Why is my new B One broadcasting on Bluetooth as "Peplink API Service"?

Couldn’t find any reference to this in the manual or online.

When I went into Bluetooth pairing mode on my Android phone, it came up with a list of devices, one of which is called the “Peplink API Service.” I have a new B One router, and I confirmed that it’s broadcasting from that.

This is on firmware 8.4.1.

What is this thing, and can it be disabled? Is anyone else seeing this?

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It’s very new, not a lot of people know about it yet and like you, I have already asked engineering for a disable button. I’m sure we’ll hear more about it very soon.

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Thank you. I’ve been resisting the urge to see if I can pair with it, but am hoping that whatever it is, it doesn’t present any kind of vulnerability. Exposing Bluetooth, especially without documentation and without the ability to disable it, is bad form (to say the least).

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@A_Mandel We will offer an option to turn off the Bluetooth on the device and this is currently targeted on 8.4.2 which is coming in late Q2 if not earlier.

@MartinLangmaid We aim to provide the Bluetooth option to improve the Peplink App user experience in terms of managing the devices. This is to keep the App communication to the device regardless of the configuration changes made.

Peplink App update is expected after 8.4.2 firmware update.

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Hello @Eddy_Yeung,
Can we also manage this from InControl2 at the same time as the new firmware and app updates?

Several of our customers will want to have the BlueTooth OFF by default, not on, so enforcing it to OFF via InControl2 from an organisational level seems the best way if it is on by default from the factory.

Appreciate your assistance,
Marcus :slight_smile:

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@mldowling Yes, the InControl option is considered and will align with the firmware development on this.

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@Eddy_Yeung : Can you explain where the “Peplink App” fits into the system? Similar to the very valuable (and long, sadly neglected) "Router Utility (which we find to be very valuable?) What will the “App” do that RU does not do? And, why is Bluetooth needed since the RU communicates perfectly via IP?

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How about setting it to OFF by default from the factory or with 8.4.2?

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From a security perspective, the default bluetooth configuration should be set to OFF. Is there a functional reason that the default is set to ON?

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I guess that they want you to be able to manage your new router even before it has WAN connectivity, or when it’s otherwise offline.

But it’s disturbing that it’s enabled by default. And also that it’s a radio that doesn’t even appear anywhere on the spec sheet, the deep dive, or the user manual.

A “surprise radio” isn’t suggestive of a focus on security.

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This is an interesting add-on and I suppose good for some products but as the rest of the team suggest should definitely be turned OFF by default. We’d all be in trouble if this got setup on Government of high profile enterprise systems by default…

There are products out there like Ubiquiti UniFi that uses BT for initial setup using their app (Which works really well but is targeted towards consumers & prosumers).

If you’re interesting more features in the Apps available for Peplink, does this mean we have more features coming to existing Apps or just the Peplink App?

@Eddy_Yeung Care to share details on the integration of this feature? Or thoughts behind it?

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On by default so the device can be setup from out of the box with the app.

There should be a button on the router, or some physical interlock so a user can prove that he/she’s the owner of the device before they’re allowed to manage it.

And setting aside the Bluetooth issue, isn’t it a problem that the device’s serial number is printed on the box, since that’s all you need to add a device to InControl (unless I’m missing something)? Heck, even the process of adding a new streaming service to my Roku or Fire TV has tighter security.

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Router Utility is a different species than Peplink App. Frankly, Router Utility is suitable for some of us and the same applies to setting communication via IP. I also find RU useful and actively use it for my own use.

The Bluetooth won’t help Router Utility users. However, the Peplink App would improve the initial setup experience for the Peplink App users (especially, a WAN connection and Wi-Fi changes are required) via Bluetooth option.

In short, both are under continuous development to focus on different users. :wink:

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I like the idea, I don’t see that it’s going to be a security issue once Peplink finishes implementing it.
I think the cat just got out the bag a little early on this one :slight_smile:

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