Do you want a reliable router that can allow you to filter the websites your child can visit without any speed or connectivity issues? If that’s the case then you shall find this guide to be really helpful, because after spending huge time testing, researching, and reviewing 47 wireless routers with parental control functionalities, here are the 8 best.
The routing equipment listed in my list comes with world-class parental control functionality. For instance, Not only can you control or filter the websites your kid visits, but can also do the following:
- Limit access with a schedule for bedtime, study time, etc.
- Block age-inappropriate content, URL’s and devices
- Limit bandwidth to applications like YouTube, Facebook
- Turn on/off Wi-Fi and monitor internet activity.
Since a router is not just going to be used by the kids, you shouldn’t pick it solely based on the parental control functionalities. Before choosing one, you must make sure that the device is capable of handling speeds according to your service package, meets your coverage and device connectivity requirements, etc.
Nonetheless, the routers listed below are a result of a comparative analysis of features, including parental controls. The list has wireless routing devices that are not only has parental and access control, are also capable of handling high internet speeds and also come with high-end security features, better connectivity, etc.
- 8 Best Routers For Parental Controls in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: Asus Wireless AC3100
- 2. Best With Multiple Filters: Netgear R7000P
- 3. Best With Restricted Time Access: Linksys AC1750 EA7300
- 4. Best For Smart Homes: Symantec Norton Core
- 5. Upto 40 Device Support: TP-Link Archer AX50
- 6. Best Mesh WiFi Setup: Eero Pro
- 7. Bests Under 100: ASUS RT-AC66U
- 8. Cheapest Option: NETGEAR R6230
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Verdict
8 Best Routers For Parental Controls in 2021
The ability to monitor children’s internet consumption and maintain control over screen time is a challenge for parents. Achieving an optimal balance between features, utility, and price remains to be the principal motive.
An analysis of parental control and other features not excluding user interface, range, memory, and port/connectivity of 47 routers from brands including Asus, TP-Link, Netgear, Linksys lead me to the top picks:
1. Best Overall: Asus Wireless AC3100
The Asus AC3100 is a powerful router loaded with features to breeze through most of the challenges a medium or large household put forth. The 4×4 MU-MIMO, Beamforming can handle simultaneous requests from multiple devices and deliver 1000mbps in 2.5GHz, 2167mbps in 5GHz channels.
The router has a 1.4GHz dual-core processor at its core accompanied by 512MB RAM and 128MB flash storage that is adequate to take care of online gaming, video streaming on Firestick, WiFi Calling, etc. The router comes with access to a private gamer network to improve the online gaming experience.
The Asus web interface has an intuitive design to apply parental control for sixteen different devices. It enables content filters and time-controlled internet access to multiple devices.
Four external antennas deliver signals and cover surface area up to 2500 sq ft in dual-band. The router can handle up to 25 devices simultaneously. With one WAN port, four LAN ports, one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 at your disposal will ensure the wired high-speed connection and network sharing requirements are catered to.
Weighing approximately 2 lbs, the AC3100 sports four huge antennas in an angular-styled black base. One can find all the ports on the rear end of the router except the USB 3.0. The LED indicators line up in the front.
Asus mobile application is amongst the easiest to navigate. It keeps the installation simple, and the web interface opens up to a multitude of advanced settings to manage the router.
A powerful processing unit with optimized gamers private network, AiProtection and a user-friendly interface design that gives a plethora of options to customize parental and access controls, but comes at a premium price.
- Adaptive QoS
- Customized Parental controls
- WTFast Gamers Private Network
- Alexa compatible
- Awkward USB 3.0 port position
2. Best With Multiple Filters: Netgear R7000P
The Netgear R7000P comes with Wave 2 Wi-Fi, MU-MIMO, Beamforming and dynamic QoS at its behest that can deliver speeds up to 600mbps in 2.5GHz, 1625mbps in 5GHz channels. It makes the router a perfect fit for a medium household operating multiple devices simultaneously.
The router has a dual-core processor clocking at 1GHz in a Broadcom chipset with 256MB RAM and 128MB flash storage supporting it.
Circle Parental control offers an intuitive way for households to manage content and time controls. The application’s parental controls let you set time schedules and limits for applications and websites. The access to the internet can be restricted by device or by a username with each family member having separate bedtimes.
