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I was looking for a way to segment some IoT devices from my main network and disable their network connections on demand programmatically. The Guest Network feature on the router does a good job of segmenting the network, so I wanted a way to turn the guest network's interface off and on based upon conditions.

Example scenario: You have cloud-based IoT cameras and want to cease all traffic when you're home.

What this does

This puts toggling any interface on the router behind an HTTP endpoint. Since an interface is created when a guest network is enabled, we can now enable and disable that network whenever we want.

Getting started

  1. Install Asuswrt-Merlin on your ASUS router

  2. Create a guest network and disable intranet access

  3. Enable SSH access in Administration

  4. Generate a passwordless SSH keypair

    An example running from the ssh directory:
    ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 2048 -N "" -f id_rsa -C guest_toggle

    1. On the router's web interface, put the contents of in Administration -> Authorized Keys
    2. Keep the private key private!
    3. To verify everything's good to go, you should be able to run ssh -i [private key you generated] admin@[router ip] and get a prompt

    Note: For convenience this project turns off host key checking to keep it entirely non-interactive. A best practice is to leave it enabled. You'd only need to verify the key once.

Running via Docker from the repo root example:

docker build . -t twstokes:guest_toggle

docker run -it --rm  \
		-e ROUTER_USER=admin \
		-p 8000:5000 \
		-v $(pwd)/ssh:/root/.ssh twstokes:guest_toggle

Docker Compose example:

version: '3'

    build: .
      - ./ssh:/root/.ssh
      - 8000:5000
      - ROUTER_USER=admin
      - ROUTER_INTERFACE=wl0.1

docker-compose build
docker-compose up


In these examples we'll assume Docker is locally running the examples from above.

  • Enabling the interface: curl localhost:8000/enable
  • Disabling the interface: curl localhost:8000/disable
  • Getting the state: curl localhost:8000/state

Each call will return a message on whether it was a success or failure.


SSHing into the router and running ifconfig will show whether the interface is enabled (visible in the list), or disabled (not visible in the list). You can also check the state of /sys/class/net/[interface name]/flags.

More info:

Running ebtables -L (a sibling to iptables) on the router should show you the rules in place for interfaces. In my case, the VLAN the router had created was properly dropping any FORWARDed traffic from the untrusted interface because the "Access Intranet" setting for the guest network was set to "Off".

Why I couldn't accomplish this via iptables:

I found that I could drop / allow new traffic at will by adding and removing FORWARD rules, but couldn't affect established TCP connections. The IoT cameras would happily keep transferring data over their existing connections to the cloud and I'd be at mercy of the default timeout. I wanted this to work immediately.


Toggling network interfaces for ASUS routers via HTTP endpoint






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