SmartLink Account Questions

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It is stated the SmartLink user account is a single account
per radio. It is also recommended not to share the account though there arepeople are wanting to share. The recommendation is to use a unique emailaccount if sharing is planned. I have a couple of questions in the planning onsetting up an account.

Does the email address have to be able to send email as thataddress or can an alias email address be used? For example, someone may haveseveral email addresses with one as the primary joe@abc.com with aliases ofcallsign@abc.com, joeandmary@abc.com, callsign-sl1@abc.com, etc. all getreceived by joe@abc.com and replies come from joe@abc.com. Most web servicesdon't need the email address to reply for confirmation of the account creationsince they usually include a link to a page for confirmation. Hopefully theSmartLink account creation and management is web based and not email account transactionbased process so aliases will work. 

The next question is what is the password management policy?Can the password be changed frequently and can previous passwords be used againor is a password history used to prevent recycling of previous passwords? For example,could you share your account with someone but first change password. When theyare finished using the radio you then change the password back to what you hadoriginally.

Does changing the password while the radio is in use dropthe active connected session forcing a need to reconnect with knowledge of thenew password?
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David

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Posted 2 years ago

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KD7CAO

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David,

From my experience installing yesterday. Once I put the information into the registration form the account was instantly usable. I have not received an activation email or any correspondence from Flex or anything else that an account was created.

The registration asked for an E-Mail address and a Password (on the computer it did not care about complex password requirements, but on the Maestro it did. Minimum six characters, uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special character. 

I too would like to see the ability to have multiple devices authorized to a single account and to have multiple individual users have the ability to access devices. In this fashion, I could share one of the four Flex radios or all of them and choose who should have different privileges or schedule usage times for example. In fact I could envision someone offering access on a fee schedule to their flex radios.

Additionally, it would be nice to be able to boot a users access even while they are using the radio in the event you needed to take control of it. At this point, the only way I could see doing that is from a computer local to the network or by cutting off the network access.

Hopefully, Flex will add additional features to this wonderful addition to the software. It worked so well I was surprised (my Maestro could not update the firmware in the radio, but the PC had zero issues).

Eric KD7CAO
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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I did get an email verification, but it was a "click on the link" type.

73

Steve K9ZW

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David

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That appears answer the use of an alias will work.

Since you have SmartLink working if you wanted to change your password how would you do that and would you be willing to test the examples I described? From a strict security policy point there would a password history rule. I am hoping they have not used a strict policy and permit reuse of passwords.
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Norm - W7CK

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Eric,

I agree with you.  If you haven't ever checked out rcforb from remotehams.com, I recommend you take a look.  Its a free program so you may want to download the server and client app just to see what its like.

Their security, permissions, and account management is pretty amazing.  Very granular and highly customisable. You have full control over exactly what remote users can do.  I have used it to grant access to my Flex but it does not provide the scope/waterfall. 

The only reason I mention this is so that maybe someone at Flex will take a look and possibly get some ideas for future releases of SmartLink.

Norm - W7CK
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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You should use a valid email address as this will alllow "forgot password" so you can change it. 

I don't believe there are any restrictions on password strength/length/complexity etc.

You can disconnect a user by using a force disconnect, and then changing the password. I do agree that this can use some refinement. I've made note of some things I have and will be communicating to the dev team so hopefully the experience can be a little better.

Ria
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Ken Hansen

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"It is stated the SmartLink user account is a single account per radio."

I have heard this described as 'a radio can only be linked to one SmartLink account at a time, and as I understand it to change the SmartLink account a radio is linked to you must be able to close the PTT on the physical radio within a certain window of time.

If you wanted to make your radio available to a friend during the day, you could either share your SmartLink account OR at the end of the day link the radio to your account (pressing PTT within the time window), then when you are done link the radio to your friend's account (again, you'd have to PTT within a defined window of time and you'd need to have your friend's SmartLink credentials), repeating this back-and-forth linking.

I understand that having multiple SmartLink accounts per radio is something Flex is considering for the future, but I have seen no commitment on this from them yet.

HTH,

Ken
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David

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Are you saying that it is not possible for the password to be changed once the account is created?

I understand the PTT interaction for linking a using account to the radio.
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Ken Hansen

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I have no idea, and I carefully avoided touching that subject in my focused response to one of your points.
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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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What is being described here is SmartLink Sharing.  This is a feature that is not currently built in, but you can get a few of the same effects by sharing your account credentials.  Obviously, this is not something that we are going to recommend that you do, but we understand the desire to share your radio and this is something that we will consider going forward.

Side note: You can indeed change your password using the "I forgot my password" option when logging in.
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David

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Yes, the outcome could be account sharing but quick and easy password management is a basic concept for access and identify management. Given your response it is possible to change the password not retrieve the forget password. This it is done through an email process and not a web interface. I am guessing there is a "forgot my password" link to click on the SmartLink and SmartSDR radio select panel.

