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Level 11: Detective

Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI

Hi all

 

I'll be going away from home soon for a few days, but still want to access the Smart Router's GUI (to keep importing the event log). I'd planned to use my phone (a Sony XPERIA) as a hotspot.

 

To get this ability, I assume I just follow the steps of section 18. Remote Web Access.

 

I'd just like to clarify please my understanding of some of the items/notes on the interface itself:

 

1. "After 30 minutes of inactivity, or on reboot, remote assistance will be automatically disabled." I gather that just means if, say, you leave the GUI open but not working in it for over 30 mins, your connection times-out. You'd still be able to log back into the GUI? Or ... ?

 

2. I'm puzzled by this instruction: "Please provide the following parameters to your ISP"?

 

3. I found that clicking "Enabled", and then "Save", automatically generates a URL including a port number at the end. However, the port number I got experimenting, was different to the one left unobscured in the manual's example. Does that matter?

 

4. If I wanted to have the ability to access the GUI over a period of more than a few days - say I was away a week or more - would I choose "Temporary" or "Permanent" mode?

 

Many thanks

 

ausgumbie

 

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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI

  1. If is only when set to Temporary that the remote web access automatically disables after 30 minutes. If set to permanent remote management stays on permanently. By default remote management is set to temporary and the message applies to the temporary settings. It is one of the short comings of the modem's GUI that the message is not updated to when set to permanent.
  2. This message assumes you have turned remote access on at the request of your ISP support staff so that they have access to the modems GUI to help you in setting up the modem or fault finding.
  3. The port number being different doesn't matter as long as you use that port number. It is different by design and changes every time you enable remote access so that hackers don't know which port to scan for if they are trying to gain access to you modem. The IP address only changes if the modem has been turned off or has lost the internet connection for a period exceeding the lease time of the servers DHCP. usually several hours. That is why I masked the IP address but not the port number.
  4. You would choose permanent.

The public IP address of the modem might change while you are away if the modem losses its internet connection just when its DHCP lease from the server runs out. To overcome tis you might consider using a dynamic dns service such as NOIP which provides you with a URL that gets updated with your modems public IP address. To access modem remotely to enter the this URL and the port number instead of the IP address and port number.

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Level 11: Detective

Re: Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI

Many thanks cf4

 

I'll have a look at NoIP too as I hadn't been aware of the DHCP lease changeover possibility.

 

Cheers

 

ausgumbie

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Support Team
Support Team

Re: Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI

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Level 11: Detective

Re: Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI

Smiley Sad

 

I just experimented. Enabled Remote Web Access. Made it Permanent. Made my own password instead of a random one. Noted the url. I then disconnected from the Ethernet. Linked to the WiFi and tried to access the GUI. Unable to. Forget the browser message but effectively it meant the url wasn't pointing to any address.

 

Is it because I was trying to access via the Smart Modem's wifi or shouldn't that have made any difference?

 

Help???

 

ausgumbie

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Level 11: Detective

Re: Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI

Tried again - had forgotten the notes about the warning etc. I used Edge as a browser because the manual referred to Edge.

 

OK - connected by Ethernet cable. Logged into GUI with local http url.

 

Went to Basic > Services > Remote web Access.

 

Placed a tick next to “Enabled”.


Selected “Permanent” and clicked on “Apply’

 

Made up a password of my own.

 

Noted url including port.


Opened Edge and navigated to the URL.

 

The following from the manual did not occur until I removed the colon and port number (i.e., I'd originally entered "https://###.###.### : PPPPP" and it wasn't recognized as an address. I then just typed "https://###.###.###", leaving off the " : PPPPP", and proceeded as in the manual example).


A warning message was displayed as per the manual example.


Clicked on “Details” and then clicked on “Go on to WEB page” to display log in screen.


Used the User name "assist" and my own password in the Password field to log in to GUI of gateway.

