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Hi experts.

My sister is needing to setup some filtering and is looking at buying a router that allows for this. The purpose is to lock down/out as much online adult content as possible as she has some young teenagers that are getting to things she doesn't approve of.

1. Is it best to utilize controls on the router in conjunction with public DNS that adds additional filtering? I have some concerns about network performance if we use public DNS to add another layer of filtering.
2. If we use only the filtering options on the router does anyone have a recommendation for a good make/model that would be easy to manage and setup but also provide 802.11ax functionality?

Many thanks.
This is a difficult task. She can eventually block content on home Wi-Fi, but she can't control mobile operator access. The teenagers have phones with data, I guess. All widely available VPNs, proxies and DoH options work against her intentions as well. No guaranteed solution here.
Yes I've mentioned she is going to need to get something loaded on his phone for parental control. Or get rid of the cell service. Otherwise he can just use it as a hotspot and circumvent her measures to block access.

Does the filtering built-in to most routers rely on monitoring with and blocking DNS requests? If affirm, then I can see how encrypting that on the client with DoH would be a problem. At least with VPN generally its a paid service and the child has no way to pay for it.

If proxy is used, doesn't the router still see that traffic and if so can't it intervene? Trying to understand how that might work.

Would ASUS AI Suite be of any help here?

Seems like moving the PC into a common area might be a good step to take here.
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I can see how encrypting that on the client with DoH would be a problem

iPhones have Private Relay, browsers switch to DoH automatically. The teens may not need to do anything.

At least with VPN generally its a paid service

Free VPNs with limited traffic are available. Smart kids will find what they need sooner or later. May take a day.

Would ASUS AI Suite be of any help here?

Limited to whatever is possible to catch and home Wi-Fi only. One click to change to mobile operator. Friend have Wi-Fi too.

Seems like moving the PC into a common area might be a good step to take here.

In my opinion - education, open conversations, treating kids like adults and gaining trust. If they want to find and see something - they'll do it one way or another. Limitations only increase curiosity levels. For the parents is better to know what the kids are interested in. For the kids is better to get the answers they are looking for from someone they trust - ideally their parents. Parents as best friends is the best approach. Router won't help.
Substituting a flip phone in place of a smart phone may resolve the phone issue completely and may potentially save money on the cellular plan. As far as downloading from a foreign network a bunch of adult material good luck without a smart phone. Moving the electronics into a common area at home and out of a private bedroom also would go a long way towards controlling access. That includes TVs in bedrooms. Setting access schedules on WiFi connected devices to block access after a certain time of evening is another thing to look at - though it may be defeatable through some method like binding another IP to a NIC for example.

Now is there still some way that Junior might be able to get from a->b anyway? Possibly. While the above would cover a lot of potentials there it's a complex world and may not be practical to cover everything.

Whether the parents as best friends is the best approach in some or all cases isn't really my decision to make since it isn't my child here anyway. I do know there are a lot of really hardcore sources of adult material out there. When I was a kid the absolute last person I wanted to talk with about that was my parents. Whether they tacitly allowed access or not made zero difference to me. Locking it down woudl've made no impact on my curiousity either.

Beyond the birds and the bees, conversations need to be had regardless of whether parents try plugging holes in the dike or not. There's so many negative influences out there now that are so easily accessible it's negligent not to do so.
With custom firmware or more advanced firewall DNS/IP blockers can be implemented + DNS filtering + DNS redirection. The result may extend to transparent redirection of DNS requests to whatever is set to be filtering DNS service, blocking of known VPN, proxy, DoH servers, additional local custom blocking categories, etc. Not very user friendly though, may generate false positives and applies to whatever is connected to the local network only.

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