For clarity what is the password policy? Does it prevent using previous assigned passwords? Does this process require interaction with the PTT?
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Ken - NM9P

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I believe that If you "Unregister" the rig, you can Register it again with a different account, which includes a username and password, and requires another PTT/CW key punch.  Then the Method, Username and Password used from Smartlink must match the information used to register the rig.

Both registering and Un-registering your rig require interaction with the PTT/CW key.
The rig must also be connected to the internet for both functions to complete properly as well.
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David

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That is understood. I am looking for clarity around the single user account password management and work flow that supports it.
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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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The password policy is defined and enforced by our authentication partner, Auth0.  You will notice that the only time you enter this (whether creating an account or logging in) is handled inside the Auth0 web portal.  They know nothing about the radio and therefore it follows that PTT is not involved.  Whether they allow previous passwords I am not sure.  I would have to try it.  

The "I forgot my password" (found in the Auth0 web portal when signing in) is the only interface to change your password today.

This allows companies like Auth0 to be the worlds experts on authentication while we continue to develop the world's best software defined radios.  ;)  Best of both worlds in one.
(Edited)
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David

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Thank you for the additional details.

After reading through the documentation more am I correct in understanding the SmartLink feature saves the user id and password and there is no option to not save the password for SmartLink remote connecting?
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Ken - NM9P

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If I understand your question, your computer will stay logged in to Smartlink until you intentionally "Log Out."  
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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David - Ken is correct.  You have to log out.
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David

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Ok, I may have missed that in the documentation. It would still be good to know what the password policy is that FlexRadio and Auth0 have set up.

Thank you for the clarification on the questions.
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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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The policy is subject to change, but it is clearly shown when creating an account.  Here's the current set as shown when I went to the Create tab in the SmartLink Log In.
  
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David

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Does this mean there is no password history permitting the reuse of previously used passwords?
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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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No.  It means that you need at least 8 characters, it must contain lower and upper case letters and a digit.

There is not currently a password history that is checked when updating.  This is subject to change, however.
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David

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It is understood all things can change. I would hope until a more feature rich update is released supporting multi-user and more related functions that the current policy stays in place unchanged. With the answers provided it appears radio sharing would be possible with use of the single user SmartLink account and some reduced risk by the owner updating the password as needed.

Some points observed from this discussion.

If installing SSDR 2.0 with use of SmartLink for remote access on a PC other than your own (ex: friend, family, work, etc.) for the times you are visiting it would be recommended to log the SmartLink account out of the radio when you are done. This will remove the risk of the radio being use by others without your knowledge. This may also be something to practice if using a laptop or portable device removing concerns if the device is lost or stolen.

One option for sharing a radio with other FlexRadio SSDR 2.0 owners is to change the SmartLink account registered to the radio. This requires the ability to activate the PTT (locally or via a networked device). This would allow owners to virtually swap radios for different operating locations.

Another option is to use an email account specifically for SmartLink use (ex: callsign-sl01@xyz.com). Set a unique personal password the owner only uses. When the owner wants to share the radio, the account is assigned to they can change the password. When the sharing is done they can change the password back to the original unique one or a different one. This can be repeated as desired. If necessary they can force takeover of the radio to drop the other shared connection. This would allow for demonstration or trial use of the radio, assist a ham in that cannot setup a station at the location, get a newly upgraded ham on the air until they get setup, and other beneficial way of promoting the hobby and involvement as well FlexRadio and SDR.

To repeat this is clearly this NOT recommended by FlexRadio and if done the radio owner assumes all risk

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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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Yes!  Definitely log out after demoing for family/friends just like you would your email, etc.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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This is opening up many possibilities, new adventures in remote use. this is a worthwhile discussion. At present I would not let anyone log into my radio whom I don't know well,,to trust.
It would be nice to open it up to a local ham club, but there is no way to make some things off limits in some of the menus for instance, setting limits for visitors. I suppose we could simply inport our profiles every time to make sure all is how we left it after they are done playing.
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David

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Correct with the initial implementation of the SSDR 2.0 SmartLink remote access as FlexRadio said all along it is single user access. They hope to introduce some form of multi-user and maybe more in depth control of sharing in future updates. The observations were what appears to be feasible and each owner has to decide their comfort level of sharing or not. But it is a start with remote access built into the FlexRadio SSDR product making it easier and simpler than the DYI VPN options.
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David

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Another feature that can helpful if sharing your radio is that DAX and CAT can run on multiple systems at the same time. This can be useful when monitoring locally the remote use of the radio.  Run a program locally like fldigi, remotehams, commcat, N1MM logger, 3rd party meters, etc. and you can have some view of what is being done with the radio. It is not a perfect solution and there are some gotchas but it is an option.

Maybe someone knows of or will make a simple monitor program that could show all slices, frequency, mode, filters status and levels, bandwidth, rf power, swr, s-signal, temp, etc. with the option to toggle each on and off and order displayed as desired.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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DDUtil shows some of that data. But I agree, another program could be helpful.