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tumaBox Uniqueness

Different by Design

We started out tumaBox for our own needs. We wanted a little box for our home that would take care of all our files as well as our (inter)net connectivity in a smart way, with maximum performance. We also wanted this little box to be able to play media to any TV and to come in a small form factor, with huge storage capacity and quiet enough to be able to sleep in the same room. The result is tumaBox.

Of course we searched the market for such a solution before building our own custom box. We weren't able to find one with all these requirements. In the low range you get SoCs that are meant to share files to Windows (over Samba) and that's pretty much it unless you're excited by the colourness and widgetness of the admin interface. Once you buy it you discover that performance is not that great and there's not much else you can do with that box. In most cases you also discover the noisy quiet fan they forgot to tell you about. In the high range you discover full blown desktop computers but powered by the same custom closed source OS. But hey, I was searching to replace my computer in the first place, right? Otherwise I could leave my destop computer to run 24/7 and baptise it a NAS.

tumaBox is somewhere in between: it's the same small box that you find in the low range, with small power consumption and quieter than many other boxes but at the same time it is a real computer meaning that you could do most anything with it, even though it is less powerful than a typical desktop computer. But what does powerful mean? In our own home we even run a mapnik render server with openstreetmap data for several European countries (some 20 GB database), several virtual machines, http filtering, http proxy server and some other goodies. Of course our box takes care of all our intenet connectivity in and outside our home, stores all our data and we also use it to watch our movie and photo collection on our TV. It's not a smart TV. But hey, what TV can look smart next to our tumaBox? Some of these features need a tech savvy bloke to install and appreciate them but they show the true power of this little box.

Powerful media player

tumaBox can handle most of current media briliantly. You get full HD resolution and surround sound and you can play virtually any video or audio file you could find. Of course there are tons of other media players and even smart TVs out there that can do the same. But in the low range they do only that - you'll have to forget about the laggy menu experience, the lack of features and the lack of storage. They are cheap but then you'll have to buy something else to keep your files on, something else to take care of connectivity and even those put together won't have the performance of one single tumaBox or its' entire range of features. Read below to find out what these main features are.

You can also browse the internet and read your email on your TV screen with tumaBox. I know you can do this on your phone but don't tell me that you're never annoyed with the little screen. I know your smart TV already does this as well but in the best case scenario your smart TV is just a phone with a huge screen. This means so and so performance, silly browsers, missing plugins that render some websites useless, captive and annoying TV manufacturer portals and so on. By the way I trust that you can edit documents on your smart TV as well. Is that a “NO” I'm hearing? Well… you can do that with tumaBox - edit documents on your large smart TV screen. Even more - tumaBox comes with Firefox and Thunderbird pre-installed but nothing stops you from choosing any other desktop browser that you love: Chromium, Opera etc. You heard well - a real desktop browser - no more trimmed down versions or silly alternatives.

One cool feature that tumaBox has is the ability to use your phone or tablet as a remote control with some third party apps. Thus you can control your tumaBox from anywhere over the internet.

All your data in one place - access it from anywhere in any way you like

Being in the IT business we have tons of data of all kinds. It is paramount for us to be able to access it quickly and securily from anywhere 24/7. This was one of the main requirements for tumaBox. This is why tumaBox comes with 3.5' HDDs that are large enough and powerful enough. The data can be accessed with any industry standard protocols depeding on one's needs from virtually any device (including phones and tablets). You may prefer a web interface or a traditional method: it's your choice. There are even custom applications for all major computer and phone OSes that you can use to automatically synchronize your data across devices. You can also share your data easily and securily with other people. Continue reading to find out more about this.

Smart use of SSD to maximize performance

The first question that would come in the mind of a tech savvy person would be “why use a SSD in a NAS when the speed of virtually any current HDD can saturate the 1 Gigabit network?”. Of course the HDD can saturate the gigabit network but ONLY with sequential reading/writing. When you get to random access even the best HDD still crawls miserably. This is why the SSDs were invented in the first place. “But what is the nonsense about random access? Why would I do a silly thing like that?” I hear. When you want to copy your holiday photos or your private documents or even your music collection you will most certainly have random access. The smaller the files the more random access you have. You will have to wait and wait with your HDD to finish copying them or you can use a SSD and go get some sunshine. There are other applications that are notorious for random access such as bittorrent.

“Ok, so that means that I'll have to keep my small files on the SSD and my large files on my HDD. Gosh, you give some more work to do!”. Hmmm… I think you skipped the word “smart” in the title. With tumaBox you won't have to do that. You store all your data in one place, remember? tumaBox automatically configures the SSD for caching the data from your HDD. The clever system automatically detects which data is a large chunk and therefore is accessed sequentially and which data is just a small chunk and can benefit from putting it on the SSD. So you automatically get the best of both worlds - no work required. Even better, the caching works both for reading and writing. Try to beat that!

Your own private cloud

Yep! You get this too with tumaBox. I bet you already use one or even more cloud services and you're very satisfied with it. But why having to upload and download this data all the time even if your the cloud application does this automatically? Why not keep it at your place all the time. I bet you might be satisfied with the huge capacity currently offered by all cloud providers. But what's wrong with having 100 times that capacity? Would you mind having ALL your data in the cloud as long as the cloud is yours and yours alone?

