Many of today's children and teens spend their days connected to the Internet. They have very easy access to technology and we parents are responsible for controlling their use of the network. And the truth is, we have many weapons for this, such as limiting WiFi . Also more elaborate ones, such as putting a time restriction on them, blocking access to certain pages or simply not letting them connect. This last option is the most radical and, perhaps, the worst, since many times they will need access for educational use.
However, it is not always easy to monitor young people's use of technology. Many parents do not know how to limit WiFi or restrict network access for certain devices. Much less how to configure which web pages your children can access. It is a complex world with many options, so in this article we are going to focus on three practical cases that can occur in any family .
Limit usage by schedule
One of the fundamental aspects to limit the use of our children's mobile phones is to establish a schedule . We can do it verbally with them, but we all know that this method will be ineffective. Fortunately, technology can help us.
Applications like Qustodio allow us to have almost absolute control over our child's device . It is a very complete parental control application. With it we can limit the time of use of the mobile or tablet, to block calls, SMS, adult content. In addition, it also allows us to control all the activity of our child, both in navigation and in applications and social networks.
Qustodio is an application that can be downloaded for free on both Android and iOS. In addition, we can also monitor the activity of the device from a computer , through a web service. If we want to go further and have a premium connection, we will have to pay an annual fee of 43 euros. With it we will have the possibility of controlling up to 5 devices.
Although it is one of the most complete, Qustodio is not the only parental control application that we can find in the Play Store. There are many available, but they may not all offer what we are looking for.
Another highly recommended is DinnerTime Plus. This application is simpler and allows us to establish two periods during the day in which the mobile will stop working and will block all its services . It is ideal, therefore, to block the child's terminal when, for example, it is time to eat or do homework.
Although there are many applications that can do this, we have chosen it for two reasons. The first is that all control of the child's terminal is done remotely, from our own mobile . And the second is that we can configure the mobile so that it has access to certain applications, such as the calculator, the dictionary or any other application that can help our child with a certain task.
Restrict the use of WiFi by schedule from the router
Another option to limit the WiFi (or Internet use in general) by schedule would be to do it on the router . It is something more complex than installing an application, since it has to be done from the router.
Each router has a different interface, so it would be impractical to explain them all. However, most tend to have very similar sections. To block access to the WiFi setting a schedule we will have to access the Firewall or Access Control options and look for Calendar (Schedule) . In this section we will create a blackout schedule.
Once the schedule is created, we must tell the router which computer or device it has to block in that time slot . In most routers, we can even restrict that only certain services do not have access.
However, as we mentioned, it is a more complex option that requires certain knowledge about our router.
Block WiFi access by device
We may not want to get too complicated and prefer to block access to a device at a specific time , manually.
If this is your case, you also have several options. From the mobile we can use a parental control application that allows it; Or use an application like Block WiFi Freeloader. It is an application designed to detect intruders on our network . But it can help us to block access to our child's mobile or tablet.
This application scans our WiFi network and shows us the connected devices. From the application itself we can disconnect a device and block it (as long as our router is compatible).
Another way to do it is, again, through the router. We can enter the administration page of the router (generally 18.104.22.168 or 192.168.1.1) and look for the option " Filtered by Mac ". The usual thing is that we have it available within the advanced options of the WiFi.
The Mac address is a unique number that identifies the device on the network. We can activate Mac filtering and tell the router not to let this device connect to WiFi . We can also do it with equipment that is connected by cable.
This method is very effective, but a bit more tedious. And we will have to enter the router to enable or disable each device manually .
Limit access to only certain content
The last case that we wanted to talk about is the one that puts us in the position of wanting to limit the WiFi only for certain applications . For example, we may not want our child to spend the afternoon watching YouTube videos or playing games. But, of course, we do want you to be able to access the school platform or certain web pages related to homework.
In this case we are going to differentiate between young children and older children. If we have young children we can choose to use an application like Kids Place. It is a kind of "launcher" designed for when we leave the mobile to our children .
Among the options it offers we have to prevent our child from leaving the application he is using. Also restrict internet use or block incoming calls. But the best thing is that we can configure the applications that you will be able to access .
If we have older children, we can use an app like SecureKids. It is a parental control app similar to Qustodio. With SecureKids we can block applications, web pages, or even temporarily block our child's entire device in a simple way.
With SecureKids it is possible to control the device of the little ones from our own mobile . Your control panel allows us to block web pages and applications. Even configure web filters, so that certain content is not displayed.
In short, a very complete application that is also free if we are only going to monitor one child . If we have several and we want to put them all in the application we will have to pay a very low monthly fee.
We have reviewed three practical cases in which we might want to limit the WiFi so that our children do not connect at ease. The solutions to control children's Internet connection are very varied, so we must find the one that is most comfortable for us.