As parents, our number one concern is the safety of our children. That’s why we make them wear helmets against their will when riding a bike because we love them. What about the internet? There are lots of things we don’t want them to see yet just lurking around. Just one mistyped word and only God knows what will pop up.
Kids also run the risk of becoming addicted to the internet, which can be bad for social skills. Not knowing how to cope without it is a sign that they might be addicted. Parents can watch them as much as possible, but even we get busy and time could slip by us just like that. We need a bicycle helmet for the internet. That’s where Koalasafe’s $100 modem comes in.
In the box
- Koalasafe modem
- Network cable
- USB Power Adapter
- microUSB cable
- Quickstart guide
Getting your new Koalasafe modem connected is so easy they only needed a small card to print the instructions on. Simply attach the ethernet cord to Koalasafe’s WAN ports and the other end into one of your router’s LAN ports.
Once that is finished, download the app and create an account. From there, you will pair your phone with the device, and you’re set to adjust the profiles. There is already one default profile for everyone that has options already set up. You can choose to use that one and alter the settings as you wish, or you can create individual profiles.
If you wish to create individual profiles, click the add button and begin. You will choose the profile name, age, and assign an icon for this profile. First, you will want to set up the schedule for each day of the week, which can be applied in any combination to any day of the week. You can even have multiple schedules in one day.
Next, you will go into App and Site Blocking to set your preferences. This includes categories ranging from file sharing, gaming, social media, video and more. They can be blocked, allowed or partially blocked. Partially blocked will automatically filter content based on age.
You then will want to set the devices that should be included in this profile. Koalasafe will pick up all the devices within its range, and you can choose which devices you wish to assign this profile. Once you select them, do a pull down on the device screen for a refresh to make sure they got assigned.
Click the Advanced tab to select your filtering security mode preference. You have the options of high, medium and low with medium being the default. After doing some research, you should know that if you wish for Netflix to run on this modem, low must be checked.
Design and Build
Koalasafe is one tiny little modem for your tiny or big kid. Modem and router devices can take up a lot of valuable real estate. Depending on your setup, you may not have room for another device. Koalasafe measures in at just over two inches by two inches and a thickness of almost one inch. That means space is one less thing to worry about.
This feature is one that could be used as an educational tool for your child. Instead of just snapping at them and telling them they spend too much time on the internet, (because they always think you’re exaggerating) you can show them how much time they are online and what sites they are visiting most.
What it’s missing
While you can control Netflix and Youtube, it doesn’t seem to have the option for other services such as Hulu and Amazon Video. It even describes the video section in the App and Website blocking section as follows:
Sites and Apps that allow the uploading and sharing of video content such as Vimeo.com or Tv watching sites like Netflix.
Despite Vimeo being listed it in the description, it doesn’t allow you to block it or alter it in any way. I have searched the Koalasafe forums, and I don’t believe I’m missing anything. It should pick up on all apps the device has and allow you to block it.
What we love
We love the fact that the things Koalasafe does allow you to do are done well. After making sure Adult content was blocked, I searched the word porn and no bad results popped up. Along with adult content, it blocks VPN’s and proxies, violence, and more.
One nice feature is the big red button. Just click the status tab, click the red button, and the internet is instantly turned off. Also in that same tab, you can see the status of the internet.
The absolute best feature is the internet schedule. Coming home at midnight with my child still streaming while she is fast asleep gets annoying. Now, there is a set schedule, and she know what time it goes off. Of course, there are times when there should be a little give in what time it shuts off. To that end, Koalasafe allows you to extend time by however long you wish, and it will delay the cut off time.
Koalasafe is an effective tool to help in keeping your child safe on the web. While it is missing somethings that should be there, there is no reason to not buy this product. It will make your life a little bit easier…after everyone gets use to the new normal.