 

I immediately logged out. This begs the question of why the port number? I couldn't get the result described in the manual without leaving off the colon and port number. Is that what you did (cf4)?

 

Or should it be giving the manual's result with the colon and port number still on the url (in which case, ????)

 

Cheers

 

ausgumbie

 

EDIT: Or was it rejecting the port number because I was still accessing the internet via the Smart Modem?

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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI

If I leave the port number off I cannot I get the message that site is not available. Can only reach website if I add the port number.

 

Tested using modems WiFi and able to access GUI. By default browser used Admin as user ID, had to change to assist manually.

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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI

Although there should not be any difference if you have used modems WiFi to access the gateway's Remote WEB access you have a NBN HFC connection. I tested my Smart Modem on a NBN FTTN connection. Theoretically this should not effect the accessing the Gateways Remote WEB access but HFC cable has caused problems with port forwarding.

Have you tried accessing the gateway on a smart phone with the WiFi turned of using the smart phones cellular data.

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Level 11: Detective

Re: Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI

Hi cf4

 

cf4 wrote: If I leave the port number off I cannot I get the message that site is not available. Can only reach website if I add the port number.

I was just the opposite in my test before leaving home. I couldn't get the page if I used the port number. Smiley Frustrated

cf4 wrote: Tested using modems WiFi and able to access GUI. By default browser used Admin as user ID, had to change to assist manually.

In setting up at home location, I was able to enter "assist" from the start.

cf4 wrote: Although there should not be any difference if you have used modems WiFi to access the gateway's Remote WEB access you have a NBN HFC connection. I tested my Smart Modem on a NBN FTTN connection. Theoretically this should not effect the accessing the Gateways Remote WEB access but HFC cable has caused problems with port forwarding.

Do you have any more info on these HFC problems please? Should I do something under Port Forwarding next time?

cf4 wrote: Have you tried accessing the gateway on a smart phone with the WiFi turned of using the smart phones cellular data.

Yes. I only have Chrome on the Xperia and it gave exactly the same result as Google Chrome on the computer.

I'll put my remote location attempts to access the GUI in the next post.

 

Many thanks

ausgumbie

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Level 11: Detective

Re: Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI

Remote Location Attempts to access:

I used my phone (an XPERIA XA2 H4133) as a tethered hotspot. This was on Friday 16/11/2018 (5:30 - 5:46 PM Brisbane time, so 6:30 to 6:46 PM AEST I guess) and Saturday 17/11/2018 (4:15 - 5:00 PM Brisbane - 5:15 - 6:00 PM AEST).

My phone's IP is Vodafone, which doesn't have the best coverage either where I live, or here about 100 km north of home. That said, I was still able to access the internet happily enough on both 16th and 17th. There were really bad storms on the evening of the 17th (here and around Brisbane) which may possibly have interfered with connection, but I am dubious. I'll have another go today, but I suspect I'm grasping at straws. I think the url has changed or ... I dunno.


The results of my attempts at remote access so far are shown below in a series of screenshots.


Figure 1: 16/11/2018, ca. 5:30 – 5:46 PM. Browser - Firefox. Didn't note at time, but think it was "with" port number on url. Fail.


Figure 2: 16/11/2018, ca. 5:30 – 5:46 PM. Browser - Google. Unrecorded whether with or without port # - presuming "with". Fail.


Figure 3: 17/11/2018, ca 4:19 PM, Browser – Edge, With Port #. Fail.


Figure 4: 17/11/2018, ca. 4:20 PM, same as prev. shot, but with Details exposed. Browser – Edge. Fail. With Port #.

Just a note here. Firefox has a status bar low in the page which shows when a TLS handshake is taking place (See Figure 5). Neither Google (I think...) not Edge seems to show this. In the case of Edge on the 17th Nov., the page I put the url in to try to connect simply didn't change, so I'm not convinced a handshake took place. Otherwise, I'd have got a timed-out page or similar.


