skip to main content

Best Routers with Parental Controls for 2024

We tested and reviewed dozens of routers to see which ones have the best parental controls

  • Best overall
    Front shot of ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 router with antennas up
    ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
    • $429.00
    • Multi-gig internet support
    • VPN tools
    • High price
  • Best for budgets
    Front of TP-Link Archer AX20 router
    TP-Link Archer AX20
    • $74.99
    • Great low price
    • No subscriptions
    • Low stream count
  • Best for features
    Front view of ASUS RT-AX68U with three antennas
    ASUS RT-AX68U
    • $129.99
    • Free security
    • Dual internet support
    • No multi-gig internet
  • Best for wired
    Front image of TP-Link Archer AX11000 router
    TP-Link Archer AX11000
    • $349.00*
    • Multiple wired ports
    • Built-in VPN server
    • No VPN client
  • Best for mesh
    Gryphon AX
    • $279.00*
    • Lots of parental controls
    • Ethernet backhaul
    • Subscription-locked features

Our pick: Which router with parental controls is best?

The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is the best router with parental controls out of all the ones we’ve tested to date. No, it’s not cheap, and yes, it’s built for gamers. But it’s one of the fastest routers and is loaded with everything you need to keep your kids safe online at no extra cost.

How we test routers

We vigorously test routers to see how well they stack up against the competition in speed and range. We also evaluate the setup process and dig into the web and mobile apps to see if they’re easy or difficult to use. Check out our methodology section for more information.

The 5 best router with parental controls

Compare router speeds and prices

ModelMax throughputTested speed
@ 40 ft.
Price*Order online
Best overallASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX1100011,000Mbps366Mbps$429.99View on Amazon
Best for budgetsTP-Link Archer AX201,800Mbps366Mbps$74.99View on Amazon
Best for featuresASUS RT-AX68U2,700Mbps366Mbps$129.99View on Amazon
Best for wiredTP-Link Archer AX1100011,000Mbps366Mbps$349.00View on Amazon
Best for meshGryphon AX4,300Mbps366Mbps$279.00View on Amazon

What should you look for in a router with parental controls?

Most modern routers provide some limited parental controls for free, but we gravitate to the ones with the most controls provided at no extra cost. The ASUS AiProtection suite is a good example, as is TP-Link’s HomeCare, both of which have excellent parental controls (and security features) that don’t require a paid subscription.

Generally, you want to be able to do the following:

  • Create a profile
  • Set the profile’s age-specific preset
  • Add devices to the profile
  • Set the profile’s internet downtime
  • Set the profile’s weekday bedtimes
  • Set the profile’s weekend bedtimes

Some free parental controls don’t use profiles, so you must set filters and downtimes manually for each device connected to the router (wired or wireless). This method still works, but managing a single profile with a few assigned devices is more convenient. The routers we chose all use profiles.

Do you have the best plan to go with your router with parental controls?

If not, be sure to enter your zip code below to see what options are available to you.

Best overall: ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Best overall
Front shot of ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 router with antennas up

An excellent network centerpiece for everyone

The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is one of the best routers you can get, even if you’re not a gamer. It’s loaded with features, including a host of free parental controls.

Pros:

  • AiProtect Pro parental controls
  • Multi-gig internet support

Cons:

  • Troublesome antennas
  • High price
Category Score* Summary
Performance 4 Has some of the best Wi-Fi 6 speeds you can get in our tests.
Features 5 Includes free parental controls, free security, and VPN tools.
Design 4 Provides multi-gig internet support and three bands to better handle all your devices.
Setup 4 Takes a little longer to set up due to all the extra features.
Ease of use 4 Displays an incredible web interface and a lackluster mobile one.

What we like about it: The ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 includes everything a router can offer, from file sharing to multi-gig internet support to free parental controls. It has excellent speeds, too, even at 120 feet.

What we wish it did better: The antennas fell over after a while, no matter how hard we screwed them in. This problem may have been an issue with the router we purchased or a design flaw affecting every GT-AX11000 unit.

Why do we recommend it? The GT-AX11000 is one of the best routers you can get, hands down. Sure, it’s a little expensive, but it’s worth every penny. It’s fast, packs more features than you’ll ever need, and helps protect your kids at no extra cost to you.

