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#1
Old 10-23-2014, 02:16 PM
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Location: San Antonio, TX
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Why can't I block access to specific websites on my Linksys router?

(Don't know where this goes to, but I'm putting it here...)

Have a Linksys WRT54Gs router, admin permissions, and I want to block access to some sites. However, no matter what I do, this function doesn't work. The steps I take are:

1. Login
2. Go to "Access Permissions"
3. Create a new policy (JohnTs Policy), #1
4. Enable the policy

Going down the list of options...

5. Allow access every day, 24/7
6. No blocked services
7. Website blocking by URL address: straightdope.com (for example). Also tried http://straightdope.com and https://straightdope.com
8. Website blocking by keyword: Straightdope
9. Click on "Save Settings"
10. Nothing happens.

I've also tried the above with entering my computer's MAC address, IP address... and to no avail: I can still go to straightdope.com even if I tell it "Block this computer from going to this site!"

Any suggestions that don't have me purchasing a new wireless router? I've tried a number of things I read on some tech forums, but none of it has helped.

Last edited by JohnT; 10-23-2014 at 02:17 PM.
#2
Old 10-23-2014, 03:08 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,352
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
(Don't know where this goes to, but I'm putting it here...)

Have a Linksys WRT54Gs router, admin permissions, and I want to block access to some sites. However, no matter what I do, this function doesn't work. The steps I take are:

1. Login
2. Go to "Access Permissions"
3. Create a new policy (JohnTs Policy), #1
4. Enable the policy

Going down the list of options...

5. Allow access every day, 24/7
6. No blocked services
7. Website blocking by URL address: straightdope.com (for example). Also tried http://straightdope.com and https://straightdope.com
8. Website blocking by keyword: Straightdope
9. Click on "Save Settings"
10. Nothing happens.

I've also tried the above with entering my computer's MAC address, IP address... and to no avail: I can still go to straightdope.com even if I tell it "Block this computer from going to this site!"

Any suggestions that don't have me purchasing a new wireless router? I've tried a number of things I read on some tech forums, but none of it has helped.
Poking around Google returns shows a step in the instructions that you don't mention in your sequence.

Did you assign the blocking policy to specific computers in your network, or a range of network addresses? Access restrictions seem to require identifying specific IP or MAC addresses to be applicable to; if you didn't do that, your policy applies to nothing.

ETA: Cite

Last edited by gnoitall; 10-23-2014 at 03:11 PM.
#3
Old 10-23-2014, 03:38 PM
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Location: F.O.S.O.N.E.
Posts: 19,903
Because consumer grade net gear has really crappy firmware. I've lost count of how many times I've found features that either don't exist past the menu level, or simply don't work.
#4
Old 10-23-2014, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
Because consumer grade net gear has really crappy firmware. I've lost count of how many times I've found features that either don't exist past the menu level, or simply don't work.
Very often true, but not necessarily applicable in this case.

It's "consumer-grade crap" but that's not an excuse to give up, especially since there seems to be at least one possible fix action in the queue. Certainly, I've had at least mixed success with "consumer-grade crap". What you're suggesting is that there's no solution other than plunking down 1-10k dollars for pro-grade. It's too soon for that.

But since this is (still) in IMHO, I suppose low-intensity free-form rants aren't completely out of order.

ETA: Earlier, I reported for forum change, because to me this feels more like a GQ.

Last edited by gnoitall; 10-23-2014 at 04:00 PM.
#5
Old 10-23-2014, 04:12 PM
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Posts: 18,914
I guess you need to thank us in advance, in case one of the suggestions works.
#6
Old 10-23-2014, 04:15 PM
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That wasn't really a rant - I've used dozens of consumer-grade routers and firewalls, and not a one had a completely working set of functions. Some were needlessly convoluted and only worked if you tied the configuration in knots. Others had either/or choices about security that blocked one subsidiary feature or another. But many, especially in the user control, blocking and filtering features, had elaborate configuration menus that... just plain didn't work. From the OP, I'd bet on buggy/broken firmware ahead of other possibilities.
#7
Old 10-23-2014, 04:33 PM
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Location: Cold Lake, Alberta
Posts: 3,772
You could mitigate that by installing Tomato or DD-WRT and not use the stock firmware. I used DD-WRT on my WRT54 with a lot of success.
I made the mistake of buying a Cisco EA2700 without doing my homework and wow, what a POS. I'm in the process of replacing it.
#8
Old 10-24-2014, 04:47 AM
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Location: Anaheim, CA
Posts: 28,269
Have you tried calling 1-800-LINKSYS?
#9
Old 10-24-2014, 01:17 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 19,002
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnoitall View Post
Poking around Google returns shows a step in the instructions that you don't mention in your sequence.

Did you assign the blocking policy to specific computers in your network, or a range of network addresses? Access restrictions seem to require identifying specific IP or MAC addresses to be applicable to; if you didn't do that, your policy applies to nothing.

ETA: Cite
Actually, I did do that. Even mentioned it in the OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yours truly
I've also tried the above with entering my computer's MAC address, IP address... and to no avail: I can still go to straightdope.com even if I tell it "Block this computer from going to this site!"
#10
Old 10-24-2014, 01:32 PM
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Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 19,002
Actually, looking at the settings, I have my MAC address entered, my IP address entered, and for the range of IP addresses, I put my IP address.
#11
Old 10-24-2014, 01:52 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
Have you tried calling 1-800-LINKSYS?
Yes, and because the router is beyond the warranty period, they tell me that if I want this problem solved I have to pay them for the answer.

And to say that there are communication issues with this, uh, outsourced call center is to put it mildly... when I'm told that "John" is an unusual name, it's obvious that I'm not speaking to a person grounded in the Western tradition.
#12
Old 10-24-2014, 03:35 PM
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: F.O.S.O.N.E.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Have a Linksys WRT54Gs router, admin permissions, and I want to block access to some sites. [...] ... and to no avail: I can still go to straightdope.com even if I tell it "Block this computer from going to this site!"
I had a similar router on which I wanted to limit my (then-young) kids access to a few sites. I was never successful, because, IIRC, the filtering applied only to wired clients because of some peculiarity of the firmware. This was not supposed to be how it worked, but while I could block wired connections with ease, I never could get the unit to limit wireless traffic.
#13
Old 10-24-2014, 04:07 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 36,997
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Actually, looking at the settings, I have my MAC address entered, my IP address entered, and for the range of IP addresses, I put my IP address.
I'm sure it's not true, but it sounds like you're trying to protect the internet from YOU .
#14
Old 10-24-2014, 05:03 PM
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Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 19,002


Seriously though, I'm the guinea pig so if I screw something up I won't hear about it from, say, my wife.

Better to screw up my laptop permissions than her laptop or (the actual target) my daughter's computer. But I don't want to go to my 13yo and say "Honey, can you see if you can access porntube. com? Yes? Well, just forget Daddy ever asked you this and can you please delete your browsing history... at least until I ask you again?"

Last edited by JohnT; 10-24-2014 at 05:07 PM.
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