Posted on Leave a comment

Kid Control of internet with Mikrotik

When there is a lot of screens at home and you have kids, sooner or later there comes the need for parental controls for internet. For computer, you can simply install program for this purpose or use integrated Apple parental controls. With phones or tablets situation is a little bit complicated. And in smart home, depending on always on Wi-Fi you can’t simply turn off router or change Wi-Fi password when you want to turn off internet for kids. There are some routers with integrated parental controls. And it seems in the future such functionality will be standard.

While searching for simple parental controls solution for Wi-Fi, I have found, that Mikrotik is also working on it. Unexpected. Looks like Mikrotik have plans to be not only corporate world router but want to find way for home usage.

Mikrotik calls this feature Kid Control and it is in beta now. To get this feature you have to upgrade Mikrotik firmware to newest Release Candidate firmware. From my experience, Mikrotik RC versions is stable for home usage.  To upgrade to newest release candidate version, connect to Mikrotik by Winbox and go to System -> Packages. Click on Check for updates and in channel drop down menu, select release candidate. Continue reading Kid Control of internet with Mikrotik

Posted on Leave a comment

Wi-Fi for Smart Home

Smart house needs smart wireless network. Many HomeKit smart device use Wi-Fi for internet connectivity. If wireless internet is down – all house is down.

While trying different wireless routers I have found, that Apple devices connects faster to Apple wireless routers. So, because I am in Apple ecosystem I am using Apple wireless routers.

For my home it is enough for one Apple Airport Extreme in the center of first floor. Its long range and strong signal will cover first and second floors. And I hope the basement. Also, I need my wireless network outside the house in the backyard and near the front door. For this I will use smaller airport version – Apple AirPort express, placing two of them in sealed boxes outside the house. One near the entrance and one in backyard.  Airport express does not have ultra-fast AC standard connectivity, but for unlocking front door, opening garage door or controlling lights and music in backyard will be more than enough. Of course, this could be done by 3G internet, but the problem is that while being near the home, phone picks up weak Wi-Fi signal from inside the home and the unlocking of door is painfully slow. And when all smart house management depends from wireless network it is very important to connect Wi-Fi routers to Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS). In this case power small power supply outages will not disrupt communication of smart devices. Continue reading Wi-Fi for Smart Home

Posted on Leave a comment

Mikrotik configuration

After plugging in Mikrotik router it is almost ready to do internet routing. With default configuration it will give internet to computers, but to fully functioning we need to configure it.

Access configuration of router we can through internet browser or Winbox program. As Winbox runs on Windows OS, I will configure it on internet browser. For easier access, plug in computer to Mikrotik by LAN cable. Defaul Mikrotik IP address is Default username: admin password: admin. As we enter this ip address in browser, we can see welcome screen with “Quick set” configuration: Continue reading Mikrotik configuration