Pros At last, a router for a modern family!
Cons Can't comment
Summary Nowadays, kids have a plethora of devices with which to access the internet. PC-based parental software becomes increasingly ineffective in a household kitted out with PSPs, Nintendos DSs, Wiis, PS2s and the like.
If you know what you're doing, you can set up the wireless router with web filtering, to cut out obvious sites. But this is crude and easily overcome. And most people don't have a clue.
There are three possible solutions (in no particular order):
1. Parental controls hosted by the ISP - but none seem interested in this.
2. Stop all internet access from kids' wireless devices - impractical at best and rather severe.
3. Parental controls installed on the router.
Most parents who are aware of the problem would be willing to pay an annual subscription for this service, to either an ISP or a router manufacturer; after all, they already do for NetNanny, Symantec, McAfee et al.
We need more routers with this capability, marketed to parents.
Pros It sounds great and the other user reviews look promising
Cons Nearly 10 weeks and no product shipped
Three follow-ups with a 'shipping soon' promise and still nothing
Summary I ordered from the iBoss Phantom website on May 25 with an estimated 4 week delivery time table. I've followed up with them three times since July 7th and everytime I get the same story - They are now in stock and will ship soon. They even went so far as to give me a FEDEX tracking number, which then expired as nothing had been picked up. They did charge my credit card in May. I was really looking forward to using this product as it seems to be the most thorough way to control all internet access points. I'm giving them one more chance. I don't know if they don't value residential business, but I would suggest you order it from a distributor/reseller that has it in stock. Either they are lying to me about availability or they are so incompetent they can't figure out how to ship product.I have been running this router for nearly a year and I must say that I am thoroughly impressed with this product. It has a lot of flexibility in set-up which allows our household of 2 grandparents, 2 parents and 2 teenagers (4 laptops, two desktops, one WII, 2 network printers, 2 blueray devices, 2 TIVOs, 1 Kindle,...) the proper security and protection. It has certainly provided me with a lot of peace of mind that my kids can't access improper sites from any appliance on our network and it is timed to shutdown for them at a specific time so I know they aren't up to 3AM playing online games. It makes parenting these technical situations much easier. In the past I've always gone with the highest level home network as I need to work out of my home. Though this may not be the most technically advanced unit on the market, I have had better reliability from the Iboss than with higher priced routers that now only serve as access points.
Updated on May 22, 2011
Pros Great content filtering, easy to use
Cons Try your internet speed before and after the installation of the Iboss. You will see 50% reduction in speed. Company has not wanted to help with this. Looking for something else. 50% is too much to lose.
Pros Excellent interface, easy to use, good support
Cons Slows the internet down to unacceptable levels for some applications
Summary Standard internet use is fine, but applications that require the rapid back and forth passage of information are affected in a major way, often making it unusable even behind a broadband connection. Examples include video chat (e.g. Skype), and gaming applications. The company will not admit to this defect, but it is clearly the case.
If you do not use these applications, this is an excellent product for you.
1) OpenDNS: works well, does not have the options for multilevel filtering that Iboss does.
2) Netgear Router WNDR3700: has its own parental control software, thru OpenDNS. Does not have the options for multilevel filtering that Iboss does. I installed dd-wrt firmware to give me more granular filtering. Installing the dd-wrt firmware does take a medium level of technical comfort with computers. If you are comfortable doing this, this is an excellent option.
In the end, I would have stayed with this product, if it were not for the problems with video chat and gaming performance. If the company can fix this one issue, they have a 5 star product. Until they do, 3 stars.
Pros No software for each computer or per seat licensing, Very easy to setup, e-mail reports of violations, sleep timer to turn off internet usage to specific devices - making sure our kids fall asleep in the high tech world we live in.
Cons Gigabit Ethernet Ports. Some would also say the annual fee, but I disagree since replacement of the device and tech support are provided. I just wish they sold this device at Best Buy and Fry's Electronics so I could purchase as soon as needed.
Summary I'm a home computer consultant, providing solutions for those who need home networking solutions in southern California. My client came to me one day and requested a solution that would block his children's access to specific content while ensuring identity protection. As his children were entering high school and were pretty tech savvy, I was sure that I needed a network-based enterprise type solution as his kids would probably reformat their computer or somehow get around any software based solution.
Once implemented, I noticed that the iBoss operates by registering each computer's mac addresses - specific and unique to each device. After gathering all of the mac addresses and registering each one with the iBoss, I setup the specific blocks requested by the client.
My client also requested that no blocks or monitoring be put into place for his or his wife's computers.
After a couple of days, my client called me requesting to remove the blocking and only monitor the computers, as the children were complaining that the iBoss was too big brother and their parents were not trusting them enough.
After making a few changes - REMOTELY!!!!! (this is by far the best feature, as parents can change the settings from the office place without subscribing to special static IP services through their ISP. ) - the kids were able to utilize the full extent of the internet, while every violation of their privileges (access to internet gaming, adult content, and internet access in off hours) was recorded and e-mailed to their parents in a report. The report is great as it says the specific date and time of the violation, as well as the computer, and website accessed.
I love every bit of this device, I just wish they included gigabit ethernet ports. While 95% of homes won't require gigabit internet to access WAN activities, several homes are turning more and more to hosting and broadcasting video from one device to another within the network. The faster the network port on the router, the better throughput all of the devices will be able to enjoy.
I also hope Phantom technologies decides to start marketing their device in electronics stores - Best Buy, Frys Electronics, and Radio Shack - so more people can adopt this amazing , easy to use, technology.