers

PureVPN Routers Now Available At FlashRouters

In the market for a new VPN service? Looking to watch HBOGo, US/UK Netflix, Amazon Instant, or MLB.tv from anywhere in the world? PureVPN might just be the VPN solution for you. And the best way to use it is with our new selection of PureVPN FlashRouters.

Internet Freedom and Safety with PureVPN

Using 256-bit military grade encryption, Hong Kong-based PureVPN has long been a VPN service favorite and has been providing users around the world with Internet freedom and safety since 2007.

Hosting over 450 servers in an amazing 89 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, Turkey, Vietnam, India, Peru, and many more, PureVPN provides access to a full world of encrypted locations, VPN tunneling and accessible content.

PureVPN is home to more than 1 million customers, all of whom have access to the VPN’s 24/7 customer support. Pricing options for PureVPN subscriptions include a 1-month plan for $9.95, 6 months for $44.95, or a full year of the service for $49.95 which is basically 6 more months for $5!

With any PureVPN subscription, there is a 3-day money-back guarantee, so there is nothing to lose with a try-out of this service.

Using Pure VPN with a FlashRouter

Unblock Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, and more with PureVPN

Using a PureVPN DD-WRT or Tomato FlashRouter will allow you to use the service (Netflix, Amazon Instant, English Premier League, Pandora, Spotify and many more) on any device connected to the router’s network.

Yes PureVPN has a desktop and tablet client, but those cannot be used with devices like Xbox One, AppleTV, Roku, and Samsung SmartTVs. The best way to use PureVPN with streaming players ang gaming consoles is to connect them to a pre-configured PureVPN FlashRouter.

PureVPN Hulu Specific Servers

Another added bonus of PureVPN is its “Hulu TV Watching” feature, which allows global users access to one of the most popular streaming services on the planet. While Hulu has gone out of its way to block most VPN services, PureVPN has setup a Hulu streaming solution and the customer support to get it working. Their Hulu specific server is the perfect solution for Hulu loves looking to avoid having VPN connection issues with their favorite streaming service.

Buy VPN Routers - The Best VPN Router for PureVPN

Best Router for PureVPN – Netgear R7000 Nighthawk

Recommended PureVPN DD-WRT and Tomato Routers

  • Best PureVPN Router Solution: The PureVPN DD-WRT Netgear Nighthawk R7000 is a fantastic choice if you are looking for a central networking PureVPN hub. With a 1 GHz processor and three external antennae, the Nighthawk is capable of hosting a number of devices on top of high-quality streaming.
  • Top Wireless-AC PureVPN Economy Router – Looking for Wireless-AC that is a little more budget friendly, the PureVPN DD-WRT Netgear AC1450 features a beefy 800 MHz processor and up to 1450 Mbps Wireless-AC coverage right around $200.
  • Top Wireless-N PureVPN VPN Router Solution: The PureVPN Asus RT-N66U – is the top router for those who prefer Tomato over DD-WRT. If you would like to utilize QoS monitoring, multiple OpenVPN server setup, and an easy to use interface amongst other features, this is the router for you.
  • Best DD-WRT Router For Basic Users:  The PureVPN Linksys E1200 the economy line FlashRouter. While it does not offer the processing power or the massive range of the Asus RT-AC87U, the Linksys E1200 offers a very competitive price alongside the wireless VPN capabilities of any other FlashRouter.

Want to see all these PureVPN TomatoUSB and DD-WRT VPN Routers for yourself? Visit the PureVPN FlashRouter page.

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How To Manage Access Restrictions & Site Blocking in DD-WRT

Best DD-WRT Router of 2015 - Asus RT-AC87U

Asus RT-AC87U FlashRouter – Best Router for Managing Access Policies

Managing DD-WRT Access Restrictions

Access Restrictions can be configured to control what Internet content is available to the users on the LAN (Local Area Network). This may be beneficial for many reasons, including Office Control (limiting personal use during office hours) and Parental Control (restricting what websites can be accessed during and after school hours).

FAQ: What are the Benefits of using Access Controls with a Router?

Besides standard Office Control and Parental Control, there are many benefits to using a DD-WRT router with access restrictions capabilities. Here are some frequently asked questions concerning access controls and DD-WRT.

Can I have faster Internet with DD-WRT access controls?

While Internet speeds rely on many factors, primarily the modem connection to the ISP, you can still prioritize the speed of your connection by blocking sites and services that can cause a massive delay for your Internet speed with DD-WRT network performance management. Are your teenagers clogging up your Internet with late night rounds of Halo on their Xbox One? Simply use DD-WRT access controls to block the MAC address of the Xbox, and your connection should be much faster.

