Let's face it – kids have more and more devices that are connected online these days. It's hard enough to ensure they're staying safe and only going where they should. But we've all been there. It's time to go to sleep, the house is quiet, but your router lights are flashing like crazy. Welcome to the YouTube & Netflix generation.

Want an easy way to stop kids from staying up until 2AM? Besides opening their doors every night to check (and hey – who wants to get our of a warm bed at 2AM?), there are other ways that aren't too hard to setup.

Most home routers (and many provided by your ISP if you only use that) have the ability to set 'Access Restrictions' which can limit when and/or where your children go. This article lays out the basics for Linksys routers, but MANY routers use the same underlying operating system so the screens will be very similar. The trick is identifying the MAC address (its like a unique network serial number) and/or IP address of your kid's devices. You can often see this in your Router 'Status' screen under LAN. It'll show connected devices and often a name. If not, many devices will show their MAC address on a sticker on the bottom/back or in your Network Settings screen (Google your device for exact instructions)

Then you can create whatever you like. For my router? There is a 'Homework' policy that limits access to sites like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, NetFlix, game sites, etc. during the hours between school and dinner. That way they can still access educational sites, search engines, etc. Then there is the 'Bedtime' filter that blocks ALL access after, say, 10:00 until 11:59 (many routers can't do time blocks from one day to another – so create two policies for each side of midnight, or just figure once the devices stop working at 10:30, they won't try at 1AM.)

This doesn't replace careful monitoring, but it sure can help you keep warm at night and not feel like you have to peek in every night at 2AM.

Not sure you can set something like this up? We can help! Just bring your router by to IT Xpress and we'll configure it however you like!. For our My ITXpert customers, we can often help you do this for free without bringing your router in (http://myitxpert.biz/)

Setting up Access Restrictions on a Linksys router