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Manage wifi access at home - devices available

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Manage wifi access at home - devices available

Prolific scribe

Manage wifi access at home - devices available

We have for a long time attempted all sorts to things to manage excessive use of phone, ipad, computers and gaming for our son, now 14 years old. 


No devices in the room after 9 pm worked for a while. As he became more beligerent this approach failed. I discovered that our router (the device that connects to the internet) had some access control functions. The functionality for access control was limited at best. 


I did some research recently to upgrade our router to one that offered better access control. I selected a Netgear model, as it appeared to have quite good controls, to prevent access per device in the house, time limits and limits to specific sites. What I found was less than useful. The most effective function was the ability to manually turn off access to wifi for my son. However, to turn it back on, the device had to be linked to the system. This became a problem if I did not relink his device in the morning. He would come home from school with no wifi connection. 


So I researched alternative routers. All my research suggested this function as only an afterthought. 


Now I have found a device that does the following:

identifies all devices on your wifi and wired network. 

Allows for a profile to be set up for each person Or function. 

Eg. Child 1 has an iPad and laptop for school work. 

A profile is set firstly blocking access across a full week. 

For instance no access after 9 pm, starting say 7 am. Set for each day of the week. 

Then you can manage dangerous content sites.

set access times to social, gaming etc. 


I have had it in now for 2 days. I wish I had looked for this many years ago. Though I suspect this technology is more recent. It prevents the children finding a work around within the device. My son years ago quickly discovered that parental controls on a game prevented it doing most things. So he "needed" administration rights. 


This device appears to eliminate this issue. 

Search the web for ParentPower. 

Australian made gizmo. 




Prolific scribe

Re: Manage wifi access at home - devices available

One other quick comment.
Where the above device fails is if they have lots of data on their phone.

So the solution to this is:
1 no phone. Or
2. the lowest data plan for the phone and they have to use wifi at home.

Our main issue was to achieve sensible sleep cycles and also manage access times to social media, Netflix etc. in the home.

This does the job really well.
Star contributor

Re: Manage wifi access at home - devices available

Thanks for the post @Orbit64  I am sure this will be helpful to a lot of parents.  

It is so important that kids manage the time they spend online - which in most cases they can't regulate for themselves so they need their parents guidance / boundaries.  I have a phone curfew on school nights for my 17 year old daughter. The main reason is to enable her to get a good night of uninterrupted sleep. So many kids are lacking sensible sleep cycles and sleep deprived.  My daughter does not function well on little sleep.  In fact, I don't think anybody functions well when they are sleep deprived!

Prolific scribe

Re: Manage wifi access at home - devices available

I've struggled with this too, and tried lots of things...the one you mentioned sounds worthwhile.


I upgraded our router to open source firmware (Gargoyle). That gives lots of controls and looks a bit like the solution you mentioned. The advantage is that it is free, the disadvantage is that setting it up is beyond many peoples capability - really very techie.


The latest thing I'm using is Qustodio. There are a couple of similar products as well. The big advantage to me is that it controls devices inside and outside the home. I can turn off my son's internet access when he is at the shops (and I'm sitting at home)! Another great thing is that it reports the location of his phone, which I like.


One other comment for parents, the XBOX One has no time limit settings on it. I understand that some of the other XBOX products have something. I find this really frustrating as it means I've got to fight to get the game finished! I see the ParentPower thing does XBOX as well, so that's a big bonus.


Casual scribe

Re: Manage wifi access at home - devices available

Teenagers! Who invented them!?! As I still haven't found a manual about "raising children", my best alternative is to find ideas and solutions on a forum where likeminded people are.
We have a 14 year old daughter, who is displaying the same behaviour / attitude described in all the previous messages. I would love to know how everyone else manages their child's negotiating skills, rudeness etc when their wifi connection gets turned off.
We control our daughter's internet access with the app called "Ourpact". We always have control on her exposure and we know where she is as it has a location finder. At night time, she gives us all her screens and we keep it in our bedroom. We have even bought a very cheap laptop for her to use when she needs to do homework, as there were far too many distractions when she was doing her homework using her MacBook which she has to use at school. We turn her wifi access off when she does her homework so she can't use her phone. But off course, we get a lot of lip! How do you remain calm? How do you manage their anger? Do you give punishments? Do you have time limits on your child's internet access? Any ideas are very welcome!!
Super star contributor

Re: Manage wifi access at home - devices available

Hey @Ozzie_76, everything comes with a manual! And a warranty!! I don't know what happened with children and teenagers - someone would've lost their job over that major oversight, surely!


You've asked fantastic questions and I'm interested to hear how other parents manage the 'backlash'. 


Welcome to the forum too by the way. It's lovely to have you here Smiley Happy


Re: Manage wifi access at home - devices available

I'm wanting ideas from others, as I really need to set clearer, stronger boundaries re internet use.  I feel as though my daughter has all the power at the moment so I need to get this back, and I think the key is by restricting internet access.  I think so many arguments/her attitude are stemming from this.  I just don't quite know where to start.  She is 12 and has an ipad and a phone with no data. We have home wifi and unlimited data as I have 2 x 21yos who use a fair bit for uni and gaming. I also use a low to mod amount so as there are techinically (!) 3 adults in the house we still want unlimited access for us.  She plugs devices in upstairs at night so I know she's not on them in her room in bed.  At least I've done one thing right!  otherwise, its just too much time on internet, me feeling anxious for her to get off, attitude, and arguments.  I'm thinking an app like in one of these posts but wondering if there is anything I can do without having to get into her devices to do it.  Any ideas on how to do this with minimum hysteria would also be welcomed! 

Star contributor

Re: Manage wifi access at home - devices available

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Hi @JooJoo3-2_1 and thank you for making this post- managing internet use is a huge issue for so many families!


It sounds like you have thought through some strategies you are using at the moment:

  • Having your teen charge her devices in different parts of the house
  • Making sure Ipads and phone plans don't include data
  • Limiting some access to the full unlimited wifi

Do you know if she had access to wifi at school? We have seen a few parents talk about the difficulties of limiting internet use at home when it is prevalent at schools. 


You have also mentioned apps, have you had a look into what could work for your family? 


I thought I might link you some resources that might be helpful too. ReachOut have this article here about managing screen time and a video discussion here about internet use. We also have had parents talking on the forums about internet including @Hootbayne spoke about screen time here earlier this year, as did @Cadbury here. Hope these resources can also offer some new ideas!


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