Google WiFi has just been updated with new parental controls, which can block sites you'd rather your kids didn't stray onto. Here's how to use the new site blocking feature on Google WiFi, to keep your sprogs safe online.
The internet is a wonderland of fun, some of which is ideal for children to stay entertained or get some education, sure. But it’s also full of dark and seedy shadowy places you’d never want you beloved sprog to stumble upon. Google knows this only too well, having made its name on the internet, and has just updated its Google WiFi routers to help keep your children in the safe spots of the interwebs only.
Rather than going into your myriad devices and making sure that certain limitations are set, you can now configure your kid-safe barriers all from one place. Google has introduced this update to let you limit internet access at the source in your home - the WiFi router.
So what is the new Google WiFi site blocking safety feature, how does it work and how can you turn it on?
What is Google WiFi site blocking?
Google has updated its WiFi home router device with a new feature called site blocking. As the name suggests, this helps parents to deny access to certain sites, so that children can’t get onto them.
Specifically, Google has done the leg work to identify over 8 million non-kid-friendly sites, which you can essentially turn off. That means that no matter what device is trying to access them in your home - even your child’s friend’s phone - it will be denied at the WiFi source.
Of course, this feature only works for devices connected to your WiFi. Anything with its own personal mobile connection will still need to be configured to prevent access to naughty things.
This site blocking feature should really work well, since it’s been in production since 2009. This is when Google first launched its SafeSearch feature, to filter out bad websites from its own search engine results. So that feature has now been applied on its very own router hardware, for a tried and tested way to keep the web clean in your home.
Of course, Google is always crawling the web for new nasty sites, so it’ll automatically update the Site Blocking list to keep your home WiFi safe and clean in the future.
How do I use Google WiFi site blocking?
To activate Site Blocking you will, of course, need to have a Google WiFi installed and running in your home. If you’ve already got that up and running then you’ll have used the Google WiFi app on your phone to set it up and control it. Use this same app to activate the safety features.
Once the app and your phone are up to date with the newest updates, you should be able to activate Site Blocking. Once you navigate to the site blocking section of the app, you can simply toggle on and off what devices are affected by it. That means you can allow access to all sites for your personal devices but keep all other gadgets blocked, especially anything your little bundles of joy might be able to get their tiny hands on.
When is Google WiFi site blocking available?
Google has already begun rolling out the site blocking feature in its Google WiFi app. This is going out on a worldwide scale so expect the actual arrival time to vary a little. Essentially you should have the app update with the new feature very soon, if not already.