Best parental; control routers 2020

The internet allows kids to learn faster than ever before, by freeing them from the clutches of academic learning at an early age. With proper guidance, children can use the internet to learn a range of new skills and explore diverse interests. But the internet can be a terrible place for children, and you’ll want to latch on to one of the best parental control routers before introducing your kid(s) to the Web.

Plenty of routers come with options to filter different types of online content. It means that any decent router should be able to save you from the weird nooks and corners of the internet. However, the best parental control routers go way beyond regular filtering of content and provide age-appropriate advanced router control. Moreover, you don’t need to be an expert to use these devices as they are incredibly easy to set-up and control.

Besides website blocklists, you can also create customized Web browsing times. It will prevent the kids from letting their internet time eat into their study schedule. You also need to bear in mind that there could be additional costs for individual dynamic router controls (applicable to certain router models only). Given the continually changing digital landscape, a great router should also be able to cope up with threats of the future. In this article, we will show you precisely those routers.

So, here’s our list of the 6 best parental control routers in 2020.

1. ASUS RT-AC88U

ASUS RT-AC88U
  • Band Type: Dual Band.
  • Dimensions: 30 x 6.5 x 18.8 inches.
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds.
  • Features: Built-in MU-MIMO; Eight Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports; Game acceleration; Dedicated parental control suite.
  • Number of Antennas: 4. 
  • Maximum Throughput: 2.1 Gbps.
  • Coverage: 5,000 square feet.

The ASUS RT-AC88U is easily the most potent dual-band router that comes loaded with a bunch of advanced parental control features. With a maximum throughput of 2.1Gbps, there is no shortage of speed with this router, provided your connection is fast enough. The RT-AC88U comes with built-in game acceleration, which is great for kids that like gaming. There’s a massive coverage of up to 5,000 square feet (here are the best long-range routers, by the way), which lets you and your children access the internet even from remote corners of your lawn or backyard.

Inside the router is a 1.4GHz dual-core processor that facilitates faster data transfers via USB. The RT-AC88U does a terrific job at connecting hardware like computers and gaming consoles with as many as eight Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports. You can simply go ahead and connect multiple computers to the router with enough cable.

Above and beyond the latest features embedded into the RT-AC88U, the parental control feature-set takes the cake, or at least the biggest slice of it. AiProtection handles all parental controls of the router. It gives you a list of robust options to filter sensitive or inappropriate content. You can log back into AiProtection if you want to resume access to certain parts of the internet, making it one of the best parental control routers.

  • Pros: Eight Ethernet ports; Integrated AiProtection for parental control; Excellent anti-malware performance; Wide coverage.
  • Cons: Not the most affordable pick (but still worth the price).

2. Linksys EA7300

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Linksys EA7300
  • Band Type: Dual Band.
  • Dimensions: 10.1 x 2.2 x 7.2 inches.
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds.
  • Features: Dual-Core processor; MU-MIMO; USB 3.0 port; Dedicated management app.
  • Number of Antennas: 3. 
  • Maximum Throughput: 1.7 Gbps.
  • Coverage: 1,500 square feet.

If you are looking more at affordability than at speed, the Linksys EA7300 is a great router. While it is not the fastest in terms of speed, the router drums up a decent 1.7Gbps. In addition, it can easily cover up to 1,500 square feet. With built-in MU-MIMO support, you can find out the maximum speeds that connected devices can handle. Then, the router will deliver each device its top speed every time.

A great feature of the EA7300 is a simple “Smart Wi-Fi” app that comes bundled, and you can run it on your iOS or Android phone. Using the app opens up a host of features for the administrator. You can set passwords for certain websites, create alternative Wi-Fi profiles, and even direct more traffic at specific devices if you like.

You can use the same “Smart Wi-Fi” app to set up parental controls. As the administrator, you can set up what kind of content is allowed over the network. Moreover, you can also create guest Wi-Fi networks and limit the access to only specific sites on that network. Another major plus with the Linksys EA7300 is that setting up the router is as easy as using the app. Even though it’s one of the best parental control routers, the size and speed of the router are the two most prominent downsides.

  • Pros: Affordable; Mobile app for easy management; MU-MIMO integration.
  • Cons: Larger than most routers; Not the fastest; Firmware updates missing.

3. Netgear Nighthawk R7000

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Netgear Nighthawk R7000
  • Band Type: Dual Band.
  • Dimensions: 11.2 x 7.2 x 1.9 inches.
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds.
  • Features: Dual-Core processor; 2 USB ports; Rubber grip stabilization; “Circle with Disney” support.
  • Number of Antennas: 3. 
  • Maximum Throughput: 1.3 Gbps.
  • Coverage: 1,800 square feet.

The Nighthawk R7000 is a premium dual-band 802.11ac router (as well as one of the truly the best Netgear routers available now). With flared sides and a trapezoid form factor, this is one of the rather cool-looking routers on our list. You can’t help but wonder if the shape of the router takes inspiration from the Nighthawk fighter jet. It delivers excellent speeds on the 5GHz band (up to 1.3 Gbps). At 2.4GHz, you get fast enough throughput, along with speeds up to 600 Mbps.

The Nighthawk R7000 supports both Alexa and Google Assistant. These virtual assistants add another dimension to the router with the enablement of voice commands. Parental controls on the Nighthawk R7000 are done via an app called “Circle with Disney.” All you need to do is download the app on your iPhone or Android device. The app comes with a host of advanced features to let you control what kids can see on the internet.

