Clean Router for Every Device in Your Home

Feature Friday: Why you should use Clean Router instead of Circle

“I have heard about this Circle thing.  How is Clean Router better?”

 

If you have been researching online filtering options, you may have heard or read a bit about Circle, another online parental controls system. However, after trying Circle ourselves, we believe Clean Router can offer a superior filtering experience to Circle. In spite of a few similarities, Clean Router significantly differs from Circle in ways that will impact your family’s online peace of mind.

 

1) Circle’s complicated installation- Setting up Clean Router is as easy as plugging in a router, and our friendly support team walks every new customer through it. Installing Circle, though, was a multi-step process involving app downloads and connecting through multiple networks. For busy parents or grandparents, especially those not confident in their tech skills, Clean Router is faster and easier.

 

2) Circle’s fundamental design is flawed – Unlike Clean Router, Circle is not a router. Users plug into Circle into the network, and it uses something called ARP-spoofing or ARP-poisoning.  Simply put, it tricks everything in the network to talk to Circle instead of your wireless router.

Circle_network

So what? The additional device adds an extra “hop” for all of your network traffic.   Circle causes quite a bit of extra latency to all of your web traffic, slowing down the whole network.  Circle also uses an old wireless protocol (802.11n), which also hurts your internet speed.

Speed aside, this ARP-poisoning also causes other problems.  Many devices are incompatible, and we have even heard users report that Circle broke their entire network!

 

3) No filter – Unlike Clean Router, which checks every website in real time, Circle does not filter online content.  Users can block certain categories of apps and create lists of approved and blocked websites, but we all know that the internet changes daily.  Clean Router’s IntelliFilter checks every packet that is coming thru from the DNS layer all the way down to the very content itself. We also were disappointed in Circle’s “blocked” page. No reason is given for blocking a website, and the page itself scrolls through Disney content and links to Instagram and Twitter. Parents can imagine how distracting this would be for a kid trying to concentrate on homework, and some of the content presented on the blocked page, while not pornographic, was not quite kid-friendly.

 

4) No dynamic filtering – While Circle asks you to label a website as good or bad, Clean Router understands the internet just does not work that way. What do you do with a site like FoxNews or MSN? Not all the content may measure up to your family’s media standards, blocking an entire news platform would inhibit your online experience.   This is exactly why dynamic filtering is so important. To ensure your family’s online safety, Clean Router checks every word and every picture of every website accessed on your internet network in real time. 

 

5) No support – Need help configuring your filtering or figuring out what URL needs to be white-listed to get a particular site to work?  Have a question about this feature or that feature?  Good luck getting in touch with Circle! The website doesn’t list a support phone number, a email address, a chat option, or any other contact method.  Clean Router provides award-winning US-based support.  Skeptical? Give our guys a call at 520-445-4673, shoot us an email at Support@CleanRouter.com, or go to our website and chat with us live. We won’t be shy about besting Circle in this area!

 

6) iOS- and Android-only controls – The only mechanism that Circle provides for controlling your kids’ devices or managing your network is through an iOS or Android app.  Need to access from a computer?  No luck. On the other hand, Clean Router allows you to access your account from any computer or mobile device!

 

7) No emailed reports – Clean Router delivers a PDF report to your email nightly informing you of each device’s internet activity.  And, we just rolled out our full Smart Reporting v2 that allows you even more control over these reports! This is not a feature offered by Circle.

 

8) Limited scheduling options- Circle only offers three scheduling options for devices: “BedTime” (a time for the internet to turn off for the evening), “Time Limits” (a limit on how much time each device can spend online per day), and “Pause” (turn the internet off temporarily). Clean Router’s scheduling feature allows users to set a schedule for each device in their home for any time of day and any day of the week! For example, if dinner time is always from 6pm to 7pm, you can automatically set the internet to turn off at 6pm every day. If you would like to offer more screen time on Saturdays than Tuesdays, Clean Router (but not Circle) lets you set a different schedule for each day of the week!

 

8) Keywords – Tired of your kid going to every Minecraft site?  Enter “minecraft” into the keywords list, and Clean Router will block any site containing those words.  For Circle users, respite from Minecraft requires hunting for hundreds of different domains and websites.

 

9) No YouTube filtering– With Circle, you’ll have to allow YouTube in all its sleazy glory or block it completely. CleanYouTube, our YouTube filtering service, offers your family the best of YouTube!

 

10) The bypass option– If you hit a page and need to bypass Circle, you’ll need to..

