Being a parent is hard! We have to help guide your children through a changing world. We want the very best for them, and we want to make sure that they stay safe all of the time. We know that we cannot be with them every moment of every day, so it’s important to use the right tools and have the right information. There are many times that we learn by experience and are forced to change how we do things each day. I am not writing this article to be proactive, I am writing this article because I had to make changes to the way I parent, and it has given my wife and I peace of mind.
On top of our day to day responsibilities, we also have to keep our children safe on the internet.
Recently, I learned how quickly a child can come into danger online. There are so many threats that it’s important to have a plan in place. A simple plan can save you a lot of hassle and hurt.
When my child got into some online trouble, I started to do some research on how I can protect my kids while they surf the ever-growing online world. It’s not like you can just ignore the internet, it’s used everyday in my home.
Before we get into my plan for online safety, I want to talk about the treats that are online that you need to be aware of.
Online Threats to Our Children
I did some research and put together a sample list of the treats that are out there that pose a risk to our kids.
This list isn’t a comprehensive list by any means, and it’s unfortunately growing every day. This is why online safety is so important.
According to commonsense.org,
Internet safety or “e safety” has become a fundamental topic in our digital world and includes knowing about one’s Internet privacy and how one’s behaviors can support a healthy interaction with the use of the Internet.
The treats to be aware of are:
- Cyber Predators
- Posting Private Information
- Falling for Scams
- Downloading Malware
- Explicit Content
- Sexual solicitation
When I started my journey of making sure that the internet was a safe place for my children – these threats became my source of motivation. I wanted to ensure that they were safe in my home, as well as secure when surfing on the internet.
Like I mentioned above, this list isn’t comprehensive. This list could be pages and pages long, and it’s fluid so it’s hard to know the threat that’s around the corner.
I knew that I had to do something to protect my kids online, and so I started to search the internet for answers.
My Dream Device
I was looking for a device or software that offered me the following options:
1. Limit Internet Usage
It would be great if I could setup time restrictions for their internet usage. I wanted to be able to monitor how much time they were spending on the internet. Obviously, I could do this with an old fashioned pen and paper, or the honestly system, but I knew that there had to be a better way.
I found several programs that would monitor this information for me, but I wanted something that was hardwired into the router, so that it was consistent and automatic.
Having a system that runs into the back ground is a great way to be successful. You have heard of The Automatic Millionaire, right? Have a system that quietly works in the background with little effort is a great way to succeed.
2. Safe Search
I also wanted them to be able to search the internet freely, without the treat of explicit content showing up.
Pop-ups are everywhere and most of them are not good!
It would be nice if this was hardware based, so that it would automatically block adult sites, gambling sites, malware and any threat that my kids may stumble upon.
3. Easy to Use
I wanted something that was easy to setup and would run automatically.
I used internet based software before, but I had to add the sites to block manually and this tedious and took forever.
I needed something that was up to date, easy to set up and run in the background, without the effort of adding sites manually.
This sounded like a big ask, but it was my wish list, and I was going to stick to the plan no matter how long it took.
I spent weeks reviewing products, watching videos and reading articles. What was my conclusion? Notice below.
Meet the Synology RT2600ac
At last, I found a product that checked off all the boxes. Next, I’m going to review the Synology RT2600ac, and why I love this device.
When I decided to purchase the product, I jumped on Amazon and within a couple of days the router was at my door.
You can check it out on Amazon for yourself here.
It comes with every thing that you would expect from a high-quality router, but it comes with security features that I couldn’t find anywhere else.
The Synology RT2600ac didn’t take that long to set-up.
It probably took me a good hour to get all of the family connected to the router, and all of the filters installed and ready to go.
I found that it was a little tricky at the beginning, but it came together in the end, and I found it easy overall.
There are several features that make this router worth the money.
You can add an internet schedule, time quota, web filter, and safe search right from the router. These features are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to internet protection.
Add Users and Features
These features are really easy to install and setup. I had it running in just a few minutes.
You add the user to the router and select which settings you want enabled.
For each user you can add the internet schedule, a time quota, a web filter and safe search with just a few clicks.
That’s all there is to it.
Another great feature, is that this router has a database of potential threats up-to-date; it’s a growing list that you don’t have to worry about.
Google Safe Browsing
You can also add an API code to enable Google Safe browsing, which blocks threats that may appear on a Google search.
The API code will connect to google and only show search results that are children friendly. This isn’t just a Google feature, but will also filter out harmful YouTube videos as well.
You can read more about Google safe browsing here.
This is a proactive feature which will stop treats before they happen.
The router will create reports to show all the blocked attempts, and I have those reports sent right to my email as soon as they occur.
I was amazed at how many times our devices tried to connect to a website that was a potential threat.
Several times a day, my phone would try to connect to a site that the router would block.
These include ads, apps or even pop-ups that are instantly stopped because of the router’s built-in software.
It’s actually eye-opening to the alarming amount of sites connecting to our devices without us even knowing about it.
This router is great for overall internet protection, and works well for not only kids, but also adults.
I think everyone should have this level of protection for their internet usage. Just to be aware of the websites trying to connect to your families’ devices is worth the price of the router.
Regular Wifi Features
The router isn’t just great for online security, but it gives you a host of other features for every day internet use.
You can install a VPN right on the router.
You have a host of features for WIFI and connectivity.
You can add a storage for file sharing.
The feature list goes on and on. For the complete list of features you can check out their website here.
My Final Thoughts
First, there is no system, hardware or software that’s going to be perfect. You still have to monitor your children online and make sure that they are safe. I just found that this router was a great safe-guard in place to give our home a blanket of protection.
I soon realized that it’s far more than just protecting our children, but my whole families’ overall online safety.
There are so many threats online that it’s impossible to keep up with it all. This is why I really like using the Synology router because it’s there protecting us in the background.
I connected the Synology router to my existing internet router and disconnected the WIFI on the old router.
After setting up, we were in business.
I just felt good knowing that harmful treats were being blocked from our home and that we could all surf the internet safely.
It’s working great. I continually get emails of blocked threats, and I continue to monitor my kids usage online.
It works well. I keep the database up-to-date with the latest threats and that’s the only maintenance that’s required.
I do recommend this router to anyone that’s looking for more protection online in their home. It’s priced well, it works well and it’s easy to install.
Check it out on Amazon today, and give it a try. You can find the best price here.