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BDFL - Memuneh
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Chief Trash Bandit
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  # 1731149 6-Mar-2017 19:41
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the Microsoft Family platform works great if you're using all Windows-based devices: Windows 10 (and Windows 8.1 with limitations); Windows Phone; or Xbox.  Unfortunately it doesn't extend to the iPad or Android - although that would be a great feature in my opinion.  The family settings can control screen time, either aggregated or per-device, along with browsing and app controls. 



I have not been able to get that working for quite some time, gave up in the end, which is a pity because it was working fine for such a long time until about a year ago.





What issues did you have?


We use it at home on the kids Windows 10 computer and it works great.





It either would not pick up the accounts, or completely ignore the time schedules I had set. 

XPD / Gavin / DemiseNZ


Server : i5-3470s @ 3.50GHz  16GB RAM  Win 10 Pro    Workstation : i5-3570K @ 3.40GHz  20GB RAM  RX580 4GB Win 10 Pro    Console : Xbox One - Games, emulation, geekery, and my attempts at photography.     Now on BigPipe 100/100 and 2Talk


Emulation - The art of getting your $4000 PC to run an 80's system - and still fails.


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  # 1732140 6-Mar-2017 20:32
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Simplest method would be setting their devices to use their own AP with a timed power plug

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  # 1732180 6-Mar-2017 22:35
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We've been using Kidslox on our IOS (can be used for other platforms) devices for the last couple of months. We've setup a daily limit of 30mins on their device and it's up to the child to manage their own time. When the limit is reached, access to apps is removed as the icons disappear off the device. We can monitor how long they've used the device and instantly lock it if needed i.e. tea time. We also use Microsoft Family on the Windows 10 PC which has been working great.

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Master Geek


  # 1732188 6-Mar-2017 23:53
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Our school has gone with chromebooks with not a lot of thought it seems on how to manage access at home.

Theres only a limited number of options for parental control on chromebooks and as the school has locked down their account i cant load anything onto it anyway. Eg mobicip.

Have ordered one of these and hopefully that will do the job.

Am awaiting delivery and will let you know how I get on if you are interested.



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  # 1732191 7-Mar-2017 00:25
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@gabba: ... Have ordered one of these [url] [\url] and hopefully that will do the job. ...


Two things! Are you sure about that URL


  • Looks like isa parked domain by
  • The backslash in [\url] needs to be a forward slash "/" as per the BBCode tutorial.

Please keep this GZ community vibrant by contributing in a constructive & respectful manner.

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Master Geek


  # 1732202 7-Mar-2017 07:23
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@gabba: ... Have ordered one of these [url] [\url] and hopefully that will do the job. ...


Two things! Are you sure about that URL


  • Looks like isa parked domain by
  • The backslash in [\url] needs to be a forward slash "/" as per the BBCode tutorial.




Arrrghh!  Try


Posting 101: Don't post when half asleep.


I should add I looked at a similar product called Circle with Disney. However when pages got blocked it effectively became an advertisement for Disney by presenting a page of pre-approved Disney links. Also when I talked to their support they weren't that confident about it working in NZ and their support wasn't great.


Both  products looked to be very similar in terms of functionality.


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  # 1732206 7-Mar-2017 07:48
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Been using Norton Family for years now and never had problems.



I started using Norton family around the same time they introduced support for the mac (4 or 5 years ago?) ... there was no IOS support back then. 


It must  be much better these days, maybe worth a 2nd look. 

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Uber Geek

  # 1743446 18-Mar-2017 17:26
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Google Family Link is now possible also.

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  # 1770611 26-Apr-2017 12:37
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Thanks, everyone, for useful posts and ideas. Life got busy about the time I made the original post and I completely forgot about it until today, having seen the long thread on MANDATORY internet filtering!


Anyway, that thread also reminded me of the need to put in place some wider controls on my kids' access; while initially I was focused on being able to simply limit their time on the devices, I know it's time I sorted out controlling what they may view/come across. I'm still not sure if a router- or software-based solution for filtering content is the best, so welcome any further advice.


Router: So I'm aware of the Family Shield option, using Open DNS; what I'm not sure is how that would work given we use a DNS redirection service (Getflix), and have their DNS directly in the router (not per device). Is there any way around this so that the two can co-exist?


