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Overlook Fingbox Reviewed

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Introduction

Fingbox

At a Glance
Product Fingbox [Website]
Summary Cloud application for network remote management and monitoring
Pros • Command line interface for integration into admin scripts
• User-friendly cloud interface
• Alerts when a device goes offline
• Can merge networks with multiple SSIDs and access points
Cons • Wake on LAN not supported
• Deleting or modifying nodes brings you back to the front page vs whatever page you were on
• Port scan information is not sent to Fingbox
• Occasionally confuses hostnames when DHCP-assigned IP addresses change

I often use the Android/iOS app Overlook Fing in the discovery phase of many of the products I review. With the quick push of a button, it scans the entire network, pulling down device MAC and IP addresses while cross-referencing them to DNS hostnames and a database of MAC addresses assigned to different vendors.

Once my new device is discovered, I can then do things like a quick and easy port scan to see what's open on the device, helping me to learn a little more about the device than is evident in the web interface. I also use the Wake on LAN functions quite often when I need to get a file off a sleeping desktop from somewhere in the house, or when we're at the TV and I need to wake our media server.

Overlook Fing is a very useful free Android/iOS app. So when Tim received an email from Overlook announcing the release of the cloud-based Fingbox, I decided to take a look.

Fingbox presently comes with two tiers, Fingbox Home for $3.99/month (or $39/year), Fingbox Pro for $6.99/month ($69/year) and a "soon" upcoming Enterprise version. The comparison image below shows the differences among the two offerings, you'll see that the number of monitored networks, number of sentinels to monitor them, and level of support are the major differences.

Service tier comparison of Fingbox
Figure 1: Service tier comparison of Fingbox

Setup

Getting started with Fingbox requires two things. The first is setting up an account at www.fingbox.com, which has the price schedule of the comparison image above. A free trial is available, which can be requested in three ways. The first is by selecting "Request a Trial" in the mobile app, the last two are being invited by existing Fingbox members or dropping a line to Fingbox support. The second aspect of getting started with Fing involves setting up your client to populate information to Fingbox.

Overlook Fing has a command-line desktop application that can be integrated into management scripts or can be set up as a daemon, or Sentinel as Overlook calls them. Sentinels reside on your local network and send 256-bit SSL encrypted data to the Fingbox cloud.

Overlook Fing can also be set up as an Android/iOS app. Scans are run manually and synched back to Fingbox by adding your Fingbox account information into Fing and selecting networks that you want to send up to the cloud. Figure 2 below shows a network scan of my network with the iOS version of Overlook Fing. I found it is easiest to get started with the mobile client and integrate Sentinels later.

Results of a mobile scan with Fing
Figure 2: Results of a mobile scan with Fing

Before Fingbox came along, I felt the Overlook Fing application had a major drawback regarding its scans. When a network was scanned and all the hostnames were resolved or attempted to resolve, you could then go through and assign icons and names to each host. You can see this in the image above. This gave the hosts quick and easy identification.

However, if you happened to be in a house with multiple access points or access points with both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, Overlook Fing would find each as a separate network. This would render your icon and name customizations useless. While I feel this was a shortcoming in Overlook Fing, Fingbox allows you to "merge" those networks into a single coherent network.




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