The internet has become accessible to almost every household thanks to digitalization. People can now browse for content and stay informed with a click of a button. The advancement of technology has made remote working and learning possible. While this is advantageous, it poses a security risk to children with internet access. That’s why finding the best routers with parental controls built-in is so important.
In the current digital age, some online predators use the internet to prey on unsuspecting children and lure them into illicit affairs or face-to-face meetings. A safe way to have your children use the internet is by using a router with parental controls built-in.
Routers are basically a necessary thing for your home network since you’re not going to connect just one device to the internet, and you want a good one to make sure everything that needs internet in your house gets a fast solid connection, too.
A router with built-in parental controls will help you regulate internet usage and monitor the content your children are accessing. Advanced parental controls come with features that allow parents to set schedules, monitor activity, and provide home malware protection. This guide will discuss the five best routers with built-in parental controls to help you make an informed purchase decision. Let’s take a look at them below!
- Best Overall: TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX3000 Smart Wi-Fi Router
- Best Budget Option: Asus AC1200 WiFi Gaming Router
- Best for Gaming: ASUS AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router
- Best Mesh: Netgear Orbi Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi System
- Best for Smart Homes: Google Nest Wi-Fi
Best Overall: TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX3000 Smart Wi-Fi Router
The TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX3000 Smart Wi-Fi Router is our top pick for the best router with built-in parental controls.
It features robust parental control features, and it’s easy to install. It comes with a 2-year warranty, so you will have peace of mind if anything goes wrong. With this router’s super-fast speeds and low latency, it’s perfect for office, home, streaming, and gaming use.
It has four adjustable antennas with beam forming technology which help concentrate signal strength to connected devices. It has four-gigabit LAN ports and a type A USB port for external device connections.
The router supports the latest and greatest Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 AX), which allows maximum speeds up to 3 times faster than the previous AC 5. As we have more and more devices connected to Wi-Fi, we need routers that can simultaneously connect and juggle all that data more efficiently and cleverly than before. The AX3000 can reach a speed of up to 3Gps and let you connect all your smart home devices.
It also features an Intel dual-core CPU to process all that data. It helps deliver consistent and powerful signal strength to multiple devices at the same time and helps keep all the wired and wireless connections fast and uninterrupted.
For all your mobile devices, Target Wake Time technology helps reduce your device’s Wi-Fi power consumption to extend battery life. With this router, you can create profiles for each family member to manage their devices, filter content, block websites, set time limits, and use QoS to prioritize traffic on your network.
Check out the TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX3000 Smart Wi-Fi Router on Amazon.
Best Budget Option: Asus AC1200 WiFi Gaming Router
- A maximum range of 3000 sq ft
- 300 Mbps (2 4GHz) and 867 Mbps (5GHz) for fast wireless performance
- Improved coverage and multi-device performance with four external antennas
- ASUSWRT dashboard UI for easy setup
The Asus AC1200 WiFi Gaming Router is the best budget option for those looking for an affordable parental control router. It has 4 fixed 5dBi antennas, AiRadar beamforming technology that strengthens wireless coverage, a host of improved security features, a great web and app interface to manage the network, and 4-gigabit speed Ethernet ports with one USB 2 network connection.
The gigabit Ethernet ports enable fast, reliable internet performance, especially for streaming and UHD gaming. It has an interesting reflective pattern on the top and a nice subtle modern design with angled surfaces.
Setting up the router is a breeze. You only need to follow the three-step instructions and you’re good to go. It also works with Amazon Alexa, so you can control some of its settings using voice commands.
The ASUS network manager interface gives an easy-to-navigate GUI with access to pretty much all the settings, which is good if you are a tinkerer or a parent looking to set up parental controls.
You can set up time restrictions and website filtering through parental control functions to protect your kids from potential dangers. If you need a new budget router, be it for better speed, parental controls, a better management interface, or any other reason, the Asus AC1200 WiFi Gaming Router is perfect.
