Month: December 2017

Persian Word of the Day: آکبند

In Persian, a commercial product that is unopened and in its original packaging is described as being آکبند. I encountered this word for the first time in an article on  Iranian tech website Digiato about restrictions on returning travelers bringing mobile phones into Iran, in the following context:

یکی از مسئولان ستاد قاچاق کالا به دیجیاتو می‌گوید که هر مسافر مجوز آوردن یک موبایل مسافرتی  (موبایل رجیسترنشده، چه آکبند باشد چه نباشد) به داخل کشور را دارد.

In a post on, Nooshin Mohammad Ali provides what seems to me to be a dubious folk etymology, claiming (while citing no source) that it’s derived from the English “UK Band” which supposedly was printed on ribbons wrapped around British goods arriving at the port of Abadan before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

An interesting but ultimately inconclusive discussion of the etymology of آکبند extracted from the Adabiyat listserv appears on The Iranian  here.

Comments welcome.

How to Use Quad9 ( DNS Resolution with Algo VPN

Algo VPN is an open source project from computer security firm Trail of Bits. It facilitates the creation of a non-logging (and optionally ad-blocking) virtual private network (VPN) on a virtual private server (VPS). I’ve been using Algo VPN for a couple months and am pleased with it’s performance, particularly on Apple devices, which natively support the IKEv2 protocol implemented by Algo VPN.

By default, Algo VPN uses Google’s domain name resolution (DNS) servers ( and Recently, I heard about an alternative, non-profit DNS service called Quad9 ( that has some attractive features. In particular, Quad9 blocks known malicious domains, collects no personally-identifiable information, and does not store the IP addresses of end users to disk. Steve Gibson spoke about Quad9 in episode 638 of his weekly Security Now podcast.

Perhaps in the future, Algo VPN will offer Quad9 as an alternative to Google’s DNS servers. But until such time, and for already existing installations, here’s how you can point your Algo VPN server to Quad9’s DNS servers:

1. SSH to your Algo server via your terminal app:

ssh root@ip -i ~/.ssh/algo.pem

2. Open /etc/dnsmasq.conf for editing:

nano /etc/dnsmasq.conf

3. Find the lines:


4. Replace with (the second line, not originally included here, is Quad9’s secondary IPv4 address; thanks to commenter “c.” for noting this):


5. Hit Control-X to exit, choosing Y to save and keeping the same file name.

6. Type reboot at the command line to reboot.

That’s all! Your Algo VPN server will now use Quad9 for DNS resolution.

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