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What I would like to do is to completely block two computers on my home network from accessing the Internet during a given time of day.

So say we got a computer A, a computer B and a computer C. We want to allow computer B and computer C to access the Internet (the WAN side of the network) from 07:00 to 16:00. From 16:00 to 07:00 we don't want these two computers accessing the Internet, at all! At the same time, we want computer A to have Internet access all the time.

What do I need to create this kind of rule? Do I need a home server (I'm thinking in the terms of domain controller, etc.)? Can I do this in the router of the network?

Please note that I am not looking for a way to restrict access to certain web sites. I want to completely block Internet access for a given computer (s) during a given time of day.

One solution that comes to my mind is "parental control" feature that many anti-virus software suits have. But I feel that this method is decentralized and a little bit complex. You know... having to install the software on all computers, remembering master passwords, not to mention having to buy a volume license for the software.

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What router do you have? –  David Schwartz Jul 22 '12 at 16:03
    
Thanks guys! I will try setting this in the router first to see if it works. The router is a D-Link DIR-825. I have found the schedule options under Tools. Now I have set up a new schedule there. But then I have to apply this schedule to one of the features, like a filter or something. I see 3 options under Advanced that might fit, one is called Inbound Filter, one is Network Filter and then there is one called Access Control. Access control sounds right but I'm not too sure... is this the one?... I wouldn't want to mess things up. –  sammyg Jul 22 '12 at 20:56
    
I used the Access Control option from the Advanced menu to add a new "policy" and chose to block access for the given MAC address of computer B and I used the schedule I created earlier as time frame. I repeated the process for the second computer C. It seems to function as expected. I just wish the router would respond with a message when trying to access the web from one of the computers instead of just keeping silent and not responding at all and then timing out. But I guess you can't have it all... I'm happy with this solution. Thanks guys! –  sammyg Jul 23 '12 at 15:25

2 Answers 2

OpenWRT and DD-WRT are both popular aftermarket firmwares for all different kinds of SOHO routers and wifi accesspoints.

They have a feature called "Access Restrictions". See here: DD-WRT, OpenWRT

You can see if your router make/model is supported: Supported devices for DD-WRT or OpenWRT

One may find DD-WRT easier to install and manage, I prefer OpenWRT and find it more powerful.

Note: This feature may not come pre-loaded with the basic installation and might have to be installed afterwards using the addon package installation system.

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I just looked at a screenshot of Access Restrictions in DD-WRT. It looks very simple to use and just exactly what I need. But on the other hand I would need to flash the router firmware, and that might take some time and it might be risky. Although they do seem to support the DIR-825. Would I be able to go back to original firmware?... –  sammyg Jul 22 '12 at 21:04
    
alas thats the risk involved. i know. you can maybe revert it but far less easily as installing DD-WRT in the first place. I haven't had a reason to go back once. PS: ddwrt is very consistent across brands/makes/models, it has official manufacturer support by buffalo for some of their gear –  ce4 Jul 22 '12 at 21:49

You can often do this in the router. how you do it depends on the exact make and model of router. Post details here or read your router's manual.


The D-Link DIR-825 manual† says

The Guest Zone feature will allow you to create temporary zones that can be used by guests to access the Internet. These zones will be separate from your main wireless network. You may configure different zones for the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz wireless bands

'''

The schedule of time when the Guest Zone will be active. The schedule may be set to Always, which will allow the particular service to always be enabled. You can create your own times in the Tools > Schedules section

So you could restrict certain PCs to this guest zone, with time-based access.

There may be other features in the manual that would accomplish what you want.

† Google for "DIR-825 manual"

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It's a D-Link DIR-825?... I didn't get a manual with this one, only quick setup guides in like five languages... –  sammyg Jul 22 '12 at 20:58
    
@Sammy - see updated answer –  RedGrittyBrick Jul 22 '12 at 22:01
    
One advantage to using guest zones is that someone can't just change their IP or MAC address to avoid the restriction. However, with most routers, computers in the guest zone can't access computers in the regular network, so sharing files and printers won't work. –  David Schwartz Jul 22 '12 at 22:21
    
Let me just get one thing straight, does the Guest Zone feature only work on wireless connections or does it work on both wireless and wired connections? –  sammyg Jul 23 '12 at 12:22
    
@Sammy: From the description, I'm pretty sure the Guest Zone only works on wireless connections. –  RedGrittyBrick Jul 23 '12 at 15:50

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