When is the last time you adjusted any settings on your router?
How about using your router to block a device’s access to the internet?
Or scheduling time when the WiFi is available?
If you’re like most people, the answer is: never. You bought it, set it up, and forgot about it. It’s probably collecting dust bunnies in a dark corner somewhere.
But did you know that routers can provide lots of useful security features like filtering, device blocking, traffic logging, and time limits? You know, features that concerned parents are looking for.
Or conversely, did you know that they can be a security risk if left unmanaged? Most of us are vaguely aware of these ideas, but the difficulty of learning to manage something as confusing and obscure as a router keeps us from even trying.
The Gryphon router solves this problem by making network management simple and approachable. It makes it easy to use your router as the powerhouse it should be, while providing fast and stable WiFi for all your devices.
The Gryphon router has two main features that really set it apart from the others.
- Configuration is accomplished with an app on your phone. The app is fast and easy to use, which means you’ll actually be willing to give it a try.
- The configuration options are limited to those that most of us will actually use, and they’re presented in a simple, understandable way.
That second point might not seem a big deal, but it is. In fact, it’s the Gryphon’s greatest strength and what makes it stand out from regular routers.
I have to give you an example to drive this point home. Prior to switching to the Gryphon router I used OpenWrt for my router. It’s open source, frequently updated, and completely configurable. Installing OpenWrt on your router can make it do things that it was never meant to do. It’s awesome if you’re a computer nerd like myself. However, nothing is simple on OpenWrt. Check out the instructions describing how to set up a guest network on OpenWrt. Go ahead, click the link.
Now look at how it’s done on the Gryphon app:
Which would you be more likely to use?
This router’s setup is easy. It has the usual setup steps such as naming your WiFi network, and choosing a password, but it’s what you set up next that is unique: users and devices.
First you create users for your network: Mom, Dad, Sister, etc. Each user can be assigned to an age group that limits what types of sites can be accessed. You can also create a time schedule for each user to limit when the WiFi is available for that user’s devices.
Next the Gryphon app lists all devices that are connected to your WiFi, and helps you organize them. You assign each devices a type and a user. So for example you can identify your work laptop and assign it to yourself. Assign your teen’s phone to your teen’s user profile, and so on.
From this point on you can select a user and review the internet sites that have been accessed and time usage. It’s also easy to make changes for individual users, or the entire network setup.
How Can It Help Parents?
The Gryphon router makes it easy to enforce Internet usage boundaries. At Better Screen Time we believe that tech is an essential tool and a great source of entertainment. But we also believe that it should be one of many tools we use, and that screen time entertainment should be only one of many forms of entertainment. As parents we strive to teach our children to balance screen time with other activities. This sometimes means enforcing those boundaries against the will of our children.
Using the Gryphon router app we can easily switch the WiFi off for one, many, or all users. We can also schedule times when certain users are allowed to access the internet, or what parts of the internet they can access. The app allows for three types of scheduled time:
- Bedtime – turns off the Internet at night
- Suspend – turns off the Internet any time during the day
- Homework – blocks certain websites or apps but allows limited Internet access that can be customized
It’s also easy to block specific sites if you find one that’s not blocked by the user profile assigned to a given user. It’s also possible to allow one that’s blocked.
“Do We Like It?
Yes. We like it. For a number of reasons:
- Ease of use – the Gryphon app makes controlling your WiFi network easy. It highlights the settings you’re likely to change often, notifies you when new devices connect, and makes it easy to setup boundaries for specific devices and users.
- Speed and Stability – the WiFi provided by this router is great. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic we had two parents and three kids all working or doing school at home on the WiFi at the same time. It never skipped a beat regardless of the number of video conferences we had running at the same time.
- Security and Sharing – The Gryphon app makes it easy to recognize when a new device attempts to connect to your WiFi, and lets you decide how to handle it. Imagine your teen’s friend is visiting and wants access to your WiFi. You can allow the device on your primary network, the guest network, or not at all. You can even create a user for friends and block unwanted sites or limit time usage.
- Boundaries and Monitoring – The Gryphon app has easy categories you can assign to users based on age group. You can also add specific sites to block or allow manually if you’d like. Internet usage is tracked on a per-user basis, and is readily viewable in the app.
Anything We Don’t Like?
Yes, a few things:
- No website configuration – all configuration is done through the app. Call me old fashioned, but I find it a bit frustrating that using a phone is the only way to configure the router. Of course, I have a phone, so that hasn’t been a deal breaker.
- No IPv6 – What is IPv6? It’s a replacement/upgrade for the IPv4 internet addressing protocol, which is used to assign addresses (like 192.168.1.1) to each device that connects to the internet. IPv4 supports about 4.29 billion addresses. Seems like a lot, right? It turns out that we need more, so IPv6 was created. The Gryphon router is not compatible with IPv6 but realistically decades will pass before that becomes a problem. I just have a personal axe to grind with slow IPv6 adoption, so I have to point out this limitation with the Gryphon.
- It’s a bit tall – to fit this router into our computer cabinet I had to lay it on its side. It doesn’t look pretty that way, but it’s working fine. 🙂
So do we recommend the Gryphon router? Yes! It’s awesome! Easy to use, fast, reliable, and filtered. We even have a promo code “betterscreentime” that will save you $10 when you order from Gryphon’s website. Using this router will completely change how you use WiFi, for the better.