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shrub

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#299361 1-Sep-2022 22:08
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I'm helping a family friend with a teenage boy hat needs help with restrictions. Long story but he's got a few issues and councilors are requesting external assistance.
I've had a play with a few options and I'm a bit stumped.

I've put in a Netgear r8000 and using the circle app gen 1 I can get most things sorted except for timezone issues being a nightmare. -19hr. Netgear/circle support won't help as it's old tech and they have moved on to gen 2 now.

As it's a r8000 I can use ddwrt or openwrt and with a pihole I can use opendns and set website restrictions and times but it's a pita when the home ip address changes. Also I think he's been able to bypass by changing DNS on the devices or the device use Google by default.

Need to be able to set and forget social media and adult content block + bedtime/after school access.

Have a decent budget if there is a better router that might just work out the box.

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vexxxboy
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  #2962191 1-Sep-2022 22:28
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The Fritxbox is really good , you can set a device up and have what day and time it can access the internet and what Websites are allowed to be viewed or blocked. It is really easy to set up and easy to adjust .

 





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freitasm
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  #2962195 1-Sep-2022 22:49
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A combination of Synology and third party DNS could help. My computer is off but will get some screenshots tomorrow and post here to show what I mean.




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michaelmurfy
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  #2962203 1-Sep-2022 23:43
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Have a look at https://nextdns.io - it has a free plan, but the paid plan is very cheap too and also has parental controls:

 

 

One of the other neat things is you can have multiple networks on most routers as it generates different DNS servers per "Network" you make in NextDNS allowing you to have different rules. With most routers, your Guest network along with your primary network can have 2 separate DNS servers.

 

No solution is fool-proof however. With every system including those in schools kids will always get around any restrictions if keen.





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mdf

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  #2962235 2-Sep-2022 07:24
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Are you looking for router/network or on device controls? Network controls only work as long as you're on that network.

shrub

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  #2962240 2-Sep-2022 07:45
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The main problems are at home. He's skipping school and staying home alot so need network control for the home so he has no reason to stay home. 

 

I've spotted circle gen 2 but after using gen 1 and looking at reviews I'm not too keen. https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/NETCCL2001/Circle-Home-Plus-Gen-2---Parental-Controls-Bonus-1

 

Is the TP-Link deco m4 system parental control user friendly? https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/NETTPL9402/TP-Link-Deco-M4-Whole-Home-Mesh-Wi-Fi-System---2-P 

 

 

 

Needs

 

Schedule device network on off times

 

Content blocking - Social media and adult content

 

 

 

Nice to have would be user history tracking.

 

 

 

Covid kids are very different...


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  #2962244 2-Sep-2022 08:02
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  #2962249 2-Sep-2022 08:35
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The Synology router running SRM 1.3 comes with Safe Access. You can create profiles and filter traffic for each profile:

 

 

 

You can also add schedule to this profile:

 

 

You can have multiple networks and each network can have its own DNS and use a different WiFi SSID or LAN port:

 

 

You can then set a box to prevent users at home from using DoH servers (encrypted DNS over HTTPS):

 

 

Combine this with a DNS like the one mentioned before and you can prevent access to a lot of content.

 

However, if the kid has access to a mobile phone and its own data service then all this is for nothing.

 

 





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esawers
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  #2962250 2-Sep-2022 08:37
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The Tplink parental control is very user friendly, we use it at home, as does another family member.
It does cut the device off with no warning though, not ideal for little gamers.

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  #2962253 2-Sep-2022 08:49
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@shrub I posted a cheap solution above to try. But just note anything (and I mean anything) you do won’t be fool proof.

Circle for example needs to be on the network so he could always just turn this off. It’s OK for children but teenagers are harder to fool.

There is also the Fingbox (https://www.fing.com/products/fingbox) as a good solution but suffers the same problem as the Circle with just requiring to be unplugged.

While you could set up a solution with a router I’ve seen teenagers simply factory reset the router to get around restrictions. Dealing with a teenager is very different with parental controls. Your best bet is the Synology Router which at least is a little more difficult to get around (you can combine this with DoH + nextdns for really good monitoring and parental controls) but with the hardware you’ve got already, nextdns is a good option to try just to see if he gets around it.

There is a bit more of a serious problem if he is skipping school… I was one of those teenagers years ago and didn’t care for internet but still skipped school anyway. There could actually be other underlaying issues for skipping school like bullying for example. I honestly get the impression that anything you do here won’t necessary stop him from skipping school - also at least at home is a safe environment for him. Consider other mitigations such as a smart lock on the door with individual pin codes (and Wi-Fi) so you can tell he opened the door, along with cameras and a smart doorbell like Ring so it is very clear he is home.




