How to use parental controls on your router

Worried about the hours your child spends on the Internet? Your router or mesh network may have the tools to take control of the situation, such as features to create user profiles, impose time limits, or filter certain content.

Five functions to know
Paid or free?
How to activate parental controls

Chat with strangers, consult adult sites, play a video game until the early hours of the morning: bad influences, even dangers for your child are numerous on the Internet.

While it is generally possible to configure devices (phone, tablet, etc.) to limit the time your offspring spends there, another solution exists: blocking them from accessing the Internet.

Most recent routers and mesh networks (see our test) indeed offer controls to restrict Internet access to children after a specific time.

Some even offer advanced features, for example to manage the number of hours allocated daily to your children or to block specific content, such as online video games.

Here’s how to get the most out of these parental controls.

Five functions to know

Parental control tools vary by router and mesh network, but the functionality is similar from model to model. Here are the most common and useful.

Profiles: to create separate profiles for your children, each with their own settings and electronic devices.

Bedtime : in order to determine the hours during which certain devices or profiles cannot be connected to the Internet (for example from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.).

Time limit: to specify the number of daily minutes a child can spend on their devices. The duration chosen can vary between the week and the weekend.

Pause : in order to temporarily block Internet access to a profile or device, but without having to change all of their usual settings.

Filters: to choose accessible content, for example with a view to excluding gambling, pornographic content and / or social networks.


TP-Link HomeCare Parental Controls (Deco Mesh Networks and Archer Routers) lets you precisely choose what content your child can view.

Payant or free?

While some basic features are offered on most modern routers and mesh networks (such as the ability to pause devices), more advanced features often require a paid plan.

Newer devices from Netgear – like the Orbi AC3000 mesh network and the Nighthawk AC1900 router – come with Circle Parental Controls, for example, which include filters and usage history for free. Other features, such as daily time limit and bedtime, require a subscription of $ 6.99 per month.

If you are looking for a device with full parental controls and free, TP-Link’s Deco Mesh Networks and Archer Routers especially stand out, as do those from Synology.


Some routers and mesh networks offer both free and paid parental controls, like the Linksys Velop.

How to activate parental controls

Parental control tools on your router or mesh network can be activated from their mobile app, which you can find in the App Store or Google Play app stores as needed.

Controls are typically displayed on the first page of the app, either under the generic Parental Controls name or under the brand-exclusive product name (like HomeCare for TP-Link and Circle for Netgear). Follow the instructions on the manufacturer’s website to activate the features you want.

It is possible to access other routers through a web interface on a computer. The address to enter in the browser bar provided for this purpose varies according to the brand (generally or Use the instructions on the manufacturer’s website to access it.

When both options are available, use the more user-friendly mobile application.


Parental controls for routers and mesh networks can be accessed from a mobile app or web browser.


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