Experts agree that screen time should end a few hours before bedtime to ensure a good night’s rest. But whether you’re trying to curb blue light or a social media addiction for your kids, time scheduling can help technologically enforce the rules of the house.
On an ASUS router, the Parental Controls settings let you enable or disable internet access for each client based on the time of day and the day of the week. This is particularly helpful if your kid has a laptop or tablet that they keep in their rooms, away from your watchful eyes. Setting it up these controls for you or your children is easy. Here’s what you do:
- Log in to your router at http://router.asus.com. Click AiProtection and then Parental Controls
- From Parental Controls, click Time Scheduling
- In the Client List, choose a Client Name (MAC address) to restrict. If the client has connected to the network before, it’ll show up automatically in the drop-down list. Otherwise, you have to manually enter the MAC address. If the client isn’t online at the moment, click Show Offline Client List.
- Click the plus sign in the Add / Delete column to add the client.
- Click the pencil icon in the Time Management column.
- Select the blocks of time you want to allow. Deselect the blocks of time you want to deny. In the example below, I’ve disabled internet use after 5 PM on weekdays.
- Click OK.
Now, if it is outside of the enabled time block, the client will no longer have access to the internet. There won’t be any block notifications, nor will the client be disconnected. The internet will simply not work when they try to use it.
So, there you have it. Now, for parents of budding little hackers, you’re probably going to ask…
How can my kid circumvent parental controls?
Time scheduling is enforced by MAC address. Unlike an IP address, which changes often, a MAC address is a “burned-in-address” (BIA) on the network adapter. It never changes. The only way to get a new MAC address is to either get a new network adapter or use special software to spoof a MAC address.
Spoofing a MAC address on a mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet, is difficult without jailbreaking or rooting. It’s somewhat easier on a Windows or macOS desktop or laptop since you can get third-party software that will do this. You can also buy a cheap travel WiFi router and connect an iPhone to that and then to your router. On some portable routers, you can change the MAC address at will.
So, it is possible to get around time scheduling on your ASUS router. However, it’s not easy. If your kid is going to these great lengths to beat the system, you can implement some defense-in-depth by using the Wireless MAC Filter setting in Accept mode. This creates a whitelist that disallows all unknown MAC addresses. I’ll show you how to set that up in another post.
Are you using time scheduling or some other method for limiting internet or screen time for your children? Let me know how it’s working out for you in the comments.