Best Routers For Parental Controls – 2021 Guide

Austin
| Last Updated: February 8, 2021

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The internet has become a staple for many homes, and kids have access to online content. However, you wouldn’t want them exposed to some content, thus the need for parental control.

Parental control routers enable you to determine what your child can view and what they can't. Many brands are available, but we have compiled a list of the best routers for parental controls.

Our Top Picks for Best Routers For Parental Controls

  • Wide coverage
  • Fast data transfers
  • Layer 7 traffic control
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  • Reliable streaming
  • Easy to install
  • High-quality streaming
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  • Best for the Money
  • Dual frequencies
  • Expandable, reliable
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Comparison of the Best Routers For Parental Controls

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Up to 4 WiFi antennas included for a wider coverage
  • Up to 2500Mbps data transfer rates
  • Hardware accelerated traffic control option
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  • Very fast Ethernet ports for reliable connections
  • Easy to install and set it up
  • 4k video streaming quality and reliability
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  • Best for the Money
  • 5Ghz and 2.4 GHz frequency connection option
  • Smart mesh WiFi expandable option
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  • Use up to 30 devices with this router
  • Up to 3 WiFi antennas included for a wider WiFi range
  • Data transfer rates of more than 1700Mbps
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What is a Parental Control Router?

This is a router that, apart from the usual internet connection features, has features that allow you to limit or control what your children can view online, during what time, and also allows you to see their online activities.

How Do Router Parental Controls Work?

They work by blocking websites with harmful content from your network and some apps, and in case of time limits, they block internet access when the set time has reached, like bedtime and homework time.

Others allow you to view your kid’s browsing history. You can see their online activity, including who they talk to and what they talk about.

Why Do I Need Parental Control Set Up On My Router?

Parental controls are important for several good reasons:

No Harmful Content

Parental control ensures your children won’t access harmful content like pornography, drugs, and violence. Such content can cause irreparable damage to their young minds.

Children Can Have Time For Other Things

If your kids spend too much time on the screen, they might not develop other skills like social skills. Limiting the time they spend on the internet will allow them to socialize with others and learn basic chores.

Protect Kids From Bad Guys Online

With all its goodness, the internet also has terrible people who make other people’s lives hard. Cyberbullying like trolling on certain social media sites has become rampant and other vices like pedophilia. Blocking these sites and social media pages protect you from any harm that would result.

Quick Take - Best Routers For Parental Controls

Just looking for the three best routers for parental controls? Here they are:

  1. Synology RT2600AC
  2. TP-Link Archer AX50
  3. GRYPHON Guardian AC1200

Review of the Best Routers For Parental Controls

Routers with parental controls allow you to control what your children are exposed to on the internet. That does not mean they can’t be fancy or have other premium features.

Some are high-end choices but high-quality and are better than buying several awful ones. Here are the best routers for parental control.

Best Overall:
Synology RT2600AC

Synology RT2600ac – 4x4 dual-band Gigabit Wi-Fi router, MU-MIMO, powerful parental controls, Threat Prevention, bandwidth management, VPN, expandable coverage with mesh Wi-Fi

PROS

  • Regular updates
  • Supports MU-MIMO technology
  • Advanced file management capabilities
  • Powerful content filtering and monitoring tools
  • Simple set-up, management, and connectivity with the Synology Router Manager (SRM) operating system

CONS

  • Some people report failing radios
  • User Interface is a bit difficult to use

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers are impressed with the quality and functionalities of the router. As a parental control router, it has options for child profiles to limit their time on the internet. The comprehensive VPN service offers you secure access, it’s easy to set up, and smooth connections. Additionally, you can back up your data and synchronize files across multiple devices.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For a parental control router, the monitoring tools are very powerful. You can prioritize your bandwidth and set it up in such a way that your console gets enough speed without stuttering. You can also limit your kids’ time on the internet.

It has comprehensive security features like a firewall and denial-of-service technology to ensure your network is safe from intrusion. Also, the router gets regular firmware updates.

You can also transform the router to be your entertainment hub. You can attach USB to the storage, stereo systems or smart TVs, or play multimedia stored in the router.

Bottom Line

If you’d want a parental control router that doubles as an entertainment hub, this is it. You’ll also get fast internet connections, and you can prioritize whichever bandwidth for uninterrupted connections. It’s an ideal choice for families with a love for entertainment but also for those who value their privacy.

TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX50) – 802.11ax Router, Gigabit Router, Dual Band, OFDMA, MU-MIMO, Parental Controls, Built-in HomeCare,Works with Alexa

PROS

  • Minimized lag for applications and devices 
  • Backward compatible and easy to set up with the TP-Link tether app
  • Supports OFDMA technology to connect more devices simultaneously
  • 4-streams dual-band router offers next-gen three gap speeds for fast streaming and gaming
  • TP-Link homecare free lifetime subscription offers next-level antivirus, QoS, and robust parental control

CONS

  • Has no default admin account
  • Homecare features require a paid subscription

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers love the features and functionalities of the router. However, most of them did not like having to pay subscription fees for home care services. The basic features like QoS are not free, and you have to pay for them monthly.

