DigitalFence™

What Does the Fingbox DigitalFence do?

The Fingbox DigitalFence is designed to give you visibility over all the WiFi-enabled devices within 15 meters of your Fingbox, even if they are not connected to your network.

This feature acts as both an extra security and troubleshooting feature for your network, as well as an additional form of Digital Presence.

  • Security: people often forget that the physical security of your network is as important as the cybersecurity. Physical access to your router, or the majority of IoT devices in your home, can open easy opportunities for hacking those devices. The DigitalFence allows you to see what devices have come near your Fingbox and set alerts to watch them.
  • Troubleshooting: have a device that the Internet isn’t working on? The DigitalFence will allow you to see if that device’s WiFi antenna is still working, as well as which SSID and channel it is connected to.
  • Digital Presence: want to keep an eye on what time your dog walker arrives and leaves? Worried your kids might be having a house party whilst you are away? With the DigitalFence you can look at what is near your Fingbox is real-time and at historical logs of each device that has been within the range between set times. You can also select devices to watch and receive alerts when they move in and out of range.

To access the DigitalFence, go to the ‘People’ tab and click on ‘Fence’

 

What are the DigitalFence™ Features?

  • Filtering Options: settings that allow you to filter by time, distance from Fingbox, new/known to Fingbox, and much more, so you can personalize your DigitalFence to show you what you want to see.
  • Summary: a summary showing the number of filtered devices seen in your selected time frame.
  • Devices’ Log: a log of all the new, known and anonymized devices seen by the DigitalFence within your filters.
  • Graph: a graph showing you the DigitalFence activity under the filters you have selected.
  • New Devices: a summary of the devices seen for the first time within the set filters.
  • Known Devices: a summary of the filtered devices that Fingbox has seen before and have reappeared during the set time.
  • Anonymized Devices: a summary of the devices discovered within the set filters that didn’t connect to a network and therefore haven’t revealed their real MAC address.

The key to getting the best use out of the DigitalFence is selecting the right filters for what you need. See below the filter options:

Type (Devices)

This filter allows you to see either ALL the devices that have been within range of your Fingbox, or just the new ones that have appeared. If you know somebody has never been to your house before you can filter to just see new devices.

To use this filter click on the ‘Type’ tab on the DigitalFence dashboard and select your preference.

Time (Time and date)

This filter allows you to select a a time and date range that you would like to look within. Say you knew somebody was due to come earlier on a certain day, you can select to only see devices from that day.

 

Signal (Signal Strength / Range)

This filter allows you to set an estimated physical range from the Fingbox. The DigitalFence is able to detect the signal strength of the WiFi-enabled devices – the signal strength is usually an indicator of the distance that device is from your Fingbox. If your Fingbox is near your front door and you know only your dog walker and postman would approach the door during the day, you could set the range of the DigitalFence to Very Near. This would allow you to only see the devices that came near to your front door.

You can move the slider to change the range, Tune the range to find the right value that includes devices within the range of your home and immediate surroundings.

Excluding Devices

This filter allows you to remove a device from your search. If there is a neighbor’s TV that you have no interest in seeing, simply click on this device and then click Exclude Device.

You can access your list of excluded devices and add them back to your search by clicking on the three lines icon in the top right-hand corner of the DigitalFence dashboard, clicking Excluded MAC Addresses and then clicking on the cross icon next to the device.

Excluding SSIDs

This filter allows you to remove any device connected to an SSID. An SSID is the name of a network, so this filter, therefore, allows you to remove an entire network from your search.

With this, you no longer have to have your search cluttered with your neighbor’s network devices. Simply find a device on their network, click on it and then click Exclude SSID.

You can access your list of excluded SSIDs and add them back to your search, by clicking on the three lines icon in the top right-hand corner of the DigitalFence dashboard, clicking Excluded SSIDs and then clicking the cross icon next to the device.

Device Filtering

These extra filters allow you to personalize your search even further. To access this filters, click on the three lines icon in the top righthand corner of the DigitalFence dashboard. These filters include:

  • Anonymized – choose to show or not show these devices in your search (please see below for an explanation on anonymized devices)
  • Access Points – not interested in your neighbors’ routers? Choose to filter them out with this setting
  • In My Network – remove all the devices in your own network from your search to help declutter what you are seeing
  • Excluded SSIDs – see here a list of all the SSIDs you have chosen to exclude from your search and add them back into your search.
  • Excluded MAC Addresses – see here a list of all the MAC addresses you have chosen to exclude from your search and add them back into your search.