Software: I've read fairly widely on a wide variety of parental control packages that work across multiple devices (we need controls on Windows laptops, Android phones and tablets, and iPads) - the two that seem to get fairly well reviewed are Norton's Family Premiere (referenced in earlier posts above) and Net Nanny. The problem I see with both is that, on the iPad, they rely on the user using the product's own browser. As such, to ensure the kids do use it, I'd need to lock out access to Chrome and Safari. Given one of the iPads is used by my wife and me, I'm assuming I'd need to unlock Chrome each and every time I wanted to use it. Or is there something I'm missing here? Or are there other software options which still filter browsing but allow the use of any browser on the iPad?


Thanks for any ideas and advice!

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  # 1770629 26-Apr-2017 13:10
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Filters are imperfect. You can't rely on them. They are likely to block a search for breast cancer as they are to block a search for breasts. Set clear expectations, give them each their own login, and log everywhere they go (disclosing this up front, otherwise it's not productive).


That's what a friend of mine who remarried and thus acquired two young teen boys did. His rule was anywhere you go on the family system, you have to be prepared to explain it to your mother. The first time he sat them down with their mother and opened smut site de jour with naked pictures all over the screen they went bright red. He's pretty sure they haven't been back since - at least not on his connection.


Explaining to your mother why you were looking at smut, while it's displayed on the screen with her sitting beside you, isn't something *any* young boy wants to have to do!

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  # 1770634 26-Apr-2017 13:17
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depends on exactly what you want to control,  but I use the Bigpipe app quite a bit. (you have to be with Bigpipe for it to work though)


It's not so useful for filtering 'adult content', but as far as restricting screen time it's great.


If the kids are playing up and not doing homework,  I can block video streaming or social media (or the whole internet) - and this stops youtube or facebook from working on any device they have connected to the WIFI (laptop, ipad, phone etc)  Once they've done what they need to do, I can unblock it again from the app.


Because it works at the network level, you don't need to fiddle around with routers etc. and the only way around it AFAIK is: 


a) use mobile data (which would be too expensive for them)


b) use a VPN (which they don't have the ability to do (yet!)






(I've even used it a couple of times when I just want them to go outside - then blame it on Bigpipe "Oh, internet is playing up, why don't you go play outside instead?"




main downside is that it can't block specific devices, so if I turn off video streaming for them, it also stops my own video streaming from working. But that's ok. I only really use vid streaming when they have gone to bed anyway.

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  # 1770636 26-Apr-2017 13:30
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Here is my setup:


Fritzbox configured:


  • use opendns, there I have disabled a lot of categories.
  • Added a time limit of 1 hour per day for kids ipods/iphone/ipads devices.
  • Also setup kids devices to only work between 08h00 and 7:30pm
  • Chromebooks are setup slightly differently, 2 hours per day, but also only available between 08h00 and 7:30pm (homework needs to be done before 7:30pm)

I dont allow my kids to have data on their iphones, they can only access public wifi networks, and school network etc. Obviously you dont have much control when they connect to another public hotspot. But at least they dont have data whereever they go. Phones/texts will always work.


Then I have blocked safari/youtube and some other apps on their phones. IOS is setup so kids need to request and app from a parent. If they need access to the internet then they can use the family PC.


Fritzbox allows you to print tickets to give to then kids if they need more time. I use these as bargaining tools, ie bedroom tidy, homework done, daily chores done, then sometimes I give them another ticket.





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  # 1770638 26-Apr-2017 13:32
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I've been trying mcaffee safe family for a while, and find it to be very good.


Enrolling devices is easy, you can effectively whitelist or blacklist parts of the net (some of it is fairly broad however).


Its cross platform, iOS, Android, and Windows PC.


Enrolling devices is easy.


You can check internet and app usage.


Users can request sites/app to be unblocked.


You can control it from your own separate device.




Not sure what it costs, I haven't paid a cent.

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  # 1770640 26-Apr-2017 13:34
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Thanks for the further posts.


My kids are of an age (nine and nearly six) where it's more the inadvertent discovery of inappropriate content that's the concern, rather than the deliberate seeking of it (though that may not be too far away for the older boy, I guess!). Your proposed approach would work well with the latter, and is something to consider in a year to two. I hear what you say re the risk of the over-sensitivity of filtering, but would still like to give it a go.


I am also with BigPipe and have downloaded the app, but the inability to target individual devices makes it a bit crude for our purposes. Still, it may be a quicker way of getting them off their devices if we used it to kill the internet!


I'm debating whether it's worth picking up another iPad so we don't have to share a device with the youngest - just a s/h older model - so at least we don't have the browser issue I raised above (as our device wouldn't need to have the software on it at all). Also means we could easily place wider controls (access time etc) on the device without affecting our use. Does anyone have an iPad (ideally Mini) they'd be interested in selling?

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