7 Best Routers With Parental Controls in 2022

Welcome to our top picks for the best routers for parental controls in the world right now! 

We’ve been testing out the parental controls features (as well as the performance and the rest of the features) on loads of routers. And based on all that criteria, we can tell you that the best is the ASUS RT-AX3000.

ASUS RT-AX3000
Source: Asus.com

ASUS RT-AX3000 - Editor's Choice

Best Overall

  • Type: Wi-Fi router
  • Tested max speed: 889.41 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Plans up to 1000 Mbps
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: Three years

But depending on your personal circumstances, it might not be the best option for you. To accommodate for that, we’ve picked six more amazing parental controls routers based on other factors. You’re bound to find the right one for you here.

Let’s get into it.

Top 7 Parental Controls Routers

Category for category, here’s a quick look at our top picks overall.

  1. Best overall: ASUS RT-AX3000
  2. Best budget: TP-Link Archer AX10
  3. Best for speed: ASUS RT-AX88U
  4. Best conventional range: ASUS RT-AX86U
  5. Best Mesh system: ASUS ZenWiFi AX AX6600
  6. Best for security: ASUS RT-AX56U
  7. Best for extra features: Google Nest Wi-Fi 

7 Best Routers With Parental Controls

Here are short reviews of the best routers with parental controls we have tested. For a more in-depth review, click the link at the start of the review.

#1 Best Overall: ASUS RT-AX3000

ASUS RT-AX3000
  • Type: Wi-Fi router
  • Tested max speed: 889.41 Mbps 
  • Recommended for: Plans up to 1000 Mbps 
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: Three years

Pros

  • Superfast speed
  • Excellent free parental controls
  • Adaptive QoS
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Mediocre range

In the market for excellent parental controls that are free for life? How about tons of speed and other great features? And all for a great price? The ASUS RT-AX3000 is the one for you, then.

We recently named this router as our best router for 2022 overall based on the amount of performance and features you get for the price. And a big part of that was the excellent parental controls.

They come as a part of the AiProtection Pro that you get free for life when you buy this router. It bundles top tier parental controls with excellent antivirus technology so that your network can be as safe as the people who use it.

The parental controls allow you to schedule the parental controls to activate at particular times for particular devices. You can also view each user’s activity and set different levels of parental controls for kids of different ages. 

You can actually even tweak the levels to filter out different types of content if you so wish. AiProtection Pro parental controls really has it all.

You can control all those settings through the excellent ASUS Router app which makes the whole network easy to configure and the router easy to set up in the first place.

On top of all that, you’ve got Adaptive QoS to use. This allows you to pick particular devices to get more network attention whenever you need it. But you might not need to, as this router is super fast as it is. When we tested it from 5 ft away, it clocked in at an impressive 889.41 Mbps.

And all that for a reasonable price. In fact the only downside for this router is that the range is rather limited at 75-80 ft, although you can boost that seamlessly with AiMesh technology.

The best parental controls and performance for a sensible price. What more could you want?




#2 Best Budget: TP-Link Archer AX10

TP-Link AX10
  • Type: Wi-Fi router
  • Tested max speed: 651.97 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Plans up to 500 Mbps
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime

Pros

  • Great parental controls for a low price
  • Entry-level Wi-Fi 6 router
  • Surprisingly fast speeds
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • No USB ports

If you want to save a bit of cash but still get your hands on some pretty good parental controls, take a look at the TP-Link Archer AX10.

The parental controls on this router aren’t quite as good as some of the more expensive TP-Link routers. You’ll need HomeCare if you want the very best parental controls and antivirus, but they start at the AX50 which is way out of the budget category.

Nonetheless, they are pretty good. The functions include timed controls, adding profiles for users and customizing blocked content according to individual user needs. And this router is very affordable, so this is impressive stuff.

You’ll need to set the parental controls up using the network configuration site by logging into “192.168.1.1” on a desktop browser as opposed to using the Tether app, but that’s not the end of the world.

So what does this router have to offer? QoS, for a start. It’s pretty limited, but you can still pick priority devices as and when you need them.

And then there’s the warranty, which is completely unlimited. As long as you own this router, you’ll be covered for any issues that arise from it. That peace of mind is an awesome thing to have.

It’s got some pace, too. We managed a speed of 651.97 Mbps from it. And, a reasonable range of 80-90 ft. That’s enough for a small to medium-sized home. 

There are no USB ports or antivirus technology which might cause some potential customers concern. But considering that those are the only cons for the price, we think this is a fantastic budget router for parental controls. 