Three external antennas deliver signals at multiple streams and cover surface area up to 2000 sq ft in dual-band that enables the router to handle up to 35 devices simultaneously.
One WAN port, four LAN ports, one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port would suffice to handle wired high-speed connections, shared printers and storage devices.
Netgear Genie application has an intuitive design that makes the initial setup process and managing simple. Be it creating profiles for family members or content filtering or changing security settings, both the mobile application and web interface come in handy.
At 1.65 lbs, the R7000P model has a simple black colored design with the air ventilators on the sides and antennas in the back. The LAN ports, power I/O buttons are placed on the rear except the USB 3.0, while the LED indicators line up in the front.
A routing device with MU-MIMO, Beamforming, adaptive QoS, Netgear Armor and a comprehensive parental control system makes this a perfect sub-$200 companion to manage your home network.
- Circle Smart parental controls
- Wave 2 with MU-MIMO
- Alexa voice control
- Netgear Armor Internet security
- Slow web interface
- No manual QoS
3. Best With Restricted Time Access: Linksys AC1750 EA7300
The Linksys EA7300 brings in 3×3 MU-MIMO streaming, Beamforming, QoS to the table to deliver speeds up to 450mbps in 2.5GHz, 1300mbps in 5GHz channels. It makes the router a decent companion to create profiles, manage devices in a medium household with kids around.
With a powerful dual-core processor clocking at 1.4GHz in a Qualcomm chipset and 256MB RAM and 128MB flash storage assisting it, the router is capable to manage various activities like twitch streaming, gaming and surfing, etc.
The parental control system enables blocking internet access to particular devices with specific time limits. It can also block access to specific websites for the list of devices accessing the system. The “block-out time” option completely denies internet access to particular devices for a time frame.
Three external antennas deliver signals at 3×3 spatial streams and cover surface area up to 1500 sq ft in dual-band that enables the router to handle over 10 devices simultaneously.
With one WAN port, four LAN ports, one USB 3.0 port at its helm, the router has sufficient venues for high speed wired connections and choice between shared printers or network storage devices within the home network.
The LAN ports, USB ports, power I/O buttons and antennas are at the rear end. The Linksys router brings tough competition to the market as a device with MU-MIMO, Beamforming, QoS priority settings and an efficient parental control system to control and track your family member’s internet usage within the home network.
The Linksys Smart Wi-Fi application comes in very handy during the initial setup process and for further network monitoring. At 2.6 lbs, the EA7300 model is bulky with a classic black design and room for ample ventilation.
- Parental controls
- 1.4 GHz powerful processor
- Netgear Armor Internet security
- Pricey amongst the competitors
4. Best For Smart Homes: Symantec Norton Core
The Symantec Norton Core is a powerful router that can easily outperform the requirements of medium-sized households and any ultra-fast internet connection with speeds more than 200mbps.
The 4×4 MU-MIMO, Beamforming can handle simultaneous requests from multiple devices and deliver 800mbps in 2.5GHz, 1733mbps on 5GHz channels.
The device has a powerful combination of 1.7GHz quad-core processor in a Qualcomm chipset with 1GM RAM and 4GB flash storage, which is adequate for a smart home set up with multiple devices.
The Norton comes with control options to limit the usage time of a device or a user. It allows you to set restrictions based on age filters. Along with the controls, parental control settings can monitor the bandwidth usage of any particular device or user on the network. It provides comprehensive control over the home network with people across different age groups.
With four internal antennas amplified for high-performance, the router can cover large surface areas up to 2000 sq ft in two frequencies. The 4×4 spatial MU-MIMO ensures a stable bandwidth for multiple devices and handles more than 25 devices simultaneously.
It has one WAN port, three LAN ports and two USB 3.0 ports to manage your wired high-speed connections. The USB ports come in handy for sharing printers, network storage devices in your home network.
Weighing 1.31 lbs, this wireless router looks like an orb, a welcome change to standard-looking routers. The LAN and USB ports are jam-packed and accommodated on the rear end of the router and have to be handled with care without disturbing each other.
The Norton core application simplifies the installation process and brings in a lot of security features, parental controls and device QoS options.
The synergy of powerful hardware and robust network security features with comprehensive parental controls gives you adequate control to manage your home network. It makes a strong case for Norton core as a perfect companion for your smart home setup.
