Guest Review by Justin Lowmaster: KoalaSafe

unnamedI recently learned of devices designed for monitoring and managing internet and app usage for children, so I was excited to have the change to review one.

I had some mis-starts at getting things working, but it ended up being due to where one computer was located. The wifi signal was very weak. However, using a wifi meter app, I determined it was the location solely, and nothing to do with the KoalaSafe. Basically the signal to that specific computer was going long ways through a wall! unnamed (1)

I got some more cable and hooked it up to main router, but further away. The other laptop is only a few feet away, and it was A-OK, so you probably wont need to do anything like that.

As for using the device, we’ve got it blocking all the typical things, and we have internet limited to certain times.

The device doesn’t currently limit specific apps or access to devices themselves. We use Microsoft Family Safety to do those functions. You may also need to activate YouTube Restricted Mode, as currently the Koala can only block or allow YouTube as a whole.

I find this device quite useful. It allows the network as a whole to use one set of filtering (OpenDNS), while having stricter filtering and online time limiting for the children’s laptops. We use just one profile, but the Koala allows for specific devices to be on different plans. For instance an older child might need different internet availability hours then younger ones, so their devices can be allowed different rules.

Usage trends are visible, so you can see where time is spent online. Also the specific sites.

More features are promised, such as app limiting, better YouTube filtering, and more have been mentioned on the forums. Developer response on forums (and to emails I sent) is reasonably quick.

There haven’t been any issues with the device, and it seems to work as intended. It’s well worth considering as an option when looking for such a device.

Interested in Purchasing? The KoalaSafe retails for $99.

* I have received this product for free or at a discounted rate in exchange for my honest and unbiased product review; all opinions are my own.*