Looking for Parental Control Software with Specific Features
Posted on 2010-09-22
I am looking for advice on a cost-effective solution to control and possibly monitor internet use. I use a Juniper NetScreen SSG-5 hardware firewall at home that is configured into a work and home zone. The home zone has three PCs that my family uses. My teenage daughter needs internet access to do her high school homework. The problem is that she spends far more time on Facebook and YouTube than her homework. I have been using NetNanny for a few years but would like to find something better.
My daughter sometimes borrows my wife's and son's PC, so selectively blocking her will not work. My wife doesn't believe in passwords, which makes this tougher.
Here is what I am looking for in an ideal world:
1. Ability to block internet access at select times. This should be customizable by day. For instance, I can let her use the internet until 1 am on Friday and Saturday nights, but it is blocked after 11 pm on school nights.
1b. Related to this it would be nice to limit computer access beyond a certain time.
2. If she tries to access the internet in a blocked time, she can send an electronic request over the internet to me. I can from my own PC, which is on a different network zone, manually grant her extra internet time for that particular session. It would be ideal if she could include a message like "dad, I need 20 more minutes to finish my social studies project."
3. I also have the ability to limit the hours spent on certain sites. For example, I want to limit her use of Facebook to one hour a day during the school week and four hours a day on the weekend. As with #2, if she goes beyond her limit she can send an electronic request to me for more time.
3b. It would also be nice to receive alerts whenever she reaches any limits I set.
Of course I want the standard parental controls to block certain sites or adult oriented content, etc.
Ideally, I would like to buy something that is not an annual subscription. Any suggestions would be appreciated. My NetNanny subscription will expire shortly and I want to see if something else would better fit my needs. A key desire is the ability for me to reconfigure each PC's settings remotely from my PC.