noporn

Porn Blocking For Your Family: A review of Pandora’s Hope Router

In our family of four there are more than four devices constantly engaged on WiFi at all times. There is an iPad, three smart phones, and four laptops that may be simultaneously logged into our home network and connected to the Internet. A teen friend may visit and bring at least two devices. Protecting my family from pornography content ranks high on the list, so when I had a chance to review a product that might address content filtering for my home I was happy to take it up.

Pandora’s Hope works differently in that instead of software on each device, it is secured through a wireless router with the latest technology speeds available. We have Macs and PCs as well as iPhones. All of these connect through the Pandora’s Hope router. We were fortunately sent the Pro version that can handle up to 15 devices. We have up to 10 devices that potentially log into our router. If you don’t have as many, their smaller version covers up to 5 devices.

pandoralogo

Here was my experience with the Pandora’s Hope:

  • INSTALLATION: Even though I have set up routers and such, this was painless. The only part that might take some digging is turing off the router WiFi that comes with your Internet Provider’s modem. Our Verizon FIOS router did this fairly easily, with one click on the administration panel. The quick setup guide was adequate in helping get the Pandora’s Hope administration settings in place. In just 20 minutes I had it all working. That is not bad at all.
  • FILTERING: I noticed actually an increase in speed, as the router is newer than the one provided by Verizon FIOS and faster. It clearly worked and immediately began blocking some questionable sites and ads. The women in the house like Pinterest, and noticed some pictures blocked. These happened to be ads linked to Pinterest pins, which actually made the experience of Pinterest more valuable as they perused the site. I had to unblock a couple sites I use, such as Twitter. The filtering settings allow a Blacklist, but also Graylists and Whitelists. You can add and delete sites as well as add your own key words.
  • THE ROUTER: The router is fast, and covers our home better than our previous router. It is secure, and I have it in a place that it will not be disturbed. There is a peace of mind that content filtering is consistent in our home. I noticed on their site that if you need it, they sell a lock box to secure your router if you feel there is need for that. In the enclosed area I chose, the heat level was surprisingly low, which is a good thing for routers.
  • SOME TROUBLES: My wife works remotely, so some video streaming software gliched a bit.  You can take a machine off filtering as administrator when you need to which helped remedy this. Intermittently, it seems like there is a lag that happens every so often that we did not have before—which I am still trying to figure out. The DMV site came up as a German porn site. But, that was easily remedied by whitelisting the site. You can report these discrepancies to their support to help improve their database.
  • VALUE: As opposed to putting software on each device, this solution is very cost effective. Once you have the router, it is $99 or $149 (for Pro model) plus only $19.99 a year to stay subscribed to have the database constantly updated. An added bonus, this is less likely to slow down your devices!

My conclusion is that I am a fan of Pandora’s Hope and recommend this type of approach for content filtering. If you have a small office, I can see this as a way to help focus you and your employees. As a parent, I know that our family is a safe place for us and whoever visits our home–that goes for us parents, too.

I’d like to hear your thoughts about content filtering for your family?  What has worked? What are your concerns? Do you have filtering?

 

 

Share:

38 comments

  1. Another free alternative that works with any browser is OpenDNS http://www.opendns.org I use it, our church uses it. Great stuff. Block porn and more.

    1. THANKS for sharing that site. Sometime’s a little elbow grease can save the pocket book. How easy is this for a novice to set up? Thanks again, William.

      1. If the user can log in to their router, and find the DNS settings it is super simple.

        Usually people forgot their router login.

        Takes longer to setup your account as opposed to manually entering DNS server info on their WAN settings.

  2. We’re an x3watch family, which doesn’t actually block it, but can make for awkward conversations if you decide to view!.. But I like the idea of blocking it right at the router.. Thanks for posting this!!

  3. We’re an x3watch family, which doesn’t actually block it, but can make for awkward conversations if you decide to view!.. But I like the idea of blocking it right at the router.. Thanks for posting this!!

  4. We’re an x3watch family, which doesn’t actually block it, but can make for awkward conversations if you decide to view!.. But I like the idea of blocking it right at the router.. Thanks for posting this!!

  5. We’re an x3watch family, which doesn’t actually block it, but can make for awkward conversations if you decide to view!.. But I like the idea of blocking it right at the router.. Thanks for posting this!!

  6. We’re an x3watch family, which doesn’t actually block it, but can make for awkward conversations if you decide to view!.. But I like the idea of blocking it right at the router.. Thanks for posting this!!

  7. I second the OpenDNS comment. I’ve been using it for years at home, at work, and at the church. It’s highly configurable for different environments and it covers every machine that connects to the wireless network.