Parental control platform: ASUS AiProtect Pro

Tested speeds at a glance

 

5 GHz max speed 2 feet 40 feet 120 feet
1,200 848 642 260

 

Wi-Fi specs Wired specs
  • Standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Max throughput: 11,000 Mbps
  • Antennas: 8
  • Streams: 12
  • Bands: 3
  • WAN ports (1Gbps): 1
  • WAN/LAN ports (1–2.5Gbps): 1
  • LAN ports: 4
  • USB 3.2 ports: 2
  • Max internet speed supported: ~2,370Mbps

Best for budgets: TP-Link Archer AX20

Best for budgets
Front of TP-Link Archer AX20 router

An affordable pick for tight budgets

The Archer AX20 is a decent pick for the money, providing you with enough parental controls for free to keep your kids safe online. Our tests show it has good speeds, too.

Pros:

  • Built-in VPN tools
  • Decent basic parental controls

Cons:

  • No multi-gig support
  • Low stream count
Category Score* Summary
Performance 4 Has decent speeds during testing for a router at this price.
Features 4 Packs basic parental controls, VPN tools, and free security.
Design 3 Lacks multi-gig internet support and printer sharing.
Setup 3 Needs a faster, more streamlined setup process.
Ease of use 4 Displays a better mobile app interface than the browser one.

What we like about it: The Archer AX20 has plenty of free parental controls for managing device downtimes and blocking unwanted content. It also has decent speeds for the money, even when we’re standing outside and across the street.

What we wish it did better: The AX20 needs a better stream count—at least on the 5 GHz band—to better handle all of your devices at once.

Why do we recommend it? The Archer AX20 is a decent pick for the money. It has basic parental control and security features at no extra cost, a few other goodies under the hood you may never use, and decent speeds based on our tests. It supports TP-Link’s mesh technology, too, so you can widen this router’s range using a compatible Wi-Fi extender or powerline adapter.

Parental control platform: TP-Link HomeCare

Tested speeds at a glance

 

5 GHz max speed 2 feet 40 feet 120 feet
1,200 809 470 244

 

Wi-Fi specs Wired specs
  • Standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Max throughput: 1,800Mbps
  • Antennas: 4
  • Streams: 4
  • Bands: 2
  •  
  • WAN ports: 1
  • LAN ports: 4
  • USB 3.2 ports: 1
  • Max internet speed supported: ~940Mbps
  •  

Best for features: ASUS RT-AX68U

Best for features
Front view of ASUS RT-AX68U with three antennas

A feature-packed router for a great price

There’s a lot to love with the RT-AX68U, from all the features it packs under the hood to the speeds we tested up to 120 feet. It’s an affordable solution for businesses too.

Pros:

  • Free parental controls
  • Dual internet support

Cons:

  • No 160 MHz channels
  • No multi-gig internet support
Category Score* Summary
Performance 4 Keeps up with similar routers at this price.
Features 5 Provides basic parental controls, free security, and more.
Design 4 Includes support for two internet connections and link aggregation (LAN only).
Setup 5 Has one of the fastest router setups we’ve tested to date.
Ease of use 4 Displays a better mobile interface than the web browser one.

What we like about it: There are enough free parental controls to manage your kids’ devices at no extra cost. It packs other great features you’ll love, like free security and VPN tools. The speeds are great when we benchmark its range, even at 120 feet.

What we wish it did better: Technically, the link aggregation feature only applies to the LAN connections, so even if you take advantage of the dual-internet support, you’ll only get up to around 940Mbps in internet speed.

Why do we recommend it? The RT-AX68U packs a lot of features for the money under the hood, including free parental controls and VPN tools. It’s ideal for businesses with a backup internet connection—you can use parental controls to manage your employees.

Parental control platform: ASUS AiProtect Classic

Tested speeds at a glance

 

5 GHz max speed 2 feet 40 feet 120 feet
1,200 848 567 251

 

Wi-Fi specs Wired specs
  • Standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Max throughput: 2,700Mbps
  • Antennas: 3
  • Streams: 6
  • Bands: 2
  •  
  •  
  • WAN ports: 1
  • LAN ports: 4
  • USB 3.2 ports: 1
  • USB 2.0 ports: 1
  • Max internet speed supported: ~940Mbps
  •  
  •  

Best for wired: TP-Link Archer AX11000

Best for wired
Front image of TP-Link Archer AX11000 router

A great feature-packed hub for all your wired devices

Don’t let the game-centric design fool you: The Archer AX11000 is one of the best routers you can get. It’s loaded with features and packs a punch even when we test its speeds at a long range.

