Following on from the last article, this time I’m going to be discussing how you can take control of your home network and provide extra protection to those who use it.

Some routers give you the option of setting up what’s called a “guest” network.    A guest network is useful if you have other people who want to your network.   Anyone connecting to your guest network can access the Internet but can’t get to any of your devices.   For example, you don’t know if their device has a virus that could spread over the network.   By connecting them to your guest network, you can be sure that none of your computers get infected too.

Another feature of a guest network is that it can stop visitors from using all of your internet speed.    You can limit the speed of their connection to make sure they share the connection fairly.

This sharing of the Internet connection is becoming a problem in homes now, where one device can swamp the outgoing connection.   High definition streaming can use a lot of bandwidth, and when you have several family members all trying to stream different programs at the same time, chances are you’re going to hit problems.   So, what can you do to make sure everyone gets an equal share of the Internet.

There are a few devices on the market now that help with this, such as FingBox and Disney Circle.   They’ll monitor all of the devices on the network and report on which ones are using all of the bandwidth.   The Disney Circle goes further though and allows you to give each device limits to the amount of time they can spend connected – but also the content they’re allowed to access.   The Disney Circle is designed for families, giving parents complete control over what their children can and can’t do on the Internet.

If your children have iOS (Apple) devices, you can do the same directly on the device.   With Apple’s Family sharing, parents can set restrictions over which apps can be used, along with what content can be accessed.   It’s quite powerful and gives parents piece of mind that their children are not going to accidentally see things they shouldn’t while online.   The advantage with the Apple approach is that the restrictions are in place on the device itself, so for example, if the child goes to a friend’s house with an Apple device – the same rules apply there too.

In the last article I mentioned Mesh Routers.   These new, advanced routers provide additional coverage around your house, but some also have filtering and monitoring built in, meaning you can see who’s using your internet and enforce limits.

Additionally, there’s a free service from Cisco that lets you block unwanted/adult content on your network.   This service is called OpenDNS.  It’s a little tricky to set up, but there are good guides available on their website (   There are two free tiers OpenDNS Family Shield and Open DNS Home.  Additionally, the service will block phishing/malware sites before you reach them.   As a free service – there’s really nothing to lose by giving it a try!

Eventually, home internet and routers may become a thing of the past.   With the evolution of cellular networks and the roll out of 5G technology, devices in the future will connect directly to the Internet wherever they are.

Until then, I hope some of the above tips will help you get the most out of your home network.  As always, please get in touch if you have any further questions!