Sensible new home filtering option

Filtering software has long been a useful tool in family Net-safety toolboxes, especially in households with young kids. But in these times of proliferating Net-connected devices, filtering that’s only on computers has an ever smaller footprint on kids’ online lives. One solution, then, is filtering on the router – that gateway between the Internet and all the devices on a family’s network, from consoles connected to Xbox Live to iPod Touches to laptops. Within about a month, parents will be able to buy Netgear routers with filtering, reports Larry Magid of CBS/CNET. “Like other filtering products, parents have control over the type of content blocked and have the ability to turn it off so that it doesn’t prevent Mom or Dad from visiting any sites. There is also a ‘white list’ feature that allows parents to exclude any site from the blocked list,” Larry writes, adding: “Because the blocking lists are ‘in the cloud’ [instead of on any particular device], parents can configure the filter from anywhere.” If you already have a Netgear router, depending on the model, you might be able to upgrade it with the filtering starting August 10 – check with Netgear. But you know there are no parental panacea’s where Net safety’s concerned, right? This doesn’t work with smart phones with Web browsers that connect via cellular networks. For that, you need to see what parental controls your cellphone company offers.

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