Support for the Desktop

I'd like to have the ability to manage eero from a desktop.  The phone apps were well thought out, and work well.  However, having the ability to do this from my laptop/desktop would be very useful for me anyway.  Either browser or (for me) a Windows 10 UWP would be awesome!

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  • Thanks for the great discussion here, everyone!

    At this time, we don't have plans to create a desktop admin portal, but I will share this feedback and interest with our team.

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  • Eero was designed to be used with the smartphone app. There are major security issues associated with desktop UI's for routers. In addition, Windows 10 is known to break the desktop interfaces used in most consumer and Enterprise model routers. Netgear, Linksys, DLink, and most other consumer router vendors are saying they will be ditching desktop interfaces for their networking gear in the next 6-12 months because of the above issues, and because most of their users are asking for smartphone access for ease of use. 

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  • I'm pretty sure that the reason a lot of vendors are going with phone apps is more around the prevalence of phones, rather then security. Like you say, ease of use and access. Windows 10 doesn't "break" desktop interfaces. It's sandboxes framework enforces code to not go where it shouldn't be going. Essentially, a forcing function to write secure code.

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  • Microsoft has said that the sandboxing enforced in Windows 10, along with the same API's webcams and CC video system, are breaking the desktop interfaces when viewed via IE, Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers. They're working with networking vendors to fix the issues. 

    The smartphone apps are considered more secure than desktop interfaces because the security flaws in the desktop interfaces don't exist in the smartphone apps; according to Netgear and DLink that's their primary reason for switching to smartphone apps only in the near future, not user convenience. 

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  • And if you look at the smartphone apps for Netgear and DLink, there's nothing easy or convenient about them. Best way I can describe them is kludge. 

    I've been doing networking professionally more than 10 years, and router firmware by all the router companies (Cisco, Netgear, Libksys, DLink, etc) hasn't really been updated or secured in all that time. 

     

    Now Eero and Luma come out with mesh networking using all new cleaner modular more secure networking firmware with almost none of the vulnerabilities, and where the desktop interface now isn't just not needed, it literally breaks the overall  functionality of the new devices. 

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  • And just as an FYI, Microsoft has a Windows 10 build coming out in late 2017 early 2018 that blocks access to router desktop interfaces via the browser. Similar blocking is planned for Unix, Linux and Mac OSes. Microsoft is requiring router vendors to provide desktop apps for router configuration, apps that run only on the desktop just like on mobile devices. 

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    • Richard1864 I'll have to trust you on the part about Microsoft and other platforms, but as someone who works closely with both the Safari and security teams at Apple, macOS blocking web admin interfaces is news to me. Can you share with me where you learned this so I can get more info?

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    • coyotegeek learned it from Netgear and Linksys...update for most non-Microsoft and mobile browsers designed to help admin known when their router was tampered with remotely and if web interface has java or flash security holes in the firmware. Last I heard from Netgear it was still in Alpha testing, but is why Netgear and others are working on mobile and desktop apps to interface with routers in place of web interfaces.  

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    • Richard1864 Ah. I think the confusion here is that the vendors in question aren't necessarily blocking web admin interfaces per se (at least I don't believe Apple is), but they are definitely on a crusade against all browser plug-ins. And I've definitely seen that some of the legacy web interfaces were heavily plug-in dependent (I'm looking at you, Netgear).

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    • coyotegeek exactly. And those interfaces (Netgear and everyone else) are still plug-in heavy, especially flash and java (sheesh, the numbers of security flaws in those two alone is terrifying). 

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  • And just as an FYI, Microsoft has a Windows 10 build coming out in late 2017 early 2018 that blocks access to router desktop interfaces via the browser. Similar blocking is planned for Unix, Linux and Mac OSes. Microsoft is requiring router vendors to provide desktop apps for router configuration, apps that run only on the desktop just like on mobile devices. 

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  • Sorry about the repeated post above. Wasn't intended. 

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  • IMHO, to say that smartphones are more secure because they lack the vulns of desktops doesn't make sense to me. It's like saying because I have a smaller house then you, I'm more secure from a break in.   I may be a smaller target, but doesn't mean that I'm safe. Your point on router firmware not being that secure, is a fine example of that. Also, just cause my house is newer, doesn't make me invulnerable either.  It's always an arms race with threat actors.

    and frankly, surprised someone from Microsoft would make such a bold, long term comment like that. Was it a local rep?  2 years is a looonnggg time for technology and things change often with their new servicing model.  Not sure how or why MS would actively try to block browser access to routers anyway, did that person say it'd be with Edge?  Not even folks from the PG can firmly state what and won't be changed 6 months from now.  Anyway, I'm no networking expert, but the things of the past need to be put in the past, there shouldn't be much needed from a local app install.  If someone is creating a app that adds to a devices vulnerability, they are definitely doing something wrong.  An apps should be a meaningful, easy to use and understandable light portal into a very smart, extensive, backend system. Which is why my request for browser access, which would work for me. Having to fumble with my phone is not as convenient for me as being able to use a full keyboard and mouse.  I have big fingers, so trying to type or do anything other then tap big buttons on a small screen like my phone is frustrating.

    Reply Like 1
  • Microsoft CEO Nadella made the comments at recent (within last 6 months) Windows 10 press conferences and at the Black Hat conference. And the Eero app works perfectly fine on a tablet for people like you and me who have fat fingers, the app is NOT designed to work on smartphones only. 

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  • Satya didn't speak at the Black Hat Conference in Vegas and why would he?  I'm also not aware of any comments made publicly around this, definitely be interested if you could point me any articles to see how they relate.  Also, if there was an app that worked fine on any of the tablets I own, then I wouldn't have made this request to begin with : )

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  • Not all talks at Black Hat are done on the stage. Most usually aren't at conferences like that, just the big papers are. 