Figure 5: 2018-11-17, 4:40 PM, Browser – Firefox, Status Bar (Connecting), Showing TLS Handshake, without Port #.


Figure 6: 17/11/2018, ca. 4:54 PM. Browser = Opera. Fail. With Port #. Opera I gather is based on Chrome.

As said, I'll have another try today without much hope.

ausgumbie

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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI


@ausgumbie wrote:


Do you have any more info on these HFC problems please? Should I do something under Port Forwarding next time?



Normally any traffic originating  on the internet trying to connect to the Modem is blocked. If you have a server or a security device and you want to view it remotely you have to open up a port or several ports on the modem. Different apps and devices have different ports that need to be opened to enable the gateway to send the incoming connection to  the correct device and app. This is called port forwarding. To view a device on your LAN from a remote location you use the public address of the modem plus the port number that has been opened. Any traffic with just the public address of the gateway is blocked. For some unknown reason people with a cable connection seem to have a lot of trouble getting port forwarding to work.

 

You don't need to sett up port forwarding the modem has already opened a port that should direct you to the log in page of the modem. Theoretically you should not be able to connect to the modem remote WEB access without the port number. The connection will be blocked. 

 

 

 

 


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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI

When I use edge to try to connect to modem remotely using the public IP address without the port number I get exactly the same result as you.

"Hmmm...can’t reach this page
Try this
Make sure you’ve got the right web address
Refresh the page
Details
There was a temporary DNS error. Try refreshing the page.
Error Code: INET_E_RESOURCE_NOT_FOUND"


I also get the same result if I try to navigate to an IP address that does not exist. It looks like your modem might have rebooted and grab another IP address. Also if modem reboots I think remote web access turns off.

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Level 11: Detective

Re: Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI

Thanks as always cf4

 

This is what is now confusing me. When I did the "practice run" at home, I was obviously in the same room as the router (Smart Modem). And, so, on the "home-network-side" of it. Maybe that's what caused the results of the practice runs.

 

The first practice run, I'd been connected by WiFi to the router, the second via Ethernet cable. I reasoned it didn't matter either way, since my request for an https address would be heading out into the internet and back to the router, just as an email would if I sent one to my wife's computer on the next desk.

 

Not being highly IT savvy, I have a rather simplistic way of expressing myself Smiley Embarassed but how I'm expressing myself is also showing how my reasoning works. Hence, my reasoning may well be faulty.

 

Naturally, the practice results still surprise me since the router was only making one port available for an access request. So, when I entered the url with the port number, I was surprised to fail to access the login page. Equally, when I used the IP address without the port number added, I was surprised to be able to access the login page (and log in to the GUI) both on the WiFi and Ethernet cable. 

 

Also, since then, I've been worried that I might have created a security problem by completing the log ins in the practice runs. It obviously doesn't seem right that I've been able to log in without providing the crucial credential of the one allocated port. I should surely have been blocked and not even been directed to a login page.

 

It's all very puzzling. (I'll add today's results (fails) on another post.)

 

Cheers

 

ausgumbie

 

EDIT: Whoops - we're overlapping each other. This is responding to the first of your last two posts ("Normally any traffic originating  on the internet trying to connect to the Modem is blocked"). I'll reply to your second post ("When I use edge to try to connect to modem remotely using the public IP address without the port number I get exactly the same result as you.") separately.

Level 11: Detective

Re: Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI

Hi again cf4

 

Couldn't replicate the experiment using the address you gave oddly. All that happened was the request on Edge timed out, I guess, and the result was this (which I'll comment on in reporting my last attempts to connect with our router).

 

 

Figure 1: In short, the page didn't change, not giving me a "Hmmm..." page or anything. Just seemed to time out.

 

But I take your point. I made up a domain address (and checked to make sure it didn't exist - it doesn't). As a result...

Figure 2: The "Hmmm..." page for a non-existent website.