Can I block Torrent use with a DD-WRT router?

Torrenting can really eat up active bandwidth therefore inhibiting speeds of your home network, as well as possibly get you in trouble with your ISP for illegally downloading copyrighted content. Using keywords like “torrent” or “p2p” within access restrictions can help block torrent sites on your network, which will take the load of these torrents off of your connection as well as make your network a safer place.

How can I setup a Parental Control access policy?

Setting up Parental Control access restrictions is the same as setting any other kind of access restrictions. Simply enter in keywords for gaming, adult content, or services you would not like your children to use, and the sites and services will be blocked. You can even set the router to only access select sites, so if you would like your children to be limited to specific educational sites, you can do so using the same settings.

How To Setup Access Policies in a DD-WRT Router

Here is a helpful DD-WRT Access Restrictions setup guide that will allow you to easily setup these restrictions on your router.

Logging into the DD-WRT Access Restrictions Setup

  1. Open your web browser and in the URL bar type 192.168.1.1
  2. Enter the username and password (root/admin)
  3. On the top menu bar, locate the Access Restrictions page

DD-WRT Access Restrictions Setup

Managing Router/Internet Access Policies, Website

On the DD-WRT Access Restrictions Setup page, you will see the following fields presented from top-down:

  • Access Policy
  • Day
  • Time
  • Block Services
  • Website Blocking by URL Address
  • Website Blocking by Keyword

DD-WRT allows up to 10 individual Access Policies to be configured. This is useful in a situation where you have different users that have different levels of access or want to create a variety of timetable for Internet access for different users.

Note: There is a wide range of Access Policies that could be implemented. The policies implemented here are for example only, and it is recommended that only Advanced Users should attempt the configuration. If Internet connectivity is lost or some websites appear to be blocked, it may be a result of incorrect configuration, and all the Access Policies should be disabled as a first step.

Example: Office Deployment

In our example, the DD-WRT router is installed in an office to give office workers access to the Internet. The company IT policy does not allow the personal use of the Internet during business hours. However, as a courtesy before and after business hours, office workers can use their office PC for Internet banking and reading the news.

Policy (1) Work:

To do this there is a website restriction policy in place that blocks access to websites requiring log-in screens such as e-mail, blocking of file sharing websites and others that may distract works such as auction sites and personal e-mail. A timetable will be configured to restrict access from 9 am to 5 pm outside of these hours there is full access to the internet.

Policy (2) Weekend:

As the office is unattended on weekends, there is a second policy that denies all Internet access on Saturday and Sunday.

Access Restriction Policy & Setup on DD-WRT

Access Policy Work in DD-WRT Access Restrictions Setup

First we sill start with setting up Policy (1) Work.

1. Create Access Policy Main Details.

  • Policy: Select the policy number to create or edit. For Work Policy select (1).
  • Status: Enable or disable the policy. For Work Policy select Enable.
  • Policy Name: Can be any value, in this case, it is called “Work.”
  • PCs / Edit List of Clients: Edit the list of LAN PCs or network devices which will be subject to the access policy. This is covered in the next section.
  • Deny /Filter: Deny will block all access during the specified timetable. Filter will apply the access policy in the later fields “Blocked Services”, “Website Blocking by URL Address” and “Website Blocking by Keyword”. For Work Policy select “Filter”.
  • Days and Time: Select the days and time when the policy will be active. For the (1) Work policy example, configure the days Monday – Friday and 9:00 – 17:00 as the time when these policies will be active.

2. Edit List of Clients

Access Policy IP Address in DD-WRT Access Restrictions Setup

Select Edit List of Clients in the access policy field. The above dialog will appear. Here there are several options to determine which LAN PCs and devices will be subject to the access restrictions.

  • Enter MAC Address of the Clients: The client or connected devices can be specified by its MAC or Hardware address. This is useful for system using WiFi or DHCP as the client may have a new IP address each time they connect to the network. For information on finding the MAC address, see xxxxx.
  • Enter the IP Address of the Clients: if the PCs always use the same IP address (static IP) the addresses can be entered here.
  • Enter the IP Range of the Clients: if there is a IP address pool used for the clients that will be subject to the access restrictions, enter it here.
  • Back to the Work access policy, we will enter 192.168.1.100 ~ 192.168.1.200 in the IP range, which is the address range of the office worker PC.
  • Then press Save and then Apply Settings.

Your DD-WRT router Work Policy is now complete.

3. Creating the Weekend Policy

Access Policy Weekends in DD-WRT Access Restrictions Setup

Policy (2) is the for the weekends. Here entry (2) is selected from the drop down box, “Weekends” is used as the name and PCs is set to Deny.

