Ashish Narsale brings you a solution that will help you tackle this problem even as it keeps you out of your children's bad books.
You need the internet as your work depends on it, but how do you stop your children from binging on it?
If you are using a broadband connection, then here's a simple solution.
Believe me, I have tried it.
Nowadays, accessing the internet on one's mobile phone is a given and every family member has multiple reasons as to why they need to be online 24x7.
Without the internet, your smartphone is dumb and your social communication and interactivity reduces to zero.
The easiest way for children to access the internet is at home.
My kids, after returning from school, were always hooked on to their grandparents' mobile phones, watching YouTube.
It's quite difficult to get them off the phone and tablet, so I found a peaceful solution without having to getting into my children's crosshairs.
I bought a router which had a parental control option!
This option allows you to control the internet on the devices (phones, tablets or PC) connected to it.
You can block certain websites on a particular device.
You can block internet access to any connected device.
You can even schedule when the internet connection will be available to a certain connected device.
Some routers even let you control the internet when you are away from the home network.
For example, you can control your home router and its connected devices from your office or on the go, provided you are online.
If your existing router does not have the parental control option, you can still control access to a connected user, as all routers have the option of a Media Access Control ID or Internet Protocol address filtering.
Each wireless device has a unique MAC ID.
The IP address of every device is unique but changes every time you restart the device based on priority if it's kept dynamic.
The IP address can be changed manually but the MAC ID cannot be changed.
The router let you allow or disallow any number of devices by specifying the MAC ID or the IP address.
But this doesn't give you full control; it just blocks or opens the access.
The parental control option allows you greater control with additional options such as:
- Blocking certain URLs for certain users
- Scheduling access to a specific user
- Even control bandwidth for a user
Here we list four routers with parental control, all available for under Rs 1,500.
A single band 2.4 GHz router, it supports speeds up to 150 Mbps.
This router supports parental control with features like IP, MAC and URL filtering.
You can even schedule access according to time and day.
Mi 3C Router
This is the smartest of all the routers in this list.
It is a single band 2.4 GHz router and supports speeds up to 300 Mbps.
It has four antennas to provide a longer wi-fi range.
The parental control supports features like:
- Blocking internet access to a specific connected device
- Blocking a specific list of URLs for any connected device
- Scheduling internet access to any connected device
- You can control all these through your mobile as well as your computer.
The best part is you can even control the connected devices if you are away from the network, ie you are travelling or in office, via the mobile app.
A single band 300Mbps Wireless N-Router, you can also call it as 2.4 GHz router.
It has two antennae.
You can allocate bandwidth to the connected devices based on IPs.
You can control the parental control features through a tether app from your Android or IOS device.
Other than parental control, this router can be also used as Range Extender to improve wi-fi coverage inside your home.
TP-Link Archer C20 AC750
A dual band or AC router from TP-Link supports simultaneous speed at 2.4GHz up to 300Mbps and 5GHz up to 433Mbps as total bandwidth of 733Mbps.
It has got three external antennae for wider wireless coverage.
The router can be set up for parental controls and access control through the app available for Android or iOS device.
Handy tip: If you are on an internet connection via a telephone line, that is you are having an asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) router and it's not wireless, then you can buy any of these routers and make your network wireless.