How to block access to social media sites on router level on Virgin Media Hub 3?

36
Posted 21st Dec 2019
I am looking to block access to all social media sites, specifically, snapchat and instagram but regardless of what I try they are still accessible. Using the same approach I managed to block google.com and it worked wonders but no clue why it is not working with the social sites.

The approach I am taking is.
1. Obtaining IP address of the site using terminal, i.e., ping snapchat.com
2. Navigating to IP and port filtering on my virgin hub settings and choosing protocol as all, source ip as all and inputing the ip of the site (216.239.36.21 in the case of snapchat.com)

Has anyone been able to get it to work using this or a different method, it's making me go nuts
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Snapchat and instagram are both apps so I’m guessing they would need to be blocked on the device itself
I've blocked app stores from downloading these apps but there appears to be websites for these as well!
Have you tried the Child Safe feature instead?
Big services like them are frequently using lots of servers, you're best off just blocking the domain rather than the individual IPs.

Although it's very hard to block specific services while leaving everything else open, you just have to look at the threads on here about getting around blocks erected by big organisations with the resources to do it well like netflix.

Unless you're willing to do it the other way around and block everything except specified exceptions then this is best treated as a mild discouragement. Anyone with a small amount of knowledge or motivation can easily get around it.
winzzz21/12/2019 17:45

Have you tried the Child Safe feature instead?


I have but its not blocking snapchat. I have tried various options on there too.
EndlessWaves21/12/2019 17:52

Big services like them are frequently using lots of servers, you're best …Big services like them are frequently using lots of servers, you're best off just blocking the domain rather than the individual IPs.Although it's very hard to block specific services while leaving everything else open, you just have to look at the threads on here about getting around blocks erected by big organisations with the resources to do it well like netflix.Unless you're willing to do it the other way around and block everything except specified exceptions then this is best treated as a mild discouragement. Anyone with a small amount of knowledge or motivation can easily get around it.

How can I block the domain, I do not see any options on router settings, it's only allowing IPs and I have given a range as well.
Honestly I would say your onto a loosing battle on this. There is so many work arounds to get access even if you block there's many mirror apps etc
You might have to do it in the device itself and put a passcode on the AppStore / Playstore so whenever they try to download anything it asks for a passcode
projextxuk_reviews21/12/2019 19:23

Honestly I would say your onto a loosing battle on this. There is so many …Honestly I would say your onto a loosing battle on this. There is so many work arounds to get access even if you block there's many mirror apps etc


I know, kids these days are getting very clever with these work arounds and these social media companies aren't very helping. They keep on bouncing different servers.
Arto21/12/2019 19:33

You might have to do it in the device itself and put a passcode on the …You might have to do it in the device itself and put a passcode on the AppStore / Playstore so whenever they try to download anything it asks for a passcode


I did that earlier today but really if there is a way of doing it from network level that'll be better.
Adam_Khan1Tc21/12/2019 21:00

I did that earlier today but really if there is a way of doing it from …I did that earlier today but really if there is a way of doing it from network level that'll be better.


I dint think you can do it on the Virgin hub but you might be able to get a 3rd party router with the ability
Arto21/12/2019 21:02

I dint think you can do it on the Virgin hub but you might be able to get …I dint think you can do it on the Virgin hub but you might be able to get a 3rd party router with the ability


I couldnt see any option for that either and was looking at a different router - do you have any suggestions?
Adam_Khan1Tc21/12/2019 21:09

I couldnt see any option for that either and was looking at a different …I couldnt see any option for that either and was looking at a different router - do you have any suggestions?


I’ll have a look and if I find anything I’ll let you know
Your kids will hate you forever
Arto21/12/2019 21:12

I’ll have a look and if I find anything I’ll let you know


Thanks, I'll give it a look at as well.
Gollywood21/12/2019 21:37

Your kids will hate you forever


I know but you got to do what you got to do they know its coming anyways.
Rather than getting your kids to hate you and getting to the point where they start hiding things from you, doing things secretly and lying to you...why dont you educate them on the bad effects these apps can have? I dont have kids yet but i’d build a trusting relationship with them and talk it through with them.
sir78622/12/2019 09:35

Rather than getting your kids to hate you and getting to the point where …Rather than getting your kids to hate you and getting to the point where they start hiding things from you, doing things secretly and lying to you...why dont you educate them on the bad effects these apps can have? I dont have kids yet but i’d build a trusting relationship with them and talk it through with them.


Already tried that to no avail, still trying more though
Change the account age limit on their devices to under the age for these apps.
JackieBrown22/12/2019 11:54

Change the account age limit on their devices to under the age for these …Change the account age limit on their devices to under the age for these apps.


