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 Favicon

Feature Friday: Goodbye ads!

 

Advertisements

 

Commercials

 

Flashing, moving, talking, jingling… They are all over the internet.

 

Aren’t you tired of all the ads?

 

Some of them are just annoying. Their little tunes get stuck in your head, and the same catch phrases pop up everywhere.

 

But some of them are suggestive or even horribly sexually explicit. Like “Did I accidentally stumble onto a porn site?” explicit. What good does it do to block inappropriate websites if sensual or sexual ads pop up on the side of your perfectly innocent media?

 

Online peace of mind is not deserved without protecting your family from ALL inappropriate content, no matter where it appears. That’s why Clean Router combines our IntelliFilter with a really great ad blocker to keep annoying and inappropriate ads off your computer.

 

As an added bonus, replacing ads with our Clean Router logo may even  speed up your internet! Some of our users report that websites, especially those with lots of ad content, load faster with Clean Router.

 

Online peace of mind AND faster internet? Who can say no to that?

 

Click here to learn more about how Clean Router can protect your family on the internet.

 

 

Order your Clean Router today!

How (and why) to create an unassailable password

Here at Clean Router, we have spared no effort to bring you the most secure and convenient internet filtering possible. Intellifilter technology, customizable settings, universal compatibility– it’s all there.

But, once we ship the Clean Router off to you, the ball’s in your court. Of course our support team will be happy to help with any questions or concerns. But adjusting the filters, reading the daily email reports– only YOU can do that. And there’s one thing YOU, and only YOU, can do to exponentially increase the internet safety at your house: creating and protecting your password.

Now, this isn’t your Wi-Fi password. Feel free to distribute that password as far and wide as you please (unless the neighbors will mooch off your internet). We’re talking about your administrator password to the your Clean Router account. This is the password that allows you to adjust the filter settings and to visit blocked websites. The administrator password is the key to your whole internet security system.

The secret to a solid password-protected account is two-fold. First, you need to create a really strong password. Preferably, your password will be a seemingly random combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. But, of course, if that combination is too random, you will forget your password or feel the need to write it down somewhere. Both forgetting the password and writing it down can compromise the security of your account. So, create a password that is a seemingly random (but not to you) combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. We discourage the use of family member’s names, birth dates, wedding anniversaries– basically anything that is “on the record” somewhere. Some alternatives could be….

  • The day you and your spouse met/became an “item”/got engaged
  • A favorite book/movie/tv show
  • An inside joke
  • A family motto
  • A favorite celebrity
  • An old friend’s name

The possibilities are endless. Just be creative!

Once you have an especially secure password, realize that no password is fool-proof. If you believe there is a likelihood of someone (like a child) trying to hack your account, you should change the administrator password periodically and if you think the settings have been changed.

So, set up Clean Router, adjust your settings, create a fantastic password, and enjoy online peace of mind.

To learn more about how Clean Router can protect your family online, click here!

 

Thanks, Phoenix Business Journal!

Clean Router has been featured in the Phoenix Business Journal! The article discusses the massive pornography industry ($2.8 BILLION– Wow!) and the need for internet safety both at home and at work.

We’ve also talked about some of the exciting new developments at Clean Router, like….

Clean Router Pro, our newest model, has faster service and a bigger Wi-Fi range than ever before.

 

The Clean Router Small Business model is due out in October with even FASTER Wi-Fi speeds and WIDER range for businesses.

 

Our change from an annual to a monthly subscription model.

AND

The debut of Clean Search service beta next month!

 

Click here to read the whole article!

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 - best internet filter

Feature Friday: Are you in the loop?

We know it’s hard to stay up to date on everything you need to know.

As soon as you figure out how to use MySpace, suddenly everyone is using Facebook. Then, as soon as you master Facebook, everyone is on Instagram.

As soon as you memorize all your daughter’s teachers’ names, summer comes. (Enjoy the break. There will be six new teachers before you know it.)

Here at Clean Router, we make it easy for you to stay in the loop. You can know every website accessed by every wi-fi capable device in your home.

How? You’ve got two options.

If you would like, we can send that summary straight to your inbox. Our nightly email will keep you informed of your Clean Router’s internet activity that day.

To receive nightly emails:

1) Visit cleanrouter.com.

2) Click on “My Settings” at the top and enter your password.

3) From the menu on the left, select “Emailed Report.”

4) Slide the circle next to “Daily Email Log” to the right. The bar should be green.

5) Hit save.

 

Or, if you are trying to cut down on the number of emails in your inbox, you can view your Clean Router’s internet history for any day in “My Settings.”

To access the internet history online:

1) Visit cleanrouter.com.

2) Click on “My Settings” at the top and enter your password.

3) From the menu on the left, select “Sites Visited.”

4) Find the desired date in the drop-down menu.

5) Peruse the websites listed at your convenience.

 

So don’t be left out of the loop! Let Clean Router update you on your family’s internet activity today!

save date night with Clean Router

Feature Friday: How to save date night

It’s Friday night.

You finally broke down, got a sitter, and bought tickets for that new flick you (or your spouse) has been dying to see. You sit down, snuggle up and…. the phone rings.

