These are the best routers with parental controls to help you make sure your family uses the internet in a healthy and productive way. As more families work and study from home, staying on task is harder than ever, so these routers should help you out. The TP-Link Archer AX50 ticks just about as many boxes as possible with its great speeds and capacity alongside the robust and free HomeCare software offering parental controls, quality of service optimization, and antivirus protection. Here are a handful of trustworthy routers to ensure everyone in your household has safe access to the internet.
- 1 These are the best routers with parental control options
- 1.1 TP-Link Archer AX55
- 1.2 ASUS RT-AX56U
- 1.3 Netgear Nighthawk RAX50
- 2 Get a router that fits your needs and budget
These are the best routers with parental control options
While it gives off a bit of a gamer vibe with its bright RGB lighting and angular design, the ASUS RT-AX82U is a fast router with plenty of software features to stay in control of your family. Our RT-AX82U review found the AX5400 dual-band connection to be fast enough to keep up with multiple devices with plenty of speed for large downloads. This extra capacity is key for helping this router keep up with a fast internet connection, and if you have a gamer in the house, it’s a good compromise.
Like most modern routers, you can set the RT-AX82U up in a phone app or in a web browser with the most important controls available on either. It comes with ASUS’ AiProtection Pro software so you get some improved internet security options as well as ASUS’ best parental controls. That includes content filters, time scheduling, and profiles so you can quickly apply rules to individual people without affecting anyone else’s access.
The best part about ASUS’ solution is that the software is packed in for free and doesn’t require any monthly or yearly subscription to get the full feature set.
TP-Link’s Archer AX55 has a solid AX3000 connection should be plenty for most families as well as four Ethernet ports for wired devices. TP-Link makes setup and management easy with an app. TP-Link includes its HomeShield software which has a free and paid tier. The free tier has basic controls like time scheduling and basic content filtering but to get the most out of it, you’ll need to subscribe.
With HomeShield Pro you gets you a few more features including more advanced time scheduling, time rewards, and traffic statistics. HomeShield Pro costs $5.99 per month or $54.99 per year with a one-month free trial so you can see if its worth it for you. TP-Link also included quality of service settings so you can prioritize applications on your network.
Asus was one of the first to release consumer Wi-Fi 6 devices and has managed to bring its AiProtection service to all of them and quite a few older Wi-Fi 5 routers. The RT-AX56U is a great entry-level Wi-Fi 6 router for many families thanks to its relatively low price and adequate AX1800 dual-band speeds. With a Wi-Fi 6 device, these speeds break down into 574Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1201Mbps at 5GHz. This router also supports mesh expansion with other Asus routers with AiMesh.
Asus includes AiProtection software with many of its newer routers. With AiProtection, you get profile settings for each of your family members and their devices. You can schedule times to enable or disable the internet on these profiles and block content with different keywords like adult, gaming, illegal, and violence. AiProtection also comes with antivirus protection from Trend Micro that can eliminate threats before they reach your devices.
The Nighthawk RAX50 is a fast Wi-Fi 6 router with an AX5400 connection. This speed breaks down to 4.8Gbps on the 5GHz band and 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. There are also four gigabit Ethernet ports on the back for your wired devices. This router should keep up with a large family, and the Nighthawk software should keep your most important connections running consistently.
Netgear’s Smart Parental Control software is more expensive than more of its competitors at $7.99 per month or $69.99 for a year but it works well and is easy to use. You can create profiles for each member of the family with customer rules including time scheduling, content filtering, and traffic monitoring. Netgear also has an app for Android and iOS so you can stay on top of your kids’ usage even when they’re on mobile data or another Wi-Fi connection.
Gryphon isn’t as well-known as other router manufacturers but in our Gryphon AX review, the Wi-Fi 6 mesh kit impressed with solid performance, easy-to-use software, and features that could stand up well to the competition. While Gryphon’s price is a bit higher than some routers with similar hardware, you get some nice security and parental controls included for free. In fact, most of what you get extra with Gryphon Premium Protection is nice-to-have security options such as ad-blocking, vulnerability alerts, and protection when you’re on another network or mobile data.
When it comes to hardware, you can buy a single node or two in a pack depending on how much coverage you need. You can also expand later with more Gryphon AX nodes. You get a tri-band AX4300 Wi-Fi 6 connection, which keeps performance generally high and consistent when deployed as a mesh or as a single router. Around the back, you get just two Ethernet ports; so if you need a lot of wired connectivity, you may need a switch or a different router.
Quite a few router manufacturers offer paid security solutions for their products, but Eero manages to stand apart thanks to its lower prices and great app (though you can’t upgrade your plan from within the iOS app). You’ll need to use the Android app or a web browser. Eero Secure comes with improved network security and a filter to block inappropriate content per device or profile. The app will also show how devices are using the network. This level is available for $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year.
An upgraded plan called Eero Secure+ comes with a password manager, a secure VPN service, and Malwarebytes antivirus software. This plan is $9.99 per month or $99 per year and won’t be a good value for most people.
The standard Eero system is based on a dual-band Wi-Fi 5 solution that Eero recommends only for connections up to 350Mbps, though we regularly achieved over 400Mbps in our review. Each Eero router has two Ethernet ports on the back that can be used for either wired devices or a wired backhaul. This mesh system isn’t a great value on the spec sheet but makes up a lot of ground thanks to its great design and easy user experience. If you’re looking for something with more speed, the eero 6+ is a great upgrade.
Like the preceding TP-Link routers, the Deco X60 comes with TP-Link’s robust HomeCare software. HomeCare features advanced security powered by TrendMicro and a more in-depth parental control interface than a typical router. This all means that you can restrict content easily and quickly from the app.
The Deco X60 uses dual-band Wi-Fi 6 to deliver AX3000 with 2402Mbps at 5GHz, and 574Mbps at 2.4GHz. As our Deco X60 review showed, this extra 5GHz speed will help keep the mesh performance high even with a fast internet connection. Each Deco unit has two Ethernet ports for wired devices, one used for WAN on the primary node.
The Deco X60 comes with two nodes which should be able to cover up to 5,800 square feet. A three-pack is also available with up to 7,000 square feet of coverage. You can also add in any other Deco products for expansion, though for capacity, you should stick to a Wi-Fi 6 Deco with at least as much speed as the X60. The Deco X60 should have more than enough capacity for your whole family with enough coverage for most houses.
Get a router that fits your needs and budget
Nearly any router you buy from a reputable brand will have some parental controls, but for the most part, these simpler versions of parental controls are much more limited and often expect parents to come up with their own site blacklist, which is a lot of work and not very effective in the end. Don’t forget that most modern operating systems include some sort of parental control capabilities if you want to cover all of your bases. You might even consider upgrading your home’s coverage with a fast Wi-Fi 6 mesh router.
When it comes down to it, ASUS’ routers with AiProtection Pro offer the best value since they have some of the best parental control features you can get without charging any extra for them. With the money you would have spent for a year or two on some other solutions, you can get a faster ASUS kit that will keep up with your entire family’s needs. The ASUS RT-AX82U is one of our favorite routers overall in part thanks to its excellent security and parental control options.