Learn All You Need to Know About Parental Controls for Wireless Routers
Trying to keep kids off of inappropriate websites can seem like an impossible task, especially when you consider how many internet enabled devices there are in the house. Setting the parental controls on every smart phone, laptop, tablet, and even gaming console can take days just for you to figure out the settings, and chances are your kids already know how to get around these blocks. You can make it easier to protect kids from online dangers simply by setting the parental controls on the router. Instead of tracking down every device you only need to set your parameters once. In this guide you will find the information you need to set the parental controls on your router.
How to use parental controls for a wireless router
Wireless routers come with parental controls for one reason, to make it possible for adults to block kids from inappropriate websites. Online browsing can be potentially dangerous for kids, and parents who worry about their safety can rest easier knowing that they are doing their best to protect their children. Thankfully setting the parental controls on a router is extremely easy, even for adults who have never tried it before and the following steps will walk you through the process.
The first step is to log into your router, which is generally accomplished by opening a browser window. You can usually find information pertaining to your IP address by visiting the manufacturer’s website. This will also contain the administrator username and password. Both of these will also need to be entered into the browsing window when prompted, after inputting the IP address.
Some routers also require you to connect to a specific port in order to gain administrator access. Simply enter in the IP address and follow the prompts to type in the necessary port number. It should be noted that not all routers require the use of a port, which makes it significantly easier to access the parental controls.
If you can’t remember the username and password don’t panic, you can simply reset the router to its initial factory settings. This will allow you default access to the administrative console. In most cases the reset button can be found on the back of the router, and holding it down for 30 seconds will return it to the original username and password.
Once you have successfully entered in the IP address and other necessary information, you are ready to find the page marked “Access Restrictions”. It can often be found on the router’s “Firewall” page, but there are some models that keep it separate from everything else. This helps to prevent any controls from accidentally being changed, along with making it a little more difficult for enterprising youngsters to find.
Start blocking access
Even though routers do vary from model to model, most follow the same basic process for blocking access to specific sites. While it might take some trial and error before a site is securely blocked, once you get started it does get easier.
The first step is to start an “Access Policy” which is where you will enter the site’s identifying information, which is usually the domain name. In the space marked “Policy Name” you will want to enter the name you choose for the policy. The next item to enter is the type of policy which should be listed as “filter”.
Some routers will even let you block websites during certain times of the day, and these parameters can be set simply by entering in the hours you want access to the site denied when prompted.
Save new settings
Once you have created and named the policies, which let the router know which sites are blocked, it is time to click on the “save” option. This might be one of the most important steps, since it is the only way to implement the new settings. In most cases the router will need to be rebooted, which can take several minutes. Once it has powered back on, your new settings should be firmly in place.
To ensure your peace of mind it is always a good idea to test your new parental controls, and try to access one of the blocked websites from any internet enabled device. A screen should pop up informing the user that access is denied and a password is required.
It is possible to try and protect your children from certain websites by setting the parental controls on your wireless router, and for further help there is also software available that can be downloaded for extra protection.