- Easy setup
- Efficient traffic monitoring
- Smart parental controls
- Antivirus protection
- Perfect for a smart home setup
- No proper ventilation
5. Upto 40 Device Support: TP-Link Archer AX50
The TP-Link Archer AX50 is a powerful router with high-speed performance owing to its WI-FI 802.11 ax standards. It can handle a plethora of devices that constitute a smart home setup.
The 4×4 MU-MIMO, Beamforming with prioritized QoS can handle simultaneous requests and achieve higher speeds up to 574mbps in 2.5GHz, 2402mbps in 5GHz channels.
The router comes with an AX optimized, 800MHz dual-core processor in Intel Chipset with 256MB RAM and 128MB flash storage, which is adequate for gaming, 4K/UHD video streaming, Wi-Fi calling and managing other smart home devices.
Parental control gives you control over family member’s internet consumption. It allows you to create profiles for every family member and set custom time limits for access. It also comes with multiple filter levels to block websites based on age. TP-link allows access to reports to monitor internet consumption and limit usage accordingly.
Four external antennas are geared for high-performance in four spatial streams and provide coverage to an area up to 2500 sq ft in dual-band. Superior performance from the optimized intel chipset offers a smart home solution to operate over 40 devices simultaneously.
One WAN port, four LAN ports and one USB 3.0 port play a key role in taking care of your wired high-speed connections and shared network storage devices. The antennas align at the rear amongst the ethernet, USB ports and other buttons. Weighing approximately 1.2 lbs, the TP-Link router sports a sleek, futuristic design.
Tether mobile application goes easy on the eye and in operation keeps the initial setup short. The web interface provides a platform to access advanced settings, parental controls and other security customizations.
With access to 160 MHz channels for future proof speeds, backward-compatible WiFi 6 (802.11 ax) standards combining OFDMA technology, Beamforming and network security, this router offers control over the home network with comprehensive parent controls.
- Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 ax)
- VPN Support
- Alexa compatible
- Heating issues
- No Multi-Gig port
6. Best Mesh WiFi Setup: Eero Pro
The Eero mesh 3-Pack Wi-Fi system is a superb combo with 2×2 MU-MIMO, a powerful processor and ample storage memory coupled with a comprehensive network security system. The router delivers an aggregated speed of 350mbps including 2.4 & 5GHz channels.
The router has a powerful 700MHz quad-core processor with 512MB RAM and 4GB flash storage, which is all that you need to maintain a medium to a large-sized smart home with multiple devices connected simultaneously.
The mobile application allows you to create family profiles to apply parental controls. While the options are not comprehensive, it does allow you to set a schedule for internet access for devices and limits internet usage.
The 3-pack mesh system doesn’t come with external antennas but can cover large surface areas up to 5000 sq ft in both frequencies. It can handle requests from over 30 devices and effectively manage a smart home. While the Eero has a decent internet throughput, it doesn’t support band steering or external band (frequency) management,
A total of six LAN ports will take care of your wired connections. The absence of USB ports limits the ability to share printers and network storage devices. The Eero Wi-Fi system is reliant on a mobile application limiting advance customizations, nevertheless improving router security.
The initial setup is easy and gets done within a few minutes. At approximately 0.6 lbs each, the three-pack Eero Wi-Fi system packs a minimalistic yet elegant design. The Ethernet ports and the power I/O is located in the rear end.
The Eero doesn’t come with Beamforming or VPN support or advanced QoS capabilities yet, it makes up for its deficiencies with extensive coverage, internet security features and basic parental control system to manage your smart home.
- 2X2 MU-MIMO
- Ad & Malware Blocking
- Alexa compatible
- TrueMesh technology
- No support to Wi-Fi 6 Standards
- No USB ports
7. Bests Under 100: ASUS RT-AC66U
The ASUS RT-AC66U is a powerful router loaded with features to breeze through most of the challenges a medium or large household puts forth.
The MU-MIMO, Beamforming can handle simultaneous requests from multiple devices and deliver 1000mbps in 2.5GHz, 2167mbps in 5GHz channels.
The router has a 1GHz dual-core processor in Broadcom chipset aided by 256MB RAM and 128MB flash storage to take care of HD streaming, file transfers, voice calling etc. The QoS assigns priority amongst devices, and the allocates bandwidth for different types of internet activity.
