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Controlling Internet Access at Home

If your house is anything like mine, at least one new electronic gizmo with a wireless connection came down the chimney last Christmas. Besides all the cell phones, we now have two iPods, two Kindle Fires and an iPad. The kids think life is great! Each one of these devices is connected to our wireless router and has access to all that the internet has to offer. And there lies the problem.

These tablets and other devices are used all over the house in places where mom and dad are not always watching. It is very easy for little ones to stumble onto things they should not see or read. And believe it or not these devices will sometimes keep children awake at night when they should be sleeping.

Here are some easy ways to remedy the problem without making the kids check-in all devices at night:

First of all for content filtering, setup an account with OpenDNS (http://opendns.com). This will allow you to specify categories of web sites (adult, racist, etc) that you want to block and even allow you to block specific sites. If you visit the Computer Corner archives on our web site, I devoted an entire article to OpenDNS in May 2011.

The next thing to do is purchase a wireless router that can block internet access by time schedule. SugarLandPC sells a DLink DIR-615 that has this capability, but there are many comparable models available. Your existing router may even be able to do this. Configure the router to block all internet access from 9PM to 6AM or whatever makes sense for your family. The DLink will allow you to leave mom and dads connections alone and just block specific devices. Every router will have different specific capabilites and you may require some assistance setting up the configuration. Feel free to call SugarLandPC if you have questions or want to know what capabilities your router has for restricting the internet.

These tips will help you control what things out on the internet make it to your devices and when those devices can get online.

Posted by Charles Swihart on 2/1/2012

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