The internet is a tool that provides kids with many different benefits. It presents them with a place to learn, communicate, and research, especially now that there’s a global pandemic in tow. However, while the benefits are indeed advantageous, this tool has its own cons too. It can be a dark place for kids who are left to wander around the web unmonitored. This is why, as a parent, it’s important that you invest in the best parental control router for your kids.
Many routers on the market offer basic parental control settings. A good router designed to help parents control what their kids get exposed to on the internet, on the other hand, comes with a host of competent filters categorized by age groups, preventing your kids from reaching websites they aren’t meant to be on. Also, good routers with parental controls allow you to set when your kids can get online, which can be beneficial if you want them to focus on offline tasks without monitoring them.
In our review below, we’ve identified and discussed ten of the best routers on the market. We’ve also added a guide below to help you determine the right factors to consider when choosing a parental control router. Without further ado, let’s get into it:
- 10 Best Parental Control Routers
- 1. GRYPHON AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
- 2. ASUS AC3100 Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Router
- 3. TP-Link AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit Smart WiFi Router
- 4. NETGEAR Nighthawk R6700 Smart WiFi Router
- 5. Linksys EA7300 Dual-Band WiFi Router
- 6. The Cleanernet Router Limits Mini WiFi Router
- 7. Synology RT2600ac – 4×4 dual-band Gigabit Wi-Fi router
- 8. Amazon eero Pro mesh WiFi system (1 Pro + 2 Beacons)
- 9. Circle Home Plus (2nd Gen) WiFi Router
- 10. BUFFALO AirStation HighPower N300 Gigabit WiFi Router
- Best Parental Control Router Buyer’s Guide
10 Best Parental Control Routers
1. GRYPHON AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
Best Performance Router
The Gryphon AC3000 Tri-Band Wifi Router is one that combines top-notch performance with high-quality parental controls. It features a unique tower-like design that makes it worthy of being on your kitchen countertop. Endowed with mesh tri-band wifi, this home router comes with the MU-MIMO feature that makes it easy to connect multiple devices and receive the same speed on all devices.
You get two 5GHz bands and one 2. 4 GHz band on this router. And thanks to the fact that it's a mesh wifi router, you can add another one to the equation just in case you have a big home. The accompanying smartphone app makes the setup easy and although the parental control settings are free, you'll need to subscribe to a service before being able to use the included malware. This router allows you to limit screen time, set bed and homework times, and organize family devices into categories that make it easy to control what each device can access on the internet.
2. ASUS AC3100 Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Router
Great Range and Speed
The ASUS AC3100 is another excellent parental control router. Unlike the Gryphon router above, the AC3100 is a dual-band router, which means that you get one 2.4GHz band and a 5GHz band. Featuring a 4-antenna design, this router is capable of covering up to 5000 sq ft. It comes with 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports and its 1.4GHz processor allows you to get up to 1.8 Gbps across all devices.
On the parental control side, you get a feature set that helps you track website vulnerabilities, block malicious websites, prevent devices from logging onto a website, provide screen time limits, and more. This home router also doubles as a gaming router, which means that you can enjoy low latency when gaming. Setting up this router is easy as this can be done via the mobile app. Easy to use and endowed with MU-MIMO technology, this router offers great data transfer and excellent parental control features.
3. TP-Link AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit Smart WiFi Router
Best Smart Home Router
The TP-Link AC 1750 is another incredible router worthy of being on this list of best parental control routers. Compatible with all WiFi devices and ISPs, this internet router offers up to 1.7 Gbps download speed. It comes with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and a USB 2.0 port. While the speed and range aren't as high as what you get on the Gryphon router above, it offers great stability.
On the parental control front, you can restrict your kids' internet access, create screen time limits, and manage your home network via the app. It comes with one of the best parental control software to ensure that your kids remain safe no matter where they go on the internet. And to make things even easier, it works with Alexa, allowing you to turn on/off your guest Wifi easily.
4. NETGEAR Nighthawk R6700 Smart WiFi Router
Best Parental Control Router For Content Filtering
When it comes to content filtering, there aren't many routers that can beat the Netgear Nighthawk R6700 Wifi router. The parental control features embedded into this router are some of the best and most advanced you can find anywhere. You get an antivirus, anti-malware, a VPN, and data protection services that help secure your devices.
