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16 posts

Geek


# 99956 30-Mar-2012 16:50
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Hi - apologies if this has been covered in previous posts - I did search but didn't really find anything.  We are a typical family with kids with laptops, iTouches, iPhones etc.  1 laptop is running Win7 Home Premium, 2 are running Windows XP Pro, iPhone & iTouch run iOS5.1.

Like all young people my children think they can go anywhere/do anything they like on the internet.  My daughter thinks that all music is free and my boy thinks movies are also - as they say 'all my mates are doing it".

I am looking for a solution to controlling access to the wireless network for everyone, controlling what sites can be visited and controlling downloads.  At present we have a Telecom Thomson TG585v7 ADSL modem.  I have used the parental controls interface to manage access to websites such as Facebook etc. but discovered that the kids had got round this by going to a website called 'unblockyoutube.co.uk' which allowed them to bypass these controls!  Needless to say this is also blocked but this seems very limited and time consuming for me to block/unblock as required.

What I would like is a way to manage which devices can actually access the internet (say by MAC address), set time limits on access, turn off access on demand, control sites, block such things as Skype, messenger etc. as required.  

Am quite happy to change modem if there is one with more of these types of features or purchase software that can allow me to do all this.  I am reasonably technically literate (did try Telnet to get behind the interface to the Thomson modem but this went a bit beyond my expertise).  Have looked at NetNanny and K9 software but they seem a bit ineffective and the kids have often bypassed them somehow plus you have to install software on each computer which is a pain not to mention their cost.

At the very least there must be a way to control devices on the wireless network by MAC address but I can't see to find it in the Thomson interface anywhere.

If you can help it would be much appreciated. 

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369 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 602771 30-Mar-2012 23:37
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Gargoyle Router is still quite good if you are willing to purchase a compatible router

n4

956 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 602792 31-Mar-2012 07:47
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Have a look at OpenDNS. They have a free and a paid service.




Huawei Mate 7, on 2degrees

 
 
 
 


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Uber Geek


  # 602941 31-Mar-2012 16:05
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Tell them if they keep downloading illegal stuff you will take their things off them.

But seriously, Gargoyle is great for access control. Set a very low data quota for their devices and when they download a song it will go over the quota and shut off access. Then they will come wining to you and you can say I told you not to lol.

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  # 603048 31-Mar-2012 20:54
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jfanning: Gargoyle Router is still quite good if you are willing to purchase a compatible router


It's good for QoS and data quota's but doesn't really have any "content filtering" in place.

 

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  # 603066 31-Mar-2012 22:15
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To be honest any way you try to stop them they will find another way around it. Your best bet is to try and educate/scare them with the threat of an (up to) $15,000 fine for copyright infringement. 




Solution Architect @Intergen
All comments are my own opinion, and not that of my employer unless explicitly stated.




16 posts

Geek


  # 603078 31-Mar-2012 23:08
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Thanks for the advice but I have looked at these options already and they don't really suit.  I have used the Thomson parental controls content filter to block specific sites but I really need a simple way to turn on/off access to the wireless lan when it suits me or when the kids don't get off the computer(s) when I want them to.  I can turn off access to the WLAN in the Thomson router software interface but it doesn't seem to 'stick' - when I refresh the page the device is reconnected which is frustrating as that would be the easiest solution.  If anyone knows more about these Telecom Thomson modems and can advise that would be great.
 

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  # 603085 31-Mar-2012 23:20
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Easiest would be a second router/accesspoint that you give a different SSID to and when you want them off the net, turn it off.




Richard rich.ms

 
 
 
 


411 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 603089 31-Mar-2012 23:29
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richms: Easiest would be a second router/accesspoint that you give a different SSID to and when you want them off the net, turn it off.

This would be a good idea. I do the same with my router, whenever I don't want someone using the connection, turn off the wireless. All my devices are wired so works in my situation. 

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Uber Geek


  # 603245 1-Apr-2012 11:50
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I don't think that getting into a block/unblock "they find a workaround and then you plug the gaps, rinse and repeat" arms race with the kids will work - and it puts you in the same position as movie studios declaring war on their customers with DRM, and we know how well that worked. Plus, it destroys the relationship of trust you should have with your kids.

