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Limiting Internet Access for kids to 1 hr per night

Customer who currently has no internet access in her house.

She is a single mother and has challenges in getting and maintaining a commitment for internet use from two teenage kids aged 13 and 17.

She wants a solution where the internet will only work for  1 hour per night, say between 8:30pm and 9:30pm, when all the home work is done, but before the go to bed.

1.      Advice on a broadband solution ( money is tight and as she is only using it for an hour per day, and is a single mom, it would be  nice to help her with a low cost solution.)

2.      Advice on a one hour timing solution.

      A.      Then when the internet is installed, hide the wireless modem router in the attic so that the kids can’t figure out how things are working a go changing the settings below

     B.      Run a power extension lead into the attic.

     C.      Insert a Mechanic Control Timer  (a simple devices that plugs into wall outlets and control the power to whatever device is plugged into it) into the power extension lead

      D.      Set the Mechanic Control Timer  to run the device that is connected to it ( the Router in this case) for one hour.

Would this work?

Any better ideas?

Any ideas on paying for broadband if you only need an hour a day?
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IP4IT Staff
Asked:
IP4IT Staff
3 Solutions
 
mankowitzCommented:
As far as broadband, you usually don't have too many options, and it totally depends where you live.  Where I am, there is verizon FiOS and Cable. They usually have a combined deal with phone, tv and broadband. She may live near a large public wifi area which could also be an option.  Depending on her cell phone plan, she might be able to use her phone as a wireless hotspot.

Now, as far as the timer is concerned, The method you suggest is certainly inexpensive, but I'd guess that any 17 year old who is motivated would be able to figure it out.

The truth is that you don't really need to go through all that bother. Most modern routers allow you to specify hours of operation. Here is an example from Linksys, but there are many other options. http://kb.linksys.com/Linksys/ukp.aspx?pid=80&vw=1&articleid=4041

An added benefit is that she can specify that HER computer is allowed access 24/7 while her kids have limited access.
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Thomas Zucker-ScharffSystems AnalystCommented:
+1 to makowitz.  That was my immediate reaction when I read your question.  I know my router (FIOS) has parental lockout options.  She should realize though that this is not really a solution.  I am noone to speak, but I personally believe she may end up with more trouble than she bargained for.  Although this doesn't answer the question, I should point out that the ex husband of one of our friends did the same thing by pulling the plug on the modem/router each night.  His kids resented him for that and still complain bitterly (even though it has been close to a decade since he did this).
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Rob GCommented:
Easy.. Kinda..
You can use basic cable internet, here where i am that is 14.95 a month..
Next, get a linksys wireless router, and setup the router to only allow access from either certain devices at certain times a day using MAC filtering, or you can use just simple everyone can only access from 8-9pm.. Next you will want to set the password to something the kids won't guess on the wireless router, and if possible put it in the mothers room, or a place that mom is usually around to stop kids from connecting directly to it.

total cost should be about 85.00 for the first month (Cost of router)
and 20-23 a month including taxes..
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IP4IT StaffAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone for you advice. Excellent ideas. Thomas, I had to LOL when I read years, I entirely agree, but it is very difficult for her as one of her kids is "hard handled" and she feels that if she gives full access all the time and it is abused, she will not be able to rain that in.  She wants to start in a controlled way for about 1.5 hours per evening, a little more at weekends.

Problem is going to be that kids have their music and everything on the net now, it will be a challenging having "internet-less teenagers" in the future ;-)
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