Recommendation: OpenDNS and SmartPhones

Last Updated on Sunday, 6 April 2014 07:01 Written by Wes Friday, 4 April 2014 12:45

I wanted to share a couple of steps my wife and I have taken to make our home a little bit safer for our kids.

The first is setting our home network to OpenDNS — a free service — to filter our entire network. We started using this after we discovered that my teenage son had found an iPod touch with a broken screen and had been using it on our home WiFi. Although we had filters on the computer and other devices, we hadn’t found a way to filter the wireless network. While we can’t police his every choice, we can reinforce our family’s standards by setting up a home network that is congruent with what we are teaching our kids about the Internet.

The second issue was a little more difficult. Our son was out of contract with our AT&T family plan, and his phone was falling apart. We wanted to get a SmartPhone for him, but we didn’t want him to have a digital plan that would circumvent our filtered network. We wanted him to be able to use his phone to connect to our WiFi — not data.

The big dilemma was that no cell phone provider offered a SmartPlan without selling an expensive data plan.

This story is getting too long. To cut to the chase, our friends told us about Republic Wireless. Republic Wireless has several different packages, and it includes a package with unlimited calls, unlimited texts and Internet connectivity through WiFi only (no data) for $10 a month. They keep their costs low by encouraging what I wanted to do in the first place… access the internet only through WiFi. So our son has a SmartPhone with a very good plan for us, at a very low cost. They have a lot of other cool features, and several other plans.

But for us, this was a way to get a SmartPhone for our son, and still reinforce our families standards regarding Internet use.

Yes, we will be implementing lots of other accountability requirements in our home, but until we found the right phone plan, we weren’t prepared to launch. Anyway, I thought I would throw this out there for you if you’re doing some last minute Christmas shopping. Click here to learn more about Republic Wireless.


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