I was recently asked about parental control software for computers. While NetNanny has been the market leader for years, we have to step back for a minute and look at the big picture. We have two reasons to want to use parental control software to protect our children: to avoid inadvertent web sites (oops!) and to prevent intentional visits to web sites.
The problem today is the many different ways our kids can get onto the Internet. Of course they can get on from the family laptop or desktop, but what about from their iPad/tablet? Cell phones? Their gaming systems: XBox, PlayStation, Wii? Your Smart TV? More devices are coming out that will connect to the Internet (Internet of Things): soon your refrigerator will update your web-based shopping list automatically! Do their friends have Internet at their house? Public wi-fi is also becoming widespread - just last night my son connected to a public wi-fi network from his cell phone while in the Buffalo Wild Wings parking lot!
So how do we automatically protect young eyes from inappropriate web content? We can putting protection software on all the devices I talked about above, and that would help to some extent (at least for the devices that even have protection software). For that case, take a look at NetNanny - they are very highly rated, and have a Family Protection Pass for $80/year that includes 10 licenses for Windows, Mac, and Android. But it doesn't cover everything, so we need to do more.
You (or My Techie Buddy!) can configure your wireless router to block certain devices from using the wireless network connection during certain times - from 10PM until 7AM, for example. Of course, this doesn't work for cell phones with a data plan, as they don't necessarily use the wireless network in your house, they can use the Cellular network to get to web sites.
Keep computers in "public" areas of your house. Don't allow them in bedrooms, or at least behind closed bedroom doors. Keep the computer screens visible to the hallway, so that you can see what web sites they are on as you casually walk by (and observe their behavior when you do walk by!).
Teach your kids to surf responsibly. Teach them right from wrong, what to do if they go to a site that they shoudn't, how to stay away from bad sites. I can hear you now: "that sounds like a good idea, but won't work for my teenager!"...
It's a tough problem. We want to protect our kids as much as we can. The best solution is a combination of everything above.