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I'm looking for either a wifi router or a dedicated hardware firewall (that I can put in front of a wifi router) that has the following parental control features:

  • Web access blocked by default except for a whitelist
  • Remote notifications on attempted blocked site access with the ability to remotely add the site to the whitelist (either via a mobile app, or an email notification)
  • Ability to allow certain machines (by MAC address) to access all of the internet (or ability to only apply the whitelist access to certain machines).

The above features are only really necessary for HTTP/FTP access, although if it supported it at a DNS level that would be a bonus.

Does such a device exist?

I've seen similar things in corporate environments, I'm hoping something like it exists for consumers with parental controls in mind. I don't really have a budget in mind but I'm not trying to spend thousands of dollars on corporate-level equipment.

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    In software you can get similar results with a pihole, but for hardware I really don't know
    – Irsu85
    Jul 31, 2023 at 14:22
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    and also pihole is dns only but for non tech savvy people they won't notice a difference
    – Irsu85
    Jul 31, 2023 at 14:23

2 Answers 2

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If you want a hardware solution then (as mentioned) PiHole will do what you want for DNS only. I use it myself. I use it mainly to block ads and whatever escapes OpenDNS.

I also use OpenDNS. You can use OpenDNS by pointing your router to it. They have an IP updater, so it can act on all DNS queries for your IpAddress. They have a number of categories that you can block off, such as Porn, Gambling, Arms and Weapons, Tasteless. You just tick which ones you want to block. On the free account, you can white or black list 20 more specific Domains. For more entries, you need to pay.

OpenDNS, misses some domains, hence the piHole, where I add them as I find them.

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Hardware:

For a hardware solution: You can get a Unifi gateway that can do this and more for around $200. It's very user friendly.

DNS:

Some cheaper routers have similar settings if you look into the console, but as stated in other posts, you can change the DNS to one that is filtered in ANY router's settings. This will be the same thing as a PiHole: it will not process the address into an IP. If you have a high school aged person that is tech savy, they may find a way around this and you will be better off using hardware filtering.

The easiest way to block malware & adult content: change the DNS settings of your device to:

IPv4 Primary: 1.1.1.3
IPv4 Secondary: 1.0.0.3
IPv6 Primary: 2606:4700:4700::1113
IPv6 Secondary: 2606:4700:4700::1003

If you want more flexibility in the DNS option, you can use OpenDNS as Rohit suggested.

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