Troubleshooting Block and Pause, FAQ, and Technical Reference

This article covers additional technical and troubleshooting information on the Block and Pause features.  

To configure the Block and Pause features, including Parental Control/Restricting access, refer to the Block Device and Pause Internet article.

Optimizing  Block and Pause Performance

This section covers issues that may impact the Block and Pause performance.

Connections

  • Make sure that the blocking device where the Desktop app is running is connected to the Internet.
  • If you have a mesh router and the blocking device is connected via Wi-Fi, you can connect the blocking device to the nearest Access Point.

VPN

The VPN connection may interfere with the Desktop app.  In these situations, disable the VPN to improve performance.

  • The VPN application creates a tunnel communication with a new network/Gateway. In this case, the Desktop app detects the new network, but it can see only the router and your device connected. All your connected devices cannot be monitored. If you disable the VPN, the Desktop app reverts to your network.
  • The VPN application creates a tunnel communication keeping the same network/Gateway. The Desktop app detects all your devices, but it is possible that the Block and Pause feature will not work as expected due to the VPN interaction. To make the Block and Pause feature more effective, you need to disable the VPN connection.

Change Blocking Device

When multiple instances of the Fing Desktop run on the same network, only one device is elected as the blocking device. By default, the blocked device is the device you used to accept the terms and conditions to enable the functionality.

If you wish to change the blocking device or if the original device is not available anymore (for example,  it has been replaced):

  • Go into the Network page in the home dashboard on the new device. Click Make this the blocking device.

Timeline of events

The Desktop app allows you to retrieve Pause and Block events in the device timeline. In the Device details page, click the View Timeline button to the top right of the page. This action will take you to the Device events history page.

The timeline will show you the following Pause and Block events:

  • When the Pause or Block event started
  • How long the event lasted

The block events are marked with a red dot and the pause events are marked with a yellow dot.

Protected Devices

The Pause and Block feature is disabled by default in your Network in order to ensure the right functionality of the entire network environment for the following devices:

  • The Gateway
  • The Fingbox, if present in your Network
  • The device where you are currently running the Desktop app

Both tools will appear greyed-out and not executable.

Restricted Devices

Once you have blocked or paused devices, you will have a selection of devices that are restricted from accessing the Internet. To see which devices are restricted from accessing the Internet:

  1. From Overview, click the Online devices widget. Alternatively, click the blue See Devices button.
  2. Click the Network tab
  3. Scroll down to Restricted devices

Troubleshooting System Messages

This topic describes some basic system messages and recommended actions.

Message: The network context is missing

Action:  To set the context, click the Network tab in the left sidebar and click the blue highlighted text next to Context. You will be shown options to assign a network context to: Home, Office, Rental and Public.

Message: Your Network is not private

Action: The Context is not set as Home. To set the context to Home, click the Network tab in the left sidebar and select Assign Context. The network options are displayed. Select Home to assign context and set your network as private.

Message:  Terms & Conditions agreement is missing

The Terms & Conditions agreement must be included.  

Message:  Approval Pending

Access to the Block and Pause feature is under review by Fing for this Network. The Fing Support team will contact you before proceeding.

Message:  Approval Denied

Fing has denied access to the Block and Pause feature for this Network. Contact the Fing Support team if you think you own this Network.

Action:  Contact the Fing Support team if you think you own this Network.  You can contact the Support team for further instruction by clicking your name at the bottom left of the screen. Then click Help.

In addition to system messages, here are some recommended actions to problems you may encounter.

Update Button Not Working

Sometimes, due to particular conditions with VPNs and Virtual Machines running on the PC, the Update button does not work. If this occurs:

Windows

  1. Logout from the Fing Desktop App
  2. Close the Fing Desktop App
  3. Delete the file C:\Users\<current_user>\AppData\Roaming\FingAgent\conf\fingagent where <current_user> is the windows user currently used
  4. Kill the Fing Agent Service in the Task Manager
  5. Open the Fing Desktop app and login again
  6. Refresh the discovery and open the Network page
  7. Update the primary blocking device

macOS

  • Log-out from the Fing Desktop App
  • Close the Fing Desktop App
  • Delete the file /Users/root/.fingagent/conf/fingagent
  • Kill the fingagent.bin in the activity monitor
  • Open the Fing Desktop app and login again
  • Refresh the discovery and open the Network page
  • Update the primary blocking device

IPV6 is active

The Block and Pause functionality works with IPv4 networks. Based on your network setup, some IPv6 configurations may also work. Fing automatically detects an end-to-end IPv6 configuration and displays a message that blocking may not work on that setup.

