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To use the parental controls of your router



  zyxel-router-1

Lock your router to keep your kids safe online.


Chris Monroe / CNET

With the advent of video streaming and social media, worrying about children on the Internet is becoming more important to many parents. In addition to managing the wireless networks in your home, routers can also manage who has access to what online content.

Each router is slightly different. Please refer to your model's user guide, but here are some key ways routers can help ensure that everyone is safe online.

Accessing Your Router's Settings

Before you can customize and manage your home Internet connection, you need to access your router's settings.

First, open your favorite web browser on your computer and enter your network IP address in the address bar. By default, most routers use 1

92.168.1.1 as their IP address. If that does not work for you, you can look up your IP address by right-clicking on your Internet icon and searching for details or settings.

For Mac users, the IP address can be found by clicking on your Wi-Fi icon. Then click " Open Network Settings. "

Once you have entered your IP address In the address bar you need credentials to edit the settings. Some routers have printed this information on the router itself or in the owner's manual or manufacturer's website.

Once you have logged in or accessed the settings, there are a number of ways to customize Internet browsing depending on the features of your particular router.

Schedule Surfing the Internet

Most routers with parent control options include a setting for scheduling. This means that you can choose to turn off the network every day at a specific time.

Some include scheduling for specific devices so you can choose your child's laptop, tablet, or game console and disconnect from the Internet at 8:00 PM, for example. every weeknight.

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The Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and comes with Circle with Disney parental controls.


Josh Miller / CNET

Restricting Certain Sites

In addition to planning, some routers include parental controls for specific sites. You can select specific URLs that will be blocked on certain devices in your home so that you can keep your children away from the desired sites.

Netgear, for example, does so through the Netgear Genie app, which is powered by OpenDNS to create custom filters for your network. Devices used by adults can be configured to bypass filters and have unlimited Internet access.

Break on the Internet

If you just want to try to minimize distractions during dinner time, but do not want to set specific schedules or restrictions, pausing the connection is a great tool.

Recent routers and mesh networks such as Google Wifi include a companion management app that allows you to break the Internet connection on some or all devices and continue connecting once you're done.

Adding a Router Accessory

If you love the router you already own, but want to add parental controls, there are additional devices that can help you. Plug-in modules such as Router Limits or Circle with Disney connect to your router and manage Internet access and rules for multiple connected devices.

Some devices and apps can even schedule a specific number of minutes for each device, allowing children to spend more time on the Internet by doing chores. This is a great way to teach kids to responsibly manage and balance their screen time without a parent taking the device out of their hands.

When you customize your router settings or add a device to manage access, it's important to take steps to keep everyone safe on the Internet. There are a number of online resources, including Connectsafely.org and Family Online Safety Institute, for parents looking to surf the Internet for more guidelines, time and children.

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