The antivirus, QoS, and parental controls are not built-in but use cloud service, which you have to access via WAN, creating vulnerability.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Next-generation Wi-Fi 6 offers incredible Wi-Fi speeds and lets you connect more devices to your network without slowing down or experiencing lags. You get next-generation speeds of up to 3 Gbps, perfect for gaming and 4k/8k streaming.

OFDMA technology and 4-streams allow you to connect all your devices simultaneously. Additionally, there's more reliable coverage with four antennas and beamforming working together to focus signal to your devices.

Other outstanding features include Target Wake Time (TWK) technology, which increases device sleep time and battery life by talking to your device to negotiate how frequently data transfers will be.

Bottom Line

Apart from parental control, this router comes with many other features that afford you fast internet for gaming and streaming. It’s an ideal choice for people with multiple devices and would like to connect all of them simultaneously without experiencing lags.

Best for the Money:
GRYPHON Guardian AC1200

GRYPHON GUARDIAN Advanced Parental Control System & Mesh WiFi Enhanced Security Router (up to 1800sqft) Hack Protection w/AI-Intrusion Detection & ESET Malware Protection Smart Mesh WiFi System AC1200

PROS

  • Smart network management
  • Smart and expendable mesh Wi-Fi
  • Advanced parental controls features 
  • Excellent protection and security features
  • Easy to set up and can be managed with a smartphone

CONS

  • For devices classified as “things,” there’s no browsing history
  • Browsing history is limited to the domain level and only recent entries

What Recent Buyers Report

Most people found this router to be great as it offered many excellent and detailed features. The parental features are detailed, and one can control several features like setting bedtimes and homework times.

However, some felt their features were good for nothing as their devices could not connect to the network. The browsing history is limited, and ‘bedtime’ and ‘homework time’ lack granularity. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

For starters, this router has incredible parental control features, including creating multiple user accounts so that adults can remain unrestricted; you can enforce Safe Search and YouTube to avoid inappropriate content, suspend internet during dinner, view browsing history even if they were on Incognito mode, set bedtimes, homework times and limit screen time, etc.

Protection features are also advanced with automatic updates to firmware and AD blocker, ESET technology to block malware and ransomware, Intelligence Intrusion Detection to protect your privacy, among others.

You also get network management options and Gryphon Guardian Mesh Wi-Fi to expand your protection and coverage. Moreover, this router supports Alexa, and you can play music, listen to the news, and even ask about the weather.

Bottom Line

Overall, this device is for people who need detailed parental control features and protection. You can also get it instead of spending it on another Alexa device. If you also want an affordable router that’s easy and straightforward to set up and configure, this router is ideal.

Editor's Pick:
TP-Link Archer A7

TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A7) -Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router for Home, Works with Alexa, VPN Server, Parental Control, QoS

PROS

  • Excellent parental control system
  • Works with Alexa for voice control
  • Easy to set up and manage with the Tether app
  • Offers a maximum of 1.7 Gbps download speed
  • Advanced WPA/WPA2 wireless encryption and guest access makes it secure

CONS

  • The signal may not be the best
  • Does not support MU-MIMO and Beamforming technology

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers are happy with the router. It connects to devices easily, and setting up is seamless. It is also reliable and includes security features as well as parental controls. The admin page is especially easy to use, and you can print the QR code so that when you have visitors, they’ll scan the code and connect to the internet.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This router is cheap and affordable and has excellent features and functionalities for the price. It is compatible with Alexa for voice control. Thus you can play music, ask for the weather, and even control guest Wi-Fi with your voice.

The speed is 3x faster (up to 1.7Gbps), so you can stream 4k videos and gaming without lags. The wireless encryption protects your network from intrusion, and there’s a parental control system to control what your kids can access on the internet.

It has a Wi-Fi coverage of up to 2,500 sq. ft. which is excellent for your home. The three antennas and amplifiers will connect every device in your home, from bedrooms to the backyard and basement.

Bottom Line

Even as a cheaper alternative, this router has way too many features to ignore. It’s perfect for large homes and ensures your privacy is protected. You can easily manage the network through the Tether app as well as voice control.

