Smart Parental Controls now available from NETGEAR

NETGEAR has made its new Smart Parental Controls service available on select Nighthawk Wi-Fi routers and Orbi Mesh Wi-Fi systems. The service will extend to Wi-Fi 6 routers and mesh systems in the coming months.

Due to the pandemic, the new trend of working, learning and entertaining from home means children are more engaged with personal devices and screens than ever before to stay connected to family and friends over social media and relying on online entertainment. Therefore, NETGEAR introduced Smart Parental Controls as an easy way for parents to manage their children’s online activity across their connected devices, including gaming consoles and smart TVs.

Parents and guardians can use the new service to manage, monitor and control the content their children see online. The technology creates an efficient management system to supervise children across all devices in a single household and manage both content and time online.

Smart Parental Controls allows parents to create schedules to automatically shut down online access, set up time limits for addictive applications or specific categories of application such as online gaming, social media, shopping, etc.

The application works over both Wi-Fi and mobile connections to ensure that rules and policies are applied even when children are not connected to the home Wi-Fi networks.

To teach and engage with children about their time online, the My Time app is connected to the Smart Parental Controls to allow children to monitor themselves by viewing the remaining time they can spend online and see an overview of the established internet policies set by their parents.

“This last year of online distance learning and working from home has clearly demonstrated how essential network connectivity and management has become for an entire household,” said David Henry, senior vice president of connected home products for NETGEAR. “As the leading provider of innovative performance networking products, NETGEAR is proudly providing value added services to help parents better manage a family’s time online.”

To make it easy to manage, parents can create custom profiles for their children and associate all their connected devices to the relevant profile. The Smart Parental Controls service gives parents the ability to pause their internet either on an individual device or for all the children’s connected devices. Similarly, a scheduled internet ‘Off Time’ can be set for dinner times or family gatherings without needing to take the device away from the children.

Parents can also monitor their children’s internet activity and look back as far as they want to see what websites they have been looking at. A filter feature allows parents to select the most age-appropriate content filters. Users can also use NETGEAR’s recommended pre-set filters or customise it to fit the needs of the family.

Time limits can be set that will limit the daily internet time for specific websites, apps, or categories such as online gaming, social media, video streaming, etc. To encourage healthy sleep schedules, parents can set a bedtime for their children’s devices. A reward feature allows parents to reward good behaviour with more screen time for favourite games or set a later bedtime.

NETGEAR Smart Parental Controls is currently only available in North America on select Nighthawk Wi-Fi 6 Routers. The service is also available on the original Orbi Tri-band Wi-Fi Mesh System (RBK50) as a firmware update via the Orbi app and is expected to be available in a phased manner across Wi-Fi 6 Orbi Mesh systems and Nighthawk Wi-Fi 6 products later this year. After the 30-day free trial, Smart Parental Controls is a subscription service with a fee of $69.99 annually or $7.99 a month.

The service is expected to roll out to the UK and European markets in the coming months. UK pricing will be £6.99 per month or £59.99 for the year and Europe pricing will be €7.99 per month or €69.99 for the year.

Article Categories