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OK, so I manage a home network, bunch of kids, all that dance.

The setup is:

DSL --> DSL Box --> Wifi router --> desktops, tablets, etc

I would like to:

  • block access to most or all of the adult site world
  • limit access to youtube and facebook to an hour a day (or such)

My current plan is to use a new wifi hub (asys RT-N66U to be exact) running the tomato OS ("shibby" build), but I am not sure that tomato is really made to do this.

Untangle and smoothwall look interesting, but it is still unclear to me if they are fits for this purpose.

I need to do this at the network level. Client SW on pc's is a non starter (and does not help me manage tablets).

Thank you for suggestions!

share|improve this question
You might not want to completely dismiss client-side protection. Portable devices can roam. If they're ever going to leave your network then your protections are ineffective. Also, if there are any other WiFi APs that can be connected to from inside your house, they're probably not going to be restricted in the same way, and a smart and determined kid would be able to connect to those instead. – afrazier Jul 2 '12 at 23:44
I have tried client side tools, and am not happy with any of them. The controls I am working on are for this network. I understand the issue of other APs etc, and they do not apply to this situation. thx! – Sam Jones Jul 2 '12 at 23:58

I would use Tomato to block Facebook et al during specific times of the day, and use OpenDNS to block all adult sites. OpenDNS is a fantastic, free service but I don't believe they offer timed domain blocking and I also don't think it's possible to apply different rules to different machines on your network - you simply use OpenDNS's DNS servers at the router level and have everything applied to all network clients.

One potential issue with OpenDNS is that it requires installation of a program on one computer on the network to keep track of changes your WAN IP address. This only needs to be on a single computer.

share|improve this answer
Chris, Thanks! Question: Can tomato do some kind of logging, so I know what sites are being used? One of the really cool aspects of untangle is its web site filtering and logging feature. It appears untangle is too $ for home use, but it is clearly the right tool for the job. (I currently guess I will go the tomato route, and then decide from there if I need more) – Sam Jones Jul 3 '12 at 12:24
OpenDNS will track which domains have been accessed, if that's what you need. You know that Tomato only works on a very limited set of hardware, right? I stopped using it because I moved to a more modern router. – Chris Herbert Jul 3 '12 at 14:15
Tomato on the brand new asys RT-N66U looks to be quite tasty! – Sam Jones Jul 4 '12 at 5:03

GET RID OF THE HUB!!! Hubs are ancient and will suck the life out of any potential speed too. But if you insist on using a hub then you might want to look into software solutions for each PC. One possible solution might be from Symantec. (But it's still not going to restrict new PC's on your connection.)

You might also/instead want to consider setting each PC with a hard set DNS service like OpenDNS ( With OpenDNS and possibly others, you can filer content and rely on them not returning valid IP lookups for x-rated web sites, for example. But with recent browser bologna, it's still possible to bypass this if your browser predicts web site addresses or especially if you edit your own hosts file.

Therefore, I suggest getting a "router" and then try it's built in functions. Often filtering connections by MAC or IP address is enough. Even better, get a router that can be reprogrammed with the DD-WRT ( or Tomato software ( for even more functionality.

But perhaps the best solution with kids is the old fashioned technique - WATCH THEM!!! Nothing is better than keeping a kid safe by keeping them honest. And requiring a kid to do things in family/public environment when using a computer is probably the best way to do that. They're not as likely to encounter an online pervert or something that way too. (I'm sure you've heard the lecture. But if you haven't, just thought I'd say it.)

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I'm assuming the OP is actually seeking a router since the question already refers to the Tomato OS. – fideli Jul 2 '12 at 23:56
Assume all you want. He said, "hub" and these things DO exist! – Dude Jul 3 '12 at 5:21
That Tomato stuff was added after I posted too. I quit! – Dude Jul 3 '12 at 5:22
All: Nowadays "hub" and "router" are synonyms. If it has wifi on it, is it really a hub? (Try and think of one...) You got off track on this. (I edited the OP to clarify) – Sam Jones Jul 3 '12 at 12:22

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