#3 Best for Speed: ASUS RT-AX88U

ASUS RT-AX88U
  • Type: Wi-Fi router
  • Tested max speed: 921.17 Mbps 
  • Recommended for: Plans up to 1200 Mbps
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: Three years

Pros

  • Immensely fast Wi-Fi 6 speed
  • Great free parental controls
  • Awesome hardware design
  • Huge range

Cons

  • Expensive 

If you have a superfast internet plan and want to get the best out of it while also getting awesome parental controls, the RT-AX88U could be your next router.

Like the RT-AX3000, it comes with AiProtection Pro free for life. This means excellent antivirus technology to keep your network safe from outside threats as well as top tier parental controls.

Those parental controls include the chance to set up individual user profiles and attach devices to them. You can also set the parental controls to activate at particular times of day, set different levels of them and more. 

They can be tweaked through the fantastic ASUS Router app which makes life a lot easier than having to log into the network config page every time you want to make any changes. 

On the performance side of things, the ASUS RT-AX88U is next level. In our 5 ft download speed test, we managed a huge score of 921.17 Mbps. That’s the fastest Wi-Fi 6 (not Wi-Fi 6e) speed we’ve ever managed to achieve from a router. Wow. 

This router is also great for those with reasonably large homes. We found the range to be 100-110 ft, which is about as good as it gets for home routers. And if you do want to boost it further, you can do so seamlessly thanks to the inclusion of AiMesh technology.

A couple of extra benefits include Adaptive QoS (allowing you to select priority devices), three years of warranty and a very cool looking bit of hardware that will look neat on your home shelf. 

The downside to all this? The price. The ASUS RT-AX88U is very expensive as you might have expected based on our review of it so far. So you’ll need to prepare for that if you like the sound of it.

But other than that, we have no complaints. This router is the ultimate combo of parental controls and speed.




#4 Best Conventional Range: ASUS RT-AX86U

ASUS RT-AX86U
  • Type: Wi-Fi router
  • Tested max speed: 784.09 Mbps 
  • Recommended for: Plans up to 1000 Mbps
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: Three years

Pros

  • Massive range without Wi-Fi extension
  • Brilliant parental controls free for life
  • Adaptive QoS

Cons

  • Could be faster for the price

If you have a medium-large sized home but don’t want to splash out the extra cash on Mesh satellites, you’re going to want a router that has a good range right off the bat. And the best router for range that also has great parental controls is the ASUS RT-AX86U.

Like all good ASUS routers, this thing comes with AiProtection Pro. It’s an epic bundle of parental controls and antivirus technology and it comes free for life with this router.

The parental controls you get with AiProtection Pro are about as good as it gets. They allow you the opportunity to assign multiple devices to user profiles. Then, you can select tiers for the user profiles based on the age of the user.

On top of that, it’s possible to activate the parental controls at particular times of day and set time limits for internet access so that the kids don’t spend too much time on the web.

Other than the parental controls, our favorite thing about this router is the natural range. Our tests found it to be around 100-110 ft which is more than enough for a medium-sized home. And if you want to extend it, you can use AiMesh to add satellites under the same network name. 

It’s a slightly pricey router, and slower than some more affordable ones. The top speed we could get from it was 784.09 Mbps. That’s still quick, but if you’re looking for raw speed, you can do better.

The only other slight niggle we had with the RT-AX86U is that it’s a little bulkier than the more powerful RT-AX88U.

We should also note that this router has fantastic QoS software through a little tool from ASUS called Adaptive QoS. This allows users to assign profiles to their devices such as ‘gaming’ to get the best internet performance from them whenever they need it.

At the end of the day, this router offers great value for money in terms of its range and parental controls. A deserved fourth place in our top seven today.




#5 Best Mesh system: ASUS ZenWiFi AX AX6600

ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8) AX6600 White
  • Type: Wi-Fi Mesh router
  • Tested max speed: 836.45 Mbps 
  • Recommended for: Plans up to 800 Mbps 
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: Three years

Pros

  • Brilliantly powerful Wi-Fi Mesh system
  • Backhaul band enhances connection between satellites
  • Fantastic free parental controls
  • Connects to many devices

Cons

  • A little show on 2.4 GHz band

If you have a home of over 3000 sq ft, we really recommend considering Mesh. It allows you to add more satellites to your home network that connect to the original network name. This means you won’t have to 

The best combination of excellent Mesh and parental controls is the ASUS ZenWiFI AX AX6600. It’s not far off perfect and it’s not even super expensive.

The ZenWiFi comes with the AiProtection Pro technology we’ve been mentioning throughout. In case you missed it, that means top tier antivirus and brilliant parental controls to keep your home network and its users safe.

