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Steve's Favorite Utilities, Gadgets & Services





In his blog, Steve started a thread with his own favorite utilities:

For now, it contains just five or six entries.

In these years of Security Now!, Steve recommended many dozens of utilities and tools.

The idea of my post here is that we, the listeners, remind the utilities he recommended and we liked.
So @Steve might copy/paste from this thread to his blog.

I start with this one, from SN #552:

It's one of my favorite tools ever !
It is a bootable thumbdrive (or CD) which allows to create "images" of a whole hard disk or a single partition to be kept as backup, even incremental.
The images, compressed and/or encrypted, can be stored on another hard drive, USB thumbdrive, Cloud or even DVDs.
Eventually, an image can be restored to the same disk, or to a disk with different capacity (smaller or larger). The tool will take into account the shrinking of the partitions, and the partition will remain bootable after the restore (both Windows and Linux).

It's my default tool before attempting some dangerous operation on my data, or when I switch to a larger hard disk.
Thank you Steve for having recommended this tool !





I keep thinking I should buy this, as it sounds really cool, but then I realize I personally have never had an occasion where I wished I had it at hand. I just don't store data on a PC, so the risk of having to rebuild the image of it doesn't scare me much. I store my data on a NAS in the network. Still, it sounds like an amazing utility to have around.

Here's the link for their site: https://www.terabyteunlimited.com/




But do you have a backup of your NAS data? Presumably you could use Terabyte for that.




Presumably you could use Terabyte for that.
I don't see how. Never mind that the NAS is a commercial product that runs Linux (Synology), where would I locally write 30T+ of data, except to another NAS.




Well then! :oops: :cool:
I have to say, I'm kind of surprised (and delighted!) to see that Steve approves of my choice of router hardware!

I don't work in IT, I'm just a truck driver. However, I've been monkeying around with computers since the early 1980's, and I believe that they are a tool to make MY life easier. The first PC I bought was an Apple IIe - if you wanted to do anything serious with it, you either needed to have a LOT of money, or you needed to write your own programs. So I learned Applesoft BASIC. I also dabbled in 65C02 machine language. Later, I moved over to IBM based 80x86 PC's. I even taught myself Visual Basic and wrote a program, in VB4, to track my trucking business. In my mind, WinXP was the last, best, OS that Microsoft produced... When WinXP hit its expiration date, I moved over to Linux. Knowing that WinXP was about to be sunsetted, I had been dabbling with Gentoo Linux and, when WinXP expired, it was an easy transition.

When, in my local community, Cable Internet was offered I jumped on it! I could get 4x the speed, for the same price as my DSL connection! However, I decided to buy my own cable modem and router...as opposed to renting those items from my ISP. Linkysys hardware was my choice. Then I stumbled over 'aftermarket' (Tomato and DD-WRT) firmware and I was hooked!

A couple of years ago, I stumbled across the SECURITY NOW podcast. Periodically, Steve would mention pfSense, as his router/firewall of choice. After doing some research, I was like YES! I have an old Pentium machine that can run pfSense! Then, I discovered that the x86_32 version of pfSense was being deprecated. :confused:
But, OPNSense (a fork of pfSense) was still available..for a couple more months. :censored:
I started looking around for a (CHEAP) dedicated box to run opnSense and found Protectli...an FW4A model.
It's been up and running for about a year. :)




sync.com looks good but does not have Linux support which means it is not for me. I wrote to them a few months ago, but they stated they have no plans at this time to work on one. I will stick to Dropbox for now using Veracrypt to make sure important files are encrypted end to end.