Can Firewalla limit kid's activities like gaming/video to a number of hours per day?

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    David McCarty

    "What this is asking is to aggregate the time spent on certain activity (e.g. gaming), and set limit for it over certain period (e.g. throughout a day or week)."

    Correct.  Circle already does this and it works well enough.

    It doesn't need to be perfect, but if someone is streaming videos, it should be pretty obvious when they are actively doing it because there is a steady stream of data coming from YouTube or Vimeo or Netflix or whatever.  Sure, things like caching/buffering, downloading, pausing and walking off would make this less accurate, but let's just say we aren't worried as much about those kinds of nuances.

    SIMILARLY

    Maybe you could allow us to set a DATA cap for a given time window.  After x bytes have been downloaded (or uploaded) then the IP is blocked until the next day.

    I would like to be able to group a bunch of IPs/URLs/services into a category and then set a limit based on one or both of the above (time and/or data) for a set group on my network. Inaccurate is better than non-existent.

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    Support Team

    @David, 

    Agreed, we are experimenting on the time limit to see how much of accuracy we can get. 

    As for the suggestion of data limit, it is easier to be achieved actually. But we are not sure how practical that is, can you tell us more about the use case you have in mind? What kind of service you are planning to set limits on?  You can send the details to help@firewalla.com if you don't mind. 

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    David McCarty

    I've sent a reply to that email as requested, but in short, TIME limiting is what I really want.  The primary reason for suggesting DATA limiting is because I figure that must be pretty easy for you to implement and then I could use it as a crude method of time limiting activities like video streaming.  If I could determine a (very) rough average of how much data is used per minute when actively streaming a video, then I could just take that data rate and multiply by how many minutes I want to allow streaming and set the data limit at that point.  It would be very crude, but good enough for my purposes. (The users could cheat this by watching at a lower quality, but my users are not tech savvy and so I'm not worried about that yet).

    Data limiting would also help for if a user downloads videos to watch offline later.  Setting time limits on the router would never help here.

    Another advantage to being able to set a data limit based on sites would be if you were on a metered connection and you wanted to prevent a user on your network from burning all your data on a certain set of activities.

    Offering BOTH time limiting AND data limiting and then being able to mix-and-match how you use those would be very powerful.

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    Ro88durham

    Time limiting was one of the key things I hoped Firewalla would do.  Once finally set up, Microsoft's time limits (Screen limits) work great for the Xbox.  But I'd ideally like to give my child N number of total hours between the Xbox and the iPad.  Disappointed that this is not going to happen on Firewalla. 

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    Support Team

    We are working on it, likely will have the first version ready for use in 1.972.

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    A Saj

    Any update on the time limit feature availability as mentioned "We are working on it"? I would like this to be available before purchasing the Firewalla gold device. 

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    Firewalla

    This was moved out to 1.973, 1.972 was loaded too many features, and we were late about 2 months on it. 

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    A Saj

    Any update on this? I’ve been waiting for this!

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    Michael Lyons

    If you're still interested I can tell you how I setup a schedule-based set of rules that are proving very effective at blocking my kids from gaming during "school hours" (8am-3pm) without blocking access to regular educational sites...it was critical during COVID lock-downs.  

    While not overly difficult the key thing is to know what gaming sites your kids visit...and that is something you can pull from a review of the Flows from their devices.  I ended up adding several IPs to the "All Gaming Sites" list found under rule category matching.  I added stuff like:
    *.steamcontent.com *rbxcdn.com (ie..roblox which now has it's own blocking options) *.joinsquad.com *.mojang.com

    It looks like some of those may now be redundant with the system managed list...but better safe than sorry.  I found one of my kids was a master at finding ways to get around my blocks...he took it as a measure of pride...so stay one step ahead.  It took a while to find out the IP that was used for some games for P2P gaming...but once you find that server you can add it to the blocked list and it's done.  

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    Brad Knight

    Has there been any progress or updates regarding this?

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