The Day and Time fields are then completed, Sat & Sun for the weekend and 24 hours for the time.

Then press Save and then Apply Settings.

4. Creating Time Limits with DD-WRT

Access Policy Timetable in DD-WRT Access Restrictions Setup

Back to the Access Policy field, press the Timetable button and a dialog appears showing the access policy in the hours that have been configured.

5. Select Services To Block

Blocked Services in DD-WRT Access Restrictions Setup

Return to the Access Policy field and select (1) Work. The Access Policy for services and websites will now be configured.

To do this scroll down to the Block Services field and check Catch All P2P Protocols. This blocks all file sharing applications such a torrents in this access policy.

For Advanced Users: Next a new service will be added to block login pages to websites such as email. To do this press Add/Edit Service.

Blocked Services Ports in DD-WRT Access Restrictions Setup

All websites that have login pages use HTTPS and TCP port 443. To restrict access to these name the service HTTPS, select TCP for protocol and the Port range 443~443.

Press Add to add the service, then Save followed by Apply Settings.

Close the dialog and check the Blocked Services field.

Blocked Services in DD-WRT Access Restrictions Setup

The DD-WRT router is now configured to block all P2P Protocols and HTTPS. In the (1) Work Example access to websites requiring log in and P2P protocols such as file sharing are now blocked in this configuration.

6. Website Blocking by URL Address

Website by URL in DD-WRT Access Restrictions Setup

This field is used to define individual websites that should be blocked in the access policy.

In (1) Work example websites that would be frequently accessed for personal use can be added, here there is eBay, Amazon and YouTube.

The DD-WRT router can be configured to block any websites as per the network requirements or IT policy.

7. Website Blocking By Keyword

Website by Keyword in DD-WRT Access Restrictions Setup

This field is used to define keywords that would appear in the webpage description field. The keywords can be configured according to network requirements or IP policy.

In (1) Work example websites that would be frequently accessed for personal use can be added, here there is Ebay, Amazon and Youtube.

The last step to press Save and Apply at the bottom of the page. This will save the Access Policy settings for the access policy select in the Access Policy field at the top of the page.

Note: that there are a wide range of Access Policies that could be implemented. The policies implemented here are for example only, and it is recommended that only Advanced Users should attempt the configuration. If internet connectivity is lost or some websites appear to be blocked, it may be a result of incorrect configuration, and all the Access Policies should be disabled as a first step.

Best DD-WRT Routers for Access Restrictions

FlashRouters

The FlashRouters Support Routers Advantage

Managing access restrictions is one of the many advantages of using a DD-WRT router. If you are using a router flashed with DD-WRT, you open the door to using your router as a VPN connection, a repeater for a 3G/4G MiFi HotSpot, a central DNSMasq hub, and much more.

FlashRouters offers many routers with DD-WRT firmware installed and tested to work with access restrictions and policies. Router manufacturers leave these features off their firmware and save them for high-end business class routers but our routers are tried and tested to work with access policies and more.  From the powerful mid-range Netgear AC1450 to the networking beast that is the Asus RT-AC87U, complete with a 1 GHz processor and 4 external antennae our premium DD-WRT routers offer advanced functionality right out-of-the-box to save you time, headache and allow you to take control of your network. Want to see a highlighted selection of the best DD-WRT installed routers? Take a look at our best latest bestselling DD-WRT routers list.

A Nickelodeon Streaming Site: No Cable Subscription Necessary

Get ready for a streaming service from Nickelodeon

Here Comes a Nickelodeon Streaming Service

Parents, entertaining your children just became a little easier whether it’s on your iPad, Roku, Apple TV.

A Nickelodeon Streaming Site

Viacom has announced their intention to launch a Nickelodeon streaming service, bringing all of your kids favorites to your media players.

It gets better, cord-cutters. You will not need any kind of cable package to subscribe to the Nickelodeon streaming service. So soon Spongebob, Dora the Explorer, Bubble Guppies, Peppa Pig, and more will be available as a standalone package with no cable subscription required.

 

Further details about this service will be revealed later this month and we will keep you informed, but for now, all we know is that the service is slated to available in March.

Get Your Network Ready for Nickelodeon Streaming

While this is definitely good news for parents, your Nickelodeon streaming service isn’t going to be worth much without a proper wireless router backing it up. I’m not sure if you kids are patient and like buffering and interruptions but we know ours are not!

As the brief above video demonstrates, a FlashRouter is the solution that any ailing wireless network needs. Our open-source enhanced DD-WRT and Tomato-flashed routers are at the ready, eager to revolutionize the way you use your internet-ready devices.