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cruxis
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  #2962255 2-Sep-2022 08:56
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For the time control, What about a timer to kill the power to the ONT or Router. Maybe a timer at the switchboard that cuts power to what ever power socket the internet connected to.

 

 


shrub

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  #2962263 2-Sep-2022 09:10
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michaelmurfy: @shrub I posted a cheap solution above to try. But just note anything (and I mean anything) you do won’t be fool proof.

Circle for example needs to be on the network so he could always just turn this off. It’s OK for children but teenagers are harder to fool.

There is also the Fingbox (https://www.fing.com/products/fingbox) as a good solution but suffers the same problem as the Circle with just requiring to be unplugged.

While you could set up a solution with a router I’ve seen teenagers simply factory reset the router to get around restrictions. Dealing with a teenager is very different with parental controls. Your best bet is the Synology Router which at least is a little more difficult to get around (you can combine this with DoH + nextdns for really good monitoring and parental controls) but with the hardware you’ve got already, nextdns is a good option to try just to see if he gets around it.

There is a bit more of a serious problem if he is skipping school… I was one of those teenagers years ago and didn’t care for internet but still skipped school anyway. There could actually be other underlaying issues for skipping school like bullying for example. I honestly get the impression that anything you do here won’t necessary stop him from skipping school - also at least at home is a safe environment for him. Consider other mitigations such as a smart lock on the door with individual pin codes (and Wi-Fi) so you can tell he opened the door, along with cameras and a smart doorbell like Ring so it is very clear he is home.


Yes bullying is a problem hence the social media block request. The school and external councilors are working through these.

He's pretty smart and resetting the router will just brick it without pppoe login details for isp. Circle has a vpn block which he has tried to use to get around me already...

I know I'm on a losing battle here The Synology desktop router is a bit overkill and I've used pfsense in the past so it looks to be the best option. I'm sure I can dig out an old sff to repurpose out of the office.

mdf

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  #2962268 2-Sep-2022 09:21
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Schedule device network on off times

 

Content blocking - Social media and adult content

 

Nice to have would be user history tracking.

 

 

I did all this with Router Limits running on a Cambium router. UI perhaps not the most modern, but pretty good controls and parents don't need 5+ years of Geekzone post history to twiddle with the settings.

 

I've since moved away from this as the major limitation for us was cell phones, mobile connectivity and being out of the house. Currently use Qustodio which requires installation on the device - works well. A couple of minor niggles as to a few things I would like to do as a power user, but overall very good at helping our children remember the limits we've discussed and agreed with them.

 

Router Limits does also work with a separate box, but if that were an option (e.g. locking router + box in a server cabinet) I think Fingbox is probably the leader for that.

 

I have heard good things about the TP Link stuff - especially since it works with IFTTT so you can get pretty granular controls and notifications. But have not used myself.


shrub

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  #2962367 2-Sep-2022 14:57
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mdf:

 

 

Schedule device network on off times

 

Content blocking - Social media and adult content

 

Nice to have would be user history tracking.

 

 

I did all this with Router Limits running on a Cambium router. UI perhaps not the most modern, but pretty good controls and parents don't need 5+ years of Geekzone post history to twiddle with the settings.

 

I've since moved away from this as the major limitation for us was cell phones, mobile connectivity and being out of the house. Currently use Qustodio which requires installation on the device - works well. A couple of minor niggles as to a few things I would like to do as a power user, but overall very good at helping our children remember the limits we've discussed and agreed with them.

 

Router Limits does also work with a separate box, but if that were an option (e.g. locking router + box in a server cabinet) I think Fingbox is probably the leader for that.

 

I have heard good things about the TP Link stuff - especially since it works with IFTTT so you can get pretty granular controls and notifications. But have not used myself.

 

 

 

 

Qustodio looks interesting but its not available with any consoles. I do like that it works away from home. Wonder how hard it is for them to just uninstall the app tho?


mdf

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  #2962393 2-Sep-2022 15:42
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shrub:

 

Qustodio looks interesting but its not available with any consoles. I do like that it works away from home. Wonder how hard it is for them to just uninstall the app tho?

 

 

Can't help with consoles sorry (we use Nintendo Switches and Nintendo has its own parental controls). You can definitely make the Qustodio kids app hard to uninstall, but a savvy motivated kid can probably find a way around it. Ultimately there ain't no stopping

format c: /q /u.

 

Qustodio at least offers a free trial with just software to install (no hardware to purchase) so might be a cheaper thing to try than buying new kit at least as a first step?

 

EDIT: I should have said, seems to depend on the device. The mobile apps seem easier to lock down than Windows/Mac.


MadEngineer
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  #2962421 2-Sep-2022 16:26
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What’s the device? The Microsoft Family options work very well for us with Windows devices.




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