Our goal at CarefulParents.com is to provide important information to parents about dangers facing our children. We also want to serve as a parent’s first choice for recommendations on the best parental control products and services available today.
We reviewed and test-ran KoalaSafe, a Wireless Access Point that easily connects to your home internet router adding a layer of filtering and protection for your children. As the parent, you have the ability to set time limits, manage access, and track usage. In the following table we break down each feature and add our comments for a real, unbiased review for which you can make an informed decision:
|Hardware add-on to existing home router||This allows adult users in your home to maintain full and unrestricted internet access while providing a filtered and secure layer for children.||By installing and configuring your KoalaSafe and changing the existing wifi password to your home router, adults can continue to use their existing internet services while kids internet usage is passed through KoalaSafe.|
|User Specific Profiles||This allows parents to create and customize user-specific browsing capabilities for each child.||This makes it possible to apply age and maturity appropriate limits for each child in your home. They are very easy to setup and easy to link to your child’s specific device.|
|Set Time Limits||Parents can limit internet usage per child by the day and hour.||This is a common feature for most internet filtering products today. One unique difference is the added feature for blocking within each day hours parents set aside for homework. For example, during school days, the day limits disable internet access between 9pm and 8am. Additionally the homework limit is set to block internet usage between 4pm and 6pm.|
|Manage Access – Filters||Each child’s profile can be customized to permit or deny several categories of web content like, gaming, news, educational, etc. Parents can decide what content to allow like Facebook and Instagram.||Filters make this product a leader in internet filtering. KoalaSafe has included several categories of content and within several of these categories, specific sites that are popular today can be toggled to blocked or allowed. Similar to usage limits, parents have the ability to limit usage during homework hours. Parents can block all internet access except for educational sites or specific sites that they will allow their child to visit during homework hours.|
|Track Usage||Easily view the internet content your children is viewing.||Monitoring your child’s usage is a great way to determine their usage and browsing behaviors. Parents are able to easily view what and how much time their children are spending in various categories of the internet and apps.|
|Parent Mode||KoalaSafe makes it easy to disable all filtering and restrictions for parents by simply toggling the parent mode button.||Why is this helpful? If you share devices with your kids, you don’t want the same restrictions as they do. Rather than connecting to your home router simply enable Parent Mode and you have unrestricted access to the internet.|
|Status – Internet Access||KoalaSafe includes a feature that allows parents with a click of a button to disable internet for all users instantly.||Have you ever had issues getting your child to stop browsing their social media app at the dinner table? This handy feature shuts the internet down completely, by disabling wifi. You may get an angry stare for a moment, but KoalaSafe makes it easy for parents to change focus at important family times.|
|Help and Support||KoalaSafe provides a help section on their website with email support and a discussion site.||CarefulParents found that KoalaSafe’s website is full of helpful information and guidance and their tech support is reasonably responsive via email support. They also provide a discussion site where a parent can find and research all sorts of topics pertaining to KoalaSafe and its usage.|
|Parents Control Panel||The KoalaSafe control panel is easily accessible from any browser and any device. Configuration and controls are easy to change for each child.||CarefulParents found the control panel for adults easy to navigate and configure. It is designed for small devices and actually operates better using your finger than using a mouse.|
|Cost||The KoalaSafe Family Friendly Router with Parental Controls is available in the EU, UK, US, and Australia. It sells for $99.00 USD.||Because CarefulParents is in partnership with KoalaSafe, CarefulParents member receive a 10% discount by entering the code CAREFULPARENTS during checkout.|
Some Additional Positives
- We really liked that there was no software to install on any computer or device and that it worked with Windows, iOS, Apple, and Android without issue.
- Setting up the product, creating profiles, connecting a device to that profile and then configuring limits and filters was easy and actually fun.
- KoalaSafe is limited in that it only provides safe browsing while at home where the product is connected. However, seeing this limitation, KoalaSafe has partnered with Curbi which extends safe browsing for your children to outside the home – making it possible to protect your kids regardless of their source for internet access. One great thing about Curbi is it’s free for up to two devices.
We used KoalaSafe on our kids devices for several days with excellent results. Expect questions about tighter restrictions and time limits at first. Kids adjust quickly to the limits, and with some clarification about their purposes, kids adapt and understand what it means for them.My kids like to look at their usage reports. It opened up conversations about how they spend their time and what they spend it on – which gave me, as a parent, a chance to emphasize making the best use of your time and balancing entertainment with important activities like family time, chores, and homework.