- Do you have trouble controlling internet usage in your home (whether your own internet time or your kids’)?
- Do you sometimes/often/always catch your kids playing online games on their devices instead of studying?
- Are you concerned over porn and potentially harmful sites such as Omegle and Chat Roulette that your kids might be exposed to while browsing the Net?
- Do you want to block certain sites, but it seems like the process will cost a gallon of your blood (because of nosebleed)?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, read on! And make sure you read through to the end, because you could win a Linksys Cisco E4200 Wi-fi Router – from the high-end range of the Linksys E Series.
As a mom of three, including a full-blown teenager and a pre-teener, I have good reason to control internet use at home. Aside from being in that curious stage, they are also innately wired. They, like most modern kids, have a knack for technology. No need for manuals or step-by-step guides – they just know how to go about something techie.
That’s not always a bad thing. But if their computer use is not reined in, it’s dangerous. There’s even a debate now on whether internet addiction should be considered a mental disease. So yes, I think we agree that too much internet use is not good, most especially for kids who are in the stage of forming life habits.
Not so long ago, I installed Chrome Nanny, an application that enables me to block websites and set timed access, on my laptop.
However, Chrome Nanny has its limitations -mainly that I could not install it on my daughter’s mobile device from which she primarily accesses the internet. That leads to another limitation of browser-based parental controls: one can always launch another browser that doesn’t have any control app installed.
Enter, wi-fi routers with parental controls
Cisco Philippines, through Mommy Mundo, recently gave me the chance to experience and review the Linksys E1000 Wireless Router. It’s not just a wi-fi router; it also has parental control that can limit access time and block sites for specific users.
Like most wireless routers, the Linksys E1000 is easy to install. Just insert CD-ROM into your computer and follow onscreen instructions.
However, my internet connection at home is Sun Broadband that uses the Huawei B200 Modem/Router that was provided by Sun. Being a wi-fi router also, the existing modem conflicted with the E1000. “IP address conflict” is what Salvador (from Cisco) called it. I risked losing some blood (as above) if I attempted to figure out a work-around. So I waited for Cisco’s technical assistance.
Fortunately, Salvador made this for-dummies installation guide. It’s easy to resolve the IP address conflict, after all.
A simple edit of the E1000’s IP address resolved the IP address conflict with my existing wireless router.
Click link to view step-by-step PDF guide – How to connect Linksys E1000 to Huawei B200.
After following the steps, I was ready to install the E1000 as my wireless router. I inserted the Installation CD-ROM that came with the router and followed the on-screen instructions.
Upon successful installation, the Cisco Connect software will launch. From there, one can access the features and adjust settings of the E1000.
With the Linksys E1000, you can:
- Authorize and connect devices and computers to the router.
- Allow guest access without exposing your real password (thereby protecting the admin computer from possible unauthorized access).
- Set parental controls that are specific per connected device/computer.
- Easily personalize router settings, such as changing the network name and password.
- Check internet connection speed.
- How to connect computers and devices to E1000 Router:
Click on the “Computers and Devices” box on Cisco Connect window. This window will appear –
Select type of device you are going to connect to the router, and click “Next”.
Go to your device and set up a wireless connection using the settings that appear in the window above.
Wait for your device to be detected by the router. When it does, click “Next” to assign a name for the device and finish adding device to router.
- How to set Parental Controls:
Click on the “Parental Controls” box in the Cisco Connect window to set up a parental controls password (which, of course, should be different from the network password) and a secret question.
Each time you log into Parental Controls, you will be asked for the password.
Click on the “+” icon on the window’s left side to select a device to control. Remember to add/connect all devices first so you can set parental controls.
Now the fun part – blocking sites and setting the blocked time! 😛 Settings are done separately per device.
(I set Patch’s internet access to be blocked at 10PM on weekdays because sometimes she actually does stay up late doing homework. S’ya, s’ya…. pagbigyan na…)
As soon as the clock strikes 10 (or 11PM on weekends), the proverbial carriage turns into pumpkin –
Boohoo. In case of emergency though, the Linksys E1000 provides compassion and allows access for one hour if the parental controls password is entered.
- How to set guest access:
Click on the “Guest Access” box in the Cisco Connect window.
The default guest access network name is your network name+ “guest”. The password is different from the main network password. You can also set the number of guests allowed to ensure that your connection doesn’t get clogged up.
Again, you can easily reset password for guest access from the window above. So that eliminates possibility of “lingering” guests a.k.a. neighbor-leechers who may have gotten hold of the password.
Router settings, such as router name and password, can be easily edited from Cisco Connect. You can also check internet speed.
So how do I find the Linksys E1000 Wireless Router? I like that:
- It’s easy to install and set up. If you use broadband internet connection (like mine), we now know that there is a work-around so that isn’t a problem.
- The features are easy to access and settings can easily be adjusted through Cisco Connect.
- There’s option for guest access without exposing the network password.
- The parental control feature actually works! No need now to nag and remind the kids – one task off the list!
- For its retail price of Php2,895, the Linksys E1000 is affordable. Yes, other wi-fi routers are cheaper, but they don’t have the advantage of E1000’s features.
The internet is an important and vast tool. Everything is right there – one Google search and you have the answer to your kids’ homework. But with uncontrolled use, it can be harmful. Internet safety should be a priority in every home.
If you have young kids like mine and you’d like to control their internet use without totally blocking their access, theLinksys Wireless Routers are for you.
Now, how would you like to experience what I just detailed here, only awesome-r?
Join my Linksys Router giveaway – and get a chance to win the sleek and powerful Linksys E4200 worth Php8,595!
The E4200 has parental control and more: Dual-band N to double your network bandwidth; SpeedBoost antenna to maintain high speeds across greater distances throughout your home; Gigabit ethernet ports that’s 10x faster than standard ethernet.
It’s easy to join. Simply leave a comment and answer these easy survey questions:
1) How do you access Internet at home? 3G or Wifi connection
2) Do you connect many Wi-fi devices (e.g., smartphone, tablet, laptop, wireless printer) at home? Yes or No. If yes, how many?
3) Do you have a wireless router at home? If yes, which brand are you using?
4) Which is the determining factor when choosing a router for your home? Brand / Performance / Price?
Here are the Contest Mechanics:
1. Contest is open to all residents of the National Capital Region (NCR).
2. Comment and answer the survey questions above from October 17 to 24.
3. Duplicate responses are not allowed; only the survey response posted earlier will be counted. (UPDATE, 10/19/11: “Duplicate response” means comment of same person in other blog entries. A person is only allowed to answer the survey once in one participating blog. Other responses made later in other blogs are not valid. Please ensure this is the first participating blog you are responding too. 😀 )
4. There are 10 participating blogs (ImomOnline is one of them). The blog with the most survey responses wins. Owner of winning blog gets an iPad 2 3G with wifi. (So please help me win! 😀 )
5. From the winning blog, one lucky survey respondent will be selected by raffle to win the Linksys E4200 Router.
6. Winning blog and respondent will be announced on October 28 at the Mommy Mundo website.
7. Prize will be delivered by Mommy Mundo/Cisco to the winner.
Remember, you have to answer the survey questions from Oct. 17-24 to qualify for the contest.
To increase our chances of winning, share this contest with your friends who live within NCR. Copy and paste this link – http://imomonline.net/?p=4235.
Thank you for your support, and good luck to all of us! 😀
The Linksys E Series of Wireless Routers are available at:
Octagon Computer Superstore
The Computer Authority