We are frequently asked about home internet filtering and how we can protect our homes from inadvertent or purposeful exposure to topics we deem inappropriate. When asked, I rarely can give a straight answer because the solution for you and your home will depend on many factors. There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” solution, and there is not a product on the market, which will give 100% protection 100% of the time. We believe in a layered defense approach. Some questions you should consider before choosing the appropriate solution for your home include, but are not limited to:
1. What content are you trying to filter?
2. Does each individual in your home have their own devices?
3. Which devices are used in your home? (Mobile devices, computers, TVs, gaming consoles)
4. Do you need filtration only, or do you also want to set limits on apps?
5. Do you want to monitor text messages, pictures, videos, and more of a witting person?
6. Do you need filtration when devices are not connected to your home internet?
7. What budgetary constraints do you have? Nobody wants to spend a ton of money on a service they do not know much about or sign up for another subscription, but an effective solution is going to cost money in the same way physically protecting your home from intruders (locks, alarms, surveillance equipment, etc.) costs money.
Most importantly, call us to discuss your specific needs. Before you spend any money, we can help guide you through the options and even come set everything up for you. If you have Apple devices, setting up Screen Time can be tricky if you have not implemented your Apple family properly. Let us help.
If you are looking to figure this out on your own, we have a couple products we have tested, and like. We have included links to each product.
Circle Home Plus
Circle Parental Controls includes a physical device, which is installed and connected to your home network, and also includes mobile device filtering for outside the home control. At the time of this writing, when you purchase the Circle Home Plus device, it comes with 1 year of service (well worth the money). With Circle, you can filter content, control time limits (better than Screen Time), pause internet, reward with extra time limits and late bedtimes, and much more. The setup of this app can be easy or complex, depending upon your needs. Let us take the guess work out of it. Buy Circle Home Plus here.
Bark provides similar features to Circle (filtering, app controls, and time limits), but adds additional capabilities such as in-depth monitoring of communications on the device of an witting individual (not to be used for illegal monitoring) such as messages, pictures, emails, and more. Bark takes on the load of reading content on a device and reporting on certain concerning areas such as, sexual content, bullying, medically concerning content, weapons, drugs, and more. The device purchase does not include the subscription. Buy the subscription here and use the coupon code JY4HJXJ at checkout for a free trial. Buy the device here after signing up for your free trial subscription.
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CIO Services, LLC is a Las Vegas based MSP and IT Consulting firm focusing primarily on small to medium sized businesses and is a contributor to tech journals and blogs alike. Please see below for links to their website and social media sites.
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