Parental Controls Needed

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jcwillia1

Regular Contributor
TLDR : Is Circle Pro Plus the best option for extreme ease of use and maintenance?

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We've been fighting with my 15 year old child for years now on doing his homework when he's supposed to be doing his homework and not watching youtube.

We're done fighting with him - we're looking for parental controls that are easy to set up and maintain and will keep him focused.

Sadly there doesn't appear to be any perfect solution.

We have ATT Gigapower which means if I want a router I have to get into the ATT modem menus and do some complicated setup to put it in bridge mode. ATT has declined to do this for me.

The BGW-210 they gave us has no way to filter internet traffic.

The Archer A7 we are using as a whole house wireless access point (with mixed results) does not have any parental controls in WAP mode.

I have looked at installing parental controls on his chromebook but he seems to have a chromebook which can't install apps (good news / bad news there).

I keep gravitating back to Disney's Circle Pro Plus but reviews indicate it seems to really do a number on your internet performance and we are a cord cutter house that is 4k capable.

Any other suggestions that are heavy on the easy install / easy to maintain side of things?
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
If you're looking for next-level firewall capability with arguably the best balance of usability and functionality, then IMHO it's Untangle all the way. $50 a year for the home version, and you can run it on a pre-built appliance from them, or install yourself on most any Intel-based x86 hardware, such as an i3 or i5 Protectli embedded box off Amazon, for even better throughput per dollar.

Here's an example thread from Untangle's forums where a parent in a very similar situation asked more or less the same question. In short, mostly all the insight and control is there, but not in quite as plug-and-play as something like Circle. That said, Untangle will smoke a consumer product like Circle when it comes to sheer power and control, so it's a trade off, but one that I think is worth making. If you follow the guides and videos, Untangle really isn't that hard to operate, and is almost a zero-maintenance product, presuming you have enough storage from the get-go.
 
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Trip

Very Senior Member
Gotcha, perhaps still a bit too daunting. Here is their demo UI.

Short of that, have you checked out Gryphon? Consumer friendly, mesh-capable. Reviews seem to be mostly positive, albeit some criticisms on lack of control consistency, and a bit underpowered for higher throughput internet (few hundred Mb/s or higher). Still worth a look, perhaps.
 

Val D.

Very Senior Member
We're done fighting with him - we're looking for parental controls that are easy to set up and maintain and will keep him focused.

I wouldn't recommend you any software or hardware solutions. They won't work and won't make things any better, only worse. I understand you already had some trouble, but you have to find your own father and son solution, slowly and one step at a time. I just want to share a story with you, please don't get offended. Few years back I was called to help to a good friend of mine in similar to your situation. I did whatever he wanted - no Internet access between specific hours, limited Internet access during school homework hours (some things are online now, you know), unrestricted Internet access during the rest hours and weekends... sounds about what you want, right? And you know what happened in just a month time? The teen son got more focused indeed. He focused his anger on his father. Conflict escalated to the point the teen stopped coming back home after school. You still want to try your digital electric fence on your son? Better think about adding some interesting for him activities, spend more time with him over school matter, give him some incentives... you know your kid better than anyone else. This is the best parental control you can have.
 

jcwillia1

Regular Contributor
I wouldn't recommend you any software or hardware solutions. They won't work and won't make things any better, only worse. I understand you already had some trouble, but you have to find your own father and son solution, slowly and one step at a time. I just want to share a story with you, please don't get offended. Few years back I was called to help to a good friend of mine in similar to your situation. I did whatever he wanted - no Internet access between specific hours, limited Internet access during school homework hours (some things are online now, you know), unrestricted Internet access during the rest hours and weekends... sounds about what you want, right? And you know what happened in just a month time? The teen son got more focused indeed. He focused his anger on his father. Conflict escalated to the point the teen stopped coming back home after school. You still want to try your digital electric fence on your son? Better think about adding some interesting for him activities, spend more time with him over school matter, give him some incentives... you know your kid better than anyone else. This is the best parental control you can have.

This is a network forum, not a parental advice forum. But thanks for judging my values.
 

Val D.

Very Senior Member
This is a network forum...

You are asking similar questions over and over again and refuse to accept any solutions that are expensive (as per your understanding) or complicated (as per your technical knowledge). First off you never specified what exactly parental control functions you want to have. You never mentioned what parental control tools you currently use (what is stopping your son from watching some.... other... Tube, for example). I did look at those all-in-one parental control boxes and I can tell you two things - there is a high probability to end up paying a subscription service for something that may not work and this same cheap device will most likely kill your Gigabit Internet performance instantly. Just look at the reviews on Amazon for a rough idea what they are. The real network wide solution with high speed ISP is what @Trip is talking about - x86 hardware (and a good one, i5/i7 not Atom/Celeron) with router OS and some reading how to set it up. You have to solve the "own router problem" first though.

Back to your original question:
- what exactly parental controls are needed?
- what parental control tools you currently use?
 

AndreiV

Very Senior Member
This is a network forum, not a parental advice forum. But thanks for judging my values.

With that attitude it is no wonder you are fighting your son.

Nobody judged your values but the observation was spot on , 15 year old teens are genetically wired to oppose all "parental authority" . The more you push the greater the resistance , a little reverse psychology works wonders.

You can apply controls for free with little effort.


https://www.google.co.uk/search?sou....gws-wiz.......0i131j0i131i70i251.9dFBkTq-GpQ

https://support.opendns.com/hc/en-us/articles/228006847-Configuration-for-Chromebook-OS
 

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