Surf SOHO web blocking preset categories missing


#1

According to the documentation, my Surf SOHO should have the “lite” list of categories, but all I can do is manually add a domain. Why can’t is see the presets?


#2

you must be talking about this?


#3

Yes. I have the “Customized Domains”, but not the “Preset Category”


#4

Hi @blawson7,

Which firmware version are you running on?
Make sure it’s Firmware 7.


#5

I’m running 6.3.3. haven’t found 7.* yet. I assumed that since the documentation mention 6.3, 6.3.3 would be sufficient. I’m at work currently but will try to find and install 7 tonight. Thanks.


#6

Hi,

You can download the newest firmwares here: https://www.peplink.com/support/downloads/.
The Pepwave Surf SOHO firmwares are 3rd in line, after Balance and MAX.

Keep in mind you need to have Surf SOHO HW 2 to be able to use Firmware 7.


#7

Not positive, but I think I have HW1. Will that not allow me to have the categories? Is the documentation about 6.3 wrong?


#8

I have HW 1. So am I SOL?


#9

Hi. Well, yes. HW ver 3 is currently being produced and one must be at least at HW v 2 to support 7.0.0. The link Joey_van_der_Gaag gave you is current and reflects this.

Side note: If you decide to upgrade to the new SOHO Mk 3 you’ll like it. The older SOHOs were quite good; the new one is even better. :slight_smile:

Rick


#10

Then I think that following page needs to be updated to reflect that the web blocking categories do not exist in firmware 6.3 and that it only exists in 7.0. Setting up List-Based Web Blocking

It specifically says firmware 6.3 and mentions nothing about HW versions. I’m disappointed that my mouth was watering for additional helpful blocking and find out that I cannot have it.


#11

I just saw in the firmware release notes that the web blocking categories feature is only on the latest hardware revision for SOHO. So I won’t be getting it. Darn it!

Thanks to everyone for pointing me in the right direction. I guess I’ll just keep this one until it dies and block individual domains as I come across them.


#12

Hi. Might I suggest another solution which may get you at least part of the way where you want to go? For around $60 (+/-): https://pi-hole.net/ . The software is free (with donations gratefully accepted to support the project) and runs on a raspberry pi. One can use one’s own blacklist and whitelist. (I just looked at the PiHole status page on the LAN in which I’m presently operating and see more than 104,000 sites are blacklisted.)

We’re using them in three locations and have seen traffic significantly reduced – a real benefit when one has a slow connection and/or is “paying by the bit” – e.g., 4G. Now, couple that with an up-stream DNS e.g. OpenDNS, and one has a very capable DNS which reduces traffic, kills most ads, and – importantly – fails to resolve many malware hosting sites. If one establishes an account with OpenDNS (I’m sure there are others that do the same thing – that’s the one we use), one can specify categories of sites that should be thrown in the bit bucket.

This approach will obviously not defeat the more sophisticated user who knows the IP address of the destination site and does not rely on DNS. That’s a job for a router/firewall.

YMMV. I’d be curious as to your results if you decide to go that direction.

Rick


#13

Thanks for this information Rick! It’s nice to see others taking time to help. I may try this sometime this summer. This network is just for my family, which is running on a 4G mifi connection (the only internet available at my home) and this may help reduce the traffic. Right now we have to tell the kids to get off the internet if we are paying bills or trying to stream a video. I’ll let you know what I find out.


#14

Just FWIW, we have seen unwanted DNS inquiries run anywhere from about 5% to almost 30%. The former figure is on a network occupied by a lot of IoT devices; the latter is an office where lots of browsing is done. The “savings” on the later network is quite noticeable – packet flow and system response times.
Just thought I’d mention it …