FaceTime is a great way to connect with friends and family. But there are times when you may just want to block facetime on a router. Video chatting may not be your preferred method of communicating, or the situation may not call for it.
The best way to block Facetime on your router is to block port 5223 in the Firewall. Facetime uses several ports to route call traffic. Among them are 53, 80, 443, and 5223. Also, the range of ports between 16393 and 16472 (UDP) is used for other call data. But, all you have to do is block port 5223, and it will prevent calls from going through.
In this guide, we will explain how to block facetime on a router. We will also go over some alternatives in case you don’t have access to the local network’s firewall settings.
What is FaceTime and How Does it Work?
FaceTime lets people with iPads, iPhones, and Apple Mac computers easily make video calls to each other. Unfortunately, you can’t make FaceTime calls from Android, but there are many alternatives to FaceTime for Android.
FaceTime uses an internet connection to send audio and video from one Apple device to another. Facetime uses a proprietary protocol but it is based on SIP. It’s basically a standard VOIP stream with some video and Apple magic. So, if you know what ports these services use, you can block them on your network.
There are several ports that FaceTime video calls use, but you don’t have to take the time to block all of them. There is really just one single port that you need to block to block FaceTime on your router.
What Protocol Does FaceTime Use?
FaceTime uses a single UDP port for signaling and media. So, if SIP uses port 16402, then the media will use that same port. On this port, 2 streams are created. One to send the H. 264 video, and the other to send AAC Audio. There are other ports that are used to establish a call and to relay other information.
Disable FaceTime Cellular Data
Remember, blocking FaceTime on your router does not do any good if you do not first disable FaceTime’s access to your cellular data. If you don’t block FaceTime from having cellular data access, then FaceTime will be able to find a way around any port blocking that you may have done. Luckily, disabling FaceTime on your cellular data is an easy thing to do. This is how you do it:
- From the Home screen on your iPhone, tap Settings
- Then, tap Cellular.
- Finally, tap the FaceTime switch to disable cellular data for FaceTime.
How to Block Facetime on a Router
If you have access to your network’s firewall settings, you can block FaceTime calls from going through.
Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to blocking network traffic. Each manufacturer has its own way of doing things, and the menu layouts between brands can be entirely different from one another.
Even though the method to block or allow traffic varies from router to router, most of them follow a common heirarchy.
Once you login to your router, look for something on the screen that says ‘advanced’ or ‘NAT/Gaming’. If you don’t see that, look for a setting labeled ‘security’ or ‘firewall.’
If you look around enough, eventually, somewhere, at some point, you will find the firewall rules on your router. Once you get there, there will be some fields that you will need to fill out.
It will ask you what ports you want to create the rule for. It will ask you what kind of rule you would like to create (allow or block), and it will ask you what devices you would like it to affect.
This is another area where different routers have different ways of doing it, but there is generally some way to select an individual device or apply the rule to all devices on your network.
Blocking the following ports will prevent FaceTime calls from going through:
|Ports to block for FaceTime
3478 – 3497 (UDP)
16384 – 16387 (UDP)
16393 – 16402 (UDP)
If you would like to block FaceTime on your router, you don’t have to block every single one of those ports. All you have to really do is block a single port to the device that you want to not be able to receive FaceTime calls.
Port number 5223 (TCP)
Blocking this single port should get the job done.
Can FaceTime Videos be Traced?
According to Apple, the company’s iMessage and FaceTime chat services are ‘protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them.’ The company continues, explaining that even ‘Apple cannot decrypt that data.’
Does FaceTime Use the SIP protocol?
Yes. Apple’s FaceTime service uses SIP. FaceTime is a VoIP and IP Video app that uses SIP for signaling and RTP for media. It uses STUN for NAT Traversal finding the caller’s IP address
How Much Data Does FaceTime Use?
FaceTime uses about 200 Megabytes per hour. You can track this metric directly in iOS by looking at your data usage.
Are FaceTime Calls Recorded?
Apple sometimes stores information regarding a FaceTime call. Things like who was the caller was, and whatever your device’s network configurations are. This information can be stored for up to 30 days. Apple does not record whether your call was answered or not. Also, the content of your calls is not recorded.
Can you FaceTime with an Android Phone?
No. Android phones cannot use FaceTime. There are, however, several viable alternatives to FaceTime for Android. Among them are some popular providers such as Facebook Messenger, Skype, Google Duo, and Zoom.
Blocking Facetime Application Directly on iPhone
Blocking Apple’s FaceTime app can be somewhat difficult, depending on your level of technical expertise. Even if you have SSL Inspector enabled, Application Control is going to see FaceTime as an unspecified ‘APPLE’ application.
What if I Don’t Have Access to the Network? (Other Options)
If you do not have access to your router’s firewall settings, your only option is to block the person from FaceTiming you within the FaceTime app. If you do this, it will also block text messages and regular calls from them as well.
This is not ideal because, under these conditions, it will not be difficult for the other person to find out that have blocked video calls from them. If this your only option, or you simply don’t mind if they know, then you can do this by selecting the info button associated with the contact you are wanting to block. You could also enter a phone number manually in the bar at the top.
After selecting the caller to block. scroll down and tap on ‘Block this Caller’. Next, select ‘Block Contact.’ You could also disable FaceTime and just enable it when you want to make video calls.
We hoped this guide helped you find out how to block facetime on your router. If you are having trouble finding the firewall rules/port blocking settings on your router, try googling block ports [your router model number here] (without brackets) to find guides specific to your router model.
Marziano is a seasoned tech expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and multiple certifications, including CompTIA A+, Network+, and Cisco’s CCNA, he has a well-rounded and robust understanding of various aspects of technology.