Internet and Home Network Parental Controls

parental-controlsToday all children have access to the Internet either via a smart TV, computer or Smart phone.

It is often desirable to restrict access to certain content on the Internet and also when they can access the Internet.

There are two ways of applying restrictions (so called parental controls) they are:

  • At the ISP centre
  • On the home network router.





ISP Parental Controls

This a service provided by your ISP which allows you to restrict access for your entire home network.

They are usually easy to set up and offer various levels of protection like strict,moderate,light.

They can also usually be configured to apply these controls for a particular time of day. See BT parental Controls for an example.

Because they are provided by the service provider there may be an addition charge for this.

In addition if you are using a non ISP provided router you may need to configure certain settings.

For example, BT parental controls rely on the hub using BT DNS servers and so you would need to configure your third party router to do this as well.

Home Router Parental Controls

This will depend on your make of home router and not all home routers support parental controls.

On a router provided by your ISP activating parental controls will most probably activate the ISP parental controls as described above and not the router parental controls.

TP Link Parental Controls

The TP-Link Home router (AC1200) supports parental controls and I will use my home router controls as an example of what you can expect on a home router that supports these controls.

The router supports time of day restrictions on individual devices.

You can explicitly block access to sites by using the blacklist.

Alternatively you can allow access to only particular sites using the whitelist.

You can specify the website explicitly by using the full domain name or by using keywords from the domain name.

For example to stop access to facebook using the backlist you could enter.

www.facebook.com or just facebook.

Example configuation

In this example I will block access to facebook on Sunday.

Steps

1. Enable parental controls

tp-link-parental controls-enable

2. Add devices using the add button and scan to locate the device (it must me on).

3.Click on the device from the list

parental-controls-select-device

4. Click on the clock icon and set the times when the restrictions apply by clicking in a box and dragging the cursor over the required blocks

parental-controls-select-time

5. Select the times

parental-controls-select-time-sunday

6. Click on blacklist and enter www.facebook.com into theĀ  backlist of just facebook .

parental-controls-enter-keyword-blacklist

7. Add a description and save.

The effect of the above controls is to block access for the selected device to any site with the word Facebook all day Sunday and evenings between 6 -12pm.

WhiteList Example

If instead of using blacklist We use Whitelist with the same settings then the device would only be able to connect to sites with the word Facebook between the selected hours.

Outside of those hours access would be normal.

Summary

Parental controls allow you to restrict access to internet content.

ISP parental controls are provide by the ISP and may occur additional cost. In addition they are not as good as router ones.

Home router controls are better but they involve configuration and not all home routers provide them.

Related Tutorials and Resources

 

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