 

It may well be the modem has rebooted and taken a new IP address. I don't know what would have caused that since we're not there to turn it off. Puzzling Smiley Frustrated.

 

Cheers

 

ausgumbie

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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI


@ausgumbie wrote:

The first practice run, I'd been connected by WiFi to the router, the second via Ethernet cable. I reasoned it didn't matter either way, since my request for an https address would be heading out into the internet and back to the router, just as an email would if I sent one to my wife's computer on the next desk.

 

Accessing the Gateways remote access from the local LAN is slightly different to accessing the Gateway remote access remotely. The request does go out and them comes back in but once the gateway realizes the address of the incoming connection request is from the local Network all  subsequent traffic for the connection is looped back in the gateway.

 


@ausgumbie wrote:

Also, since then, I've been worried that I might have created a security problem by completing the log ins in the practice runs. It obviously doesn't seem right that I've been able to log in without providing the crucial credential of the one allocated port. I should surely have been blocked and not even been directed to a login page.

 

It's all very puzzling. (I'll add today's results (fails) on another post.)

 

 

You haven't created a security problem. Hackers still need to know your public IP address and the remote log in password.

 

I am more worried about the security problem I created posting the error message containing that link. I trying to do two things at once and forgot to delete link from error message. Have asked moderator to remove link.

 

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Level 11: Detective

Re: Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI

For info. "I'll add today's results (fails) on another post."

 

Some interesting comparisons with the different browsers:

 

Figure 1: (18/11/2018, 4:11 PM AEST* (*I made a mistake above Smiley Embarassed - Brisbane Time is still AEST - the other states are Daylight Saving Time)) On Firefox, whether requesting with just the public url or including the port number, Firefox reports "the connection to the server was reset".

 

 

Figure 2: (18/11/2018, 4:12 PM AEST) Chrome reported the public url "took too long to respond", but when including the port number, "The connection was reset".

 

 

NOTE: I made a comment above that, for Edge, some requests seemed to time out, but the page on which the url address had been entered "hadn't changed". It mightn't be very clear what I meant, so I'll illustrate what I meant. I got Edge to give me a "blank" page as my "request page" See Figures 3 & 4 below.

 

 

Figure 3: (18/11/2018, 4:13 PM AEST) When I entered the url and port number, Edge gave me a different page to report the results of the request - a "Hmmm..." page.

 

 

Figure 3: (18/11/2018, 4:14 PM AEST) When I entered only the public url (i.e., no port number), Edge's search didn't give me a different page reporting the results of the request - it just stopped looking.

 

Anyhow, that's just for info. I've taken on board that - for whatever reason - HFC technology may have (in a rather irregular way!) given me access to the router while I was "network-side" of it. However, it won't do so when I'm in a remote location. Also, the router may have rebooted, but I won't know that till I get home (and maybe not then, since the text logs only go back a couple of days).

 

Cheers

 

ausgumbie

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Level 11: Detective

Re: Exploring the SmartRouter GUI: Remotely Accessing GUI

Hi cf4

 


@cf4 wrote:

Accessing the Gateways remote access from the local LAN is slightly different to accessing the Gateway remote access remotely. The request does go out and then comes back in but once the gateway realizes the address of the incoming connection request is from the local Network all  subsequent traffic for the connection is looped back in the gateway.

Thanks for that! That may well explain getting the connection (if rather strangely) on my "test runs".

 


@cf4 wrote:

You haven't created a security problem. Hackers still need to know your public IP address and the remote log in password.


Smiley Happy

 


@cf4 wrote:I am more worried about the security problem I created posting the error message containing that link. I trying to do two things at once and forgot to delete link from error message. Have asked moderator to remove link.

(I do apologize for my part in that!) I've checked back through the thread and all references seem to have been removed. It is definitely not easy having to concentrate on attending to several things at once.

 

My thanks as always for your help,

 

ausgumbie

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