If you’re a parent of a smartphone-savvy kid, you’ve no doubt faced worries around what your child is doing online and how long they spend doing it. There’s fortnights spent on Fortnite, YouTube binges till all hours and never-ending Instagramming, plus the arguments if you dare suggest that maybe they should put the phone down for a while.
Yet the Internet is an important part of modern life and it’s vital that children get to know their way around it. 21st century homework would be nearly impossible without fact-finding on Wikipedia or working things out as Gaeilge with Google Translate.
It used to be easy to make sure your child was only viewing appropriate content. You just had to hover in the same room as the family computer, pull the plug if needed, and maybe occasionally check its Internet history. But nowadays almost every child has their own personal device that can access the Internet from anywhere at any time.
iKydz is a clever device and app combo that aims to give parents control over their children’s Internet usage in the home. The iKydz device plugs into your home’s broadband box. This then creates a new network for wired and wireless connections which can be controlled through the app. After a little bit of initial setup – including changing your original Wifi network password to knock all your children’s devices off it – you're good to go.
The iKydz Home
The iKydz app allows you to apply all sorts of controls to its network. You can block specific sites and services like Snapchat and Kik. You can set time limits for Internet access. You can check exactly what sites your child has been viewing during their allocated Internet time. You can also apply age-appropriate restrictions to YouTube to help prevent your child from viewing violent or disturbing videos.
Since you don’t want to apply the same restrictions to a 16-year-old and a 6-year-old, iKydz lets you define custom settings, filters and restrictions by device. You can set your teenager’s laptop and smartphone to have more (or less) freedom, and set their Playstation to stay offline after bedtime. Meanwhile, your younger child’s tablet can be set to drop off the net at 8 o’ clock every night.
The iKydz app in action
As the iKydz app is cloud-based, you can do all this from anywhere in the world. The app is very straightforward to use and makes it easy for you to change settings at any time.
The iKydz Pro
iKydz is currently available in a Home and Pro version. The Home version (€99.99) is most suitable for households with social media butterflies and video viewers, with Wifi speeds of up to 300Mbps plus a single wired connection. The Pro version (€139.99) features super-fast 433Mbps Wifi and two wired network ports, just what you need for hardcore streamers and gamers.
Available from the Carphone Warehouse website and stores nationwide.