    Mr Nadella has been speaking for months about how Windows desktop and Windows Mobile were going to be basically the same thing for more than a year, even before he became CEO. It's called the Universal Windows Platform, with apps eventually taking the place of everything you normally do on a desktop (productivity, networking including router maintenance, games, video editing, etc.), and those same apps working interchangeably on desktop and mobile devices. 

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  • yep, its the converged platform and its here. It's the basis for Microsoft's vision of Windows 10, however the intent wasn't to eradicate the traditional desktop experience. UWP is a way of being able to write touch/tablet friendly apps and have them available on various sized hardware platforms with limited UX tweaking. But for the desktop experience, its quite the opposite in that they may be looking to bring the x86 desktop experience to the ARM platform with continuum - http://www.windowscentral.com/windows-10-mobile-get-x86-emulation

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  • It would be nice if Microsoft did try and do more with ARM processors, and there have been lots of rumors about this going all the way back to when Microsoft killed the Windows RT tablet system back in September 2015. So far nothing has materialized, unfortunately. Microsoft made many businesses mad when they killed Windows RT. Microsoft claimed then there was no way to run 32-bit apps on ARM processors, even though Apple, Unix, and Linux had been doing so for years. 

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  • Two big issues exist that may cause Microsoft major problems bringing x86 Windows on ARM. 

    1.  ARM is now owned by SoftBank. No one knows how things will change with that sale. 

    2.  Qualcomm is aiming their 830-series processors at the mobile and networking market, not desktop. 

    3.  Qualcomm processor licensing requires software vendors programming for their chipsets to use Qualcomm coding done by Qualcomm-certified coders. Microsoft laid off their last Qualcomm-certified coder last year, and until they hire one, they can't legally program any OS to run on Qualcomm chips. It's also why no Windows Mobile devices will work on CDMA cellular networks. 

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  • Two big issues exist that may cause Microsoft major problems bringing x86 Windows on ARM. 

    1.  ARM is now owned by SoftBank. No one knows how things will change with that sale. 

    2.  Qualcomm is aiming their 830-series processors at the mobile and networking market, not desktop. 

    3.  Qualcomm processor licensing requires software vendors programming for their chipsets to use Qualcomm coding done by Qualcomm-certified coders. Microsoft laid off their last Qualcomm-certified coder last year, and until they hire one, they can't legally program any OS to run on Qualcomm chips. It's also why no Windows Mobile devices will work on CDMA cellular networks. 

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  • Microsoft has actually been kicking around ARM support for quite some time, think WinCE/ Embedded/ Windows Mobile 5x/6x and the various off-shoots and side projects there of.  I don't know if there was a 16-bit version, but were definitely running on 32-bit variants and now 64-bit.  Windows RT was very dumb move (in my opinion), it was an iPad 'me too' failure, they should of just stayed with the Surface/ Pro line.  Also, know nothing about the QUALCOMM licensing thing, but I've been using Windows Based phones on Verizon for over a decade, and they were all CDMA.  The latest Windows 10 mobile builds have support for CDMA, but maybe there's no need for that going forward with 4G LTE +.  Though I have no idea, don't know anything about all that.

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  • For Windows 10 Mobile to run on CDMA networks it is required to have specific coding from Qualcomm in it.  Unfortunately, since a Microsoft no longer has any Qualcomm-certified any other CDMA coders employed by them (not even contractors), Windows 10 Mobile can't run legally on any US or any other CDMA networks. That's why there are currently no Windows 10 devices for Verizon, Sprint, or other CDMA carriers in the US. 

    There ARE some Windows 10 devices on GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile, but that's it. 

    Reply Like
  • Jeff C. 

    I get why you would not want to get on the treadmill of maintaining a desktop admin portal. So if mobile apps are the way to go, don't go all "instagram" on us and don't allow us to not go into landscape mode (like the way things are currently).. There are times when I'd like to use the keyboard on my iPad instead of my thumbs. Or, heaven forbid, that's just the way I like to work.

    Thanks for listening. 

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  • I would like to have a web interface feature too!

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  • I thought this was about a desktop ability to interface with the eero.  Making a app that allow for access to the eero via desktop would allow people without mobile devices to use the eero.  While it may be easier to implement, you don't have to provide access via a Web browser.  Apps such as the Apple Airport Utility works for both desktops and mobile devices.  The app doesn't rely on having internet access, just access to the device.  Developing such an app would enable you to look at what is going on when your WIFI is down, restart the device that isn't connecting, and not totally depend on eero selfhealing.

    Reply Like
  • This would be an absolutely killer feature. I spent the holidays migrating from a Tomato/Shibby/AC68U setup.

    I setup 40+ device reservations and a few port forwards, and to be honest it was tedious.

    • Eero app -> Simple Note app -> Copy IP address -> Eero app -> Paste -> Simple Note app -> Copy MAC address -> Eero app -> Paste -> Simple Note app -> Copy Device Name -> Eero app -> Paste

    And that doesn't include all the 

    • menu -> network settings -> advanced settings -> reservations & port forwarding -> scroll to bottom -> add a reservation 
    Reply Like 1
  • Jeff C.  While I'm getting old, I though I was told by one of the eero support personnel that eero was working on a means to interface from a desktop...

    Reply Like
  • NicevilleSteve

    Sorry for any potential confusion. At this time, we don't have any plans regarding a desktop interface. However, our team monitors the continued flow of feedback, so something that isn't planned right now doesn't necessarily mean we won't ever do it.

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  • What will it take to for the team to work on this? 😀   I can easily recommend eero to novice and the less technical, but for geeky folks like me, it's something that needs to be heavily weighed against the other options out there.

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