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Re: Monitor websites visited on Orbi 6 wifi

agaurav
Luminary

Monitor websites visited on Orbi 6 wifi

I have an Orbi RBR850 and a satellite system. I want to monitor what website is being visited by each device on the home Wifi system. I can see the logs in the orbilogin.com (10.0.0.1) in Advanced menu. However that says an access made from IP XYZ to MAC ABC. That isn't useful at all. No external websites given there.

 

Is that an error since I use OpenDNS for DNS serving or does Orbi not keep track of requests made?

Model: RBR50|Orbi AC3000 Tri-band WiFi Router
Message 1 of 13
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: Monitor websites visited on Orbi 6 wifi


@agaurav wrote:

I have an Orbi RBR850 and a satellite system. I want to monitor what website is being visited by each device on the home Wifi system.


I think you may frustrated in this endeavor.

 

My Orbi is the original model, not the "AX" you are using (which has a separate community forum where someone may have a better answer than mine: https://community.netgear.com/t5/Orbi-AX/bd-p/en-home-orbi-ax )

 

On my Orbi, in the Advanced Tab, Security Menu, there is page for "Block Sites".  I went to that page and said to block any URL with the term "sexykitten".  Then, I opened a web browser, which opened several web pages and I attempted to open www.sexykitten.com". This failed, although I do not know if it failed because of the block or because there is no such web page. (Maybe I should have blocked something that actually exists.)

 

Then, I looked in the Orbi log and saw this:

[site allowed: spectrum.s3.amazonaws.com] from source 192.168.1.50, Saturday, August 28, 2021 17:42:...







 

192.168.1.2 is my PC. Notice that the act of blocking one URL term has flooded my Orbi log with everything connection made from my PC to anywhere.  Opening one web page quite often results in web connections to dozens (hundreds?) of URL's. The log will fill almost immediately.  My Orbi is set to email the log to me when it fills.  I cannot imagine how many emails would result.

 

I have a fear, however, that even if your AX Orbi will act the same, this will not accomplish what you want because when users have attempted to use Block Sites as a primitive form of Parental Controls it turns out that Block Sites does not block https (secure) connections.

 

You might want to experiment with Block Sites and see if it does anything remotely like what you want on the AX model.

 

I have no idea what Parental Controls logs about connections, as I have never enabled it. (My parents have passed away, and I no longer need to control what they do on the internet. -sick humor)

I love my Orbi.
Message 2 of 13
agaurav
Luminary

Re: Monitor websites visited on Orbi 6 wifi

This is great info. I turned on blocked site feature and picked an authentic site and then tried to access it. The site did show up in the logs coming from my computer's IP address. So that is great.

 

[site blocked: microsoft] from source 10.0.0.19 Sunday, Aug 29,2021 05:08:33

 

Now, if only such lines in the log were generated for all sites being visited by source on my Wifi network. I don't want to block all sites. I want sites to be allowed but still be logged. I don't see that happening yet.

Message 3 of 13
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: Monitor websites visited on Orbi 6 wifi

This could be an area where the AX product is different from the original Orbi.

On my Orbi, the Advanced Tab, Administration menu, Logs has various catagories that can be enabled.

(see attached picture)

 

 

I love my Orbi.
Message 4 of 13
agaurav
Luminary

Re: Monitor websites visited on Orbi 6 wifi

I have the same settings like your screenshot but none of those show up in the logs. Only the blocked sites show up. Nothing else. Its almost as if the router isn't saving those to the logs.

Message 5 of 13
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: Monitor websites visited on Orbi 6 wifi

Dang.  I haven't helped much. Sorry.

If you have not activated Parental Controls, you could sign up for the free trial and see if that collects history by device.

(I really wish there was a User Manual for Parental Controls.  I have never found one.)

 

The DNS process has features that interfere with what you want to accomplish.  Most computers keep a DNS cache of URL's that have been used before and refer to the cache before sending a DNS query.  So, after my PC learns the IP address of disney.com, it will not try to resolve that again until the URL 'expires'.  So, you can see that a device went to sexylady.com at least once, but not how many times.

 

And then there is the horrible part about computers: the user is often able to change their device to point to whatever DNS service they want, which means that the Orbi and the custom DNS service will never see their requests.  The newer browsers are now offering to "completely hide" DNS requests inside encrypted packets.

 

If you really (seriously, really really) want to attempt gathering a record of every web link accessed at least one time by every device on the network one way to do that is to replace Orbi's DNS server with a third party device.  For example, I have Pi-hole installed on a Raspberry Pi.  In the Orbi configuration, I point the Orbi at the Pi-hole IP.  Pi-hole records queries and reports what it did with each of them. (see two attachments)  Pi-hole keeps a long term record that can be searched, sorted, etc.