*Sign into the controls on Circle on your phone (since it doesn’t have any web controls)

*Add the website to an approved list

*Wait approximately 60 to 120 minutes (yes, 1 to 2 hours) for the page’s cache to clear

*Go back to your site.  

And then, you have to remember to go and turn it back off!  

Our bypass option made to be used– simple, fast, and secure.

For example, Victoria’s Secret is a popular resource for women’s clothing and cosmetics, but you may not want your twelve year old lingering over the sexy photos. When my wife needs to go to there, this is what she sees:

blockedpage_blacklist

My wife can enter the password, choose 15, 30, or 60 minutes, and hit the Temporary Bypass page.  Clean Router will unblock the site for the amount of time designated. She can do her shopping and leave without having to worry about remembering to re-block the website.  In the time Circle users need to unblock a site, my wife can finish shopping, give herself a pedicure, AND go for a run!

11) Circle is “by Disney” – Circle has a content partnership with Disney.  For users, this means Disney ads a-plenty and product-pushing galore. With such a direct funnel, be prepared for your kids to enter a whole new world of advertisements for the latest Disney gadgets and gizmos.  After you have bought 15 copies of Frozen, and your kids have bought 20 episodes of “Hannah Montana” you might feel a little less hakuna matata. When you’re ready, Clean Router can help you let it go.

 

The Clean Router is truly the ultimate parental control, and we continue to work hard to make sure that your kids are safe online.  We have taken industrial-level filtering, and scaled it down to something easy for parents to use.  If you need any help, our award-winning support team is here to help you achieve online peace of mind. Come partner with us to block all online pornography from your home and take back control of the internet today!

 

 

Order your Clean Router now!

Clean Router Mesh – Technical Details

Clean Router is excited to announce the release of our Mesh add-on!  Matched with the Clean Routers, the Mesh nodes make the perfect add-on to blanket your home in wireless internet.  This extends the filtering that you have come to love simply and without wires.

Clean Router Mesh Nodes

Clean Router Mesh Nodes are an easy and cost-effective way for Clean Router customers to extend their wireless signal to cover a larger area in and outside their homes. It comes with the following advantages:

  • Easy to setup
  • Inexpensive
  • Supports Multiple Nodes
  • Supported by our talented technical staff

The Clean Router Mesh are specially designed to work with your Clean Router.  They are only designed to work with the Clean Router system.

The single-router model just doesn’t cut it

In many homes today single router wifi isn’t good enough anymore. The signal simply can not penetrate walls and other obstacles in a home. The result? Sections of a home with weak or no wireless signal.

Wireless Signal w/just a single router

The new mesh model

With Clean Router and 2 Mesh Nodes most homes will experience a clean and strong wireless signal throughout. No more dead zones! No more complaints about weak wireless signal!

Wireless Signal w/Mesh

How does it work?

As we begin to roll out the Clean Router mesh nodes, there might be some questions about how this works.  This article is for you “techies” or “nerds”.  If you don’t care about how it works, and just want awesome wifi in your house, click here to go and get your nodes now!

Can I plug Ethernet devices into the Clean Router Mesh nodes?  Yes!  The mesh nodes act as a switch and will allow you to plug multiple devices into the network via the 4 LAN Ethernet ports.  Have an entertainment center that is tough to get networked? Drop a node there and you can hook up the smart TV, game console, and Cable box.  Voila!

What are you waiting for?  Go buy your Clean Router Mesh nodes!!  The Clean Router Mesh nodes are a great, simple, fast way to extend your network and blanket your home in fast wireless.  And for $129 it is a price that you simply can’t beat!

Grab yours today!

Testimonial Tuesday: Marie A.

Welcome to Testimonial Tuesday! Each week we are going to share with you a testimonial from one of our passionate customers. They will share their experiences with us as well as their favorite features of the Clean Router.

 

“I am so happy with the new router. The Internet is running faster than it has for a long time. I appreciate Clean Router and the safety net, but I am excited by the speed of this new router.

Thanks for your help.

Thanks for your extra mile when I feel so insecure about tech stuff.

Thanks for your friendly service.

Thanks for the new router.”

 

Marie A.

Lindon, Utah

Clean Router for Every Device in Your Home

Feature Friday: Why you should choose Clean Router over OpenDNS

“I am using OpenDNS right now.  It is free.  Why should I switch to using the Clean Router?”  We get this question pretty frequently.  And don’t get us wrong – using OpenDNS is way better than leaving your network wide-open.  However, there are a lot of benefits to using the Clean Router.  Here are a few that we came up with:

 

1) OpenDNS is extremely easy to bypass!  Even if you set the DNS settings on your router, all you have to do is set your device’s DNS settings (possible on pretty much every device I have ever touched) and you are past it.  Truly – 20 second bypass.  These are their setup directions: https://store.opendns.com/setup/#/familyshield but unfortunately also show how easy it is to bypass.  And if you don’t think your kids are that tech savvy … don’t worry.  Google will help them.

