To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
10 messages

Tech: Device Names

24 Jul 21 - 11:47 AM (#4114256)
Subject: Tech: Device Names
From: Jon Freeman

Might as well try this one here…

Sometimes, I get confused as to what a device is on my LAN, or where it is…

Some of that is easily resolved for me using dhcpd an dns. eg. Let’s say I get my new Redmi 9 phone, the way things are set up is that all I need to do is (once the mac address is found) add this to the dchpd.conf file on my server:

host jonredmi9pro {
option host-name "jonredmi9pro";
hardware ethernet e0:cc:f8:ff:86:f6;
ddns-hostname "jonredmi9pro";

And (provided I’m connected to an AP on that LAN), the phone will be connected with the IP address and be known as jonredmi9pro9pro.mydomain and be set to use the local DNS servers. OK some devices like the phone will allow manual set ups on the device but I find this more convenient.

Where I’m stuck at the moment is what I might be able to do with wi-fi devices and how they show on my Draytek Access Points.

Some are nameless and named ones aren’t easy to fathom. For example I have “a qoe-ioboard” attached to one AP. this MAC lookup shows me that it is a LG device which can only be our washing machine but there must be an easier way?

24 Jul 21 - 01:13 PM (#4114260)
Subject: RE: Tech: Device Names
From: Jon Freeman

Oh and as a side issue, and getting lazy here... anyone know how to stop Firefox (and I think Chromium too) having the infuriating habit of changing an http request to an https one? I guess its supposed to be a user friendly redirect if there is no response but if I type "http://...", I am looking for a device using http and do not want the address bar changed.

24 Jul 21 - 03:13 PM (#4114281)
Subject: RE: Tech: Device Names
From: Stilly River Sage

I have my browsers set to use https. It might be something in the settings, but it is so long ago I can't remember where I set it.

24 Jul 21 - 05:24 PM (#4114298)
Subject: RE: Tech: Device Names
From: DaveRo

I think the MAC address is the only way to identify unknown devices connected to wifi (or bluetooth). If it's using a generic Chinese network adapter you might not learn much about it though.

This version of Firefox (78.12ESR) doesn't change http to https but newer versions can:

Firefox 83 introduces HTTPS-Only Mode

It maybe the default now, but it looks like you can disable it.

The domain or the DNS itself might change it; there appear to be a variety of methods including STS - about all of which I know very little. For example if you enter it'll change it to https - but it's not Firefox doing that - at least not in my version.

This example domain works with both http and https. In this version of Firefox it doesn't change http to https and if you omit the scheme it assumes http.

25 Jul 21 - 03:41 AM (#4114328)
Subject: RE: Tech: Device Names
From: Jon Freeman

Thanks Dave.

I'm using Firefox 78.11 esr. It only seems to make the change if it can't access the http address. One example of where it could happen for me is if I reboot a device and try to access its web page a bit early. I do want to retry the same http address again in a few seconds rather than have the browser make the https attempt.

https only would be a no go for me. Some of my devices only provide http interfaces and those that do offer https would rely on self signed certificates. The latter is not a big problem but you have to OK security exceptions (which I make permanent) in the browser.

I did have a play (using the method outlined here) with Let's Encrypt a month or so back and may even have a pi4 producing valid certificates. I've never gone back to check... The LetsEncrypt ones should have been good for the Alexa project I had in mind and would suit the unlikely event of me trying another web project but don't suit a situation where you would have to manually upload a certificate to a device. A lifetime of 3 months is too short for that.

25 Jul 21 - 07:41 AM (#4114345)
Subject: RE: Tech: Device Names
From: Jon Freeman

Totally off the original topic but the way my mind has wandered has got me wondering what I do have with http only web interfaces. A couple I came with, neither of which have been changed in years but I could perhaps need to change settings there are:

A Belkin print server which is still very much in use as it puts my USB only Epson P50 printer on the LAN where it is used by CUPS.

Another is a NetCom (probably Netcom 413) Serial Ethernet device. I’m not sure if this is still required. It was bought originally to put a couple of serial X10 devices on line and that requirement has gone although I think it puts the Visonic alarm system online…

Perhaps a bit more to topic (although perhaps more of a declutter thread thing), I ought to do some sort of inventory of what I have and what is needed as I have lost track.

25 Jul 21 - 09:51 AM (#4114358)
Subject: RE: Tech: Device Names
From: DaveRo

Firefox 91 ESR is 2 months off.

You'll be able to specify the scheme by site:
HTTPS-Only Mode in Firefox

(Shouldn't this be in BS?)

28 Jul 21 - 09:04 AM (#4114623)
Subject: RE: Tech: Device Names
From: Jon Freeman

Just to comment on my OP (and OK, Dave, the thread may be better in BS, no argument from me either way). I've found the wi-fi ID question can be resolved with my Draytek AP903 AP. I don't suppose there are many devices with a similar facility (and have not found similar on my earlier 900 model), but with this one, you can use its "object settings". OK, you still have to work out what the device is to start off with but from there, you can associate a more user friendly name for a mac address (eg. “a qoe-ioboard” to "LG Washer") to show up in subsequent station lists.

28 Jul 21 - 09:51 AM (#4114626)
Subject: RE: Tech: Device Names
From: DaveRo

I can assign a name to a MAC address in my Plusnet router (which is a BT hub - I need it for BT IPTV) and my previous Netgear routers could do it.

'qoe' is probably Quality of Experience. Do you gain any benefit from your washing machine connecting to the internet?

28 Jul 21 - 10:07 AM (#4114629)
Subject: RE: Tech: Device Names
From: Jon Freeman

I'd not buy one for this Dave but, once in a blue moon, I do use it to see how far the machine is in its cycle.

Also, (whether it's a benefit or not...), this machine has cycles that are only available as a download from the app (selected on the machine by moving to the knob) "download" position. This is currently set at "spin only" but in the variety it offers, I've also used "duvet" for some bedding items I've wanted to clear.

I'd not specially sought out a connected machine but we wanted a larger washer dryer to cope with the heavier loads we sometimes have and, with stock availability at the time, this LG (which happened to have wi-fi) seemed like a good choice.