One of the guys I used to work with had a similar problem with his two young teenage boys going to several, err, age inappropriate sites. Not sure quite how he did it technically, but he used an old PC as a computer gateway, gave each boy their own login and password, configured it to log all activity, and lifted *all* blocks and restrictions.

The line was essentially: "Boys, I don't want to be at war with you. There are no blocks on your access but I am legally responsible for this internet account and am logging the sites you go to. Once a month me and your mother will review the log - and while you can can go wherever you like, you better be prepared to explain it to your mother. Plus, I could get prosecuted for any illegal downloads on the account, so I will revoke your login if I find them".

No teenage boy wants to sit down with his mother while she open adult sites and asks why he went there, and they didn't want to lose net access. After a few weeks when a couple of initial "please explains" made it clear that it was working this way, the self responsibility this system imposed reportedly worked well.




16 posts

Geek


  # 603366 1-Apr-2012 16:52
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I agree that I don't want to create a adult-controlled internet zone at home - the main thing I really want to do is be able to turn on/off their access to the network easily so that when we say 'time to get off' we don't have the extra half hour debate on logging off, saying goodbye, posting one more picture etc. that we have at present.  I also want to be able to control XBox coming on at 7am on a Sun morning!  I can telnet into the Thomson router but don't really know what to do from there...
The crazy thing is that in the Thomson interface I can select each device and untick a box that says "Allowed on WLAN" but this doesn't 'stick' - does anyone know how I can use this and make it toggle between the two states at will? 

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  # 603437 1-Apr-2012 19:42
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JimmyH: I don't think that getting into a block/unblock "they find a workaround and then you plug the gaps, rinse and repeat" arms race with the kids will work - and it puts you in the same position as movie studios declaring war on their customers with DRM, and we know how well that worked. Plus, it destroys the relationship of trust you should have with your kids.

This x100. I think its a total trust and respect issue, you only have to look at how often and easily school filters are circumvented to know that this doesn't really work. Especially if you try and outright block facebook for example, you're just asking for it.

Secondly, i'm just going to be straight up, but the Thomson modems really do suck. Especially the v7, the v8 is a significant improvement but they are still crap to work with if you want anything but basic internet access. And even then it often fails at this. Some will disagree with this but i'm personally sick of these things, the only good thing they have going for them is a Broadcom chipset which means the syncrate/stability on the phone line is quite good.

I would personally run a router with custom firmware, and make a CRON job that turns off wireless at say, 10pm or 11pm or whatever you want the bedtime to be. Blocking sites is just going to invite stupid things like them visiting dodgy proxies to get around it (and getting details phished as a result). Possibly log sites and inform them you are doing this.
Custom firmware also can employ QoS and other traffic management so you can also rate shape torrent downloads to near useless speeds, or block them entirely.

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Uber Geek


  # 604193 2-Apr-2012 22:04
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I would personally run a router with custom firmware, and make a CRON job that turns off wireless at say, 10pm or 11pm or whatever you want the bedtime to be.


Some Modem/Routers already have this feature. The one I am currently using (Belkin Play Max) has an eco mode where, among other things, you can easily tell it to disable wireless between whatever hours you choose to set.





16 posts

Geek


  # 604200 2-Apr-2012 22:16
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yes - but not the Thomson - it really is limited in what you can do. Am looking at the TP Link WR1043ND which uses the Gargoyle update - looks like it will do everything I am looking for & seems good value for under $100. Thanks for all the advice - will post again when I have it up and running.

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  # 604230 2-Apr-2012 23:52
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You should check out the new cloud router from D-Link as it looks like it will do everything you want plus you can do it all from anywhere.
Www.mydlink.co.nz

894 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 604265 3-Apr-2012 07:10
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I am a teacher at a school where facebook and the like are blocked and the only people that can't access facebook are the teachers!

 

Education with consequences is going to be the only way, otherwise it will be a neverending battle and the only person that will lose will be you.

 

Choice is the key.  For the xbox at 7am, try "you have three options, play with the sound off, play with headphones, or I take the powerbox

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