    Once I blocked Facebook for a portion of the day and I received an email from our neighbors requesting that I unblock Facebook because it was interfering with their life and why would anyone want to block it. It was then I discovered I had forgotten to turn the security settings back on, and boy were they disappointed when they couldn’t get any internet service, much less use Facebook, for free.

    1. Thanks, Clay!

      Does it take 5 minutes to setup for the novice, however? I’m thinking the person who does not even know what DNS means. 😉

  8. I’m very interested in this for our home. I find more issues with the web based filters on all our macs and devices.

  9. Problem with openDNS is that any teenager will figure out they can set the DNS on their machine to get around the filter.

    1. Fantastic point! Pandora offers a lock bock to secure the router as well, which can be done by user as well. It is not worth it to leave our kids (and selves) open to porn in anyway.

  10. I previously used OpenDNS, however, OpenDNS does not block images. So while porn websites are blocked, porn is readily accessible via Google Images or on any of the other search engines that display images. I purchased Pandora’s Hope last month, and it enforces Google Safe Search so at worse Google Images displays R-rated (bikini clad) images but no pornography. I work in high tech and I was initially planning on using a layered approach, i.e., still point to the OpenDNS name servers as the first line of defense, and then have Pandora’s Hope filter any remaining objectional content. However, Pandora’s Hope works so well that hasn’t been necessary. And one more thing… Pandora’s Hope saves all the Google searches so you can see exactly what terms your kids are looking up.

  11. I previously used OpenDNS, however, OpenDNS does not block images. So while porn websites are blocked, porn is readily accessible via Google Images or on any of the other search engines that display images. I purchased Pandora’s Hope last month, and it enforces Google Safe Search so at worse Google Images displays R-rated (bikini clad) images but no pornography. I work in high tech and I was initially planning on using a layered approach, i.e., still point to the OpenDNS name servers as the first line of defense, and then have Pandora’s Hope filter any remaining objectional content. However, Pandora’s Hope works so well that hasn’t been necessary. And one more thing… Pandora’s Hope saves all the Google searches so you can see exactly what terms your kids are looking up.

  12. I previously used OpenDNS, however, OpenDNS does not block images. So while porn websites are blocked, porn is readily accessible via Google Images or on any of the other search engines that display images. I purchased Pandora’s Hope last month, and it enforces Google Safe Search so at worse Google Images displays R-rated (bikini clad) images but no pornography. I work in high tech and I was initially planning on using a layered approach, i.e., still point to the OpenDNS name servers as the first line of defense, and then have Pandora’s Hope filter any remaining objectional content. However, Pandora’s Hope works so well that hasn’t been necessary. And one more thing… Pandora’s Hope saves all the Google searches so you can see exactly what terms your kids are looking up.

  13. I previously used OpenDNS, however, OpenDNS does not block images. So while porn websites are blocked, porn is readily accessible via Google Images or on any of the other search engines that display images. I purchased Pandora’s Hope last month, and it enforces Google Safe Search so at worse Google Images displays R-rated (bikini clad) images but no pornography. I work in high tech and I was initially planning on using a layered approach, i.e., still point to the OpenDNS name servers as the first line of defense, and then have Pandora’s Hope filter any remaining objectional content. However, Pandora’s Hope works so well that hasn’t been necessary. And one more thing… Pandora’s Hope saves all the Google searches so you can see exactly what terms your kids are looking up.

  14. I previously used OpenDNS, however, OpenDNS does not block images. So while porn websites are blocked, porn is readily accessible via Google Images or on any of the other search engines that display images. I purchased Pandora’s Hope last month, and it enforces Google Safe Search so at worse Google Images displays R-rated (bikini clad) images but no pornography. I work in high tech and I was initially planning on using a layered approach, i.e., still point to the OpenDNS name servers as the first line of defense, and then have Pandora’s Hope filter any remaining objectional content. However, Pandora’s Hope works so well that hasn’t been necessary. And one more thing… Pandora’s Hope saves all the Google searches so you can see exactly what terms your kids are looking up.

  15. We’ve had great experience with a product called fxShield as well from Amazon. It has one click option to block adult content, and allows for some very powerful and easy to use blocking features by device, or groups of devices.

  16. I have had Pandora’s Hope for a year and it has been nothing but problems. I am looking for a new filter now but I can say 100% stay away from Pandora’s Hope. It has been nothing but problems and their support has no resolutions.

  17. I’ve been looking for a wifi router solution for a while. I agree that OpenDNS is too easy to bypass. I found out skydog the other day, but it’s no longer available.

    BTW, I found a good review of various devices here: http://poi.marshilldata.com/?p=150.

    Does anyone here have experience with one of those?

Leave a Reply