What Parental Controls Technologies do you use for home internet?

I found a neat product that claims to provide the same content-screening services that big companies that want to block the nasty side of the internet use, for home use. The router costs $40 and the annual service costs about $60. It’s called the Phantom iBoss Home.

There are also software-only solutions, ranging from free to maybe $100. I have tried a lot of software solutions and all of them have been a pain, and haven’t worked well, so I’m thinking a hardware+service solution (iBoss) might be good. Apparently Linksys also used to sell a Parental Controls router in 2004, but that service was discontinued.

I use all Macs at home, except for one PC laptop. A router would secure my whole home. I have two pre-teen kids, and the oldest will soon be a teen. I want logging, alerts, and blocking, and plan even to be accountable and subject to the exact same rules and limitations myself, so that I won’t be able to bypass whatever system we put in place.

Has anyone ever considered this as an area of need for active apostolate in the life of the catholics families around you, and your own? I think it is. Pornography and other debauchery on the internet is destructive to marriages, families, and the lives of all, young and old. The internet is a valulable resource if used properly, but it’s also a torrent of filth. Self-control is enough, for us adults, in many cases. But sometimes, us so-called grownups are actually really very pathetic at guarding ourselves from this stuff. So, what works, and what doesn’t work, and what can people recommend?


P.S. Apparently C R A P is a four-letter word, to whoever designed these forums. What’s up with that?

The attitude of building a giant wall of china around your internet is noble but impractical.

If they’re in school, and they want to learn how to get around all this stuff they can just ask their friends…or even a sympathetic teacher. They can even turn things around on you or your spouse. Ever have a bad day and say that you wish little Johnny would just turn 18 so you can kick him out? Well, he could read everything you write, too.

Even if you built a wall around your house as long as you’re letting your kids walk out your door they have the ability to get to anything they want.

Can you be safe and prevent accidental encounters? Sure. Can you do anything about a motivated driven teen who activly seeks something other than locking them in a dungon without a computer? Not a thing.

If your kids aren’t in the habit of respecting and obeying you its far too late now.

I agree. Little kids may respect/be unable to get around the parental controls but I think we’re fooling ourselves about controlling teens.They are a whole lot smarter.
I’d do everything possible to track what they’re about, or keep the computer in a public place.Or get a lap top & take it with you.Or just don’t have the internet at home.
Best preventative measure is to educate your kids on the dangers in cyberspace.

Never used any service. I have 3 teenagers (boys). I use supervision, set expectations, and have computers in public areas of the house.

The problem that arises when you install a “content screening” thing is that it will just as likely screen legitimate sites and bad sites. You saw it yourself with this site…you can’t type certain words (c r a p).

What if your child wanted to find out more information about a funny actor from the 50s and 60s whose wife on the TV show was “Laura Petrie”. What do you think would happen if he typed in the actor’s name (D i c k Van D y k e)?

Trust me…your kids will be FAAAARRR more internet savvy than you! They WILL find ways around any filter and/or wall. Far better to set expectations.

Not very practical when it comes to homework for a highschooler. Many schools have you print off notes, papers, etc from home, and 2 of my kid’s teachers had their students email their papers in weekly, rather than print them.

I know, I hear you.
We opted for using the free internet at the library or at my son’s high school but know that can’t work forever.Everyone’s expecting kids to have the web at home now.

Just thought I’d link you to a similar thread:

We use the Parental Controls that our kids came with: my wife and me.

– Mark L. Chance.

Whatever happens to using a password to log into a pc?

Put a pc in a room where there are lots of traffic and everyone can see where the surfing is happening.

Also, if you use an Explorer browser, you can put a password to block all sites except the ones permitted. If your child wants to go to certain site, he’ll need you to unblock it. This method would not allow any ‘accident’ to happen such as D I C K van ****.

Except for the fact that the genders are reversed because I’m the poster, not my husband, same answer here.

The only “parental control” that really works is a parent there in person, actually controlling. Let your kids know that you are watching. They are probably much more technologically savvy than you and can easily defeat any technology based controls you might use. Make sure the computer they use is in a public area of the house and not in their private spaces. If you are concerned about there Internet activities while you are away, take the modem with you.

How does one do this?

yes. my point.

Although pyro…that may not work for long the way all these new gadgets keep developing…like I said on another thread they now have relativly cheap gadgets that can piggyback on any wireless signal and text…some can even picture text.

Teaching your kids is far more important than anything.

Why so complicated?

Just use a freakin’ password to lock up the pc :shrug:


It’s free, it’s the same content filter used by most large corporations, no need to waste money on some router etc…


I use a size 11 boot to control my kids surfing habits.

well what i really dont appreciate is that my parents cannot trust me…my dad likes to threaten me and my older sister with putting a spyware on our computer to see every single thing we look at and type…

i understand that they are my parents and just care but i do have an instant messenger and email and things that my friends say to me is none of their business and stuff that my friends would not like my parents to know, its personal

obviously i am christian so i am not going to be looking at inappropriate things i have absolutely no need to! and i wish my parents could just trust me!


That might fly in your home, but not in mine. My children do not have a right to privacy. Instead, they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. There is nothing that happens in my home that isn’t my business, and everything my children do is my concern.

Thus the difference between being an adult and being a child.

– Mark L. Chance.

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