Done that, the lowest was 4+ and some of these apps are set to this limit. My main concern is blocking the websites.
sir78622/12/2019 09:35

Rather than getting your kids to hate you and getting to the point where …Rather than getting your kids to hate you and getting to the point where they start hiding things from you, doing things secretly and lying to you...why dont you educate them on the bad effects these apps can have? I dont have kids yet but i’d build a trusting relationship with them and talk it through with them.


when you have children you will understand the OP's dilemma. explaining to children why they shouldn't access something on the net will not work. to young children the dangers of something never frighten them until they actually experience the danger themselves. if they see their friends access these sites and nothing bad has happened to their friends then they will just dismiss anything you tell them as being made up, over protection or over controlling.

i don't have any children but i can still remember the way i think when i was a child and my parents telling me that i shouldn't do something meant very little, and any cautionary explanation from them was just dismissed.
A VPN will pretty much navigate round these blocks . If u was a teenager I would just get a cheap phone and hide it or just round to mates to access blocked stuff
Edited by: "projextxuk_reviews" 22nd Dec 2019
I use OpenDNS. You'll have to use the generalised router configuration instructions for the Virgin Media hub. HTH.
bluefish230322/12/2019 14:48

I use OpenDNS. You'll have to use the generalised router configuration …I use OpenDNS. You'll have to use the generalised router configuration instructions for the Virgin Media hub. HTH.


Thanks I'll have a look.
sir78622/12/2019 09:35

Rather than getting your kids to hate you and getting to the point where …Rather than getting your kids to hate you and getting to the point where they start hiding things from you, doing things secretly and lying to you...why dont you educate them on the bad effects these apps can have? I dont have kids yet but i’d build a trusting relationship with them and talk it through with them.


Good luck with that, you dont have the slightest clue.
Whenever ive tried anything like that with my kids over the last 10 years they pay no attention and dont care, lately they just say "ok boomer" whenever i try to learn them anything or give them advice. Thats a phrase they've picked up from social media too, the children these days have no skills that we had growing up, show no interest in learning any physical skills like i did with my dad, the futures looking bleak really.
I ban them off phones and computers for being cheeky etc.. then the day they get them back the same thing happens, its like they dont learn how it works, just unbelievable and most parents i speak to have similar experiences.
Watching other people on social media is the main issue
Edited by: "Mark_Hickman" 23rd Dec 2019
You need to block the domain name but even that won't be foolproof. The IP for the website won't be what the app connects to so that won't do much. Also if it's a phone they can just drop off wifi onto mobile data and avoid all the blocks anyway.
Unless they have restricted data plans, they will just turn wi-fi off to access those apps / sites if they truly want to. And as mentioned a quick google will feed them to VPN sites or other means of getting round it and you will constantly be playing block the IP address. I imagine it will get more frustrating / be more of a burden to you than to them.

If you look at a router that isnt provided by your service provider you will have a lot more features. I have a netgear nighthawk - you can go into settings and just restrict everything by category - one of which is social media. You can block the whole category, by time period, for certain devices or permanently, there are plenty of options and im sure other devices have this feature. The router will then look at how the request is categorised and block it every time the request is made, regardless of IP address changes and so on.

Outside of that Instead of punishing them by taking the device away when they misbehave, they earn phone time / access as a reward for good behaviour? When they behave they earn the phone, but don't take away if they misbehave as you undo the positive reinforcement. Its a subtle difference but a much better way of encouraging behaviours.

Do you have simple house rules like sitting at the table to eat with no phones during that time or TV in the background. Do you ban devices when out in public at a restaurant or cinema etc etc? Or do you sometimes opt for the easy option and just let them watch the iPad at the table that one day because its easier? If so you are causing the behaviour - as they know if they play up they will get the easy option next time too, or you normalise that the phone / device is a part of everything. Draw your boundaries and stick to them.

Unless you are willing to invest the time in educating why you don't want them to do it etc etc, just blocking it will encourage them more to want to access it - the forbidden fruit and all that.
Edited by: "Ussasx32" 23rd Dec 2019
mutley122/12/2019 12:19

when you have children you will understand the OP's dilemma. explaining …when you have children you will understand the OP's dilemma. explaining to children why they shouldn't access something on the net will not work. to young children the dangers of something never frighten them until they actually experience the danger themselves. if they see their friends access these sites and nothing bad has happened to their friends then they will just dismiss anything you tell them as being made up, over protection or over controlling.i don't have any children but i can still remember the way i think when i was a child and my parents telling me that i shouldn't do something meant very little, and any cautionary explanation from them was just dismissed.


You say 'when you have children you will understand the OP's dilemma' then go on to say 'i don't have any children'. So how do you understand the OP's dilemma?
First, a personal observation - adults are every bit as bad as children when it comes to accessing so called social media sites, for the most part they have no interest in the dangers. Just ask how many people have downloaded the data that Facebook hold on them since they signed up. In my experience, the majority have no interest, they would rather not know because if they did they might have to change their habits!!

As to wifi blocking, as has been mentioned they will drop off and use mobile data.

