Protecting my children on line just got easier – looking forward to testing out the Skydog family router

“Daddy, what color iPod did you have growing up?”

Asked innocently (a few years ago), my daughter was trying to fathom what I did for music, entertainment, and even communication as a kid. Surprised to learn that I didn’t have one, it was fun explaining how we used to use the telephone.

I described the growing up where the main phone was mounted on the wall in the kitchen. It was the 1970s “marigold” yellow, rotary dial, and included the 25-foot cord to allow for “mobility.”

In reality, the cord meant private conversations could take place by stretching the cord across the kitchen, into the garage, and putting your back against the door.

After her video chat with my parents last night, she asked me about a story they shared and a tape-recorded program I used to listen to as a kid.

She asked me for a copy. I explained it was on a cassette tape, and either long lost or worn out. In response, I got a blank stare.

And then it hit me, she didn’t know what a cassette tape was! I explained, “it’s what we had instead of a CD… or what you put on your iPod today.”

Acknowledging the Internet

While our children got iPods a few years back, only recently did I connect them to the internet. And even then, it’s highly limited (or so I think).

Top of my mind is finding a way to allow them to experience and use the power of these devices (their iPods… and whatever else we get to support their schooling, etc.) without running afoul of the danger that lurks on the Internet.

Over the summer, I made a note to start considering and evaluating the somewhat complicated, draconian-sounding approaches my colleagues in security have taken. But the reality is that just didn’t work for me… so I’ve done nothing about it.

The Skydog solution

Then I learned about the Skydog router for families (http://skydog.com/).

From their website:

Skydog™ is a first-of-its-kind home networking solution that allows you to powerfully, yet simply, manage your family’s unique digital lifestyle.

Comprised of two complementary parts—a wireless router and an easy-to-use cloud “app” for your smartphone, tablet or PC—Skydog lets you individually personalize the Internet access of every member of your family. It provides you with visibility and control that is customized to your family’s specific needs, across all connected devices.

As described, this is the solution I’ve been pining for.

Dan Tynan’s recent review got me excited: How This Special Router Turned Me Into A Total Internet Tyrant. Ideally, I can avoid the tyrant aspect. Except for the appealing nature of it ;) I also liked the comments and discussions on Amazon.com (link).

Planning the evaluation

Skydog recently send me a unit to evaluate… and it’s time for me to plan the review, install the unit, test it out, and report back on what I find.

My current plan is to use the router exclusively for the foreseeable future. That allows me to not only test it, but to really live with it and report back periodically.

I’m excited that I found a solution.

And since my brain is always thinking about the business uses — turns out they have a commercial version, too. Once I get done understanding the home version, I’ll explore the ways businesses can use this.

As I get ready to embark on this journey, what questions would you like me to answer? How can I make this more useful for all of us?

If you have one, or you get one, let me know and we can explore it together.

 

 

 

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