I really recommend a stainless racking cane with a carboy cap and a sterile air filter. After switching to this I would never switch back to an auto-siphon. It doesn't break or craze, I can push it with CO2 if I want, the siphon starts every time without fail . . . it works best for me.
Do you just blow into the filter real hard if not using CO2?
Yes, like tygo said, you just blow into it. I don't think you have to blow that hard, but it depends on how high you have to push the beer to get to the top of the racking cane.