Extend your wireless range, access advanced security options, and control your bandwidth allocation (a real useful trick for people who stream a lot of media), all with a FlashRouter. Get a FlashRouter in conjunction with a FlashRouter-supported VPN, and you’ll ensure your online security and enable yourself to watch the Nickelodeon streaming service from anywhere in the world.

The quickest way to whittle down our list of exceptional routers to a manageable level is to look at our recent best-sellers list (though there’s really no wrong way to pick out a FlashRouter). You’ll find excellent economy models like the Cisco Linksys E2500 N600 TomatoUSB Router, as well as earth-shakers like the brand new speed demon known as the Asus RT-87U DD-WRT AC2400.

The Nickelodeon streaming service is coming soon, parents. Get those wireless networks in order.

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Better Call Saul: How to Stream the Breaking Bad Spin-Off Anywhere

Watch Better Call Saul from anywhere with a VPN

How to Stream Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul

Sure, Breaking Bad wrapped up pretty definitely for Walter White, but that doesn’t mean legions of rabid fans are done with the landmark series’ universe.

Enter Better Call Saul, which aired its first episode on February 8th and the second February 9th. Centered around Bob Odenkirk’s less-than-scrupulous attorney, Saul Goodman, Better Call Saul is the Breaking Bad spin-off than fans all but demanded after the original AMC favorite ended after its sixth season. As big Breaking Bad fans and lifelong Odenkirk fans, we’re every bit as excited as the rest of you.

That said, for devoted cord-cutters like ourselves, the first question we have is always this; how do we stream it?

Stream Better Call Saul from Anywhere With a VPN

In an encouraging sign for serious streamers everywhere, the television industry is seemingly making some effort to accommodate those of us who’ve ditched our pricey cable packages. In fact, each episode of Better Call Saul becomes available on Netflix Instant UK the day after it airs in the US!

Fat lot of good that does us in the US, right? Right, because we have VPNs to take care of the rest.

Best VPN Service Providers

FlashRouter-Ready VPNs

For those of you who haven’t heard of VPNs, allow us to introduce them to you. A VPN service (or Virtual Private Network) service is a subscription-based service that serves a multitude of purposes, the primary one being securing your online data.

When you log into your VPN, all of your activity is tunneled through encrypted servers that are set up all over the world. This basically makes your personal information virtually impossible to trace, keeping your private e-mails, credit card numbers, and other sensitive pieces of information away from would-be hackers, identity thieves, and snooping governments.

That’s all well and good, certainly, but how does this help fans stream Better Call Saulf? It’s simple: remember how we said that the VPNs encrypted servers are set up all over the world? Well, when you log in to your VPN, you get to pick a server in the location of your choosing. If you pick, say, a UK-based server, your internet-ready device is given a UK-based IP address. This means your device now thinks you’re in the UK, and that means you can stream Netflix UK at your leisure.

This means you’re going to want a VPN with a lot of UK-based IP addresses, so we particularly recommend looking into Overplay VPN, HideMyAss VPN, IPVanish VPN, and PrivateInternetAccess VPN. Otherwise, check out our official supported provider list for any even greater swath of options.

Stream Better Call Saul W/ a VPN-ready FlashRouter

But wait, we’re not through with you yet. You want to ensure the best possible Better Call Saul Netflix UK streaming experience? You’re going to want a FlashRouter.

 

As the brief video above explains, a FlashRouter is many things, most importantly a hedge against future router purchases. What we do here is take excellent routers, and replace their stock firmware with even better firmware, namely DD-WRT and Tomato.

A router flashed with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware is going to open up your wireless network in ways you’d never imagine. Extend your wireless range, access advanced security options and, best of all for people who stream a lot of their entertainment, control how your bandwidth is allocated, prioritizing streaming devices for a skip-free viewing experience.

A FlashRouter can even improve your VPN experience. If you’re subscribed to any VPN on our official supported provider list, we’ll send your FlashRouter ready to work with your VPN right out of the box! Tricky installations are for the birds. Let us handle the hard stuff for you.

We offer superior products for a range of needs, whether you’re looking for an easily affordable upgrade or a network-revolutionizing beast. Take a look at our recent best-seller list and get to know some of our more popular devices, like the Cisco Linksys E2500 N600 TomatoUSB Router, which is one of our top economy models, or the ever-popular Netgear R7000 AC1900 Nighthawk DD-WRT Router, which will turn your network into an unstoppable dynamo. Then there’s the brand new, earth-crushing Asus RT-87U DD-WRT AC2400, which is showing wireless speeds the likes of which we’ve never seen.

Better Call Saul is already underway. Don’t fall too far behind. Get yourself a VPN-ready FlashRouter today!

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