Fing Fingbox Reviewed

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thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Fing's Fingbox is more an network inventory and control tool than security solution.

Read on SmallNetBuilder
 

chamberc

Regular Contributor
It's just a great place for consolidated information. I have over 90 devices and like being able to set notifications on status changes.
 

mokodi

Occasional Visitor
How does bandwidth analysis work without Fing being the gateway? Does it also use ARP spoofing?
 

NSNE

Regular Contributor
I was a backer during the IndieGoGo campaign and have been pleased with the FingBox. I'm with @chamberc in liking it for its excellent consolidation of network info — it's much better than my RT-AC88U in that regard. With the FingBox, I can associate different devices with different users to see who's online, which is useful when, say, you've got kids who like to play Civilization when they're supposed to be tidying their rooms.

I agree with the reviewer that the lack of automatic action can make it less useful as a security device, and not just for ordinary consumers, but I suspect that the ability to automatically block or somehow isolate new devices might come in a future firmware release.

Oh, and I've also found its Internet Speed analysis to be in a pretty tight ballpark. It's alerted me to WAN speed drops so I'm not left wondering if sudden slowness is an app issue versus an ISP issue.
 
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Razor512

Very Senior Member
I don't see what this product offers to justify its price. Most of the functions are already common place, even in budget routers.

While it adds a little extra monitoring, all of that monitoring and more can be gained from a 3rd party firmware such as Tomato (If you have a compatible router) http://tomato.groov.pl/?page_id=164


While many won't offer a self hosted speed test server since you will often run into a CPU bottleneck long before you reach the max real world throughput of a modern WiFi radio, they will often offer details such as the PHY rate of each client, which is useful for optimizing the router placement since you can have every device stream something while you try to get higher PHY rates. For any further testing, the only way to go is to really have a PC on the network act as the speed test server.
 

chamberc

Regular Contributor
I don't see what this product offers to justify its price. Most of the functions are already common place, even in budget routers.

While it adds a little extra monitoring, all of that monitoring and more can be gained from a 3rd party firmware such as Tomato (If you have a compatible router) http://tomato.groov.pl/?page_id=164

Having used merlin's firmware on an 66, 68, 87, 88, a Orbi RBK 50, and now my Eero, I can say that almost none of the functions are in a common place, even in budget routers or higher end routers. The lack of good apps for those devices compounds the issue, and push notifications lacking in all of them.
 

Razor512

Very Senior Member
If a router has a well designed web UI, then there really isn't much need for a dedicated app for the router.

For the focus of this device, push notifications seem like they would just get annoying.

Products like the orbi and eero have really stripped down UIs with hardly any user control.

Unless it is creating a virtual PC on the network and having it behave just like an unpatched windows windows server, or some other system where you can get a meaningful push notification if anything tries to compromise it, general security related push notifications will just be you getting spammed with messages relating to otherwise normal and safe activity, and any signs of a real intrusion, will likely go unnoticed.

It seems like it tries to package many common functions in a more user friendly package, but charges a steep premium for that.
 

Razor512

Very Senior Member
Stopped reading at



Also uninstalled from the one device it lingered on.

Oh, and Domotz is going to have a heck of a fun time with EU Regulators

Seems in their privacy policy, it says:

(Expand the quote to see the the sections of the policy relating to data collection of you and how it may be used with 3rd parties.)

    • Technical information, including the IP address used to connect your device to the Internet, your login information, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform, type of device;
    • Information on MAC addresses and Wi-Fi networks you collect through the App or the Box. Please note that this Privacy Policy does not exempt you from any obligations you may incur should you collect individuals’ personal data.
    • Information about your visit, including the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL) clickstream to, through and from our site (including date and time); Networks viewed or searched for; app response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, app interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), and methods used to browse away from the App.
  • Information we may receive from other sources. We may receive information about you if you use any other services we provide. We are also working closely with third parties (including, for example, business partners, sub-contractors in technical and delivery services, advertising networks, analytics providers, search information providers) and may receive information about you from them.

Relevant subsections of the policy


How we may use your information
To the extent we have collected or you have provided us information, and consistent with Section I above, we may use information in the following ways:

    • to measure or understand the effectiveness of advertising we may serve to you and others, and to deliver relevant advertising to you;
    • to make suggestions and recommendations to you and other users of the App about goods or services that may interest you or them; and
    • for behavioural analysis;
    Information we receive from other sources. We may combine this information with information you give to us and information we collect about you through other sources e.g. Google Ads/ Analytics. We may use this information and the combined information for the purposes set out above (depending on the types of information we receive).

Basically collecting enough info to uniquely identfy you regardless of browser security settings, in addition to having the ability to share that info.

That is the holy grail of invasive advertising if used in such a way, as even if they don't know your name, they can still effectively assign you a unique ID that will stick with you.
 

lee phillips

New Around Here
I don't see what this product offers to justify its price. Most of the functions are already common place, even in budget routers.

While it adds a little extra monitoring, all of that monitoring and more can be gained from a 3rd party firmware such as Tomato (If you have a compatible router) http://tomato.groov.pl/?page_id=164
.

Sorry, simply not true.

When it comes to the network a router only displays a list of 'clients' - a client being a device that is ACTIVELY using either the WAN or the WIRELESS radio. It will also sometimes list devices that have recently been issued an IP address via DHCP - but doesn't know if it's currently connected.

This is completely different to displaying a list of ATTACHED devices (like Fing does) and a router generally hasn't got a clue what's going on in the switching layer, neither does it care. So devices talking to each other on the LAN won't show up as clients unless they are on wireless. And if 2 devices are connected to each other on a separate switch, you can completely forget it!!!

In order for the router to know who is connected to the LAN, it would have to keep pinging devices, which it doesn't.

I've tested a lot of routers with all the usual custom firmwares, and they simply cannot do what the Fing App can do on an iPhone, let along a FingBox. So for people to say that their cheap (or expensive) router can do the same as the FingBox is utter rubbish.

Personally, I don't own one, but the app on my Phone is unrivalled with what it can do with respect detecting devices and extracting some kind of meaningful client name, and I have even searched thoroughly including extremely expensive commercial software.

I like the ability to assign people to MAC address so I can see who's on-line, plus get alerts when certain devices change status - therefore the FingBox is on my wish list
 

umarmung

Senior Member
Fully managed solutions like Ubiquiti Unifi can do this and offer much more control, rather than simply information like much of the Fingbox. They are not as cheap as budget standalone routers of course, though they can be cheaper than expensive routers (e.g. a USG + UAP-AC-Lite combo), but you wouldn't be buying them if a standalone router was enough then or for future scaling.

Unlike the Fingbox, and likely all these other addon consumer network monitors, these managed solutions do not and cannot collect data to phone home since many of their customers are enterprise and they use the exact same systems.

Do any of these addons even support VLANs or multiple subnets? Questions that are rarely answered in reviews ...

The data collection is especially surprising given that Fing LTD is an Irish and therefore EU company.
 

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