So the Sky Broadband Buddy looks like the sort of thing I'm looking for. As for the technical difficulties, yes I get that the public IP cannot differentiate single devices but could the router not add a header to distinguish the device? Ok, I admit I don't work on networks (mostly backend services and databases), but I don't think the industry should bury it's head in the sand. If it can't be done now, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be looked at in the future. Unplugging and removing devices from bedrooms every night shouldn't be the answer. But with any addiction, you need to be able to control it, which as a parent I can do in the day...but not in the middle of the night. Some people say switch the router off at night...but then we can't control our lights or heating. Yes I'm prepared to pay a little more extra for it. But I just don't understand why such a simple thing to set up on the router doesn't come as standard. I don't really want to buy another router just to set some time limits on my kids devices...but I'm looking now. Anyone got any suggestions for routers with this feature?
A quick look at Sky Broadband Buddy and it only works with devices where you can install the app on your child's device. This, to me, seems much the same as setting the parental controls built into a device. The SBB only seems to work with Android and iOS devices so would not help with game consoles. So while better than VM's offering, as far as I can tell this is not at the level you require.
It doesn't come as standard because, once again, it comes down to cost. Not just the implementation cost but the ongoing support costs. VM don't add any functions or features unless they think they need it to compete with others (or the government makes then, e.g. WebSafe). Right now advanced parental controls is not a customer winner IMHO. The only thing VM lead with is faster speeds, with pretty much everything else they follow the BT & Sky crowd if they produce an offering that seems to work.
If you don't mind paying for it then there are plenty of options out there and most routers will have other features and perform better than the VM hub, so I'd see it less as a chore and more as an opportunity to get better wireless speeds or coverage.
A quick Google search brings up these lists of best parental control routers:
All routers can be factory reset to bypass parental controls, if the kids have physical access to the router, but I believe Circle with Disney can send you a text message if your darling little cherubs have reset the router.
Why shouldn't removing devices at night be an answer? If they had a knife or drugs in their room at night would you not remove them, or would that require a tech solution or someone else to deal with it for you?
I'm a Very Insightful Person, I'm here to share knowledge, I don't work for Virgin Media. Learn more
Have I helped? Click Mark as Helpful Answer or use Kudos to say thanks