Controlling Family Screen Time – Part 2

This article follows on from Part 1, where we discussed using Windows 10 features to control computer device access.

In this article, we look at what controls are available for the family network as a whole – this is where you need to look if your children and their guests have smartphones and tablets. We will look at the specific capabilities provided by Plusnet, a well known UK broadband provider, but the principles can be applied to other providers.

The first interesting control is on the router itself – under Home > Settings > Plusnet Access Control, we find a feature to limit Internet access for a given time window. In this case, the family member in question is blocked between 21:00 and 06:00 the next day:

Plusnet Access Control

The second interesting control is actually in the ISP’s member area – under Broadband > SafeGuard, we have a feature to block websites both by category and individually:

SafeGuard Control Panel

The block can be set on a timer (for instance if you want to loosen controls after a certain time of day), but otherwise it will apply at all time, see example message below:

Plusnet ISP FIlter

The limitation of the SafeGuard product is it doesn’t allow you any control over individual devices (filter categories may need to be different for adults in the household), and also you cannot report on what sites have been blocked. To achieve this, we need to look at a dynamic DNS service such as openDNS, and that is what we will review in the next post.

This entry was posted in Home Computing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.