If you are looking for a router with more facilities, I have an ASUS and that allows url blocking. If you want to check that out, here is a link to the manuals. Good Luck.

asus.com/Net…al/
cibarious23/12/2019 15:05

First, a personal observation - adults are every bit as bad as children …First, a personal observation - adults are every bit as bad as children when it comes to accessing so called social media sites, for the most part they have no interest in the dangers. Just ask how many people have downloaded the data that Facebook hold on them since they signed up. In my experience, the majority have no interest, they would rather not know because if they did they might have to change their habits!!As to wifi blocking, as has been mentioned they will drop off and use mobile data.If you are looking for a router with more facilities, I have an ASUS and that allows url blocking. If you want to check that out, here is a link to the manuals. Good Luck.https://www.asus.com/Networking/DSLAC68U/HelpDesk_Manual/


They dont have mobile data will look at the router.
Ussasx3223/12/2019 14:47

Unless they have restricted data plans, they will just turn wi-fi off to …Unless they have restricted data plans, they will just turn wi-fi off to access those apps / sites if they truly want to. And as mentioned a quick google will feed them to VPN sites or other means of getting round it and you will constantly be playing block the IP address. I imagine it will get more frustrating / be more of a burden to you than to them.If you look at a router that isnt provided by your service provider you will have a lot more features. I have a netgear nighthawk - you can go into settings and just restrict everything by category - one of which is social media. You can block the whole category, by time period, for certain devices or permanently, there are plenty of options and im sure other devices have this feature. The router will then look at how the request is categorised and block it every time the request is made, regardless of IP address changes and so on.Outside of that Instead of punishing them by taking the device away when they misbehave, they earn phone time / access as a reward for good behaviour? When they behave they earn the phone, but don't take away if they misbehave as you undo the positive reinforcement. Its a subtle difference but a much better way of encouraging behaviours. Do you have simple house rules like sitting at the table to eat with no phones during that time or TV in the background. Do you ban devices when out in public at a restaurant or cinema etc etc? Or do you sometimes opt for the easy option and just let them watch the iPad at the table that one day because its easier? If so you are causing the behaviour - as they know if they play up they will get the easy option next time too, or you normalise that the phone / device is a part of everything. Draw your boundaries and stick to them.Unless you are willing to invest the time in educating why you don't want them to do it etc etc, just blocking it will encourage them more to want to access it - the forbidden fruit and all that.


Done the educating part but no luck - they just seem to follow whatever their classmates are doing.
dcx_badass23/12/2019 14:44

You need to block the domain name but even that won't be foolproof. The IP …You need to block the domain name but even that won't be foolproof. The IP for the website won't be what the app connects to so that won't do much. Also if it's a phone they can just drop off wifi onto mobile data and avoid all the blocks anyway.


No mobile data
All down to parenting, easiest solution take the tech off them, or tell them what they can and can’t use. If you have brought them up right they will do as they are told....
Bargainhead24/12/2019 03:29

All down to parenting, easiest solution take the tech off them, or tell …All down to parenting, easiest solution take the tech off them, or tell them what they can and can’t use. If you have brought them up right they will do as they are told....


Done all of that, I am with you for 'if you have brought up the child right...' But regardless of that, I'll have you know the influence these small brains get from the outside world far more weighs the upbringing on some kids.
Adam_Khan1Tc24/12/2019 07:47

Done all of that, I am with you for 'if you have brought up the child …Done all of that, I am with you for 'if you have brought up the child right...' But regardless of that, I'll have you know the influence these small brains get from the outside world far more weighs the upbringing on some kids.


I'm afraid that the adults are to blame for this when all the children see is their parents on their phones/social media all the time. People tend to think I am a bit peculiar as I don't use any dedicated social media apps at all. I'm really not interested in what so-and-so's dog got up to at the weekend etc. but a lot of people are obviously. I have better things to do with my time. I did try Facebook for about 3 weeks about 5 years ago and couldn't see the point in it at all. It is a serious addiction for many people though, akin to mind altering drugs in some respects. The cat is out of the bag I'm afraid with this. How many parents have smartphones waiting under the tree this Christmas for their kiddies? Quite a lot I would guess. Also, from a male perspective, it seems that it is women who seem to need that particular type of interaction more than men, although, of course, there are exceptions. I have seen plenty of young mothers semi-ignoring their children as they scan their phones constantly.
Stanmore6324/12/2019 08:20

I'm afraid that the adults are to blame for this when all the children see …I'm afraid that the adults are to blame for this when all the children see is their parents on their phones/social media all the time. People tend to think I am a bit peculiar as I don't use any dedicated social media apps at all. I'm really not interested in what so-and-so's dog got up to at the weekend etc. but a lot of people are obviously. I have better things to do with my time. I did try Facebook for about 3 weeks about 5 years ago and couldn't see the point in it at all. It is a serious addiction for many people though, akin to mind altering drugs in some respects. The cat is out of the bag I'm afraid with this. How many parents have smartphones waiting under the tree this Christmas for their kiddies? Quite a lot I would guess. Also, from a male perspective, it seems that it is women who seem to need that particular type of interaction more than men, although, of course, there are exceptions. I have seen plenty of young mothers semi-ignoring their children as they scan their phones constantly.


Completely understand where your coming from. I myself personally do not use ANY social media sites, just like you, don't see the need but it's extremely tough to get this into the heads of small brains. They just don't get it, no matter how much you try?
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