Environment Requirements for XinaBox training
- Access to the Internet using WiFi must be available using standard WiFi access, with standard WPA-Personal (also referred to as WPA-PSK) (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_Protected_Access) security and no Hot Spot or Captive Portal login screen (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captive_portal).
- WPA-Enterprise (Also referred to as WPA-802.1X or WPA-EAP) or Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is not supported.
- The MAC address is visible on the OLED display (☒OD01) and on the Hot Spot page when configuring the device. The MAC address can be used by the local IT department to give WiFI access to the device(s). Ask your local IT/ICT department for assistance.
If your WiFi at your institution requires a WPA-Enterprise or Hot Spot login, there are various ways of overcome this limitation:
- Mobile Personal Hotspot: By far the simplest is to use your smartphone as a hotspot. By using your phone as a hotspot, you are setting up an alternative WiFi network, that allows the students xChips to connect to the Internet using your mobile access (3G/4G/LTE/etc). Please be aware that this will use your bandwidth allocation on your mobile device. Since the devices are only uploading limited telemetry data, this is normally not a big issue, but obviously as you share a password for the personal hotspot you have created, individuals could connect their smartphones or laptops to your hotspot, and that could drain your bandwidth.
- Setting up a Personal Hotspot on Apple iOS (iPhones and iPads): (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204023)
- Setting up a Personal Hotspot on Google Android (Samsung, LG, etc): (https://support.google.com/nexus/answer/9059108?hl=en)
- Wired Personal Hotspot: Another simple solution is to use a computer as a hotspot. By using a computer as a hotspot, you are setting up an alternative WiFi network, that allows the students xChips to connect to the Internet via your computers wired connection.
- Setting up a Personal Hotspot on Microsoft Windows 10: (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4027762/windows-use-your-pc-as-a-mobile-hotspot)
- Setting up a Personal Hotspot on Microsoft Windows: (https://www.howtogeek.com/214080/how-to-turn-your-windows-pc-into-a-wi-fi-hotspot/)
- Setting up a Personal Hotspot on Apple MacOS: (https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25327)
- Setting up a Personal Hotspot on Linux (Ubuntu): (http://ubuntuhandbook.org/index.php/2014/09/3-ways-create-wifi-hotspot-ubuntu/)
- Travel Router: A better option is to acquire a Travel Router. A Travel Router is a small compact router, normally used as an extension to an existing internet infrastructure and creating a temporary WiFi network. The Travel Router have a number of configuration options:
- WiFi repeater: As a WiFi Repeater, you will connect the travel router to your existing WiFi Network and create a WiFi network with a WPA-Personal (WPA-PSK) security. This allows you to connect the Travel Router to a WiFi that uses a HotSpot login, like many hotels does, by asking you for a Last Name and a Room Number. The Travel Router can handle that and then let you xChips connect with standard security, similar to what most people have in their normal home. Some - but nor all - travel routers will also be able to handle WPA-Enterprise. You will know if you have WPA-Enterprise at your institution, if is ask both for a Username and a Password, instead of just a Password. If that is the case, make sure you get a Travel Router that can handle WPA-Enterprise, or use one of the other methods below.
- Wired repeater: The travel router also normally have a Ethernet port allowing you to wire the router to your institutions wired network. The security on the wired network is many time more relaxed, since it requires a physical access. Typically you will be able to just plug in your travel router and you will immediately have a WiFi network you can use. For temporary solution you will typically find a network cable connected to a desktop computer, so using a network connection from an unused desktop computer is an easy way to get going.
- USB Modem: The travel router also typically have a USB port allowing you to connect a USB Modem. A USB Modem is a mobil device (3G/4G/LTE/etc) with a SIM card, that will allow you to connect to the internet directly. They can be acquired from mobile operators either as pay-as-you-go or with a contract. They will provided data only access on the SIM card. You can plug such USB modem into the travel router and the router will then create a WiFi network based on the direct internet access over the mobile network. Just again be aware that if any laptop or other smartphones connect to your travel router in this setting, it could drain your bandwidth.
Except for when using the USB modem, setting up a travel router in your institution without the IT administrations knowledge, constitutes installing a Roque Router, which could have security implications: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_access_point)
Some institutions blacklist websites that they don't want their users to visit, and other institutions whitelist the websites they allow the users to visit, and by that implication - blacklists all other websites. Some institutions block certain port numbers and only allow standard web port numbers, such as port 80 and 443. Below is a list of website and port number that should be allowed for XinaBox training.
The training will incorporate the following websites: (no port number indicates http(port: tcp/80)/https(port: tcp/443))
- mqtt.xinabox.cc port: tcp/80 (optionally tcp/1883)
- Notice: This is not HTTP/HTTPS traffic but MQTT traffic, so if your firewall checks for actual traffic, you might have a problem, and should consider opening/using the original tcp/1883 port.
- link.xinabox.cc ports: tcp/80 and tcp/443 (optionally tcp/udp/8441-8443)
- Notice: This is not HTTP/HTTPS traffic but BLYNK traffic, so if your firewall checks for actual traffic, you might have a problem, and should consider opening/using the original tcp/udp/8441-8443 port.
- mqtt.xinabox.cc port: tcp/80 (optionally tcp/1883)
- and access to Apple's IoS App Store and Google’s Play Store
- Browser computers: 1-2 Students per computer, with Web/Internet access, any operating system.
- Software computer(s): Microsoft Windows (any version) operating system computer(s), Mac OS( any version), which can download and install software (admin password has to be available).
- One software computer is the minimum, but one per student group is practical.
In order to show how to use the Smartphone App: Blynk:
- An Apple TV and an iPhone, or some similar setup connecting a smart device to a smart televison display.