But this is not the point. The most important thing is that you keep all your data for yourself instead of letting it flow in some company hands. I know you're an honest and decent person so you've got nothing to hide. This is not about hiding - it's about privacy. All internet companies know much more about you and everyone else that you could ever possibly imagine. It's not only about the sheer amount of data, it's also about the correlations they make. You can't even imagine how this data and correlations might hurt you one day. You might have given them a false name and a wrong address - at the end of the day this doesn't make much of a difference. Think about the Fappening to see what can go wrong. I know - you're not a celebrity.

I also know that you trust your cloud provider because they're a reputable company and they would never do anything to hurt you. Hmmmm… I won't argue with you on that one. All I can say is hmmmm… I also know that being such a trustworthy company they are very secure - because they told you so in so many words you don't understand or care to understand. Then how come dropbox was hacked? Oops - sorry they weren't hacked. It's just that some 7 million accounts were published next to their corresponding password. Don't wait to see how the data in third party hands could hurt you because then it will be too late.

I know you also like to share things with people - you're a sharing person. We are too. Everybody loves to share. And you can certainly do this with your own private cloud on your own tumaBox just as you would with any other cloud service. The difference is that only the data you choose to share leaves your home or office. All the other data stays inside. All the time. For your eyes only.

Of course you can do with your own private cloud all the things you could do with other clouds. You can use third party apps to synchronize your data across devices even with your phone. And you can even integrate other clouds in your own cloud if you're still a fan of other big cloud companies.

Networking to the next level

Routers are ubiquitous these days. They're the little boxes that take care of your network and internet stuff. They get better and cheaper each day and you probably already own a couple of those. Why would you need anything else? Because they may be great at what they do (at least some of them): transferring a single stream of data from one point to the other along the wire or along the wireless waves. But when the things get rough they start to fail. Open a few hundreds or thousands of connections at the same time (as torrent clients do for example) and sooner or later you'll get into trouble: either the performance drops or it hangs and you have to reboot it. I know you don't use torrent at all but even a single web page visit can open tens of connections even if you don't know it.

Even if you don't have any of these problems the ususal routers don't come with the important features of tumaBox. Most of the routers have many features advertised but some aren't really useful to anyone (when did you last configure your IPSec or even your QoS?) or if they are enabled the performance drops considerably. tumaBox has features that are useful and we plan to build even more. And you can be sure that no matter how many of these features you enable you will still have top performance that can't be matched by any of the normal routers.

Your own private network

Speaking of network and caring about privacy and accessibility tumaBox has a preconfigured private network based on Openvpn. What does it mean and what does it do? It allows you to access your local network and all your data from anywhere in the internet just as if you were sitting right next to the box. For Windows users this means that you could still have all your tumaBox data mounted as drive X: on your laptop even on your trip to Hawaii. But this is just an example. The point is that you can use the same tumaBox services and access the rest of your local network just as you were in your living room, no matter where you really are.

But wait, isn't that a bit dangerous? Will everyone at the hotel see my data? Of course not! Because all the connections are securily encrypted. Everything is kept private at all times. And it gets even better.

You may or may not know that public or semi-public wifi such as the ones in pubs, hotels and such are not really secure. There are numerous hacks for these and it's fairly easy even for non-IT person to have access at least to parts of information that they shouldn't have access to. With your tumaBox VPN you can encrypt all your internet access and leak nothing to those prying eyes. You can even get a slight performance increase because all your internet access will be combined within a single connection which will ease the strain on the local router.

Free dynamic dns

In order to be able to use all these wonderful tumaBox services from the internet your tumaBox must have an “internet name” so you can connect to it from anywhere. Most internet providers don't provide such a name for home connections at least not in a reliable way. This is also true for some business connections as well. And there's even more: with many internet providers your ip changes as well.

This is where tumaBox comes to help. As long as you get a routable IP from your internet provider you get a free name from tumaBox. You will address your tumaBox with something like Of course you can choose anything instead of xyz as long as that name is not already taken by another tumaBox user. When you get a name that is not already taken you will have it as long as you like so you will be able to access your tumaBox with the same name all the time from anywhere in the internet.

The cool factor

What you read on this page is just a selection of the main tumaBox features. The power of this box is way beyond this. This is the beauty and coolness of this device. You could start a cartoon on your TV at home for your kid while you're at the pub or you could choose to turn yourself into a web hosting provider and run hundreds of websites on your tumaBox. You could help disidents or opressed people to access the internet from countries where they are forbidden to by running a tor/i2p/freenet node or you might be a disident yourself - what do we know about all the uses of this little box? All we know is: the sky is the limit.

The power of open source - the power of the community

This little box is powered by open source software and the software that we create we intend to give to the open source community as well. Many many people contribute to open source movement in different ways and for different reasons. They all believe in one thing: in a free world and free access to information. But they all have to live. Some of them earn their living from jobs that sometimes have nothing to do with their open source projects. On the other hand there are many that give the software for free and then earn their living through support and consulting services for the software they created.

Our business model is slightly diferrent although we still have to make a living. We give the software for free but we charge for every box sold with our software on it. When you buy a tumaBox you pay us so that we can develop more cool features. We do want to keep 100% involvement in this project but we need your support in order to be able to do so.

We thank the entire community for helping us.

uniqueness.txt · Last modified: 2014/11/02 14:47 by admin