When multiple home devices (including all sorts of household internet-enabled contraptions) are already connected to existing Access Points, it can be very difficult and time-consuming trying to identify and register the detected devices when the Access Points are connected to the FamilyZone box. For example, on a home installation I performed this week, about 20 devices popped up when the Access Points were connected - many Apple, some HP, some Texas Instruments, some Belkin, some unknown. The home-owner had little idea what many of them pertained to.
The device list in FamilyZone only shows the device brand name or "unknown", with no other (available) information displayed. Thus, registering devices by MAC address currently involves selecting each device in the FZ list in turn to check its MAC address. In addition, on return to the device list page, checkbox settings such as "unregistered devices only" (to exclude already-registered devices from the list) are not maintained. So it is a convoluted check-and-select/reject process... select each device in turn, see if its MAC address matches that of the physical device, return to the device list, check the "unregistered only" box, then remember which device in the list is the next to check, and so on.
I understand that for browser-enabled devices there is the option of registering from the device itself, but devices such as printers, TVs, game consoles, smart light switches, irrigation systems, etc., do not provide this option easily or at all, and often the brand name derived from the MAC address is either misleading (device may have different marketing name) or "unknown".
Device matching and registration would be much simpler and faster if the MAC addresses were shown in the Devices List. Changing the list to a table that included other details, such as Owner (for already registered devices) and IP address, would be even more helpful.
Thanks for the valuable feedback.
As you mentioned, currently the best method is to enroll the user from the device itself.
I've put forward your suggestion to our developers and they will look into a more convenient option for situations like these.
I agree with Peter. Family Zone is very unfriendly when trying to connect TVs, PS4s, etc. As for instructions or advice about this topic in the "Support" area on the portal....there is nothing!
Connecting and registering devices such as smart TVs, consoles, etc is a similar process to regular devices such as desktops and laptops. You need to connect to the Family Network, open a browser (such as chrome or explorer) and go to home.tools to register the device.
We have taken your feedback on board, and will have a solution article written specifically about this area shortly.
Roze - what do you mean go to home.tools? There does not seem to be a solution article written. I have a heap of unidentified devices. And either I am blocked from YouTube or I have it set so the kids are not blocked. I can not work out how to separate us!
I've found this solutions article for you. This will show you how to register unknown devices.
I strongly agree with and support the original post.
In addition to MAC address in the list of devices (https://portal.familyzone.com/#devices), I'd also add a column showing 'Last Used" date so it's quick and easy to see when the device last accessed the wi-fi connection, irrespective of whether an owner is associated with that device. For example, I've got two devices with a name of "Charlie's PC", and both assigned to Charlie. One of them is the correct up-to-date one, the other is old and should be deleted. Armed with the MAC address and/or the Last Used date, I'd quickly be able to remove the old one.
But back to the request in the original post...like Peter, I currently have 27 'Unknown Devices'. If the MAC address and the Last Used date were displayed as columns in the Devices list, I could quickly identify which are no longer active (and can be deleted) and those which I need to associate with a device.
I appreciate the advice given about registering a device from the device itself (https://help.familyzone.com/solution/articles/5000713213-how-to-use-home-tools) - but I'm fairly sure that not all wifi devices (present or future) have an Internet browser built in.... e.g. a Google Home or Amazon Echo device? In which case, it's important to be able to assign an owner from the Family Zone portal by marrying up the MAC addresses of Unknown devices.... assuming you know how to get to the MAC address of all your devices (Googling normally helps with this).
At the end of the day, *if* the MAC address and Last Used date is easily available as lookups from a database when you're displaying the list of devices.... would it hurt to display the MAC address and Last Used dates as extra columns? We, your users, would very much appreciate this extra user-friendliness!
Thanks for that feedback Ross!
I've added that to our feedback notes which get reviewed by our developers