The true extent of Telstra’s recent NBN broadband meltdown was outed by Fingbox users around the country. What is a Fingbox V2 you ask?
Well, a Fingbox V2 is a little circular device that you attach via ethernet cable to your gateway/router, and you don’t realise all it does in the background.
We first wrote about it in 2017 – Review: Fingbox – Don’t do a fing online without it (here) and since then its come a very long way. But we have been remiss not to keep you informed and perhaps persuade you to buy one.
So I am reviewing a nearly five-year-old V1 device because the beauty of Fing is that it is software-driven to meet the demands of its millions of users – a real community (and there is an active user community). Fingbox V2 is now released.
Elevator Pitch: unobtrusively monitors your internet speeds and quality, and much more. Fing understands the connected world.
Fingbox V2 – what is it?
Carlo Medas, Marco De Angelis and Daniele Galdi created Fing App, the world’s first free network scanner for mobile, in 2009. The free app for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS has around 40 million users. As part of that, it recognises over 40 billion connected devices (and that is an important part of its amenity).
In 2017 it launched Fingbox as a hardware add-on to the app to measure, record protect at your router.
Fingapp – it is free
Even if you don’t buy the Fingbox, the app is a fantastic tool to discover what your home network comprises.
Wi-Fi and LAN scanner – shows the IP and Mac address (really handy if you want to connect to a network device). This also enables you to identify unwelcome intruders – they could be your neighbour’s devices or a ‘war-driver’.
If you use a mobile version, it will test your cellular connection
If you use the desktop app, it generates regular internet health check reports, and you can access the Fing community
Sends network alerts to your phone. This is usually that your Fingbox is off-line or has come back online (internet outage) or can be more detailed like your ISP outage map.
It records Internet download and upload speeds sampled through the day – no more arguing with your ISP that you are not getting the speeds you paid for!
There are troubleshooting tools to identify (and hopefully close) vulnerable ports, trace-route to see where internet connectivity is falling over and DNS lookup. This is great to identify bandwidth hogs
And you can rate your ISP – Tel$tra, Craptus, Vodafail etc.
Then there is the Fingbox V2
Fingbox is a small Linux based box that connects to your router via Ethernet. Later versions have a 2.4 and 5Ghz Wi-Fi antenna to monitor Wi-Fi speeds.
The hardware allows you to create users so you can monitor who is using what and when (geofencing) and generally sort out (by changing them to names you know) your growing IoT network.
I particularly like that it can check ports that are open to the world and close them and detect ports that are open inside the home network and close them to stop cross-infection. You can also block devices from the network or set it to block any new device and notify you automatically. On several occasions, it has identified hackers trying to access my network using brute force password attacks.
It has been so long since I have been a parent and my kids grew up in very early internet days, so forgive me if I gloss over this. It has a digital presence feature and allows you to block devices at specific or ad hoc times.
GadgetGuy’s take – Fingbox V2 – Don’t do a fing online without it
If you are blissfully unaware about your internet, then stay that way. Just make sure you have a very good paid anti-virus and anti-malware endpoint solution because the chances are that your router has already been hacked and turned into a node on the massive botnet and all your data stolen.