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How to limit your children’s internet access using the built-in router settings

How to limit your children’s internet access using the built-in router settings

Children love technology and they are obsessed with apps like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The new generations can’t imagine life without internet and they can spend hours online, which can distract them from their tasks. While parents may worry about the amount of time that their kids spend on the internet, preventing them from having a mobile device, or blocking their internet access completely is not really an option. However, there are ways to ensure that your children take some time off the internet to focus on their homework, or enjoy the outdoors. Your wireless router can come handy in this case.

Wireless router – built-in settings

You can use a wireless router to share your internet connection across all your devices. It sets up a network (known as Local Area Network or LAN) that allows you to connect your computer, your tablet, smartphone and other internet-enabled devices. There are two ways in which a wireless router lets devices connect to the LAN. The first is connecting the device directly to the router with the help of a cable. Alternatively, it is possible to connect the device to the router wirelessly using radio waves to transfer data. The broadband internet connection from your cable or DSL provider is connected to the wireless router as well. All the technical aspects of the shared internet connection across devices on the LAN, are managed by the wireless router.

Router Access restrictions

The default settings of your wireless router allow all the devices to get access to the internet without restrictions. You can adjust the settings to implement restrictions for all devices or for some of them. The process will depend on the type of router that you have, but usually you can access the router setup page using the software that comes with your router. You can also type 192.168.1.1 in the address line of your web browser. Just enter the username and password when asked to do so and you will be able to access the router setup menu to make the necessary changes.

Now you need to look for the menu for Router Access Restrictions or Parental Controls. In the menu, you will be able to set time frames to enable or disable Internet access for every device in the network. You will have the chance to establish restrictions on specific timeframes. For instance, you can turn off the internet access for your child’s phone when they are meant to be doing their homework or studying. You can find detailed instructions in your router’s user manual.

MAC Address

You can establish restrictions for a specific device, but in order to do it, you may require the Media Access Control address. This is a unique network address that the manufacturer assigns to every device. The MAC is used to identify every device connected to the network. You can find the MAC address of your kids’ iOS device by opening the Settings app, then select General, followed by About. Scroll down in the list to locate Wi-Fi address, which is the MAC address of the device. When you are establishing restrictions, routers need the MAC address to control the network restrictions of a specific device.

Some of the most recent routers available make the process even easier as they recognize the name of the device. You can see the names of all the devices currently connected to the network on the router access restrictions page so you just need to select the one you want to restrict, instead of having to enter the MAC address manually. In the case of a iOS device, it is possible to define the name of it. To find the name, go to the Settings app, select General and then About. The name of the device will appear at the top of the About page. After you have completed the process of setting up the access restrictions, you just need to click the save button on the router page and the restrictions will be applied.

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