Picking the perfect wireless router for your home can be a challenge at times. You have to look at things like coverage, speed, and device compatibility – just for starters. If you’re a parent, it’s also a good idea to look into what kind of parental controls are available on your router, to help safeguard your kids when they’re spending time online.
Most routers will offer basic security options such as a firewall, leaving you to adjust parental controls on individual devices or apps instead. This can be quite time consuming to do, and you’ll also have to remember several device passwords or configurations.
Using a router with parental controls built-in means that you have more flexibility, such as setting timed restrictions, adjusting settings per device, and add in particular websites to block. It’s an easier way to adjust what your kids have access to, as well as monitor what kind of content they’re consuming online.
If you’re looking for a router with the best parental controls, we’ve rounded up some of the ones that we’ve tried out and recommend.
Asus Zen WiFi AX (XT8)
This crafty mesh network offers fantastic speeds and equally impressive parental controls. You can creat profiles for family members who are under the age of 18, and create a schedule for internet access, filter out particular websites, and block other services such as messaging apps. It’s a good system for larger homes that require speedy internet wherever you are, and the accompanying app lets you easily change router settings without a PC.
This tiny device may not look like much, but it’s small size actually packs a whole host of fantastic security measures. We’ve looked at the Firewalla Gold before, but the Firewalla Red is great for home users. Simply set it up through the accompanying app, and you’ll then get to see exactly what’s going on your home network. The Firewalla Red won’t replace your existing router, but will compliment it by providing a bevvy of security options at your fingertips, including the ability to block ads, cyber attacks, and regulate gaming time.
Circle Home Plus
Probably one of the most extensive list of parental controls on our list, the Circle Home Plus offers a staggering amount of monitoring options to keep your kids safe. With a recurring subscription in place, you’ll be able to look at device usage, website visits, location, as well as set bedtime hours. With the app installed on your kids mobile devices, you can easily track and manage them even when they’re not at home.
While the Asus RT-AX86U is technically a gaming router, it still offers some decent parental controls as well. You can easily monitor network activity on devices belonging to your kids, as well as apply limits to how much time they spend online. The router also offers malware protection by Trend Micro, which helps keep your network and other devices safe from attacks.
This unassuming white brick can be hidden away anywhere in your home, but its clean looks pack a whole host of security features for parents to use. You can use the Gryphon Guardian as a standalone unit, or combine two or more to provide a mesh WiFi network to your house. You can use the companion app for malware filtering, ad blocking, screen time management, browser history, and more. Even when your kids use their mobile data or use a different WiFi network, you’ll still be able to manage their devices securely.
Need another option? Try NextDNS
If you’d rather keep your existing network setup but still utilize better parental controls, then consider signing up for NextDNS. You can sign up for NextDNS and set it up on your existing router or individual devices, and then use the easy web interface to set limits, block access to apps or social media, and monitor where network traffic is coming from.
It won’t be as extensive as having parental controls built directly into your router, but it’s an easy to setup solution that allows some control over your network devices.