Parents, are you at your wits’ end because you just can’t seem to get a handle on your family’s mobile usage? We’ve all been there. Mobile devices like iPhones and iPads have become the #1 time suck obliterating our kid’s abilities to focus on anything but the screen in their wee bitty hands. No longer is it the game console in the basement. Or even the telephone! Now everything (including us) is taking a back seat to Flappy Bird, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat or whatever your little darling’s app du jour happens to be.
We’ve completely lost control!
To help bring sanity to your family’s mobile phone usage, Verizon lets you add FamilyBase to your account. Hands down FamilyBase has helped us save thousands of dollars in data overages. That’s no joke. We love FamilyBase. (AT&T has Smart Limits, but I haven’t worked with that yet.)
Here’s the problem. Restricting cellular access is very easy. Restricting Wi-Fi access, not so much.
This is what happens. For some reason or another, one of your little darlings finds themselves on phone restriction. You wisely log onto your parental controls from your cell provider and temporarily kill the device’s ability to download, or text or call. Or maybe you just restrict the phone’s operation to a window of time during the day. Great! Not so fast Mr. Wizard. The next thing you know, little Suzy’s home from school, sitting in the kitchen posting selfies with her friend on Snapchat! Wait. Didn’t you shut that phone down? Blocking cellular access to a phone does not block Wi-Fi access to a phone.
Big fat parent sigh!
So now what do you do? Take their phone away? Yes. That’s an option. A bad one. But an option just the same. What about if you just: Change. Your. Wi-Fi. Password. Who wants to do that? Then everyone in the family has to update their devices. You never really think about how many Internet things you have on your network until you change the password. What about that wireless printer? The NEST? The Roku? How about the Apple TV or the fridge? Our IoT world is full of things that rely on knowing what your SSID ID and Password are.
Never fear. I recently had to figure this out. Of course, it was for (cough, cough) someone else’s kids. Not my perfect little angels. 😉
These instructions apply to Comcast XFINITY home Wi-Fi routers only. If you have a different router, you’ll want to look up administrative instructions for that router.
With these instructions, you can restrict Wi-Fi access to any specific device (Andrioid, iPhone, iPad, Computer, etc.) from your home network, WITHOUT having to change your router’s password.
1. Log onto your Wi-Fi router.
Open a web browser.
In the location bar at the top, enter the following address: http://10.0.0.1/ See Fig 1.
2. In the left-hand sidebar find and click on Parental Controls
Then click on Managed Devices (See Fig 2. Below)
3. Under Managed Devices, ENABLE Enable Managed Devices. (the button will change from Red to Green)
This allows you to selectively choose which devices to block from the network. (See Fig 2. Below)
4. Click + ADD BLOCKED DEVICE
(see Fig 3.)
5. Select Computer Name (device) you want to block.
You will next see a list of all devices that have connected to your network. Scan the list. Find the device you want to block. (See Fig 3.) NOTE: If you need to add 2 or more devices to the Blocked Device list, you do that one at a time.
To remove the device from Blocked Device, click the X next to the item in the list of Blocked Devices. This will immediately delete that item from the Blocked Devices list. Now that device can connect to the Internet via your Wi-Fi once again. The change is almost immediate.