Those parental controls are very extensive. You can set up user profiles and bundle devices into them then select different levels of parental control protection for those users.

Then, you can even set up specific timings for those profiles or limit the amount of time each user can access the internet for. That’s full control.

This system is quick, too. We managed to get a speed of 836.45 Mbps from it which is scorching for a Mesh system. And it will hold onto that speed even if you add many bands thanks to a backhaul third band which boosts the connection between satellites.

So there’s a good range. And there’s more space for multiple devices to connect thanks to that backhaul band, which also acts as a second 5 GHz band for more devices to connect to. 

In fact the only bad thing about the AX6600 is the fact that the 2.4 GHz band is a bit slow. If you’re connecting 30-40 or more devices to the network and the 5 GHz bands become full, further devices may experience slow speeds.

Nonetheless, this is a pretty niche problem and doesn’t really impact our overall score on what we decided was the best Mesh system of 2022. There’s no doubt it’s the best Mesh system for parental controls either. 




#6 Best for Security: ASUS RT-AX56U

ASUS RT-AX56U
  • Type: Wi-Fi router 
  • Tested max speed: 754.02 Mbps 
  • Recommended for: Plans up to 600 Mbps
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: Three years 

Pros

  • An affordable way to get AiProtection Pro
  • Pretty quick for the price 
  • Adaptive QoS

Cons

  • Poor range

The most affordable way for users to get access to the amazing AiProtection Pro tool from ASUS is through the RT-AX56U

In case you missed what that was, it’s a brilliant antivirus and parental control package. This means brilliant network security and the chance to really tailor your parental controls to suit your family situation. 

With those parental controls, it’s possible to curate everything. User profiles, timings and more can all be edited. That’s either through the excellent ASUS Router app or on a desktop computer should you not have access to a smartphone. 

The app also makes it really easy to set up the network in the first place and add Mesh satellies should you wish to do that at any point. 

It also has that excellent Adaptive QoS we’ve been talking about. That means you can choose any connected device to receive particular network attention should you wish for a temporary boost of speed or lower latency at any time.

We don’t feel that the RT-AX56U offers quite as good value for money as our top pick overall, the RT-AX58U. That’s because the speed isn’t as quick (our tests managed 754.02 Mbps), nor is the range (we found this to be a meager 75-80 ft).

But if you’re looking to save a little cash and still get AiProtection Pro, this could be the one for you. It’d also be more suitable if you have a slightly slower internet plan and/or a smaller home.




#7 Best for Extra Features: Google Nest Wi-Fi

Google Nest Wi-Fi
  • Type: Wi-Fi Mesh router
  • Tested max speed: 87.76 Mbps 
  • Recommended for: Plans up to 100 Mbps 
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 5 
  • Warranty: Two years

Pros

  • Great integration for smart homes 
  • Fully customizable parental controls
  • Awesome hardware design
  • Super easy to use and set up

Cons

  • Very slow (Wi-Fi 5 only)

Here’s something a little different. Google’s Nest Wi-Fi brings smart home integration to the table in a more exciting way than any other of our top picks thanks to the spectacular Google Home app.

With this app, you can control all your smart home devices such as your thermostat, your lighting and even your refrigerator.

The Home app also allows you to take care of the parental controls. While they’re not quite as good as those from ASUS and TP-Link, they do allow you to customize a few things. 

They include being able to restrict certain types of content to certain devices. And you can attach devices to Google accounts. It’s even possible to voice activate these accounts.

The price of the Nest Wi-Fi is pretty good but you will have to pay in terms of compromising on speed. Because this thing is not fast. At all. It’s only Wi-Fi 5 (the older Wi-Fi protocol than Wi-Fi 6). We managed to get a top speed of just 87.76 Mbps.

At this speed, a family of four will experience some disruptions when attempting to use the internet heavily simultaneously.

The range of the router and each satellite is reasonable so it will be able to cover a large amount of space. So if you have a slow internet plan, this system is worth considering. 

So, this is definitely a bit of a niche option. But it’s still pretty cool for those with a lot of smart home devices and slow internet plans who still want to utilize parental controls to some extent.




Parental Controls Routers Buying Guide

We’ve been through a lot of amazing routers for parental controls today but there are exciting new ones coming out all the time. So by the time it gets to 2023, the whole scene might be different.

To help you keep up with it, we’ve put together a few criteria that we recommend considering as you check out routers for yourself. Check them out!

You can also check out our more extensive router buying guide if you still feel like you need more info.

Parental controls

Parental controls allow you to control what certain users on the network have access to. It can protect them from harmful or inappropriate content.