This router allows you to filter websites, pause internet access, view website history, set online time limits, and even schedule when your kids will be able to reach an internet service. You may eventually need to subscribe to a paid service offered by the company in order to enjoy all of these benefits. However, you get to experience everything for free the first month after purchase. This doesn't seem like a bad deal for a smart wifi router that costs less than $100.
5. Linksys EA7300 Dual-Band WiFi Router
Best Budget MU-MIMO Parental Control Router
The Linksys EA7300 Dual-Band Wifi Router is another excellent option that comes in at a price range that's less than $100. However, unlike its Netgear counterpart above, this router comes with MU-MIMO, a technology that allows the router to provide each and every device on the network with the same speed or the maximum speed they can attain.
Covering up to 1500 sq ft, this is one of the best parental control routers for those looking to easily set up guest wifi networks, prioritize devices, restrict content and websites, and also set passwords. The accompanying app, otherwise knowns as the Smart App, is one that's quite intuitive and easy to use. This app works on both iOS and Android devices so you'll be able to control your kids' internet access no matter the device you use.
6. The Cleanernet Router Limits Mini WiFi Router
Best Internet Control Device For Kids
Do you have a home network already but would like to add parental control features to the mix? You're in luck as the Cleanernet Router allows you to do just that. It's a small, standalone device that connects to your existing home network, providing you with precise control over your internet access. All you have to do is plug the Cleanernet into your router's LAN port and you'll get an intermediary that filters the content that goes into your kid's devices.
Note that this device isn't a router so you won't be getting enhanced network performance or better speed. Instead, you'll be able to limit screen time, track browsing history, and be in control of your internet as long as the device remains plugged in. The Cleanernet Limits is ideal for a home with young kids and not teenagers as the device can be bypassed by simply unplugging it.
7. Synology RT2600ac – 4×4 dual-band Gigabit Wi-Fi router
Secure and Powerful
In the world of best parental control routers, the Synology RT2600ac is one that will always be among the top picks. Sitting right at the $200 price point, this wireless router features a 1.7GHz dual-core processor that offers excellent performance. Endowed with two radio bands and four powerful antennas, it offers speeds of up to 2.53Gbps through WiFi.
For the parental control features, you get powerful traffic monitoring tools that help you filter websites, prioritize devices, and block off potentially harmful sites. You can get the entire device up and running in a matter of minutes. And with a few clicks via the app, you can set up different profiles for the different devices in your house. The RT2600ac is regularly updated and kept secure to ensure that you and your kids remain protected from the dangers of the internet.
8. Amazon eero Pro mesh WiFi system (1 Pro + 2 Beacons)
Stable, Reliable, and Intelligent
The Amazon eero is a popular mesh wifi router thanks to its amazing capability of providing the home with a stable and reliable wireless connection. Add that to the impressive malware protection and extensive parental controls offered via the Eero Secure Plan, and you get one of the best parental control routers on the market. For about $400, you get a router, wifi extender, and an internet booster all in one.
The base station is a tri-band router configured with 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. It is capable of covering up to 1,750 sq ft alone while each of the two beacons it comes with can cover up to 1,500 sq ft. Parents can enjoy great parental control features straight out of the box. This system comes pre-designed with family profiles that make it easy to monitor what your kids are doing on the internet.
And for a monthly subscription fee, you can get the Eero Secure plan that provides real-time intelligent content filtering, ensuring that your kids do not log onto any violent, adult, or illegal website on the internet. In fact, the Amazon eero Pro mesh Wifi System can detect new websites, analyze them, and ensure that they are safe before kids even log onto them. And to make things even better, it works seamlessly with Alexa.
9. Circle Home Plus (2nd Gen) WiFi Router
Parental Control For All Ages
This is another great option to consider if you already have a router but would like to add some great parent controls to the mix. Just like the Cleanernet above, the Circle Home Plus provides unparalleled parental control features. Simply plug it into your router and you'll be able to monitor the traffic on your kids' mobile devices as well as the connection between your devices and the internet. The accompanying app, otherwise known as the Circle App, is seamless and intuitive. It's easy to use and available on both iOS and Android platforms.
The Circle App allows you to see whose device is online at any given time. Also, you can use this device over wifi and unlike the Cleanernet, the Circle comes with a backup battery that ensures that it isn't disconnected when unplugged from your router. There are multiple pre-set filters already built into the device. These filters are categorized by age and help you create the best setting as fast as possible.
