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Super frequent scribe
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎07-04-2017

Manage wifi access at home - devices available

[ Edited ]

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. 

 

 

 

Super frequent scribe
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎07-04-2017

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.
Parent Peer Supporter
Posts: 139
Registered: ‎06-11-2017

Re: Manage wifi access at home - devices available

[ Edited ]

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!

Super frequent scribe
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎06-12-2017

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.

Cheers