You might have noticed that most of our top picks today come from TP-Link and ASUS. The simple reason for that is that they offer high quality parental controls free of charge with most of their routers.

A lot of other manufacturers, such as Netgear and Linksys, charge a subscription for their parental controls services. A router can cost a lot of money in the first place so having to pay for this feature should be avoided, really.

Qualities of a good parental control tool include the chance to automatically time the parental controls to engage, the ability to group devices together for user profiles and selecting different levels of parental controls in terms of how strict the filtering is.

Extra features

Quality of Service, or QoS for short, allows you to select a handful of devices as a priority for the network. It gets faster speeds and lower latency for these devices by throttling the bandwidth to other connected devices.

If you have young children using the internet and a slow internet plan, you might want to consider this. It could really help you get some extra work done or stream that movie you’ve been wanting to watch!

Wi-Fi security

Another really important tool for those with young ones in the family is antivirus. Kids can be prone to accidentally accessing malicious sites that could cause harm to your home network, and antivirus helps to deplete the effects of this.  

There’s also Wi-Fi encryption to consider. Encryption helps keep your personal data (such as financial information) safe. Keep a look out for WPA3 – that’s the latest and most powerful Wi-Fi encryption technology. 

Wi-Fi 5 vs Wi-Fi 6

Wi-Fi 5 was the previous Wi-Fi protocol, developed in 2014. In 2019, the faster Wi-Fi 6 was released. Wi-Fi 6 routers are more expensive but a heck of a lot quicker.

This isn’t going to affect you unless you have a large family and need that extra bit of speed. If that’s the case, Wi-Fi 6 could be worth a look at for the extra cost. 

The only router from our top picks today that doesn’t have Wi-Fi 6 capabilities is the Google Nest Wi-Fi Mesh system. Why that’s the case, we’re not so sure. But you can see the difference in speed between that and the rest. 

Check this guide for more info on the differences.

Wi-Fi 6e

If you’re looking for the next level of speed then you could examine the possibilities of the latest and greatest Wi-Fi protocol, Wi-Fi 6e. It was released just last year in 2021 and it offers the next level of speed over Wi-Fi.

The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500, for example, has an eye-watering top speed of 1203.59 Mbps according to our test, some 250+ Mbps faster than any of the Wi-Fi 6 devices we tested. But you have to pay a pretty penny to get it. 

Do you need it for parental controls? Not at all. In fact, the RAXE500 charges you extra for parental controls, and it’s immensely expensive already. But if you have a fast internet plan and want to connect a lot of devices, it could be worth a look.

Just be aware that a lot of devices can’t actually support this new Wi-Fi protocol yet. Only a handful of smartphones can, for example. They include the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Google Pixel 6. No iPhones yet! 

Mesh vs Wi-Fi extenders

Anyone with a home of 3000 sq ft or more in size should consider Mesh technology.

Why? Because it allows you to boost the signal of your Wi-Fi network while staying under the same name. That beats traditional Wi-Fi extenders which are often unable to do this.

Sure, it’s more expensive. But for the convenience, we feel it’s worth it for large homes.

Check this guide for more info on the differences.

Warranty

Warranty protects your router against any faults that might occur with it. So the longer the warranty, the more peace of mind you’ll have while you own it. 

The minimum warranty amount legally in the US is one year but we often see routers with two or three years of warranty. Some TP-Link routers even come with warranty for life!

Again, this doesn’t really have anything to do with parental controls but it’s absolutely worth thinking about.

Routers for Parental Controls FAQ 

Still feeling like you need more info about routers for parental controls? You could find what you’re looking for in our question and answer session below.

How do I know if parental controls come free or cost extra?

It can be pretty hard to tell if parental controls come free with a router or as part of a subscription but you should be able to find out on the ad page for the router. Or, it might be in the terms of service.

Can kids get around parental controls?

It could be tempting to think that parental controls are unlockable.

But without some serious hacking skills, your kids (or other vulnerable internet users) will not be able to break down your parental controls as long as they are unable to access the router app or network configuration page.

You can choose to set up a password for these with most manufacturers so we recommend doing this if you have a feeling that someone in your household might try to cheat the system!

What other kit do I need to get online?

If you decide to buy any of the routers from our picks today and have a cable internet connection, you’re also going to need a modem to get online.

If you need a little help finding one, you can check out our guide to the best modems.

Wrapping Up on Routers for Parental Controls

We found that the best parental controls router overall was the ASUS RT-AX3000. It has fantastic parental controls with AiProtection Pro.

But really, any TP-Link or ASUS router that comes with free parental controls should do the trick for you. There’s a lot of great choices out there.

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