When it comes to technology, our kids probably have us beat. They are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to knowing which sites have the best deal – where to find the best links for movie sites, which social media sites their friends are on, and so on. But the online world has given rise to cyber crime, and it is very easy for your kids to be a victim of hackers who can get access to your personal information or even worse. Luckily, best parental control router devices can mitigate this risk.
There are certain sites I’m sure you don’t want your little ones to stumble upon, even by accident – keeping sites with dubious content blocked or even being able to control what they can access online will give a huge sigh of relief to concerned parents.
Parental controls have been increased over the years as internet is more accessible to many, as technology becomes cheaper and widespread.
To safeguard your children from accessing restricted content that is not meant for their age group, that may affect them mentally, and to prevent cyber crime and cyber bullying, that has constantly been on the rise.
There are four categories where parental controls can be enforced:
1) Content filters – where your parental control router can restrict access to inappropriate sites which need a certain age limit before entering
2) Usage Controls – placing time limits on devices so your kids cannot be online on their gadgets 24/7
3) Computer usage management tools – which forces certain software to be used.
4) Monitoring – where you can keep a close eye on your devices – so you know where they are and what they’re doing on their devices.
It may seem like a case of Big Brother’s watching you – but in this day and age, parents do have to keep a close watch on their children’s safety as their well being is something you cannot compromise on.
Your router should be able to do the following to be considered the best router for parental controls:
1) Be able to view connected devices – You should be able to view which users are connected to your network to see if there are unwanted guests piggy backing on your network.
2) Blocking unwanted users from accessing your network – While this is fairly simple – If you notice there is an unwanted connected user, simply change the password and they will not have access anymore. You can choose to do the MAC address option if you wish.
3) GUI – Graphical User Interface (read point 5)
4) Internet Filtering – You can type in certain keywords and your parental control router’s filter will store them in memory.
5) Set time restrictions – You can control when your kids can have internet access – whether it is an hour or two everyday or extra on the weekends.
6) White list/ blacklist sites – You can block sites you deem inappropriate for your family and place them on the blacklist, and the ones which are family friendly can be white listed.
7) Safe Search feature – To make sure your kids have a safe browsing time
2 Ethernet Ports
2. Linksys EA7300
4 Ethernet Ports
3. Asus RT-AC88U
4 Ethernet Ports
This is an external monitoring device that can be plugged into your router via an Ethernet cable and will keep a track on incoming and outgoing data. This simple tool can be your home’s defence against cyber threats, and also prevent the leak of sensitive information from your home network, making it our Editor’s pick for the best parental control router.
The Cujo has an advanced firewall equipped with anti-malware software and anti-virus software that can keep all scammers, hackers and phishing at bay. With the Cujo, you set the rules. It should be placed near your router and this will act as the gateway to all data coming in and out of your home network. Based on your settings, it will filter out untrustworthy sites; prevent your connected devices from sending out personal and sensitive information.
All incoming data is automatically scanned for threats and all viruses and malware are detected and dealt with promptly. As the Cujo database keeps updating itself, the list of cyber threats is added to it so to always be up-to-date.
Apart from this, the Cujo takes cyber security one step further. Not only does it deal with a cyber threat and remember it for future encounters, it also passes on information about the particular threat to a secure server so that all Cujos can identify the threat as well, and know how to stop that threat.
For those who are wondering what the set up process is like, it is fairly easy for anyone – simply take an Ethernet cable and connect one end to the Cujo and the other to either your router or modem. The CUJO app is available for both Android and iOS devices, and this will help you proceed further. Add all connected devices to your Cujo app – ranging from your smart TV, smart phone, gaming devices, smart home technology and you will be protected.
The CUJO beats other devices when it comes to your home protection.
Linksys have been world leaders in home & business networking solutions, and the Linksys EA7300 is the next step in securing your home against cyber threats.
