Hability to block sites/apps for the whole network?

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Hability to block sites/apps for the whole network?

This thread has been locked for further replies. You can start a new thread to share your ideas or ask questions.
Hability to block sites/apps for the whole network?
Hability to block sites/apps for the whole network?
2023-04-09 19:59:47
Model: Deco X60   Deco X55  
Hardware Version:
Firmware Version:

Hello,

 

I have been using the Deco routers/mesh for a while now, and everything has been working fine.

 

Except for one very basic and, for what I can see, common need: To be able to block stuff on all the network, without having to add devices to the Parental Control Profiles.

 

And the problem is not that that doesn't work. It does, in my experience. But now, with most of the devices using some sort of "anonymizer" for the MAC address, the Profiles are useless. The user can simply change the MAC Address and that's it. And yes, one can disable that from the devices... but I also can add some parental controls to each device, or spend some money on some parental control app for the devices... but that doesn't fix this basic need on a modern router.

 

So, having a "Default" profile for all the network, or simply a way to filter apps and sites from the whole network, is what is needed. And for what I can see, this has been a request for years and years. I wonder why TP-Link hasn't, apparently, done nothing about it?

 

Another option that doesn't fix the original problem, but would be somewhat a workaround would be to be able to block all unknown devices. So, if the user changes the MAC address, then the Deco network just rejects it. It's a different problem and solution, but would more or less work for the original need.

 

I haven't used the most recent Decos, but for what I can see this is the same? Actually it appears like my X60 has more features regarding to this than, for instance, the X55, which is newer. Apparently the X60 has no need to pay for the parental control to work, but the X55 does? I can't say I am sure, but I am not paying for the subscription right now.

 

I don't have a problem per-se in paying for the subscription service, if it does in fact solve this, but I can't see anything that makes me believe it's the case.

 

Thanks!

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Re:Hability to block sites/apps for the whole network?
2023-04-10 21:57:25

  @rgomez,

This is definitely something that is on the radar of our development teams. Fortunately, the feedback has not been ignored. It was announced at CES that throughout the year, there are updates planned to our HomeShield service that will help mitigate some of these factors, such as the Private MAC addressing. We are just beginning to see these features appear, so keep an eye out for larger announcements and releases of HomeShield Features.

 

I do know that our teams have also been looking into other methods of keeping track of connected devices, since as you said faking MAC addresses has become the new normal.

 

We are also currently in a larger rollout of features for Decos through the 1.6/1.7 firmware update. Since the X55 uses HomeShield, the features between the two in terms of parental controls should be similar. However. if you have an older hardware version X60, it may be using the free HomeCare protection, rather than the HomeShield service that our teams are actively developing and improving on.

 

Theory Crafting: I would be inclined to believe that the whitelist feature may not have been added to the deco line because it would require each node to keep track of the devices that are not allowed to connect to the network. In 'normal' networks with an AP, the traffic would simply be forwarded to the router and rejected there; with a mesh network, the traffic may technically be a part of the network as soon as it connects.

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Re:Hability to block sites/apps for the whole network?
2023-04-10 22:06:38 - last edited 2023-04-10 22:16:30

  @Riley_S 

 

Hello,

 

Thanks for your reply!

 

It's good to know that it might be possible to have this working in the "near" future. I also think that the better thing to do would be to keep a "default" profile, to use for all devices not assigned to a specific profile. This will solve I guess more than 90% of the problems related to this. It is very strange to me not having this from the get-go. Most simple routers have some sort of blacklist for the whole network, even the ones used by the ISPs..., not to mention something bigger and better like the level where the Deco would be... anyway, let's hope they do indeed fix this omission soon, as playing mouse & cat with the users (kids!) to control this is a futile endevour.

 

I do have a question: I started with the X60 units, some years ago. Last year I decided to get another unit for my mesh network, so I got a X55 and just added it to my network. My main router is still a X60. What happens in this case between the free HomeCare and the paid HomeShield? If I wanted to use the HomeShield, I just need to move the X55 as my main router, and buy the subscription? It is not clear if the older units work with the HomeShield platform or what to do in "mixed" environments like mine.

 

Edit:

 

I'm not sure what hardware version I have. If I see if there are updates for my units it shows that there are none, and the following are the actual ones:

Deco X60

1.5.1 Build 20210204 Rel. 50164

 

Deco X50

1.2.0 Build 20230113 Rel. 54525

 

(I thought I had a X55 but it's a X50... not sure what are the differences...)

 

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Re:Hability to block sites/apps for the whole network?
2023-04-10 22:20:33

  @rgomez,

I actually found a public press release that provides a very brief overview of some of the improvements: TP-Link Announces Homeshield 3.0

 

The features of your network are determined mainly by what router is set as the main node for the network. This is the case, especially when it comes to routing and parental controls, as the main node is still the brain of your network and manages the DHCP server and external connections of your network. The Deco Line was developed with your situation in mind, and provides the very upgrade path that you described, allowing access to the newest features and technology while still using your older nodes to extend your network.

 

In your case, the X55 would bring HomeShield and the 1.6.0 firmware features to your network, HomeShield would replace the HomeCare functionality from the X60. However, unless your X60s include the 1.6.0 firmware, some features of the firmware (not of HomeShield) will be unavailable to your network, such as node preference and node signal source preference, as they require all nodes on the network to be compatible with the feature and using a compatible firmware.

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