With the integrated support from “Circle with Disney,” you can set a bedtime for kids, monitor which platforms are allowed and which are not allowed, and also filter out inappropriate content based on their categories. While the yearly subscription for “Circle” can cost you around $130, it is totally worth it considering the benefits you reap.

  • Pros: Excellent 5GHz performance; Great throughput; Comes with “Circle with Disney” parental controls.
  • Cons: Limited range.

4. Netgear Orbi

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Netgear Orbi
  • Band Type: Tri-Band.
  • Dimensions: 6.4 x 3.1 x 8 inches.
  • Weight: 3.9 pounds.
  • Features: Beamforming; MU-MIMO; Mesh design; Netgear Armor parental controls; Advanced cyber threat protection.
  • Number of Antennas: N/A. 
  • Maximum Throughput: 3.0 Gbps.
  • Coverage: 5,000 square feet.

The Netgear Orbi is a unique device that is a deviation from the look, feel, and shape of most regular routers. To start, the Orbi shows off the all-new mesh system from Netgear, which is extremely pleasant to the eye. However, that does not impact the performance of the router in the least. That is because mesh routers use multiple nodes stationed at different areas of the house for maximum coverage. With loads of positive reviews from parents and general users alike, the Orbi brings home excellent performance and widespread coverage.

Parental control featured on the Orbi ride on the back of Netgear’s partnership with “Circle with Disney.” There’s a bunch of intelligent features that let you control the screen time for your kids. You can also use “Circle with Disney” to make sure children stay within the safer quarters of the internet. The router also connects with other apps that help you make a reward system for children once they spend more meaningful time using certain apps.

It can be paired with several additional units to amplify coverage around different areas of the house (the default shipment is a pack of two routers). Orbi comes loaded with triple-band Wi-Fi, which includes dual 5GHz bands and a single 2.4GHz band. Out of the three, one band is used to channel speed to satellite Orbi units. That means that all your Web-connected devices will be eligible to receive the maximum Wi-Fi speeds regardless of how far they are from the central unit. And this is precisely why Orbi is one of the best parental control routers out there.

  • Pros: Screen time control; Pleasant aesthetics; Wide coverage; Comes with “Circle with Disney” parental controls.
  • Cons: Subscription required for advanced parental controls.

5. Symantec Norton Core

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Symantec Norton Core
  • Band Type: Dual Band.
  • Dimensions: 21 x 7.5 x 17.4 inches.
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds.
  • Features: “Circle with Disney” parental controls; Unique dome-shaped design; Nordon Security included (1-year subscription).
  • Number of Antennas: N/A. 
  • Maximum Throughput: 2.5 Gbps.
  • Coverage: 2,500 square feet.

When they conceptualized routers, no one could have imagined a design consisting of 78 equilateral triangles. The uniquely made Symantec Norton Core looks like no other router out there. You’d imagine it being named just after the way it looks – like a coffee table artifact. A golden or grey dome (depending on the color you choose), the Core takes half a foot of your table width. However, there is no way to mount the Core on a wall. So, if you have pets, they might easily knock the Core over.

With the Norton Core, internet security is never an issue. It has to be one of the most secure routers that you will come across. You can control the Wi-Fi settings and accessibility with a dedicated app, wherein you get numerous options for filtering content. Additionally, you can continuously track all the online places that your kids have visited.

The Core boasts of some substantial specifications, too. It gives you 1GB of RAM and a 1.7GHz processor. Then, you get dedicated flash storage of 4GB for firmware or settings. Another unique feature of the Core is a built-in fan, which prevents its temperature from rising above 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, you also get two USB 3.0 connections to integrate printers with the Core. While most features of the Core hit the bull’s eye, you do wish they gave better customer support.

  • Pros: Great aesthetics; Extremely secure; Built-in fan; Comes with “Circle with Disney” parental controls.
  • Cons: Average customer support.

6. Amazon Eero Pro

Amazon Eero Pro
  • Band Type: Tri-Band.
  • Dimensions: 4.7 x 4.7 x 1.2 inches.
  • Weight: 4.8 pounds.
  • Features: Intelligent blacklisting with Eero Secure; Mu-MIMO; Two Gigabit Ethernet ports; Easily expandable network.
  • Number of Antennas: N/A. 
  • Maximum Throughput: 1.0 Gbps.
  • Coverage: 3,000 square feet.

The Amazon Eero Pro Mesh comes with tri-band Wi-Fi. You get dual 5GHz channels and a single 2.4GHz channel. The router comes with built-in MU-MIMO, which makes sure all devices connected to your home network get the fastest speeds. While you get a coverage of 1,500 square feet with the base device itself, adding another Eero Beacon module will supplement the range by another 1,500 square feet.

The Eero Pro is also an excellent router that brings friendly parental controls. There’s a built-in feature that lets you set up different family profiles. The primary feature itself enables you to control the time the kids spend on the internet. If you wish to access a more elite set of features, you can upgrade to the Eero Secure suite for a monthly subscription (ranging from $3.00 up to $10.00 per month). Eero Secure furthers control with real-time and intelligent filtering that blocks out illegal, adult, and violent content for specific profiles.

The best thing about a feature like Eero Secure is that it moves from static to dynamic content lists. It actively analyses new websites to check for violations. Then, it makes sure the family profiles associated with kids do not get access to those sites. It would have been great if there was a manual blacklisting feature alongside that.

  • Pros: Malware protection and real-time filtering; Scheduled access via family filtering.
  • Cons: No feature to manually blacklist sites.

That brings us to the end of our list of the 6 best parental control routers in 2020. We hope you have found enough material here to make a choice that keeps your kids a safe distance away from troubled areas of the internet. Let us know which router do you plan on picking, by using the comments section below.