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Sunday, December 6, 2015

WiFi Parental Controls with KoalaSafe Review

WiFi Parental Controls with KoalaSafe Review
Do you in any way control your child's access to the Internet? There are various ways to limit your child's access, including only letting them surf while you're watching over their shoulder, but typically there are ways to turn it off that your child is bound to figure out, or you have to step away for a phone call or they sneak onto the machine when you're not watching. I recently had the chance to try out KoalaSafe which offers an alternative way of protecting your child from the unknown on the Internet. Even being in the tech field myself, my eight-year old amazes me about how much he can do on the computer with just what he learns in school. Instead of trying to play catch up, especially if you're not tech savvy, the WiFi parental controls that something like KoalaSafe offers help you to limit what your child has access to on the net.

Nowadays, if your child asks you something you don't know, you go to Google and show them the answer. Even if I do know the answer, I do the same as the pictures and extra details that provides would be way better than any answer I can provide. Kids learn this and do the same. If they're curious about adult topics, they can find answers to anything. I'm still waiting for my son to ask about ED with all the commercials about it on TV these days.

What KoalaSafe provides is a wireless access point for your child. Instead of them connecting to your regular home wireless router, you have them instead connect to the KoalaSafe device. This really small device is connected to your home router. And you can set limits for the KoalaSafe device. Only want them to have online access from 4-7 pm? That's all the access they'll have. Only want them searching on Google with SafeSearch on? That's all the access they'll have. Don't want them to be on Facebook since they're under 13. They can't get there. Don't want them checking out naughty pictures on Playboy? Web sites with an Adult focus can be disabled. That would also include dating sites and gambling, too, even. Tired of arguing with them for 5 more minutes online at bed time? No more arguing. The scheduler will automatically disable.
If they try to visit a site that is against the house rules, they can't get there.

The way the device works is you configure access to it from an app, either from your mobile phone or your desktop/laptop. You give your child a profile, giving their age, and identify the device associated with that child. Then, every time that device connects, their Internet access is controlled by the rules you assign to that profile. This can be time-based access or site-based. When restricting sites, you limit by category and/or actual site. For instance, you can disable all app stores except Google's and Apple's. You can totally turn off all search engines. If you have multiple kids, you can assign rules based upon groups of kids, like older vs. younger, so you don't have to create rules for each kid. You do have to place each device into one category though, so if your kids share a device that gets more difficult to limit as they can only be in one category of rules.
In addition to helping you to limit access to the Internet, the KoalaSafe will keep you informed about what they are doing when they do have access. Afraid they're spending too much time on Facebook? The reporting mechanisms available will help you find out through the weekly usage reports.

As my child has been begging us for a tablet for Christmas, this seems like a must have device to be getting. It is just $99 and will be really helpful with preventing arguments, both between parent and child and between parents, like how did you let him have access to that site... I like that it is a hardware based solution and not just something that can be disabled at the browser level, something I've heard about all too often with other alternatives. We'll be playing around with the filters / restrictions as we figure out what works best for us, and open things up more as he gets older and be trusted. Plus, if he misbehaves, we can just turn off his Internet access without turning it off for the rest of the house.

*Read my Disclosure


  1. This is a really great thing! i love how it can control Wifi so they can't do adult stuff on their phones!!