For instance, you can use the Pre-K filter for a 5-year old, while the Teen filter will work fine for any teenager. There's even an Adult filter that provides unlimited access to the internet, and you can customize all of these pre-defined filters. You can choose to create your own filters from scratch too plus you can limit the time your kids spend on the internet by setting a specific time when their access will be cut off.
10. BUFFALO AirStation HighPower N300 Gigabit WiFi Router
Best Easy To Set Up Router
The Buffalo Airstation Highpower N300 Router is another device with great parental controls. Featuring a USB port that allows for data transfer, the N300 is easy to configure through its Airstation One-Touch Secure System. It's one of the best parental control routers for small homes. The optimized antennas enhance performance and boost signal range, ensuring that you have no dead spots in your home.
This Wi-Fi router is also capable of blocking out unauthorized content, ensuring that your kids remain safe from the dangers of the internet. You get the ability to create guest networks, VPN endpoints, hotspot sign-ins, and more. While the performance of this device isn't as great as the other options on our list, its solid build and budget price make it one of the best routers with parental control on the market.
Best Parental Control Router Buyer’s Guide
There are many reasons why you want to buy a router with parental controls. Since your router is basically your kids’ gateway to the internet and the world, it’s only logical that that’s what you want to control and where you want to place any limitation. Besides the fact that they help keep your kids away from the dangers of the internet, these devices also help them attain a healthy lifestyle. With the capability to limit screen time, these routers ensure that your kids are able to focus on other life activities.
Related: See our article on the best WiFi extenders.
A good router with parental controls allows you to control every device in your home. While some routers offer parental controls to only specific devices with specialized software, other routers monitor every traffic flowing in and out of every device in your household. The latter is what you want to go for as it can help limit your child’s access to the internet, restrict their streaming services, limit their online gaming activities on any gaming console, and also control the web pages they can visit.
Basically, the best parental control routers will ensure that your kids do not gain access to what you don’t want them to gain access to. It will also help you schedule when and how they gain access to the websites and services you want them to use.
Features To Look Out For In A Parental Control Router
This feature allows your router the capability to block or allow any content passing through it. This can include websites you have blacklisted or apps you don’t want your kids to use. Once they try to long on to the blacklisted websites or apps, your children will get an error message as the router will intercept the connection and block it. Many routers come with basic content filtering features, however, since you can’t possibly know all of the right websites to block, routers designed to offer parents control allow you to block websites based on categories.
This is quite beneficial and more efficient as there are new threats and malicious websites popping up every now and then. You won’t have to worry about blacklisting any website; the router or a third-party service provider will do the heavy lifting for you.
Ensure that the router you choose also comes with dynamic filtering. This feature allows you to block websites based on what’s actually on the website, not the name or address of the website. The router will automatically block the website even if it’s not on your blacklist. For instance, if you select adult websites as the category you want to block and the router detects explicit language or content on a website, it automatically blocks the site and ensures that your kid doesn’t see the content.
This is beneficial especially if you or the third-party service can’t keep adding new websites to your list. It’s an extra layer of protection you’ll appreciate in the long run.
This is another important feature you want to look out for. Parental control routers used to be designed to block websites only. But thanks to the advancement of technology and the internet, many online operations are being carried out through apps on gaming consoles, smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and other wireless devices. This is why you should look for a good router with app filtering as website filtering won’t stop or restrict apps.
Now, while many advanced routers may come with this feature, you’ll need to be tech-savvy in order to use them properly. But with a good parental control router, you simply need to tick some checkboxes and you’ll be able to block a specific app. So if you want to block Facebook, for instance, simply tick the Facebook box and the app will be blocked.
Getting the best parental control router isn’t an easy task but if you’re armed with the right information, you’ll be able to make the right buying decision. This is why we’ve provided an informative review and guide to ensure that you make nothing but the best buying decision. Our review includes ten of the best products on the market. Ensure that you consider their pros and cons before deciding on the best option for you.
If you have a good router already but would like to have parental control features, we suggest that you choose the Cleanernet Pro or Circle Home Plus system on our list. However, if you don’t have a router or you’re looking to replace the one you have, we recommend that you take a look at the Gryphon AC3000, ASUS AC3100, Amazon Eero Pro Mesh, and the Synology RT2600ac routers. on the go look at our guide on best travel router.If you liked our article on parental control routers, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.