Routers

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Filtering At The Router

A router distributes internet from your internet service provider (ISP) to all of your devices. It is very logical, then, to filter the internet at this point. Use the products or services below to protect your home by filtering at the router. Note, however, that when a device leaves the home, it will be unprotected. Use a filter on each separate device to protect that device (see this page: Simple Steps to Secure Your Device).

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The router supplies internet to other devices, and therefore it filters the devices that it is supplying. This means that any content is filtered before it gets to the connected devices at all.

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Router filters typically operate by using custom DNS services which are located in the cloud, and not on the device itself, further removing the threat from the end user.

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Router filters tend to be more difficult to setup, because the router doesn’t come with its own screen and needs to be accessed through other devices.

Purpose Built Filtering Producs

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What Are Purpose Built Filtering Products?

“Purpose Built Filtering Products” are physical devices that were made intentionally to filter your internet. These often replace or work next to your current router. Because they were built with filtering in mind, they tend to offer a better or simpler solution than third party services. Note, however, that many companies that make purpose built filtering products also offer a third party service that can be used without their device.

Disney Circle (Recommended)

You can use Disney Circle in two different ways. There is a standalone Circle device that connect to your current router, but also a group of Netgear routers that come with Circle built in. From what we understand, using the Netgear routers with circle built in is the better way to go.

Features
  • Content Filtering
  • Track history per device
  • Enforce Safe Search
  • Time Limits (Premium)
  • Internet On/Off Schedule (Premium)
  • On-Demand Internet On/Off (Premium)
  • Location (Premium)
Technology
  • Varies depending on the device you choose.
Cost

$129 for the standalone device (plus 1 year subscription)

$150-250 for a NetGear router with Circle built in.

$10/month for Premium features

*Prices checked late 2019

Disney Circle: Link

Disney Circle (NetGear): Link (scroll down to see available devices)

Standalone Device Page: Link

Standalone Device on Amazon: Link

Support: Link

Clean Router

Clean Router is a dedicated filtering router that makes a pretty good case for being superior to OpenDNS and other router solutions. You can read why here: Link. It also appears to be pretty simple to set up, and they offer phone support if you would like it. Other unique options include more in-depth filtering (pages are scanned for content) and a physical router button to turn off all internet.

Features
  • Dynamic Filtering
  • Schedule Internet On/Off Times
  • Content Filtering
  • Manual Blacklisting
Technology

Clean Router

  • 560Mhz Processor
  • 128MB RAM
  • Dual-band WiFi
  • 4 Gigabit LAN ports

Clean Router Pro

  • 880Mhz Dual Core Processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • Dual-band WiFi
  • 4 Gigabit LAN ports
Cost

$10/Month for “Complete Home Protection”

$15/Month for “Premium Home Protection”

*Prices checked late 2019

*Premium features are features that you only get with a paid subscription.

Clean Router Website: Link
Amazon: Link
Support: Link
Feature Page: Link
FAQ: Link

eGate Web

eGate Web offers a purpose built filtering router, among other products and services.

eGate Web main Site: Link
eGate Web Family Filtering: Link

NetAngel

From the NetAngel website: “NetAngel’s mission is to educate and equip families and individuals with the tools and support needed to avoid and overcome the destructive effects of pornography.”

Features
  • Dynamic Filtering
  • Schedule Internet On/Off Times
  • Content Filtering
  • Dashboard Controls
  • Time Limits
  • Can Enforce Safe-Search
  • Real-time alerts
Technology
  • 4 Gigabit LAN ports
Notes
  • App for mobile devices to filter them with the same settings away from home.
Cost

$100 for the router

$15/Month

*Prices checked late 2019

 

NetAngel Website: Link
Amazon: Link

Gryphon Connect

Gryphon Connect is an technologically advanced filtering router with automatic updating. One of its main focuses is parental control.

Features
  • Mobile App Setup Only (No Browser Control)
  • Ad Blocking
  • Filters App Internet Access in Addition to Browser Access
  • Dynamic Filtering
  • Schedule Internet On/Off Times
  • Content Filtering
  • Manual Blacklisting
  • Dashboard Controls
  • Time Limits
  • Application-Aware Time Access
  • Can Enforce Safe-Search
Lacking
  • Reports
  • Social Media Monitoring
Technology
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB Flash Storage
  • 4×4 MU-MIMO
  • Beamforming
  • Tri-band WiFi
  • 3 Gigabit LAN ports
Notes

Pros

  • Simple app for settings.
  • Tracks internet history per user.
  • High level malware protection.
  • Much more powerful hardware than most parental control routers.
  • Gryphon Homebound app filters mobile devices even when they are away from home or on mobile data.

Cons

  • The app for controlling settings does not work on every smart phone.
  • Settings can only be adjusted through the app, not on a website (for security reasons).
  • History is somewhat confusing to browse, due to a large number of linked/connected sites the user didn’t actually go to.
  • The Gryphon Homebound App doesn’t seem very stable.
  • History is not tracked when users are away from home, even with the Homebound app.
  • There is a short window of unfiltered access before the Homebound app begins to work (only applies when users are away from home or on cellular data).
Cost

$210 for the router

$5/Month for Gryphon’s “Homebound” App

*Prices checked late 2019

 

Gryphon Website: Link
Amazon: Link
Support: Link
Feature Page: Link
Tutorials, FAQs & Installation Guide: Link

Kibosh

Kibosh offers both their own filtering devices and DNS filtering services for other routers.

