Need help with time limit (not time based) internet access

  • I'm trying to find a way to limit internet access, by MAC address, to a certain number of minutes every day. For example, my kids Nintendo Switch - I need it to lose internet access after 45 minutes every day, and reset each day in the middle of the night.

    I've searched and searched but am coming up with only solutions for restricting time of day access. Any ideas before I go out and buy a new device?


  • I haven't seen anything like this in pfsense myself. It only, as far as I know, does time of day schedules. I use these to open and close internet access for my kids PS4 and Xbox boxes when it's time to eat dinner and go to bed, and when they get home from school.

    Have you checked if there are any parental controls inside of the Nintendo Switch itself? Or maybe there's an online Nintendo account that you can check for these settings? I know I have seen, as an example, on our PS4 account, there are parental controls that limit the time spent per day. Not time of day, but actually time on the device, like you're looking for.

    Hope that helps.


  • pfSense has no such handler for this use case. It's a routing firewall, not a net nanny.

  • Netgate Administrator

    You might be able to do that via Captive Portal. You have a combination of stuff there that I've not tried, time-limit, MAC auth and presumably auto refreshing each day. But it might be possible.


  • Check out the link below for instructions on doing this. Basically, you create a schedule, then enforce it through the firewall access rules.

    You can create Alias' for a group of devices. I would suggest using static DHCP addresses for those devices based on their MAC addresses. That way, if your kids get smart to the fact that it could be getting blocked based on the hostname, it won't matter if they change their hostname as it would be blocked based on their MAC address. Just remember you'll need to have an allow and deny schedule for days throughout the year. This will take some serious leg work and is not just a switch that can be turned on or off automatically for special long weekends or holiday weeks.

    [](link url)

  • Netgate Administrator

    Erm no, that won't do a time limit. That's just time based rules.
    You need to use Captive Portal and radius accounting to achieve this sort of setup.


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