“Dad, you said we could watch Netflix!”

Whoops. Blocking Netflix is great for uninterrupted homework time but not so great for uninterrupted dates.

Of course, you could turn over the administrator password, but will you really enjoy date night knowing your internet safety is compromised? Your kids online, just clicks away from danger.

Clean Router makes it possible to save date night and your peace of mind! Unlike other filters, you can adjust Clean Router’s settings anytime, anywhere, at settings.cleanrouter.com.

 

To save date night:

  1. Find a device with internet access
  2. Go to settings.cleanrouter.com
  3. Enter the email associated with your account and the administrator password
  4. Select “Black List” from the menu on the left side of the page
  5. Hit the red “X” next to netflix.com
  6. Click “Save”

 

Enjoy your kid-free date!

 

Ready to protect your family online?

 

Order your Clean Router today!

 

internet safety for kids

3 things your kids need to know to be safe online

 

Remember when surfing the internet meant tying up your phone line?

Your kids probably don’t! This generation is more tech savvy than any previous generation, and some of these kids begin their internet experience even before they begin school. Here are three things they need to know about to be safe online.

 

1. Pornography

Make sure your child is educated about pornography: what it is, how it will harm them, and how it harms others. Online pornography is pervasive; it is extremely likely that your child will be exposed to it. Does he or she know what to do when this happens? Come up with a strategy such as turning off or covering up the monitor and immediately finding a trusted adult. Teach your kids internet accountability, that they are responsible for what they view online.

We post articles weekly on our Clean Router Facebook page about pornography’s effects on individuals and society. These articles are a great resource for talking to your children about pornography.

 

2. Scams

A flashing banner inviting your child to click to claim a brand new iPad can be very tempting if he doesn’t know any better. Teach your children to avoid ads and to recognize illegitimate websites.

One popular scam is fake customer service numbers. Make sure your children know to never dial a customer service number unless it comes from the actual company’s website!

 

3. Privacy

It’s easy to forget that social media is a public forum. Remind your kids that if they wouldn’t put it on a billboard, they shouldn’t post it online or send it in a message. This includes messages that are supposed to disappear or be deleted and even “private” online storage. Several celebrities recently learned the hard way that nothing digital is perfectly secure. Teach your children how to adjust their privacy settings on social media but not to take that privacy for granted.

Giving your child online street smarts is just as important as reminding him to wear a bike helmet or talk to strangers appropriately.

 

Check out our other posts on helping your kids be safe online!

 

Order your Clean Router today!

 

internet filter

Feature Friday: Because you don’t stalk teachers

Admit it: Sometimes your internet filter just doesn’t understand you.

You try to look for lectures about teaching at teacherstalk.com, and your filter assumes your interest in teaching is actually an obsession with teachers.

Your Google Image search for a nice gouda is mistaken for something dairy-free.

When you want to look for a counselor at therapist.com, your filter thinks you have a twisted mind.

Your attempts to research the harmful effects of pornography are stymied by an overzealous online knight in digital armor.

Clean Router isn’t here to get in your way—that’s why we created the White List.

Any web site on this list gets will not be filtered, blocked, or otherwise interfered with by us. Feel free to research chicken breast and thigh recipes, breast cancer, the harmful effects of pornography, or anything else without judgement.

  1. Log into your settings at cleanrouter.com
  2. On the left side of the page, select “White List”
  3. Enter teacherstalk.com (or the url of any website you trust completely) into the space provided and hit “Add”
  4. Click “save”

For an even quicker fix, simply enter your administrative password on the page that appears when trying to access your misunderstood website and click “Permanently Bypass.”

For more information on how Clean Router can help your family have a safer and more enjoyable internet experience, click here!

Clean Router internet filter for families

Welcome to Clean Router!

What is Clean Router?

Clean Router is a router with an internet safety program designed to allow your family to have a fun and safe online experience on any device with Wi-Fi in your home.

 

I already have an internet filter on my computer.

That’s great! Keeping your family safe online is so important. However, the computer is probably not the only way your family accesses the internet these days. Many families have smart phones, tablets, laptops, gaming systems, or smart tvs. Clean Router automatically cleans up the internet on all the devices in your home. Just plug it in and turn it on!

 

Filters either block too much or not enough.

An internet filter that does not provide your family with an online experience appropriate to their needs is not worth the time or money.  Clean Router is completely customizable in all aspects of the filtering process! For your convenience, Clean Router comes programmed to block a list of websites and key phrases. During set up (or any time), you can adjust the filter strength, completely block certain web sites and allow full access to others, and set individual schedules for each device in your home!

 

My family seems to be on the internet all the time! Can Clean Router help?

Absolutely! Clean Router allows you to determine when the internet is accessible at your house. Whether you’re worried about the internet interfering with a good night’s sleep, homework time, or family time, Clean Router provides good clean internet when you need it and turns off the internet when you are ready to unplug.

Watch our video to learn more about how to keep your internet clean:

Keeping your family safe online is not just possible– it’s easy!

Order your Clean Router today!