My family and I use the Internet for a lot of different things. I’m a web designer so I’m either using or creating Internet products. We homeschool our kids and use the Internet for their online courses and we also use the Internet for our TV shows, movies, and games.
I’ve never really been worried about how much Internet my kids are consuming until lately. When they were younger they seemed to be more interested in playing outside than being on the Internet, but now that they are getting older things have changed. This might be shocking for some of you to hear, but we currently don’t have any filtering software on our computers. So far we haven’t had any issues that we know of, but now that our kids are becoming teenagers I’m starting to wonder if this is something that would be beneficial. We’ve had a lot of family councils about the dangers of the Internet and try our best to ensure that they only use the Internet in open spaces, never alone, but it doesn’t always happen. I like that my kids have their agency and I pray that they would come to me if they had a problem, but maybe I’m too naïve in thinking this. I’m curious to know what some of you are doing to keep your kids safe from inappropriate content online. If you have any advice I would love to hear it.
While we don’t currently have a perfect solution for keeping our kids safe on the Internet, we have found the perfect solution for monitoring their Internet usage. This month we are collaborated with Google to try out their new Google Wi-Fi device and I can honestly say that it has solved some major Internet issues for our family. Google Wifi replaces your old router and is controlled by an app on your phone. The app allows you to know everything that is going on with your Wi-Fi. From my phone, I can see which of my kid’s devices are online, prioritize them depending on who needs the most bandwidth, or I can pause the Wi-Fi on a specific device if they shouldn’t be on it. I seriously love the “pausing” feature; I use it every day to manage their online time. You can also schedule when a device shouldn’t be on Wi-Fi like at dinner time or bedtime through the app. My kids hate the “pause” feature but I feakin love it. I can’t say enough about it. Sometimes we use the “pause” feature when Nikki and I are on a date and the kids aren’t answering the phone. We simply pause the Wi-Fi and then time how long it takes for one of the kids to call us about the Wi-Fi being down.
Google Wifi has also increased the range and speed of our Internet. It uses something called Network Assist to automatically adjust settings to give us the fastest possible Internet speed. Being a web designer, I’m always curious about what upload and download speed I’m getting and now I can do it straight from the app. Very cool stuff. And finally, I wanted to brag about how much more Wi-Fi range we get now. Depending on the size of your house you can buy multiple Wi-Fi points to eliminate dead zones. Our house is a little over 3500 square feet so we put three Wi-Fi points on each end of the house and one in the middle. Wi-Fi for days! We used to have sections of our house that were too far from the router so the signal was weaker, now I can get signal all the way out to our camping trailer 30 feet from our house. Sometimes I use this trailer as an escape pod to write a blog post or edit a video. I never really got reliable Internet when I was out there before but now it’s solid.
If you have kids using the Internet you should really think about getting a Google Wi-Fi. Even though Google sponsored this post, it still doesn’t change how I feel about Google Wi-Fi. I totally recommend it.
If you want to learn more about Google Wifi click here