Pros:

  • Decent free parental controls
  • Free antivirus

Cons:

  • No adjustable antennas
  • No VPN client
Category Score* Summary
Performance 4 Has some of the best speeds based on our tests, even at 120 feet.
Features 4 Includes easy parental controls, free antivirus, and more.
Design 4 Provides eight LAN ports to support all your wired devices.
Setup 4 Leads you through a quick and easy network setup.
Ease of use 4 Displays the best web interface we’ve seen on any TP-Link router.

What we like about it: The Archer AX11000 is one of our favorite routers, and for a good reason: it’s loaded with features. Plus, our tests show it has great speeds, reaching a 692Mbps average at 40 feet and 282Mbps at 120 feet.

What we wish it did better: The Archer AX11000 targets gamers, but there are none of the unique gaming tools seen on other gaming routers—not even customizable lighting.

Why do we recommend it? There’s a lot of value here with the Archer AX11000 for gamers and non-gamers alike. The parental controls are great to have and are provided at no extra cost to you. Plus, it has some of the best speeds we’ve tested, even at a long range.

Parental control platform: TP-Link HomeCare

Tested speeds at a glance

 

5 GHz max speed 2 feet 40 feet 120 feet
1,200 860 692 282

 

Wi-Fi specs Wired specs
  • Standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Max throughput: 11,000Mbps
  • Antennas: 8
  • Streams: 12
  • Bands: 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • WAN ports (1–2.5 Gbps): 1
  • LAN ports: 8
  • USB 3.2 ports: 2
  • Max internet speed supported: ~2,370Mbps
  •  
  •  
  •  

Best for mesh: Gryphon AX

Best for mesh

The best mesh router with parental controls you can get

The Graphon AX is a great mesh networking system packed with loads of free parental controls. We recorded decent speeds, too, during our testing.

Pros:

  • Free basic parental controls
  • IoT device isolation

Cons:

  • No 160 MHz channels
  • No multi-gig support
Category Score* Summary
Performance 4 Has some of the best speeds for a mesh system we’ve tested to date.
Features 4 Includes lots of unique parental controls you can use for free.
Design 4 Provides an Ethernet port you can use for a wired network backhaul.
Setup 4 Requires very little time to get you up and running.
Ease of use 4 Displays a clean mobile interface for easy network management.

What we like about it: The Gryphon AX is ideal if you want a mesh system with the most free parental controls. Plus, it packs other cool features like ad blocking and YouTube restrictions. Our testing shows it has good speeds for the money too.

What we wish it did better: You need a subscription to get the most out of the Gryphon AX, but that’s typical with most network systems.

Why do we recommend it? The Gryphon AX is an excellent solution for parents who want to keep their kids safe without paying an annual fee. It also has decent speeds for the money—just don’t expect standalone router-like speeds at a long range.

Parental control platform: Gryphon Advanced Protection

Tested speeds at a glance

 

5 GHz max speed 2 feet 40 feet 120 feet
1,200 855 469 146

 

Wi-Fi specs Wired specs
  • Standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Max throughput: 4,300Mbps
  • Antennas: 6
  • Streams: 8
  • Bands: 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • WAN ports: 1
  • LAN ports: 1
  • Max internet speed supported: ~940Mbps
  •  
  •  
  •  

Router with parental controls specs and features

Here we highlighted a list of things you should keep in mind as you shop for the best router for your home network.

Free parental controls

The more parental controls you can get for free, the better. After all, you already invest a lot into a device that will probably be obsolete within five years. Why pay more than you have to? As we’ve detailed above, ASUS AiProtect and TP-Link HomeCare are great, built-in solutions provided at no extra cost to you.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with signing up with a subscription, especially if it offers features that may be of extra value to your needs, such as off-network controls and customizable schedules.