Kibosh Site: Link

Eero Pro

The Eero Pro (2nd Gen) device is a technologically advanced mesh router that offers some forms of parental control.

Features
  • Mobile App Setup Only (No Browser Controls)
  • Auto Updating Firmware
  • Schedule Internet On/Off Times
  • On-Demand On/Off
  • Ad Blocking (Premium)
  • Content Filtering (Premium)
  • Dashboard Control (Premium)
Lacking
  • “Whitelist Only” Option
  • Manual Blacklisting
Technology
  • 700Mhz Quad Core Processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB Flash Storage
  • Tri-band WiFi
  • 2×2 MU-MIMO
  • Beamforming
  • Gigabit LAN
Notes
  • Eero¬† Plus will not allow DNS overides, a very welcome feature that fixes one of the largest negatives of DNS filtering.

*Premium features are features that you only get with a paid subscription.

Amazon: Link

Support: Link

Blocksi

Blocksi offers both a router and a cloud service for filtering. Beyond home services, they also have products for school and enterprise filtering.

Features
  • Detailed dashboard
  • Control multiple Blocksi routers with one dashboard
  • “Whitelist Only” option
  • Safe search enforced
  • Webpage text scanning
  • Near Real-time analytics per device
  • Internet On/Off Schedule
Technology
  • Dual-band WiFi
  • 4 Gigabit LAN ports

Blocksi Webpage: Link

Amazon: Link

Suuport: Link

Firewalla

Firewalla is primarily a security firewall, but also offer some parental control options.

Features
  • View device history
  • Alerts for sties visited
  • Content filtering (uses openDNS)
  • Internet On/Off Schedule
  • Can enforce SafeSearch
  • Remote management
  • Ad blocking
Technology

Red

  • 512MB RAM
  • 1GHz Quad Core Processor (32 bit)
  • 16GB SD Card Storage

Blue

  • 1GB RAM
  • 1GHz Quad Core Processor (64 bit)
  • 16GB SD Card Storage
Cost

$109 for Firewalla Red (economical version)

$179 for Firewalla Blue (powerful version)

Firewalla Webpage: Link

Q

Symantec Norton Core

Q

Torch

Q

iBoss

Q

Skydog

Third Party Services

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What Do You Mean by "Third Party Services?"

When a company allows you to channel your internet through their severs, we call this a “Third Party Service.” Through your account with that company, you can adjust or filter the internet that comes into your house.

CleanBrowsing

Recommended by ProtectYoungEyes for blocking pornography.

Tutorial on ProtectYoungEyes: Link
Cleanbrowsing Website: Link

OpenDNS

OpenDNS is a familar name in the DNS filtering world. Using their service actually increases the speed of your internet, but can also filter it when set up to do so.

OpenDNS Setup Guide: Link
OpenDNS Website: Link

DNS Thingy

One of the downsides to DNS based filters that is there are ways to get around them. DNSThingy is an app that enforces the DNS filter settings and keeps the DNS fitler updated with your IP address. It can also do whitelisting and blacklisting on its own.

DNS Thingy Website: Link

Manufacturer Settings

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Does My Current Router Have Parental Controls?

Quite a few routers nowadays have parental controls already on them. For the most part, though, the controls are limited. To use your current router in conjunction with a better filter, look for one of the third party services, listed above.

AT&T U-Verse / 2-Wire

According to Protect Young Eyes (Link), the 2-Wire brand routers are not configurable because they are locked down by AT&T. They link to an OpenDNS article on this problem with a workaround, but you’ll need a second router and some technical experience:

OpenDNS on AT&T U-Verse: Link

TP-Link

TP-Link routers advertised as having parental controls:

TP-Link Deco M9 Plus
-Manual blacklisting
-Content filtering
-Time limits
-Internet On/Off schedule
-On-demand On/Off option

TP-Link Instructions on Parental Controls: Link
TP-Link Instructions for new User Interface: Link

Search on TP-Link Support Website for Parental Controls: Link

D-Link

D-Link offers videos on setting up parental controls in the support section of their website. In order to get there, enter the model number of your router at the site below and check the videos for one on parental controls (there may be several pages of videos – be sure to check them all).
D-Link Support: Link

D-Link advertises their myDlink app as being able to set up parental controls for the router. Links below:
myDlink Apps: Link
myDlink App on Google Play: Link
myDlink App on Apple App Store: Link

3rd Party articles on D-Link Parental Controls: Link

Linksys

Linksys routers advertised as having parental controls:

Linksys AC1750
-the Linksys parental controls appear to only control time, and do not appear to have any content filtering.
Linksys EA6900/AC1900
-the Linksys parental controls appear to only control time, and do not appear to have any content filtering.
Linksys Velop
-only allows 10 blacklisted sites

Linksys Parental Controls How-To: Link
3rd Party Instructions: Link

Asus

Asus routers advertised as having parental controls:

Asus AC3100
Asus Site: Link
Amazon: Link

The Asus Lyra Trio is advertised as having parental controls, but does not do any content filtering.

Asus Parental Controls How-To: Link

Netgear

Netgear offers Disney Circle integrated with some of their routers, and also a Genie app for controlling settings.

Router Options:

NetGear Nighthawk
NetGear Orbi

Netgear Parental Controls Page: Link

Motorola

Motorola routers advertised as having parental controls:

Motorola MG770
-“Whitelist Only” option
-Internet On/Off schedule
-Product page: Link
-Amazon: Link
-Support: Link