 

Pi-hole is just one of many DNS servers that can be installed locally.  With any of them, the project can be a challenge:

  • Buying and setting up the hardware.
    (it is possible to 'host' Pi-hole on Amazon, but I have no experience with how well it works or how difficult it is to set up.)
  • Getting the hardware running and on the network.
  • Installing  or activating the DNS service. (In my case Pi-hole)
  • Pointing Orbi to this DNS (that is the easiest part of all)
  • Learning how to extract logs and turn them into useful data.

If the goal is general knowledge, it might accomplish what you want.  If the goal is control, I am not confident it can be done.

I love my Orbi.
Message 6 of 13
agaurav
Luminary

Re: Monitor websites visited on Orbi 6 wifi

I will try the RPi route maybe next weekend. I do have a RPi that I could use for this purpose. It doesn't seem easy but I could try it. 

 

I haven't figured out how to enable Smart Parent Controls. My Orbi app on the Android phone doesn't have a "tile" for parent controls. Not sure how to enable it. The website isn't very helpful either about this. 

Message 7 of 13
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: Monitor websites visited on Orbi 6 wifi


@agaurav wrote:

I haven't figured out how to enable Smart Parent Controls. My Orbi app on the Android phone doesn't have a "tile" for parent controls. Not sure how to enable it. The website isn't very helpful either about this. 


The web interface on my Orbi has a menu item for Parental Controls. (see attached)

My Orbi app also has a tile, so maybe our systems are more different than I thought.

I believe Parental Controls for the AX product line was delayed (and delayed), but I remember reading that it is available now.

I love my Orbi.
Message 8 of 13
agaurav
Luminary

Re: Monitor websites visited on Orbi 6 wifi

Interesting. I don't have it on my Orbi control. It seems that Netgear is phasing out support for Parental Controls and asking to use OpenDNS now. Which doesn't work for what I need but oh well!

orbi.jpg

Message 9 of 13
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: Monitor websites visited on Orbi 6 wifi


@agaurav wrote:

Interesting. I don't have it on my Orbi control. It seems that Netgear is phasing out support for Parental Controls and asking to use OpenDNS now. Which doesn't work for what I need but oh well!

 


My impression is exactly the opposite. Netgear first had an arrangement with OpenDNS, then with Disney, and finally announced their own product: https://community.netgear.com/t5/NETGEAR-Smart-Home-Parental/Introducing-Smart-Parental-Controls/m-p... 

I love my Orbi.
Message 10 of 13
agaurav
Luminary

Re: Monitor websites visited on Orbi 6 wifi

@CrimpOn I managed to install Pi-Hole on a Raspberry Pi and point Orbi to use it as the DNS server. I see query logs on the Pi-hole admin page. But there is a single client listed there. The IP is that of the Orbi router.

 

I was hoping to see individual IP addresses of the devices on the LAN. I can't figure out what setting on the Orbi isn't forwarding the individual LAN IP to the DNS server running on RPi. Your screenshot shows MyDesktop as the client. Do you see other clients too? What did you do to get that working? Thanks again!

Message 11 of 13
FURRYe38
Guru

Re: Monitor websites visited on Orbi 6 wifi

Orbi AX now supports Parental Controls:

https://kb.netgear.com/000062109/How-do-I-set-up-and-install-NETGEAR-Smart-Parental-Controls

 

For any futher help and information regarding this, please visit and post over in the SPC forum:

https://community.netgear.com/t5/NETGEAR-Smart-Home-Parental/bd-p/en-home-smart-parental-controls

 

Thank you.


@agaurav wrote:

Interesting. I don't have it on my Orbi control. It seems that Netgear is phasing out support for Parental Controls and asking to use OpenDNS now. Which doesn't work for what I need but oh well!

orbi.jpg


 

My Setup ISP SparkLight | Internet Cable 1000↓/50↑ CM1200 Modem |  Wifi Router Orbi RBK853 (Router Mode), Wired Backhaul and RBK752 | Switches NG GS105/8, GS308v3, GS110MX and XS505M | 

Additional NG HW: C7800/CAX80/CM1100/CM1200/CM2000, Orbi: CBK40, CBK752, RBK50, RBK853, RBK752, RBK953, SXK30 | NightHawk: R7000, R7800, R7960P, R8000, R8500, RAXE500, RAX50, XR450, EX7500/EX7700

Message 12 of 13
CrimpOn
Guru

Re: Monitor websites visited on Orbi 6 wifi


@agaurav wrote:

@CrimpOn I managed to install Pi-Hole on a Raspberry Pi and point Orbi to use it as the DNS server. I see query logs on the Pi-hole admin page. But there is a single client listed there. The IP is that of the Orbi router.


OMG. That is correct.  I found that the exclusion lists on Pi-hole blocked access to Google searches that were Ads (and naturally at the top). That's OK for me, but the family was annoyed and rather than figure out a solution, I pointed Orbi back at the usual DNS resolvers (CloudFlare, Google, etc.) and manually set my PC, laptop, Linux box, etc to use the Pi-hole.

 

Sorry for the red herring.  I have run out of ideas.

I love my Orbi.
Message 13 of 13
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