I was asked by some friends of ours to look into options for parental controls. There are lots of options out there but I settled on two:
- OpenDNS – controls the servers that your computers, tablets, and phones in your house connect to in order to filter out inappropriate content for kids. It also helps with malware and other destructive things on the internet. It’s free to use and takes about 10 minutes to configure on your wireless router. For $19.95 a year, you can “white list” addresses which is useful if a site you frequent gets blocked and is legitimate. Also, you can see if someone in your household keeps trying to go to sites they shouldn’t.
- Circle with Disney – controls not only the content but also can control time spent and bedtime for each device in your home individually. They also have a “Circle Go” service that can extend these capabilities outside the home. It is $99 and can be purchased at Amazon, Disneystore.com, Target, and Best Buy. The “Circle Go” service is $9.95 per month. While this sounds expensive, it may be worth it if you travel a lot.
“So which one should I use?”
It depends on your kids’ ages and how often they have access to a device outside your home. Personally, I have younger kids and so OpenDNS suffices for us. Our children have access to devices outside the home but, mostly, only to content we have downloaded for them. It also may depend on how comfortable you are editing your wireless router configuration. This sounds daunting but there are step by step guides on OpenDNS’ website. Circle with Disney can take some of this anxiety away by making it simple and intuitive. I hope this article has been helpful. Feel free to comment below and I will do my best to help!