Lack of any iMessage controls:
I was stunned to learn that FamilyZone offers no control over iMessage (Apple text messages) for devices either connected to the Family Zone box or being controlled through the App. (VPN). This is a serious limitation of the service. To think that when a child's device is placed in sleep that social media and emails can be halted but not iMessages is ludicrous. If someone has a solution, I'm all ears, otherwise FamilyZone need to make this top priority for their developers.
(child is using iPod touch - WIFI, no SIM card)
I have discussed this with one of our cybersecurity experts and he has confirmed that blocking the devices MAC address from connecting to your home modem/router will prevent iMessaging.
Your suggestion is appreciated. We are hoping on finding a solution as soon as possible.
Do you want your daughter to have limited access or for imessage to be blocked altogether? If you're like me and allow access but only at certain times, the only way to block imessage outside these times is through your router. Not sure how tech savvy you are so sorry if I'm telling you something you already know but most routers have parental or access controls where you can block specific devices from accessing the internet at certain times using a MAC address. The MAC address is unique to every device like a serial number and is how the router knows which device is which.
First you'll need to figure out how to log into the router. Find out what router model you have and Google your router model followed by 'how to log in' and then 'how to set time of day restrictions' or 'parental controls' and you should be able to find some step by step instructions. For example, to log into my Telstra Gateway router, I go to the address bar in my web browser and type the IP address '10.0.0.138'. You might be asked to log in with credentials from your service provider or you might not. You'll then be taken to your routers home page and somewhere you will have a list of devices and you should be able to find out the MAC address of each device from the list (Each router is different and you may not even need to find the MAC address. For instance, the router may just know the name of the device like 'Bob's Ipad', so you'll just have to figure it out as you go).
Once you have found the MAC address for the device you want to block, highlight and copy it or write it down. You can then have a look around to try and find the area where you can set the time of day rules and either paste or type in the MAC address and set the access times for the device.
Messaging is a big distraction and I would love to be able to control it through Mobile Zone because access controls on the router are either on or off. I would like to give access to messaging during game time but not during study time because of the distractions, and you can't use router access controls to just block messaging, it's either all or nothing. Kids need to research and submit assignments over the internet so using router access controls alone is not an option. This is why I set the block times from 8 pm to 6 am so at least they're not getting messages when they're supposed to be sleeping.
I understand the frustration, however because of the reasons I mentioned above, I spent a lot of time researching and testing the easiest to use and most effective parental controls which I can easily customise for each child to allow certain content and apps whilst blocking others, at different times of day and whilst taking into account the ages of my kids. Mobile Zone is hands down the best that I have come across and if messaging is the only problem you have you're still far better off sticking with them than trying to find a turn key solution elsewhere, I really don't think there is one. They have said they're working on it so see if you can set the rules and that will solve your problem in the meantime.
Hope this helps, and will answer any other questions as best I can. Let us know how you go.
I apologise for not answering your query sooner.
The reason your iMessage was not been blocked via Home Zone box was that your box's firmware was not on the latest version.
I have now updated. iMessage should now be blocked on devices connected to Home Zone.
Thank you so much for putting this up.
Thank you Li
Damian, you said to another: "The reason your iMessage was not been blocked via Home Zone box was that your box's firmware was not on the latest version. I have now updated. iMessage should now be blocked on devices connected to Home Zone."
... well, contrary to comments earlier in this thread I am not seeing the iMessage option at all in the Controls section, so from that comment I'm assuming a firmware upgrade to the box itself has not been applied (my box is on 1.6.5-1 ... is that the latest?). But then, afaik, there is no way for me to upgrade it - it has to be done from/by FZ "central control". Please advise.
ignore that. Found it. It is under "Advanced"
Thank you for letting us know.