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Author Topic: Safely networking TV on guest WLAN  (Read 1098 times)

Weaver

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Safely networking TV on guest WLAN
« on: November 16, 2021, 11:18:48 AM »

My wife Janet has a new television in the kitchen. Just as well since the large one in the lounge has sickened and is near to death, the bottom 4 in of its picture being distorted and unwatchable. The other day Janet asked me about connecting the kitchen TV to the internet. I told her I had a number of concerns about this: TVs Ďphoning homeí in particular guzzling bandwidth when they have a mind to, such as perhaps when they decide to do a software update; but far more important, a vulnerability in the TV when it has opened a hole in my firewall by creating a session.

I want to do this for her but of course not if it creates any kind of security risk or usability nightmare with bandwidth hogging. It has options for ethernet or WLAN connections. I can place it on the guest SSID so the other machines are protected from it at L2. Guidance?
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tubaman

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Re: Safely networking TV on guest WLAN
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2021, 11:52:43 AM »

If the TV is from a reputable manufacturer then I really wouldn't worry about it. It will likely connect in the early hours each day to check for updates but on most TVs they are pretty infrequent.
If you want to use these devices then you have to trust the manufacturers to a certain extent. Millions of people, myself included, are using them every day without any issues at all.
 :)
« Last Edit: November 16, 2021, 11:56:21 AM by tubaman »
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g3uiss

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Re: Safely networking TV on guest WLAN
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2021, 11:54:29 AM »

I donít think they phone home very often and software updates are a rarity even with the latest kit.


I suppose if your concerned DMZ is the answer but it wonít stop downloading

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meritez

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Re: Safely networking TV on guest WLAN
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2021, 12:07:41 PM »

I've yet to find a tv that has a 5ghz wifi chipset, I'd recommend ethernet if possible on it's own subnet separate from the rest of the network.
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tubaman

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Re: Safely networking TV on guest WLAN
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2021, 12:13:11 PM »

I've yet to find a tv that has a 5ghz wifi chipset ...

My 2014 Samsung has one so I don't think it's rare.
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DaveC

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Re: Safely networking TV on guest WLAN
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2021, 12:49:24 PM »

Presumably if Janet wants to connect it to the Internet, it's to use streaming video apps, which will use far more bandwidth than any software updates (which as others have said, are very rare things in my experience with smart TVs).

If you already have a guest wifi set up (and especially if that isolates clients from each other), then you've already solved the problem I think.

Or for £14/month, get an unlimited 4G connection from Three (including a free router), and connect it to that, completely independently of your home network.
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meritez

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Re: Safely networking TV on guest WLAN
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2021, 12:53:06 PM »

My 2014 Samsung has one so I don't think it's rare.

The LG and Sony I have to hand do not :(
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j0hn

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Re: Safely networking TV on guest WLAN
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2021, 01:06:13 PM »

I have 4 TV's. A 2014 Samsung, a 2016 LG,  a 2018 LG and a 2020 LG. They all have 5 GHz.
It's probably harder to find 1 without 5GHz than it is to find 1 with it.

My most recent TV is my LG CX. I wouldn't even consider blocking internet access for the tv.
LG have added half a dozen features since I got the TV and fixed a number of bugs affecting my usage.
I use numerous apps on the tv which wouldn't be possible without internet access.

TV's send random anonymous usage statistics online but you can opt out of that on many TV's.
The TV will use next to no bandwidth unless streaming via an app or downloading an update.
Updates are usually once every couple months at most on a new tv from a well maintained tv brand.
Less or not at all on many other tv's.

If you really have security concerns about connecting your tv to the internet then can I recommend this security device.

I also recommend turning the toaster around just in case it is watching you.

Just a joke obviously. I've never understood the paranoia regarding certain devices being online or not. Cameras I can understand.
I'm not bothered if some Korean TV  company knows I watch Judge Judy or if some Chinese company knows I turned my smart light bulb on.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2021, 01:12:22 PM by j0hn »
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tubaman

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Re: Safely networking TV on guest WLAN
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2021, 03:37:50 PM »

... I've never understood the paranoia regarding certain devices being online or not. Cameras I can understand.
I'm not bothered if some Korean TV  company knows I watch Judge Judy or if some Chinese company knows I turned my smart light bulb on.

Couldn't have put it better myself - I have far more important things in my life to worry about.
My advice @Weaver would be to let Janet connect it up using whatever method is easiest and then just forget about it.
 :)
« Last Edit: November 16, 2021, 03:45:28 PM by tubaman »
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Weaver

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Re: Safely networking TV on guest WLAN
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2021, 08:22:47 PM »

Thanks. Didnít want to find out about any software bugs or vulnerability horrors that have come to be known. Iím not worried about legal behaviour of manufacturers.
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tubaman

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Re: Safely networking TV on guest WLAN
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2021, 07:53:12 AM »

Thanks. Didnít want to find out about any software bugs or vulnerability horrors that have come to be known. Iím not worried about legal behaviour of manufacturers.

The only issue I remember about smart TVs was a privacy concern some years ago on some Samsung models that had a voice recognition system. There was concern that the company were potentially storing peoples private conversations. I don't remember ever hearing about any nasty bugs or vulnerabilities in them.
 :)
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Reformed

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Re: Safely networking TV on guest WLAN
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2021, 02:04:00 PM »

Stick it in guest if you're worried about it. Same goes for any IoT device.
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Weaver

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Re: Safely networking TV on guest WLAN
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2021, 05:57:24 PM »

> If you already have a guest wifi set up (and especially if that isolates clients from each other)

The guest SSID does isolate clients from one another as well as from all wired devices and wireless devices outside guest. Itís internet access only.
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Ronski

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Re: Safely networking TV on guest WLAN
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2021, 07:21:08 PM »

If you really have security concerns about connecting your tv to the internet then can I recommend this security device.

Absolutely brilliant, there me wonder what security device it was going to be  :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Chrysalis

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Re: Safely networking TV on guest WLAN
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2021, 07:27:09 PM »

I wouldnt laugh so hard, anything is exploitable.

With that said any TV that doesnt let you download apps should be ok, if its from a reputable brand not some cheap chinese no name company, I wouldnt worry about outbound connections either, I did put my smart bulb on my guest network primarily because its a no name chinese company running the device.
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