As this is a Max Stream router, when paired with a Max-Stream Range Extender, the intuitive smart technology allows you to roam around your connected space with seamless connectivity, without any loss of connection or signal. This is also the next Gen of AC routers – coupled with MU-MIMO technology to deliver a strong and stable connection to all devices connected to the network.
Nowadays, having a dual router for parental controls is a given – to handle all your smart devices that run on both bands, offering excellent speeds. The three external adjustable antennas are great for maximizing your network coverage, with the dual core processor boosting the overall performance.
You also have 4 x Gigabit LAN ports and a Gigabit WAN port if you want to hard wire your devices to the router.
The Linksys EA7300 offers a range of parental control features that may help keep your home protected.
To look at, the Asus RT-AC88U looks pretty impressive. The matt black color seems to be dust proof (hooray), and the angular sides almost make it seem like it’s going to take off at any moment. This is a powerhouse parental control router which offers a lot of features that will leave you happy.
To start with, this is a dual band router for parental controls that allows your devices to connect to either the 5GHz band or the 2.4GHz band. It also is MU-MIMO enabled, which allows multiple connected clients to work simultaneously, without your bandwidth getting adversely affected. As this is a router for parental controls, unlike our Editor’s choice this had to be tested for wireless performance as well as home security and parental control features.
This is a high performance router for parental controls that is built to deliver speed and excellent throughput on both bands, with the 1.4GHz dual core processor kicking in to boost your home network. The combination of the Broadcam processor and NitroQAM technology offers theoretical speeds reaching up to 3.167Gbps combined on both bands.
The four removable external antennas allow you to optimize the direction and coverage in your home. The Asus RT-AC88U also boasts of an impressive 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports, which is more than average, not including the USB 2.0, USB 3.0 port and WAN port.
It is however, more well known for the plethora of management options it offers. From a very easy Web interface to the mobile app for remote management and monitoring, to the Guest network which allows for guests to be connected without compromising on the security of your home network, to the Network Map, the Advanced QoS for prioritising your bandwidth allocation to the GPN for gamers and Traffic Analyser for knowing what’s happening when with your connected clients – you’ll always be on top of the ball.
The set up process is extremely user friendly, thanks to the Intuitive Set up Wizard. The Asus RT-AC88U outperformed many other routers in its class in terms of speed and throughput – constantly generating an impressive speed of 450Mbps, with the speed dropping to 418Mbps at a distance of 40 feet. This was on the 5GHz band – the 2.4GHz band also did not disappoint, with speeds reaching 112Mbps.
Depending on which router you have, you can easily set up your parental controls by going to the configuration settings on your router. Your router is the gateway for all data entering your home network, so setting up parental controls on your router enables you to enable internet filters for all your connected devices.
Open a browser window and input your router’s IP address. You can then input the login information as given on your router (login name and password).
Check if the Access Controls are located on the Firewall page or they are located elsewhere.
Your router may be a little different, depending upon the manufacturer and brand. This is a general How-To process to go about blocking access to certain sites.
All that’s left s to save the rules and settings you’ve created, and click on Apply for it to take effect. You may need to reboot your router or wait for a few minutes for it to start working.
Now you should test if your Access Controls actually work. Access the network from your child’s device when they are not supposed to be connected, or try to access a website that is blocked. An error message should pop up if the controls are working.
When it comes to the protection and security of your kids online, nothing is too much. Cyber threats are all too common and you don’t want your child to be a victim of any cyber crimes. While routers with increased security and parental control features are the way to go, at times it may be easier to opt for a third party gadget like the CUJO, which easily does more in regards to the protection of your home network than many routers that are built to deliver an all round performance.
As of now, the BlueGadgetTooth team stands behind the Cujo as the best parental control router, even though technically it is not a router - simply because you don’t have to get the hassle of replacing the router you already own.
Hey, it's Tomas here! I'm the founder and chief editor here at BlueGadgetTooth. After spending hours explaining my parents how to hook up their Internet, why it's being so slow etc. I decided to start this blog to help people with their gadgets and questions about technology.