The Desktop app can detect that an end-to-end IPv6 setup is active in your Network. When IPv6 is detected, Fing may be unable to pause Internet access or block devices and suggest disabling IPv6, opening the router configuration. The Desktop app will show a warning. If you click on Don't show again, keeping IPv6 enabled in your Network, the warning will not display again.

Configuring the Blocking Feature in Uncommon Network Configurations

From a technical perspective, Fingbox blocks a device via ARP poisoning and DNS Spoofing. When you block a single device, the computer DHCP address and DNS entries change and point towards the Fingbox. Therefore, in some network configurations, the device is not blocked from getting to the Internet or Internal resources.

To ensure the blocking feature works in these circumstances:

  • Enable UPnP on your router
  • Disable IPv6 on your router (This is required to ensure that Internet Pause and Blocking work)
  • Best Practice: Reserve the IP address of the Fingbox
  • Create the following TCP rules and point them to the Fingbox's IP address:
    • 80 (Internet Speed Test)
    • 443 (Fing Service and Software Updates)
    • 3001, 3002, 3003 (Internet Speed Test)
    • 4443 (Fing Service)
    • 5671 (Fing Diagnostics)

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Will the Pause and Block feature work on mobile too?

We plan to integrate the feature to allow users to Pause and Block from a mobile device. However, the feature it would still need a running Fing Desktop on the network to perform the action. It is not possible to Block or Pause devices using a mobile alone.

Do I need to install anything on the target devices that I want to block?

No. Fing works at the networking level and does not require you to install any additional software on the target devices. As such, you can block devices that do not allow the installation of extra apps such as Smart TVs, Smart Home devices, Gaming Consoles.

Does the Fing Desktop Internet Pause feature work with IPv6?

This feature is currently only available for devices communicating on IPv4. The feature will work depending on the type of IPv6 connection: local IPv6 only, full end-to-end IPv6. If Fing Desktop detects a full IPv6 end-to-end connection, a prompt will be displayed to warn about the limitation.

My devices still have access to the Internet when I pause them?

Some applications, social media and streaming websites such as YouTube download packets of data in advance to make the use of them smoother. You will see this on YouTube in the bar at the bottom of a video. The line in red indicates how far in the video you are, but you will also see a grey line further ahead of the red line. This grey line shows where the application is downloading the data. Because this data has already reached your device and does not require the Internet to watch when the Internet is paused, YouTube will continue to play the video until the red line catches up with the grey line. When the red line catches up with the grey line, the video will stop working because YouTube cannot access the Internet to download more data.

This catch-up process can sometimes take a minute or so, so if you want to know immediately if an Internet Pause has worked, try refreshing or opening a new screen.

If you still have access to the Internet at this point, it could be one of three things preventing the block from working.

  • IPv6: This is a method of communication that some devices use when IPv4 is blocked. However, some of the IPv6 communications cannot be blocked. If you feel comfortable and your router allows it, you can disable IPv6 within your router settings. All devices communicate on IPv4 so it should not impact the average user’s network performance.
  • Incompatible Router: Fing Desktop pauses the Internet using a technique called ARP spoofing. Some high-end routers contain software designed to block ARP spoofing, to prevent it from enacting this feature. Kindly let us know what model & internet provider you are using, to improve the list of incompatible routers.
  • Firewalls: Firewalls are generally not an issue for Fingbox. However, as with the routers, some software in the firewall may clash with the Fingbox software. If you believe this may be the case, email us on support@fing.com with the details of your firewall so we can investigate.

Why is there a delay in blocking devices?

Fing's block feature makes the device you have blocked from your network believe Fingbox is the gateway of the network. Fingbox receives the packet and discards it. Fing also makes the device you have blocked believe that its IP is owned by another device. All of these low-level techniques can be bypassed by a number of seconds or minutes if the router put in place has anti-spoofing or similar techniques.

When a device tries to connect to the router, the device cannot connect until the Fingbox has checked if the device is on your list of blocked devices. Once Fingbox has checked the list, the device will be connected or blocked depending on whether you have blocked it or not.

The verification of the list may take up to a few minutes. Then Fingbox can block the device.

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