Apps for controlling wifi...?

We currently control our kids' access to wifi using our cable company's ZyXEL router. The router allows you to schedule blocks of time in 30-minute increments during which your kids can use the house wifi. It's an annoyingly slow, unwieldy, and primitive interface. You have to click through multiple screens and dropdown windows to make any changes, and sometimes they don't take on the first attempt.

I'm wondering if any of you has used a better system. The features we'd love to have are:

1) the ability to control wifi access via our iPhones;
2) the ability to schedule access in increments smaller than 30 minutes;
3) the ability to give our kids a specified amount of wifi per day, not as a mass of unscheduled time, but as an allotment to be used as they need it. In other words, they start with, say, three hours, and they consume it gradually over the course of the day. This way they have to be structured about the way they use their time;
4) the ability to block certain websites;
5) the ability to see what the f*ck our kids are doing online

I should mention that we have both Apple and Android machines in the house; I don't know if that makes a difference.

Thanks. I'm curious to know if people have found good strategies for dealing with this problem. My wife and I feel that it's spiraling quickly out of our control during this pandemic period.
 

HriniakPosterChild

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Jul 6, 2006
12,770
500 feet above Lake Sammammish
I'm wondering if any of you has used a better system.
I'm curious to know if people have found good strategies for dealing with this problem.
Our system is Low Tech.

We make Li’l HPC store his device in our bedroom and request permission to use it (in 15m chunks). If we discover he has not completed assigned tasks (made bed, emptied dishwasher, etc.), he stops using his device, but the timer continues to run. This creates an incentive for him to do the right thing.
 

santadevil

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Aug 1, 2006
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Saskatchestan
I love it, catcher on catcher advice here


I'm with HPC on this, but I know during these times, it's a bit tougher
I don't have much other experience, but our wifi is all through the Google WiFi pucks we use in house. I could set them to limit/stop in the app itself, but we haven't done that
 

EnochRoot

lurker
Feb 7, 2020
26
I implemented an eero router and beacon (or whatever its called) upstairs...It gives me really thorough control over the devices accessing the network, and I can activate a search filter to block inappropriate search results, and also content filters to block Adult sites (gambling, dating, profane, sexually explicit content), Illegal/Criminal (associated with hacking, drugs, copyright infringement) and also Violence (violence, weapons, bombs, military hate, extremism). I'm pretty sure there is a tier you can purchase that gives you access to device browsing history.

All of that is accessible and adjustable via an iPad app you can control as an administrator. I highly recommend it.
 
Thank you--will look into the Eero system you described, ER.

Unfortunately, the low-tech version isn't an option for us. My daughter's ninth-grade remote-learning program is 100% iPad based. We have to leave her to her own devices (so to speak) for long stretches of the day. Thing is, I'm pretty sure that those stretches are significantly longer than they need to be, and that she's on her iPad when she could be doing something healthier.
 

HriniakPosterChild

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 6, 2006
12,770
500 feet above Lake Sammammish
Thing is, I'm pretty sure that those stretches are significantly longer than they need to be, and that she's on her iPad when she could be doing something healthier.
Mrs. HPC uses the parental controls on Li’l HPC’s iPad to audit what he’s been using it for. I don’t know what granularity it uses to report results, but if he’s been wasting too much time on it, it will rat him out.
 

EnochRoot

lurker
Feb 7, 2020
26
Thank you--will look into the Eero system you described, ER.

Unfortunately, the low-tech version isn't an option for us. My daughter's ninth-grade remote-learning program is 100% iPad based. We have to leave her to her own devices (so to speak) for long stretches of the day. Thing is, I'm pretty sure that those stretches are significantly longer than they need to be, and that she's on her iPad when she could be doing something healthier.
I neglected to mention you can assign devices to profiles, where you can simply turn off access to the network during certain hours of the day / days of the week. There should be a way to limit access to particular sites on the physical device itself (iOS, iPadOS), though I am not exactly sure how to do this (no children)..

Good luck!