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How to pause the internet on Google Wifi for a specific device when your teen keeps changing IP

ClearwaterCJ
Community Member

Hi all, looking for help. 

Quick summary I have Google Wifi and it has worked great for years with schedules for 4 kids and LOTS of devices. 

However over the last year my teenage son has worked out how to by pass the controls and access internet at all hours of the night on school nights, and keeps his sisters awake gaming, and does no school work.... 

He seems to do this by duplicating the IP address or something, so he has a device called "My Laptop", which say paused after 9:30pm, then a duplicate "My Laptop" appears and has access to the internet.  If I pause that another one is created. Now he's created a duplicate IP address (?) and instead of calling it "My Laptop" he renames it to something like "Apple TV" which we don't notice thinking its the normal Apple TV. lolz he even called it "Mums Phone" once....  So we need help to block it otherwise the only solution is to pull the modem out the wall. 

- How is he duplicating the IP address of his desktop?  

- How can we LOCK his IP address on is computer so he is unable to crack into internet when he should be sleeping?

- Are there any settings on Google Home to help me stop this happening?

Appreciate any tips and suggestions. 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

MichaelP
Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

Hello @ClearwaterCJ 

That sounds frustrating, and having been through those years as a parent as well, I know just how frustrating it can be. What he's doing here is changing the MAC address of the computer, which makes it look like a new and different machine to the network, which then happily assigns a new IP address to it. This does bypass the scheduled pausing. There are a few things that can be done to improve the situation. First, make sure you have "New device" notifications enabled for both the main and guest network, and I would also enable "Password mismatches" in there as well (In the Google Home app, tap the "Wi-Fi" bubble at the top of the main screen, then tap the gear icon at the top of the next screen, and then tap "Notification settings"). What this will do is generate a notification on your phone any time a "new" device connects (and remember that he's changing the MAC address to make his computer look like it's "new" to your network). However, since you may be asleep when this happens, it may not be sufficient.

The next thing you can do is change the WiFi password on your primary network (yes, this will require reconfiguring everything you want on that network, so consider this optional), and create a "guest" network. Then, configure his computer to connect only to the guest network. At bed time, disable the guest network. As long as he doesn't know the password to the primary network, his machine won't be able to connect via WiFi. This only works if he hasn't been added to the Google Home as a "member" of the home (because anyone with that access can see and change any of the WiFi settings).

Those are the things that can be done at the network level, and as you can see, they are far from perfect (but they are limitations of what is possible with consumer networking solutions). The next level up from there may be more effective and convenient: use the parental controls built in to the computer's operating system itself. Microsoft "Family" has some pretty nice tools for managing screen time on Windows and Xbox, for example. For this to work, the computer has to be locked down a bit so he can't create a new local account, etc., but once set up, it can help provide more constraints.

All of that said, technology may just not be the best solution to this particular issue. I did use the operating system parental controls features, but the thing that helped the most was just not having any electronic devices in bedrooms after bed time. I wish you the very best of luck in getting through these more challenging years.

View solution in original post

4 REPLIES 4

MichaelP
Platinum Product Expert
Platinum Product Expert

Hello @ClearwaterCJ 

That sounds frustrating, and having been through those years as a parent as well, I know just how frustrating it can be. What he's doing here is changing the MAC address of the computer, which makes it look like a new and different machine to the network, which then happily assigns a new IP address to it. This does bypass the scheduled pausing. There are a few things that can be done to improve the situation. First, make sure you have "New device" notifications enabled for both the main and guest network, and I would also enable "Password mismatches" in there as well (In the Google Home app, tap the "Wi-Fi" bubble at the top of the main screen, then tap the gear icon at the top of the next screen, and then tap "Notification settings"). What this will do is generate a notification on your phone any time a "new" device connects (and remember that he's changing the MAC address to make his computer look like it's "new" to your network). However, since you may be asleep when this happens, it may not be sufficient.

The next thing you can do is change the WiFi password on your primary network (yes, this will require reconfiguring everything you want on that network, so consider this optional), and create a "guest" network. Then, configure his computer to connect only to the guest network. At bed time, disable the guest network. As long as he doesn't know the password to the primary network, his machine won't be able to connect via WiFi. This only works if he hasn't been added to the Google Home as a "member" of the home (because anyone with that access can see and change any of the WiFi settings).

Those are the things that can be done at the network level, and as you can see, they are far from perfect (but they are limitations of what is possible with consumer networking solutions). The next level up from there may be more effective and convenient: use the parental controls built in to the computer's operating system itself. Microsoft "Family" has some pretty nice tools for managing screen time on Windows and Xbox, for example. For this to work, the computer has to be locked down a bit so he can't create a new local account, etc., but once set up, it can help provide more constraints.

All of that said, technology may just not be the best solution to this particular issue. I did use the operating system parental controls features, but the thing that helped the most was just not having any electronic devices in bedrooms after bed time. I wish you the very best of luck in getting through these more challenging years.

mi5key
Community Member

Assuming this is Windows, and that his account has Administrator privileges on it, changing the MAC address is fairly straightforward for a motivated individual.  The seperate WiFi networks is a good idea, but you have to assume that the main WiFi password will leak to him eventually, then you would have to go through the hassle of changing everything again.

 

  • Remove Administrator privileges from his account.  I know on my Mac I can't edit the setting without Admin.  I'm assuming it's the same way on Windows.
  • Can you power off your entire WiFi or Internet cable modem at bedtime?  If he's skilled enough to get around tech solutions, this could work.  But, it affects the whole household.
  • Move his computer to a common location?

I have the same issue with my daughter, but she hasn't attempted to get around it.  The solution for us was to start with the harsh (move her computer to a common area, no gaming, only school), then gradually relax conditions and move the computer back to her room with the timed shut offs.  She knows what the harsh is, so if she strays too far outside of the agreed guidelines, the computer comes back out, and we start over.  A few iterations of that and it is working for us.

 

Good luck.

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi, ClearwaterCJ.
I just wanted to jump in real fast to see if you saw the replies to your question and to see if you still needed some help on this or if you were able to get it sorted out. If you are still needing some help, just let us know and we'll be happy to continue helping.
Thanks.

Jeff
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi, everyone.
As we haven't had any activity here recently I'm going to go ahead and close the thread. If you have more to add, feel free to start a new discussion.
Thanks