 

2) Only White & Black lists – OpenDNS is a DNS server – it means that it has a series of white and blacklists.  They do good work to maintain those lists.  However, the internet is a constantly changing place.  On the other hand, we are filtering at 5 different levels – DNS being one of those levels.  So, basically, their filtering is 1/5 as good as ours.

 

3) Dynamic Filtering – Kinda an extension to #2 – we dynamically filtering all content that is coming thru.  That means checking the content of the page.  With how dynamic web content is static white and blacklists aren’t enough anymore.  That type of filtering is “so 1999.”  Plus, what do you do with a site like FoxNews or MSN?  It will have good and bad content.  Is this a white or a black listed site?  This is where dynamic filtering comes into play and is so important.

 

4) Bypass – If you hit a page and need to bypass, you have to sign into the controls on OpenDNS, tell it to allow that site, then wait approx 60 to 120 minutes (yes, 1 to 2 hours) to be able to get that page to clear the cache.  And then, you have to remember to go and turn it back off!  Our very simple to use Bypass pages makes it so easy to use, but still be safe.  

A great example of this is Victoria’s Secrets – is this the place where my wife goes and buys bras, or is this the place where I don’t want my 12-year old browsing?  When my wife needs to go there, she will hit a page like this:

blockedpage_blacklist

My wife can enter the admin or bypass password, choose 15, 30, or 60 minutes, and hit the Temporary Bypass page.  She is allowed into the site, can do her shopping, and then can leave without having to worry about remembering to turn it back off.  This simply isn’t possible from OpenDNS.

5) Time Restrictions – the ability to control from the router the times that each device has access to the internet.  My 15-year old’s tablet turns off at 9 PM at night.  The Xbox can only get internet from 6PM to 8PM when I know homework has been done.  Etc.  This goes beyond filtering and into helping parents control screen time.

 

6) Emailed Reports – a PDF report that gets delivered to your email nightly telling you the internet activity from the prior day by device.  We are continuing to improve these reports but these are a very valuable tool.

 

7) Remote login – the ability to log into your router from anywhere with an internet connection (phone, tablet, pc, etc) and see and control all of the above features.  And now, on the very first page you are given the Internet Kill Switch button (detailed next) which will allow you from any remote location to turn off the internet at home! 

 

8) Internet Kill Switch – Want to make everyone finish the chores before they get Netflix?  Hit this button and voila!  The internet is gone without having to jump through a bunch of hoops.  All done – flip it back on!

IKS

8) Exclude 1 machine – with OpenDNS it is all or nothing.  With Clean Router it is easy to exclude 1 device from filtering.  Having a problem with the Tivo?  Exclude just it.  No way to do that with OpenDNS.

 

9) Keywords – Tired of your kid going to every Minecraft site?  Enter “minecraft” into the keywords list and you can block any site containing those words.  OpenDNS – you are hunting for hundreds of different domains, etc.

 

10) Fully customize-able – The Clean Router lets you adjust the level of filtering. OpenDNS lets you adjust white and blacklists, and categories.

 

11) Support – Need help with any of the above features?  We have the best support that you will find!  Call 520.445.4673 or email support@cleanrouter.com and our support guys will help you tweak the settings just to your liking!

 

So … you can see the choice is pretty clear.  And there are more and more services that are on their way which will continue to make the Clean Router the best choice to keep your family safe online!

 

 

Order your Clean Router now!

Clean Router support

Feature Friday: How’s your support network?

We all need a support network.

Everyone needs friends.Children need parents.

Husbands need wives.

Wives need husbands.

Students need TAs and teachers.

Employees need co-workers and supervisors.

Here at Clean Router, we want to be part of your support network. That’s why Ryan and Chris, our support technicians, are available by phone or by live chat for any and all of your Clean Router support needs. They want to be there for you at those milestones– when you open your Clean Router box, when you log in to your settings for the first time, as you add your first URL to the Black List.

Ryan and Chris especially want to be there for you if things seem hard, like if you just can’t block all Frozen-related material from your house.

Call Ryan and Chris at 1-520-445-4673, email them at support@cleanrouter.com, or chat with them at support.cleanrouter.com.

Because here at Clean Router, we want to make sure YOU are supported.

For more information about how we can support you and your family in clean, safe online fun, read more on our blog!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @Clean_Router!