Have a play around with the settings to see how they change your results.

What Are New, Known and Anonymized Devices?

To make it easier for you to spot the devices you want to see, the DigitalFenceTM divides the devices into the following categories:

  • New: a device that the DigitalFence has never seen before.
  • Known: a device that the DigitalFence has seen before – by clicking on this device you will be able to see a log of when this device has previously been in the range of your Fingbox.
  • Anonymized Devices: a device that uses an anonymization feature to mask their identity.

What the does the Fingbox DigitalFence Tagging System Mean?

The DigitalFence also has a tagging system that allows you to quickly understand a bit more about that device’s activity. Tags include:

Green – General Information:  

  • “In my network” – a device that is connected to your network.
  • “Access point” – an access point, i.e a router.

Yellow:

  • “Randomized” – a device with a fake MAC address

Blue – Visit Patterns:

  • “<unique day>” – if that device only appeared on that one day, e.g. 28 Aug
  • “<week day>” – if that device only appears on one day a week, e.g. “Mon”
  • “Weekend” – if appeared only on weekend days, e.g Sat & Sun
  • “Weekdays” – if the device only appears on weekdays.
  • “All week” – if it appears every day of the week.

Dark Gray – Duration Patterns:

  • “Always on” – if the device is within range of your Fingbox a very high percentage of the time.
  • “Long visit” – if at least one long visit of over 4 hours took place.
  • “Short visit” – if all visits are shorter than 1 hour.

How to Watch A Device and Set Up Alerts

So, you’ve seen a device that you want to keep an eye on? Well, it could not be more simple!

  • Once you have found the device within the DigitalFence, click on the device.
  • This will bring up the Device Details Page – from here you will also see a log of that device’s history.
  • Click on Watch Device.
  • This will bring up a pop-up that gives you the option to name that device, i.e. The Postman.
  • Click ‘Watch’ and this will automatically set up the alerts that will tell you when that device moves in and out of range of your Fingbox.
  • The alerts will arrive in the same format you have set up for other alerts on your Fingbox (either push notifications, email, or both).
  • Once you have selected to watch a device it will then appear in your network Devices List.
  • Note: a watched device appearing in your Devices List does not mean it is now connected to your network. It appears here for your convenience so you no longer have to search for it in the DigitalFence. It will say ‘In range’ under it and have a green eye symbol next to it which indicates it is in range of your Fingbox rather than connected to your network. You can see an example below ringed in red.

a screenshot of the Fingbox digitalfence watched device with the devices list

Watch Our Video Demo on How to Use the DigitalFence Feature

The Tech Behind the DigitalFence

When a device has it’s WiFi turned on it will publicly send out “probing” radio messages to look for the best WiFi connection, even when it is already connected to a network. Most of the time this process isn’t visible to us, but we can sometimes see it at work. For example, when you walk around your house and your phone automatically connects to the nearest of your extenders/router, or when it suggests open WiFi connections you could use whilst you are sat in a café.

Fingbox has a 2.4Ghz antenna within it that gives it the ability to see these public radio messages. Quite simply, the DigitalFence takes these invisible messages and makes them visible to you within the Fing app.

Will the DigitalFence see all devices, even though it doesn’t have a 5Ghz Antenna?

Short answer – yes, most of the time the DigitalFence will see all devices.

Devices that predominately transmit on the 5Ghz frequency are built to be able also to transmit on 2.4Ghz. In order to find the best WiFi connection, 5Ghz devices will simultaneously keep an eye out for a better WiFi connection on the 2.4Ghz frequency as well. So whilst the searching on the 5Ghz frequency will not be picked up by the 2.4Ghz antenna of the Fingbox, the simultaneous searching on the 2.4Ghz frequency will be seen. The behavior depends on the device vendor, though, and in some cases, the transmitting on the 2.4Ghz may only take place sporadically; in that case, the device may not appear in the list.

We have heard your feedback that you would like this ability added to your Fingbox and so are investigating the best way in which to do this.

Using the DigitalFence with IFTTT for Home Automation

In addition, the Fingbox DigitalFence feature can also be integrated (unofficially) with IFTTT. Check out the blog post on Smart Home Geeks to learn more.

We’re planning on releasing an official IFTTT integration for the DigitalFence along with all Fingbox features in 2018.

If you have any more questions about this feature please get in contact on support@fing.io

Any ideas of where we could take the DigitalFence next? Email us on suggestions@fing.io

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