Wi-Fi 6 and newer

Choose a router with Wi-Fi 6 or newer. These routers have faster speeds than the Wi-Fi 5 ones, better security, better data management, and a higher device capacity. Wi-Fi 6E is ideal if you have devices that support it, as the newer spec is better at delivering real-world sub-2Gbps wireless speeds thanks to the new 6 GHz connection.

Other router features

Radios: Ideally, you want a router with three connections: one 2.4 GHz connection and two 5 GHz ones. This design helps alleviate traffic congestion on the 5 GHz because your devices aren’t hogging the same channel. Wi-Fi 6E swaps out that second 5 GHz band for a 6 GHz connection.

Streams: The more streams, the better. Nearly all wireless devices support two transmit streams, and two receive streams. So, if a band supports an 8×8 configuration, the router can simultaneously transmit up to four devices at full speed in a given second and eight devices at half speed.

Antennas: You get a longer range from routers with external antennas. Plus, routers use multiple antennas for Beamforming and MU-MIMO technology, so you should get a router with lots of antennas.

Our verdict

The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is an excellent choice if you want a standalone router with free parental controls. It’s a gaming router at heart, we know, and it’s not exactly cheap. But it has excellent Wi-Fi 6 speeds based on our benchmarks and many features we know you’ll love. You can’t go wrong with the GT-AX11000 if you can handle the cost.

The runner up in our book is the Gryphon AX mesh system, hands down. It was built with parental controls in mind, packing features like safe searching, YouTube restrictions, ad blocking, and profile-based filtering. Sure, it has a few less standard features than the ASUS router, but it’s the least expensive of the two if you want a mesh network.

Methodology

We test router speed by setting up each router in an office and connecting it to a local test server. Then, we transmit test data between our wireless devices and the server, taking numerous measurements to account for fluctuations in Wi-Fi speeds.

The first tests occur close to the router, without obstructions—so the Wi-Fi is as strong and fast as it’s gonna get. We repeat the process straight out at 10, 20, and 30 feet, with only a glass door obstructing our view of the router. The same glass door and an exterior door blocks our path when we test outside at 40 and 50 feet.

We also run tests in a hallway to the left of the TV room and office—where there’s a glass door, three walls, and an air handler unit blocking our view of the router. The dining room, another testing point, sits to the right of the kitchen, TV room, and office—two walls and a glass door block the path in this test.

To test video streaming, we connect a fast storage device to the router and stream a 4K video to six wireless devices simultaneously—two phones, three tablets, and a laptop—connected to the same wireless band.

Client devices used in testing

Google Pixel 6iPhone 12 Pro MaxGoogle Pixel 3
Wi-Fi versionWi-Fi 6EWi-Fi 6Wi-Fi 5
Stream configuration2 x 22 x 22 x 2
Max channel width160MHz80MHz80MHz
Max 6GHz speed (AXE)2,400Mbps
Max 5GHz speed (AX)2,400Mbps1,200Mbps
Max 5GHz speed (AC)866Mbps866Mbps866Mbps
Max 2.4GHz speed (AX)195Mbps195Mbps
Max 2.4GHz speed (AC)144Mbps195Mbps144Mbps
Max 2.4 GHz speed (N)144Mbps144Mbps144Mbps

Router benchmarks

Here are the average 5 GHz speeds recorded for each router. Wi-Fi speeds fluctuate significantly, so these numbers reflect at least three tests taken at each 10-foot interval.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

iPhone 12 Pro MaxGoogle Pixel 3
2 feet848652
10 feet827644
20 feet755529
30 feet729462
40 feet (porch)642308
120 feet (across street)260169

TP-Link Archer AX20

iPhone 12 Pro MaxGoogle Pixel 3
2 feet809620
10 feet741540
20 feet653415
30 feet542327
40 feet (porch)470200
120 feet (across street)24492

ASUS RT-AX68U

iPhone 12 Pro MaxGoogle Pixel 3
2 feet848655
10 feet796631
20 feet766602
30 feet759518
40 feet (porch)567369
120 feet (across street)251148

TP-Link Archer AX11000

iPhone 12 Pro MaxGoogle Pixel 3
2 feet860658
10 feet848645
20 feet768572
30 feet745453
40 feet (porch)692330
120 feet (across street)282175

Gryphon AX

iPhone 12 Pro MaxGoogle Pixel 3
2 feet855684
10 feet789607
20 feet695588
30 feet584442
40 feet (porch)469255
120 feet (across street)14685

Other routers we tested

We tested many standalone routers and mesh kits to determine which ones have the best free parental controls. Here are other tested models we do and don’t recommend.

