02.01.2012 09:03 AM

Tired parents seeking solutions

Son One is finding ways to stay up all night on Internet. Exhausted parents looking for way to jam wireless signals without having to unplug wireless/change passwords every night. Does a simple machine exist to jam signal during bedtime?


  1. Marc says:

    Most wifi routers have a “parental control” section in the configuration, where you can set time restrictions.

  2. CanadaDave says:

    If you’re looking to kill a cell signal, the above will certainly do it (though it’ll kill yours and the rest around, too), but it sounds to me more like you’re trying to restrict wifi.

    Easiest way to do that is through the router. Some, not all, have an option to automatically deny connections at certain times of day. I’d investigate if yours does that and if not, perhaps look into replacing it with one that does.

    There are other ways to cut the connection, but they start to get a little more techy-ish…

  3. Chris says:

    Depending on the router you can have time limited access for particular MAC addresses.

    What brand is your wireless router? I can walk you through the process if it is possible with your unit.

  4. Rob says:

    Put a timer on the router’s electrical socket, similar to those used for lights. Or get a router with time-of-day rules and parental control. Lots of ’em out there.

  5. Dave Wells says:

    Ok, call me nuts, but why not confiscate the device he’s using? Um, no electronics after bedtime? Am I missing something?

    • Warren says:

      We’ve obviously tried that. iPods, iPads, laptops, you name it – you’d need a steamer trunk to lock up all the possibilities at night! This way, all kids (there are four) focus on what they should be focussing on at night – sleep!

      • Dave Wells says:

        Mister Kinsella, NO one EVER said parenting was easy!

      • little_bit_bent says:

        I have the same problem – ipods, ipads and laptops (and appletv). My solution was to install new, free router software (dd-wrt.com) that allows me to configure security policies. The policy that I’ve configured looks at the unique address of each wireless device, and decides whether to allow it to access the Internet. The unique address cannot be changed. Since all wifi must pass through my router to get to the Internet, this is the enforcement point. In effect, the policy that I’ve created says “ipad X and Y, ipod X & Y and laptops X,Y,Z can only get to the Internet between 4pm and 9pm, Mon-Fri.”

        And by the way, that software is free. It replaces the software on your existing router.

  6. Derek Pearce says:

    Yep, I’m with Dave. Take away his phone/laptop/tablet/ whatever it is.

  7. Derek Pearce says:

    D’oh! Stepped away from my computer and you replied on that issue. But still– if you need a steamer trunk, get one, and everything goes in it at bedtime.

  8. Harith says:

    1. Get a WRT54GL router – http://ncix.com/products/?sku=17408&vpn=WRT54GL&manufacture=Linksys

    2. Install Tomato – http://www.polarcloud.com/firmware

    3. Make use of the access restriction feature to lock down access between certain hours for their devices using the MAC address – http://www.polarcloud.com/v/screst.htm

    Bit of effort but will do what you want without the whole signal jamming business.

  9. Man in the North says:

    adjusting the router won’t work if the kid is on a 3G network

  10. Jim Hanna says:

    I’ve got a 14 year old, same issues. We used to read comics under the covers with a flashlight, nothing new there – except that generally online there is way to much visual informatin, which apparently disturbs sleep (vs reading or music).

    If he’s gaming, you can probably lock down times on those sites as well – th online games have them and so do the consoles. OR get creative on the other end, start waking him up early and get all drill sergeant on him at 6AM…

  11. nic coivert says:

    our rule has always been no cells no computers in bedroom at bed time, if you can’t sleep, read a book, a paper one. the screen’s blue light is a stimulant and it impedes sleep, i even try and get them off the computer a half hour before bed. good luck. be patient and vigilant.

  12. sj says:

    Had the same problem with my tween and his 3DS. He and his buddies were racing Mario Karts all night via Wi-Fi. So I warned him that if it happened again, he would lose his door.

    It happened again, and for two weeks he had no door (also no 3DS, laptop, Wii, XBox). Nothing was more effective because no door meant no privacy at all which to a 12 year is “HARSH!”.

    Sometimes old school rules.

  13. The Stig says:

    You can configure all the devices that your son uses with time and date restrictions as well. Apple devices have easy access to such restrictions via the Settings app on iPhone/iPod/iPad and under System Preferences in OS X.

  14. matt says:

    Is he reading this?

  15. MississaugaLibPeter says:

    2 of the 4 are still at home (the first 2 are in university).

    Mandatory 1 hour of reading of classics from 10-11 (actual books, yes environmentally unfriendly, but someone has to support the paper industry). After 1 hour, they are so pooped out (13 year old son and 16 year old daughter) or already asleep that this is not a problem. All electronics are turned off during this 1 hour period (mine as well, setting an example while I also read).

  16. people are telling you to use timers, controls, locks…

    if i were you, i’d just put the router and modem in my bedroom and literally unplug it when i went to sleep. you could even put it under your bed.

    he’d still have his ipod, and if he really doesn’t want to sleep he could read a book. but, that’s not so bad, really; if he resorts to reading, you may want to consider giving in. some kids are just a little wired and simply don’t need eight hours. at that age, i was running on four, max, and would get really irked when i was commanded to sit and stare at the ceiling for four or five hours every night.

  17. John says:

    We have the same problem with our 3 boys.

    The computer that my wife and I used is hard wired to the router, so we always have a connection. And we can go into the router settings to turn off the wireless connections.

    We have told them all that if any of them get caught online past “lights out” then the wireless connection gets turned off for all 3 of them for a week. We have had to do that once… but “brotherly love” has made sure it hasn’t happened a second time.

    Know what I mean? ;o)

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