How to Limit your Child’s Wi-Fi usage (Parental Control)

By Ankit Kumar

Worried about how much time your child spends on the internet?

Want to make sure they see only safe stuff online?

And how about making sure they don’t use the internet when they should be sleeping or studying?

If you’re nodding along, you’re not the only one. This is a concern shared by many parents. They want their kids to explore the web, but they also want to protect them.

Fret not, however! I’ve got you covered. In this article, I’ll explain why it’s important to limit your child’s online activity and provide some suggestions on how to do so. I also have a workaround for parents who don’t want to change their Wi-Fi router but still want control. Plus, a bonus tip to keep your child safe online.

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How to limit your child’s Wi-Fi usage (Parental Control)

1. Make sure your Wi-Fi router has parental controls enabled

If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where you wished you had more control over your child’s Wi-Fi usage, you’re not alone.

These days, a majority of routers come with security and privacy features that are designed to help you control internet usage within your home. However, If your current router doesn’t have enough parental controls, you may always upgrade to one that does, like the Circle.

Reasons why parental controls are important

Before diving into the setup process, let me share why parental controls are significant:

  • 1. Removal of Unwanted Content:

The Internet may be a dangerous place for children, but with a parental control router, you can limit their exposure to anything that could be too mature for them.

  • 2. Planning Your Wi-Fi Time:

The ability to control when your child may connect to Wi-Fi is a game-changer. It helps you establish routines and prevent late-night internet use from disrupting your children’s sleep or other important activities.

  • 3. Pausing the Wi-Fi:

If you want to put a limit on how much time your children spend in front of the screen, utilize the “Pause Wi-Fi” function. It makes sure your kids put down their phones and tablets when they need to focus on schoolwork or wind down for the night.

  • 4. Site-Specific Blocking:

You can keep your kids safe from potentially dangerous websites on the internet and exercise parental control over their internet use by restricting their access to select websites.

A parent protecting their children from the internet

Methods to Set Up Parental Control on your WiFi router

The Wi-Fi router has three main options for parental controls:

Using a mobile application:

These days, almost every router comes with a companion app that makes it easy to configure and tweak the router’s various settings.

The availability of both Google Play for Android devices and the App Store for iOS devices made it easy for me to get the software. The app is simple to use since it walks you through the steps of connecting to your home network and setting up parental controls.

Using the Router's Configuration:

Accessing parental controls through the router’s settings is my preferred method for fine-tuning the controls to my liking.

To get started, enter the IP address of your network into the address bar of your web browser. If you don’t know your router’s IP address, a fast Google search will reveal it. The IP address that is used by default for the majority of routers is

When using a Mac, you may do this by going to “Network Preferences” through the Wi-Fi menu bar icon. You may access the router’s configurations by entering the appropriate login details (typically a username and password) into the relevant fields printed on the router’s rear label.

In case your router lacks that label, you’ll need to consult the user manual or visit the manufacturer’s website to get the password. After logging in, you can tweak the parental control settings to suit your family’s needs.

Using your internet provider user account:

If your ISP supports parental controls, you may be able to access and adjust them directly from your internet provider account. When you’re ready, enter your user ID and password to access your account.

When you hit the “Forgot Password” button, your service provider will send you a reset link through email in case you cannot recall it. After logging in, you’ll have access to your account page, where you can change your router’s settings and any devices that are connected to it.

2. Add a router accessory

If you’re looking to manage your child’s Wi-Fi usage without changing your current router, consider getting a router accessory tailor-made for parental controls. These add-on devices provide a solution to keep tabs on internet usage and enforce restrictions without the hassle of swapping out your router.

What’s even better is that certain accessories and their companion apps allow you to allocate specific time limits for each device. Plus, they introduce a neat concept – your kids can earn extra internet time by completing chores around the house.

a woman sitting at a table working

It’s like a little reward system that teaches them how to responsibly manage their screen time without us having to constantly intervene. This approach not only brings a sense of balance but also imparts valuable lessons in responsibility and time management to your children.

For all the parents out there, it’s a practical win-win, providing them with peace of mind while nurturing essential life skills in our young ones.

Extra tip:

Look for open Wi-Fi networks in the area and disconnect from them.

Imagine putting in all that effort to ensure your child’s internet usage is well-regulated with parental controls, only to find out they’ve found a workaround by connecting to a neighbor’s unsecured Wi-Fi network.

It’s a concerning situation, as it opens the door to adult content, potentially harmful websites, and even phishing attacks that could compromise your family’s sensitive data. Restricting your children’s access to public or untrusted networks can help keep everyone online safer.

a child with a tablet

So, use the Wi-Fi search feature on your smartphone or laptop to see which networks are available. Any network that doesn’t require a password to access is a potential problem.

Your children may unintentionally connect to unsecured networks with a strong signal, putting them at risk online, and it’s likely that these networks are coming from a nearby home or building if you come across them.

If you take care of this problem, you and your family will have a much lower risk of encountering inappropriate content or having personal information compromised when using the internet. It’s a simple step, but an essential one for your peace of mind.


1. How can I limit my child’s social media use at home?

Keeping kids off of social media and other inappropriate content online is an important part of being a parent in today’s world.

Firstly, teach your children the importance of respecting the privacy of others. Involve children in open discussions about the risks associated with disclosing private information online, including where they live and contact information.

Finally, talk about the subject of cyberbullying. It’s important to show your kids that being respectful and polite to others is important whether they’re online or not. Discuss the importance of empathy and how their online actions can affect others.

2. How can I keep track of what websites my child is browsing?

Kids can be pretty savvy when it comes to hiding their online tracks, using tricks like deleting browser histories or switching to private browsing mode, where no history is saved. So, how can you keep tabs on their online activities?

To do this, you may enable activity logging on the household wireless router. Even if your kid uses many devices, such as cellphones and gaming consoles, you can monitor their online activity by visiting the router’s settings. The only time this won’t work is if your kid uses a Wi-Fi network that you don’t have access to while they’re online.

Another option is investing in monitoring software that is tough for your child to bypass or notice. You may learn a lot about your child’s internet habits and the content they access with this kind of software.

Final Words

So, here’s the bottom line. Managing your child’s internet time doesn’t have to be a headache. You can provide them with a balanced and secure internet experience if you use the right strategies.

I’ve gone over the importance of restricting your child’s access to your Wi-Fi network and how to do it. You can do this in different ways, depending on what works for your family.

To limit your child’s time online without switching your Wi-Fi network, you may install a dedicated parental control app. I’ve also mentioned some ways to keep your child safe from unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

By following these steps, you can make the online world a safer place for your family and teach your child to use the internet responsibly. It’s all about finding the right balance between the internet and everything else.

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