Check out the Asus AC1200 WiFi Gaming Router on Amazon.
Best for Gaming: ASUS AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router
- Next-gen Wi-Fi standard 802.11Ax
- Setup with Alexa is simple
- 4 antennas plus 8 LAN ports
- AiProtection powered by Trend Micro
- Compatible with ASUS AiMesh Wi-Fi system
Gaming requires a router with solid performance, and the ASUS AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router does not disappoint. It has 8-gigabyte networking ports, a USB port for file sharing and streaming media, and a power jack. The Asus RT AX88U is simple enough for non-tech people to use and set up, but has all the bells and whistles to make any tech/ gamer happy.
This router has no issue covering very large homes with Wi-Fi signals. It’s packed with tons of useful features. It has a maximum throughput of up to 2.1gpbs and up to 5,000 sq. ft of solid coverage thanks to its four-beamforming antennas and support for MU-MIMO technology that gives each device a full-speed Wi-Fi connection.
With this new technology, it doesn’t matter if someone is watching Netflix, someone else streaming Youtube, and another person playing online games simultaneously; there is no lagging or buffering.
Its parental control features allow you to restrict access to inappropriate content, control usage, and block specific devices from accessing the internet altogether. Inside is a 1.4 dual-core processor that helps facilitate USB data transfers from external storage drives and powers a built-in gaming acceleration feature.
It also features the Asus trademark AiProtection security to protect your devices and personal data from internet threats. The user interface is similar to other ASUS Wi-Fi router interfaces.
However, it has some special gaming features, such as game packet prioritization and gaming VPN, reducing ping times. One other great benefit to the Asus RT AX88U is that you will be future-proofing your home.
Check out the ASUS AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router on Amazon.
Best Mesh: Netgear Orbi Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi System
- Eliminates WiFi dead zones and buffering
- Patented tri-band technology maintains speed
- NETGEAR Armor protection
- NETGEAR Smart Parental Controls
If you need strong network coverage or have a large home, you might be interested in a mesh Wi-Fi system that uses multiple routers in your house. The Netgear Orbi Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi System is a departure from the company’s more traditional routers, featuring a much more living room-friendly aesthetic that celebrates the company’s first fully mesh system.
It is one of the most solid and reliable on the market, offering great performance even in larger homes. It supports tri-band Wi-Fi with the usual 2.4 GHz and dual 5 GHz bands. This router can cover an area of 5,000 sq. ft.
It supports some pretty immense parental control settings you can manage through an app. You can set up profiles for each kid, effortlessly pause and restart your connection, and even set up rules for bedtime.
One of those upper bands is reserved as a backup channel to keep things moving speedily along the main Orbi router and all the satellite units. This means that all your devices can get maximum performance no matter where you are in the house.
Every station is capable of the fastest Wi-Fi speeds, and four-gigabit Ethernet ports on each side of the satellite unit even let you add devices like PCs and game consoles for top performance.
Check out the Netgear Orbi Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi System on Amazon.
Best for Smart Homes: Google Nest Wi-Fi
- Strong enough to handle up to 200 connected devices
- Fast enough to stream multiple 4K videos at a time
- Compatible with most internet service providers
- Ethernet ports included on each router
The Google Nest Wi-Fi is a mesh router system that boosts internet speeds and network performance. It also comes with several home automation features that might interest you. Using its mesh network setup, the Nest Wi-Fi system can expand to meet the needs of your home.
One Nest Wi-Fi router will give you up to 2200 sq. ft of coverage, a setup with a Nest Wi-Fi router in a point will give you up to 3800 sq. ft, and a router and two points will cover up to 5400 square feet. The Nest Wi-Fi hardware is only half of the experience, the other half is the software you use to interact with the Nest Wi-Fi system.
You can control the Nest Wi-Fi system by using the Google Home app available for iOS and Android, the same app you use if you have other Nest and Google Home devices. Google also has a Google Wi-Fi app that you can still download and use with your system if you are upgrading from a Google Wi-Fi system.