Honorable Mention:
TigerMom TM - 300

TigerMom - Parental Control Wi-Fi Router (TM - 300), Control Apps, Set Internet Access Time Limits, Block & Filter Harmful Content, Works on WiFi, Android & iOS Devices, Free for Lifetime

PROS

  • Curfew settings to locks kids’ devices during bedtime
  • Provides internet access content monitoring and time statistics 
  • Offers speeds of up to 300mbps ideal for streaming and gaming
  • Easy to set up and manage through the Tiger Mom smartphone app
  • Content filtering technology to filter out harmful content and leave only the healthy stuff

CONS

  • Occasional connectivity issues
  • Internet speed may stream without lags but can be a problem if you have many devices

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers looking for a not-so-fancy but working parental control router found this an ideal option as it has several control features. It was easy to set up, and they can view their kids’ browsing history without limitations. It worked as advertised, and most were satisfied with the purchase.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This router is more detailed as a parental control router. You can have curfew settings to lock your kids’ devices when it’s sleeping time, enable safe search to block harmful content, restrict apps and games. Access time statistics and content monitoring to see how much time the kids spend on the internet and what they are viewing.

Additionally, there are no subscriptions for this router. After buying, it’s free for life. I may not have as advanced protection features as routers meant for business, but it will protect your privacy and that of your kids with the built-in protection features.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a router that’s not technical and will perform most control functions, you can consider it. It does not require any technical knowledge to set up and will connect your devices in the home successfully. The speed is also great for perfect streaming.

What Should I Look For When Buying Routers With Parental Control?

There are a few features that you should always be on the lookout for when buying routers with parental control. These include:

App Blocking

Some apps are not suitable for kids, but you might not know when your kids are using them. An ideal router with parental control should have app blocking capabilities to block those apps that you deem are unfit for your kids.

Some of these are pornographic apps and those that encourage violence, among others. You can also block some apps at certain hours, like bedtime.

Add-on vs Integrated Routers

Some routers come with built-in control features, but you can also buy a separate box with control features and connect it to your network.

If you have a router with excellent connectivity and speed, you probably don’t want to replace it. You can instead get an add-on router with parental control. These have more advanced control features.

However, you may need to plug it in, and a smart kid can plug it out. Others connect over Wi-Fi and will send you notifications if they are bypassed.

Content Filtering

Content filtering is crucial for any parental control router. One of the reasons you control is to remove harmful content that can cause irreparable damage to your kid.

Ensure the router allows content filtering of pornographic content, drugs, and violence, etc. so you can be sure your child is viewing safe and healthy content

Types of Parental Controls on a Router

Here are some of the most important types of parental controls:

Curfew Settings

You can set your Wi-Fi to be unavailable or block devices at certain times. If you restrict the use of devices during dinner, you can impose restrictions during dinner.

You cannot always be there to ensure the kids go to sleep when it’s bedtime. So, you can set your router to block devices during a specific time when they are supposed to be in bed, doing their homework, or other chores.

Games and App Blocking

Some games are addictive and bloody. Other apps have harmful content, and the only way to keep your children away from them is by blocking them.

They then can’t access them on your network. You can block some social media sites too.

Content Monitoring and Time Statistics

You can also monitor what content your children are viewing and how much time they are spending. Some routers give you browsing history even if the child was in incognito mode. You can see the sites they visit and what they view on YouTube. Others even allow you to view their messages.

GRYPHON Guardian AC1200

How to Set Parental Control on a Router

You can set parental controls and limits at different times. Some routers allow you to set controls based on the ages of the person using a certain device.

To set parental control for the TP-Link router, follow these steps.

  1. Open the router’s management page and log in. You can learn how to log in here.

  2. Navigate to the parental controls menu and click the “+Add” button on the upper right corner to add a profile.

  3. Name the profile and add all the devices you want to control.

  4. To block certain sites, add keywords. For instance, Instagram, Twitter, etc..

  5. set daily time limits for accessing the internet. You can choose the limits for weekdays and weekends. You can also set the time when the internet is not accessible during bedtime and weekends.

  6. Save the profile.

  7. Add more profiles if there are any.

Here is a video to describe a full overview of the whole process:

Conclusion

It is crucial to know what content your children are viewing online and at what time. Some content can cause significant damage, and too much time on the screen is not healthy either. Routers for parental controls allow you to ensure the internet is safe for your children.

People Also Ask

If you are not a techie, there are many things you might not know about routers except for basic stuff. Some routers are challenging to configure, while others are easy even to manage. Here are the frequent questions people ask.

Do All Routers Have Parental Controls?

No. Not all routers have parental control. If you want one with parental control, ensure it’s included in the product description. Otherwise, you can get an add-on router with parental control features.

How to Bypass Parental Control on Routers

  1. Using VPN software: VPN software unblocks blocked sites and hides your online activity.

  2. Using an unblocking site or proxy: Proxies divert traffic to a different server, thus masking your IP address and filtering the bypass on your internet.

Do Wi-Fi Routers Track Internet History?

Yes. They keep logs to store history so the Wi-Fi owner and providers can check the browsing history.

Austin

When the tech company I worked for restructured and I ended up jobless, I decided to put the wealth of knowledge and management skills to use somewhere new. I’d checked out a few buyer’s guides on the site in the past and reached out to the previous owner. A few months later, here we are. Now, I get to be behind the scenes, helping people find the best tech.