Router with Powerful Parental Controls?

Josh Kahane

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 29, 2006
439
1
Suffolk, UK
Hi

I need to get a new router with powerful parental controls. For example, be able to take a specific IP address (computer/device) and block specific websites just on that computer.

What sort of control does Airport give? We are a household of macs, but have always used Netgear routers.

Any recommendations of any router would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

squeakr

macrumors 68000
Apr 22, 2010
1,603
1
There really aren't any blocks that I have found like you are asking within the Airports, although you should be able to block the websites using Parental controls for the user on the Mac. I find that Mac has much better individual controls for accounts than most routers offer.
 

Les Kern

macrumors 68040
Apr 26, 2002
3,063
76
Alabama
Only if you are made of money. My Cymphonix box cost 9 grand and Sonic wall is about 6K. Bottom line: there isn't a consumer grade router that I am aware of that can do that for you.
Really, the best solution is either built in parental controls in the Mac, or what I think is a much better idea:
Make an account at OpenDNS.org. and add your IP number from your provider.
Set your router to use OpenDNS as a DNS server, then lock out the users ability to change network settings. OpenDNS works VERY well, but it's not unbreakable... it can be bypassed with some effort. Going to have to be the diligent parent regardless.

http://www.opendns.com/home-solutions/
 

squeakr

macrumors 68000
Apr 22, 2010
1,603
1
I have used Linksys that allow for what you are asking. They were only in the $200 range, so much cheaper than the thousands the other poster paid, but the issue was that the denial page only handles like 32 entries, so if you need to block the same website on multiple ups it adds up fast. You could set up a small server to handle the firewall and traffic and block that way as well. The OpenDNS sounds like a good idea, except that you would then have to go through the route of purchasing an account to resolve your dynamic address, as most isp hand out dynamic ip addys that can be harder to keep current and track if your provider rotates routinely.
 

Les Kern

macrumors 68040
Apr 26, 2002
3,063
76
Alabama
The OpenDNS sounds like a good idea, except that you would then have to go through the route of purchasing an account to resolve your dynamic address, as most isp hand out dynamic ip addys that can be harder to keep current and track if your provider rotates routinely.
Could be, but I have had the same IP number with Comcast for 5 years, but changing an IP takes a few minutes. You use the same account as a matter of fact. And OpenDNS is free.
Setting up parental controls locally on all machines is a pain in the butt. There are software solutions, But again, they cost money, and they have to be managed, whereas OpenDNS is a one-stop for settings. Give it a try. Got nothing to lose.
 

belvdr

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2005
5,657
1,022
No longer logging into MR
The OpenDNS sounds like a good idea, except that you would then have to go through the route of purchasing an account to resolve your dynamic address, as most isp hand out dynamic ip addys that can be harder to keep current and track if your provider rotates routinely.
You simply run the OpenDNS update client on a machine that stays inside the home so it stays current. If you have a desktop that stays on all the time, then just run it on that machine. No need to purchase anything; it's all free.

Les, I wish I had the same IP for that long. Sometimes mine changes daily. I have a Cisco ASA at home for a site-to-site VPN and it always breaks it. :)
 

squeakr

macrumors 68000
Apr 22, 2010
1,603
1
You simply run the OpenDNS update client on a machine that stays inside the home so it stays current. If you have a desktop that stays on all the time, then just run it on that machine. No need to purchase anything; it's all free.

Have you actually run this client and gotten it to work?? I ask because the most current version is on my server and never has worked since installed. I have gone round and round with OpenDNS about this and they have no resolution or alternative, other than they really don't support Mac (that is what I was told in email, they offer the client but don' t really support it. Kudos for such great support). Never had this issue when I was running the Windows version of it on a Windows server, which has since been decommissioned.
 

belvdr

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2005
5,657
1,022
No longer logging into MR
Have you actually run this client and gotten it to work?? I ask because the most current version is on my server and never has worked since installed. I have gone round and round with OpenDNS about this and they have no resolution or alternative, other than they really don't support Mac (that is what I was told in email, they offer the client but don' t really support it. Kudos for such great support). Never had this issue when I was running the Windows version of it on a Windows server, which has since been decommissioned.
I've run both and have not experienced any issues.
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,199
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
The top end Draytek stuff will do this, but cheap it's not and its far too expensive for home use really. I can't think of anything in reasonable budget that would do the job.

Lock down your mac...Best way really.
 

squeakr

macrumors 68000
Apr 22, 2010
1,603
1
Could run a cheap box as a designated firewall and handle it that way as well.
 

jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
1,945
507
You have two powerful parental controls at your disposal: one at the end of each arm.

Ok, serious answer: install third-party firmware on a router. You can probably do this with your current router.

I use OpenWRT, but that's because I'm a geek. dd-wrt is probably more suitable for most people, as OpenWRT requires manual setup (editing files, rather than graphical setup) for many options.

(Actually, I have two routers for coverage. One in my office, one in the living room. The living room router uses dd-wrt, because OpenWRT isn't available for that router.)

Both run a Linux kernel on your router. OpenWRT is more "open" in that you can install any Linux applications on it, but many will require manual setup. dd-wrt is meant to be configured entirely from it's GUI and has various install options, but I don't think you can just install any Linux package like you can with OpenWRT.

dd-wrt has this feature built-in:

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Access_Restrictions

though it looks like you can only block 10 sites. I'll bet there is a more extensive solution you could use with OpenWRT, or you might even find a pre-configured OpenWRT build specifically for this purpose.
 
Last edited:

squeakr

macrumors 68000
Apr 22, 2010
1,603
1
I pointed out those limitations as I have never seen one go past 32 restrictions on any flavor of the open firmwares (and that was very dependent on the available RAM within the routers).
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.