The parental control lets you maintain a list of devices and assign access time slots for the devices. The advanced settings have provisions to allow restricting internet content with MAC address, URL and Keyword filters.
Three dual-band external antennas can cover a surface area up to 3000 sq ft with over 30 devices accessing it simultaneously. The inbuilt beamforming technology is instrumental in preventing dead spots and providing a stable signal strength to devices.
With 1 WAN port, 4 LAN ports, one USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0 port, you are highly unlikely to run out of slots for high-speed wired connections, shared printers and network storage devices.
Weighing 1.4l bs, the Asus router sports three antennas in a glossy chequered black design. All the LAN ports, power buttons and antenna stay lined up on the rear, while the USB 3.0 port and the LED indicators remain in the front.
Asus mobile application keeps the initial setup quick, while the web interface allows you to make more advanced settings.
A powerful processing unit aided by MU-MIMO, Beamforming, smart QoS, AiProtection that comes with parental controls, advanced filtering and support for VPN is amongst the best when it comes to $100 routers.
- AiRadar Beamforming
- VPN Support
- Smart QoS
- Traffic monitor
- Heating/ventilation issues
8. Cheapest Option: NETGEAR R6230
The NETGEAR R6230can deliver speeds up to 300mbps in 2.4GHz, 900mbps in 5GHz, which is sufficient for a medium-sized household with standard internet requirements. The inbuilt QoS allows you to manage the bandwidth allocation amongst multiple devices and the support for DLNA makes media sharing easy.
Equipped with a single-core 880MHz processor and a 128MB RAM, it can handle small-medium household requirements like voice/Wi-Fi calling, media streaming, printer sharing. The 128MB NAND flash memory is sufficient for the firmware, device settings and future updates.
The Nighthawk Application allows you to manage access to websites using web filtering, and have control over the internet access for a family with multiple devices.
This model comes with two dual-band antennas to broadcast signals at 2.4GHz and 5 GHz bands. It has a coverage area of up to 1200 sq ft and can handle up to 20 devices simultaneously. The low RAM might be a limiting factor in loading the router with multiple instances of data-intensive activities.
The 4 Gig LAN, 1 WAN Ethernet ports will be sufficient for high-speed wired connections. The device also comes with a USB 2.0 port which can take care of sharing printer/storage devices within your home network.
The Nighthawk App sports a user-friendly design and makes the initial setup simple, with its pre-programmed ID and key.
At 0.75 lbs, the router is lightweight with a simple, shiny black design. With its decent internet throughputs, inbuilt QoS, Parental controls and firewall protection, the router gives you control over home internet usage at a wallet-friendly price.
- Affordable price
- Inbuilt QoS
- Personal FTP server
- 880 MHz Processor
- DLNA Compatible
- No USB 3.0
- No MU-MIMO, Beamforming
Frequently Asked Questions
Routers have inbuilt features to limit the screen time, block users, websites and devices. For shared PC’s/laptops, the windows allows the user to apply content and access filters to your child’s user ID.
The router web interface or mobile application might have the facility to monitor the real-time usage, history and screen time of a particular user or a device. Multiple third-party security applications have provisions to track the child’s internet activity.
Parental controls are not fool-proof. Using a VPN application or changing the MAC address of the particular device with a third party software is more likely to help you bypass parental controls.
Admin users can make changes to parental controls settings for one or more devices connected to the network. Manually resetting the router changes the router settings to factory settings, thereby removing any parental control settings.
The information era holds multiple avenues of distractions for kids. It is essential to limit access to the internet. The parental controls, while not being perfect, gives a hand over your kids’ internet activity. Despite their vulnerabilities, they play a vital role in keeping the home network safe for kids.
- For smart homes, Symantec and Eero offer a robust system with comprehensive network security options.
- If price is not a constraint, Asus AC3100 and Archer AX50 offer high-speed internet (gaming, HD streaming) with good parental controls.
- Netgear R6230 is a wallet-friendly option to manage your home network
The budget, preferences, and requirements of a user decide the fitness of the aforementioned routers. While the models mentioned here offer a balance of utility and features, the market space is flush with routers in case of any specific requirement not addressed here.
Still haven’t found a reliable option? Read my router buying guide.