Other routers we recommend parental controls

ModelSummaryPrice*Order online
TP-Link Archer AX6000Uses HomeCare just like its Archer AX11000 sibling but costs slightly less.$179.99View on Amazon
Reyee RG-E5Has the best speeds at a long range and decent parental controls.$98.99View on Amazon

Other routers we don’t recommend parental controls

ModelSummaryPrice*Order online
NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX200Uses the standalone Circle service with limited free parental controls.$499.99View on Amazon
TP-Link Deco X50-PoERequires a HomeShield subscription to use fully.$299.99View on Amazon

FAQ about routers with parental controls

Why do we need parental controls on a router?

Parental controls on a router are your first line of defense. Kids can be sneaky—at least the older ones—and may find ways around operating system and software-level restrictions. Parental controls on a router keep them in check on a hardware (device) level, which they can’t bypass without accessing the router’s interface and changing the settings.

Internet > Device > Operating System > Application

What parental controls come with ASUS AiProtect?

ASUS provides two versions of its AiProtect security suite, both of which are free to use for the lifetime of the router. From what we can tell, the version you get depends on the router’s price. Here are the differences:

PlanClassicPro
Kids-safe preset profilesYesYes
Flexible time schedulingYesYes
Manual blacklist (URL filtering)YesYes
Content filtersNoYes
Internet activity dashboardNoYes

Overall, AiProtect provides four profile preset options when you enable parental controls: Preschooler (0–6), School-aged child (6–13), Teen (13–18), or Adult (18+). After that, you add devices to each profile.

The big callout here is Classic kids-safe profiles have time presets only—but you can change them as needed or set up new ones. This is fine because you can set filters through the accounts you set up for Windows, Android, and Apple iOS/iPadOS. Meanwhile, the Pro kids-safe profiles include content filtering supplied by Trend Micro.

Also, you must use the ASUS Router app for profile-based management in some cases because the router’s web interface supports per-device management only. Visit ASUS for more information about setting up parental controls in the app versus using the parental controls in the web interface.

What parental controls come with TP-Link HomeCare?

With TP-Link HomeCare, you can do the following:

  • Create a profile and choose a filter preset: Child (0–7), Pre-Teen (8–12), Teen (13–17), or Adult (>17).
  • Add or remove filter categories (some can’t be deselected)
  • Add or remove app and website filters
  • Set daily time limits and bedtimes (Monday–Friday and Saturday–Sunday)
  • Monitor internet usage

Note that HomeCare differs from the newer HomeShield platform, which offers free and subscription-based parental controls.

What parental controls come with Gryphon Advanced Protection?

Here are the free parental controls offered through Gryphon’s Advanced Protection service:

  • Set the profile type (Toddler, Elementary, Middle School, High School, Adult, and Unfiltered)
  • Set the profile’s day and max screen time hours
  • Add the profile’s internet schedule for each day
  • Enable/disable Safe Search
  • Enable/disable Safe YouTube
  • Enable/disable Ad Blocker
  • Enable/disable Web Browsing history
  • Enable/disable Include Homework Time in Screen Time
  • Restrict app and website use by category (Apps & other downloads, Arts & Entertainment, Business & Finance, Chat & Messaging, Computer & Internet, Dating, Education, and many more)

Here’s what you can do with Premium Protection:

  • Set screen time limits (specific app, device, and website time limits)
  • Enable custom music access (block music apps during bedtime from Amazon Music, Audible, and Spotify)
  • Use parental controls on mobile connections and Wi-Fi networks outside the home.

The Premium Protection plan costs $7.50 per month (billed annually).

Author -

Kevin Parrish has more than a decade of experience working as a writer, editor, and product tester. He began writing about computer hardware and soon branched out to other devices and services such as networking equipment, phones and tablets, game consoles, and other internet-connected devices. His work has appeared in Tom’s Hardware, Tom's Guide, Maximum PC, Digital Trends, Android Authority, How-To Geek, Lifewire, and others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on network equipment testing and review.

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.

Find Providers in Your Area