It Might Be Easier Than You Think!
In today’s modern world, we have access to resources, games, and social media (like Facebook) at the touch of a button. We can manage our finances, connect with people all over the world, and even learn to weave baskets out of fig leaves – without ever leaving the comfort of our own home – All Thanks to the Internet! And if that wasn’t cool enough, consider this little tidbit: the days of being stuck in a chair and in front of a computer monitor are over. Laptops, Smart phones, Tablets, E-readers, Ipods and Game Stations (like X-Box and PlayStation) are the new wave –and KIDS HAVE CAUGHT THAT WAVE! Look around: We’re living in an era our grandparents could never imagine, yet one that our children are excited to explore.
So, if you’re anything like me, (a mother of four internet-savvy children), you might struggle with monitoring your family’s internet usage. What sites are they visiting? Are they online during times they shouldn’t be? Just how on Earth do we stay on top of everything?? Trust me, I feel your pain 🙂 Thankfully, I’ve found a friend to help me navigate through these murky waters: my wireless router.
If you have multiple devices connecting to your home network – chances are you already have a wireless router. The basic function of your wireless router is to connect your home network to the internet. But did you know that many wireless router models also have Parental Control functions built right in? For example, I’ve chosen the Linksys Smart Wifi N750 Router for my home network. Although it’s a mouthful to say, this router is specifically designed to handle multiple data-intensive devices at the same time (perfect for my four internet-junky children). Yet, through all it’s fancy bells and whistles, the feature I like the best is the basic Parental Controls.
For starters, most router’s Parental Control Menu allow you to select which devices have access to which websites. For example, I don’t want my seven year old having open access to YouTube – so I block that website from her device (an Amazon Kindle). However, that website is still accessible from my laptop. Pretty cool, right?
Perhaps my favorite Parental Control feature is the timed access feature. For example, in the “old days” I used to unplug my modem at night – so my kids couldn’t get online when they were supposed to be doing homework or sleeping. Now, I simply tell my smart router that my daughter’s Kindle, my son’s IPOD and my other daughter’s tablet can’t get internet access after 9:00pm on school nights. The best part?? My laptop and ROKU can still connect. How’s that for smart?
Like I said, most routers have Parental Control features built right in. But if your router doesn’t, it might be time to upgrade. Of course, here at ATC, we have a couple of great options to choose from. Just call or stop by and we can help you choose the right router for your household.
Now if only today’s “smart routers” would help the kids with their math homework or babysit the baby – I’d be set. I guess I’ll have to wait for the next generation of technology to develop that.