Feature requests: Improve Custom Names via Desktop/Mobile Apps
SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS TO DEVICE NAMING CAPABILITY
Note: All firmware and apps referred to below are the most current versions.
The Netgear Genie/Nighthawk apps are useful tools for monitoring and managing networks, but they are in need of updates for functionality, reliability and consistency.
One of the most useful features of the apps is the ability to assign custom names or "friendly" names to devices on the network; specifically device names, rather than SSID names, which are easy to change.
In past versions of the firmware, it was possible to rename devices using the web browser GUI under Advances > Security > Access Control > by checking the box next to a device and clicking an 'edit' button to make changes. In the most recent few versions of the firmware, this button is gone.
Also, some devices display a name (and sometimes even and IP address) as " - - " even if they have been renamed in the past. This happens most frequently on routers on the network set up in access point mode, which do not reliably carry through assigned names from the main router as devices attach. This is particularly evident with wireless devices such as tablets and phones that come and go from the network. Even if a device itself and its MAC address are retained in the "allowed devices not currently connected to the network" list while not connected, the custom name doesn't always stick, and may be lost after a reboot.
In the desktop version of the Genie app, some devices can be renamed and others cannot, particularly routers, either the router at the center of the network or those serving as access points/repeaters/extenders. And some devices, even when renamed, do not display the name on the network map... currently, you have to click into it to find the display name. Similarly, in the mobile apps (both Genie and Nighthawk), some devices can be renamed and others cannot, and names of renamed devices do not "stick" or migrate to other routers in the network. Some do not display custom names on the network map on the Genie app, and some custom name fields do not respond to a user touch to open them on the Nighthawk app.
Finally, after renaming a device on the apps, the system sometimes will arbitrarily switch the device type/icon to a different type of device.
For some home users and many business users, the ability to label devices with custom names is an important function, because:
- It allows easy identification of devices logging on to the network without having to cross-reference MAC addresses,
- It allows a network manager the ability to monitor devices joining/leaving the network and quickly block devices (especially intruders), and,
- It provides the ability to quickly re-establish and monitor the network in the event of a component failure or a loss of power.
THE FEATURE REQUESTS
- In the next version of the firmware, restore the 'edit' button in the access control panel, to allow devices to be renamed in the web browser GUI.
- Ensure custom names propagate through a network of routers, including those in access point mode and repeaters/extenders.
- Allow any device on the network to be renamed, including the main router itself.
- Ensure all devices with custom names display that name below their icon in the network map on the desktop and mobile Genie apps.
- If no custom device type has been entered, automatic detection is fine, but if a device type has been changed by the user, the user's definition should override future attempts to automatically detect.
For many users, Netgear's apps are very useful, particularly because OEM network monitoring interfaces are often poor. By improving the flexibility and reliability of the apps, they can remain useful tools far into the future. After reviewing posts here in the community, it appears several users have been making similar requests for some time. Please ask the development team to implement these ideas in the next version of the firmware and mobile apps.
Thank you for your consideration.
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