Review: SkyDog Smart Family Wi-Fi Router

When SkyDog launched a KickStarter campaign in April, it struck a cord with families.  A Web-controlled router giving you very targeted control of al devices and people accessing your wireless network.  They raised 162% of their requested funding in just over a month, and their product just released to the public this week.  I got a-hold of their Skydog Web App and Smart Family Wi-Fi Router to try in out house, and I'm not ever going back to a normal router.

Powercloud Systems, the company behind SkyDog has built a very well thought out and functional product.  I get a text alert and email any time an unknown device connects to the router.  I can then ban it if it is unknown, leave it with the default security access on the router, or assign it to a known user so that it receives the limits I have set for that person.  

While that may not make sense to all of you, here is an example that will:  My son connects to the wireless network with his Xbox to play a game.  I have already set his access to limit use to certain times of day, and to further limit his access to appropriate sites during the time he has access.  As soon as the xbox connects it gets the default access level (family safe browsing/streaming) for the network he is attached to, and as soon as I tell the router it is the boy, his access increases during allowed hours, and is turned off during limited time slots.  If he wants to stay up a little later than usual because there is no school tomorrow, I can override his turnoff time for just tonight by hitting the override button and setting a time limit.  Here is what his access profile looks like:

What makes this even better is that I can set up multiple virtual networks and limit the ammount of our internet bandwidth each network can access.  In real world application the network is set up like this:

So my wife and I connect to the main network with 75% of the bandwidth.  All of the streaming boxes except for the sons XBox connect to the main network as well.  The kids are sequestered to their own virtual network, where I can make sure that their usage doesn't interfere with anyone's TV watching.

In all there is much more control than this, and we may dial things down even more in time.  The big thing is how easy it is to use this system, and being able to put so much control into anyone's hands to limit access to their home networks.

I highly recomend this router to anyone wanting to make sure they know what and when their kids are on the internet.