The setup process is relatively straightforward for the router system. You can set priority devices right on your screen to reserve more bandwidth for the specific device.
You can also set up family Wi-Fi which will allow you to schedule a pause on your kid’s devices at bedtime or in the moment via the app or Google Assistant. Moreover, you can also block adult sites on any device from the app.
Check out the Google Nest Wi-Fi on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best Routers With Parental Controls Built-In: Step by Step
When choosing the best routers with parental controls, there are several factors you need to consider. These include:
- Supported Band,
- Supported Transfer Speeds,
- Ease of Use,
- Mesh Network.
Let’s look at each one in more detail.
If you have a large home and intend to connect several smart devices to your network, you need a router that covers a larger area. This will ensure that all the connected devices enjoy a strong network signal regardless of where you are within the home. Routers with higher ranges allow many devices to be connected.
Routers come in different band types. The dual-band routers support 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies one at a time or simultaneously. This means you can get both long-range and stable performance.
The triband technology is a bit newer and supports a single 2.4 GHz and dual 5 GHz frequencies. Triband routers’ three different radio bands reduce network congestion by automatically connecting your device to the least congested network.
This will ensure you enjoy faster speeds at all times. If you have many devices in your network or live in a crowded area, triband routers are the best. Otherwise, dual-band routers are sufficient for low bandwidth activities on the 2.4 channel, as well as gaming and other high bandwidth activities on the 5GHz.
Supported Transfer Speeds
The router’s supported transfer speed determines your network’s internet speed. This means a router with 50 Mbps cannot allow a connection of 200 Mbps. Rates between 50 Mbps and 100 Mbps are ideal for homes with fewer people and connected devices.
However, you will need higher transfer speeds if most users are streaming movies, playing online games, or other intensive uses. Be sure to check what the router offers before selecting.
Ease of Use
Some routers have a complex GUI, making setting and monitoring parental controls difficult. Look for a router that is easy to install, makes setting up profiles simple, monitors activity, and schedules time limits for your kid’s internet usage.
Routers can come in different price ranges depending on the features and brands available. Routers with built-in parental controls are slightly more costly than standard routers. Some routers have advanced parental control features that allow you to filter and block content using keywords.
There are also budget options with standard features, enabling you to control your children’s internet access without breaking the bank. Consider the features you need and your budget before settling on any router.
A mesh network is a group of interconnected devices or devices that can communicate with each other, increasing the reliability and robustness of the network. A mesh router uses multiple nodes to boost network coverage in your home, even in hard-to-reach areas such as basements, attics, or large open spaces.
They have an advantage over traditional routers because they are reliable in larger areas. A mesh router will be the best option if you need to connect the network in multiple spaces. However, it’s important to note that mesh routers can be more expensive than traditional routers and may require additional setup or configuration.
What to Know Before Buying the Best Routers With Parental Controls
Choosing the best parental control router can be a challenge since there are many of them in the market. The main thing you’ll want to look for when buying a router is compatibility with your Internet Service Provider and your existing devices.
Although most routers are compatible with most modems, there are some that may not connect with certain models. You also want to ensure the router has robust security protocols to protect your data and kids from malware attacks and online predators.
Additionally, ensure the router has all the essential parental control features, such as customizable filters, time limits, and the ability to monitor and block inappropriate content and sites. Finally, ensure the router you choose is easy to set up and makes navigating its settings simple. Ultimately, your preferences will come into play when making your choice.
Using a Router With Built-In Parental Controls: What It’s Like
A router with parental control helps you manage your connected devices and monitor the content your children are exposed to. You can regulate their internet usage by setting internet time and restricting access to websites with inappropriate content.
Different routers have different features in speed, ease of use, security features, bands, speed, and range, so experience varies depending on the router you choose. Though they are slightly more costly than standard ones, these routers are ideal for families with kids who want to ensure they are using the internet appropriately.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Ultraskrip/Shutterstock.com.