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Setting Up

Once I fired up the router, configuration was fairly straightforward. A label on the bottom had the default IP address, along with the default administrator user name and password. Like most other units, configuration was accomplished using a web browser. When I connected my browser to the specified address, menus were available for basic network setup, such as static IP, dynamic IP, etc. Under basic wireless configuration, menus were available for setting the channel, wireless mode, SSID, and either WEP or WPA security.

One interesting feature was the ability to select your region. Instead of being hard-coded to the United States, Japan, Europe, or other location, the region could be changed. So, if you're in the US and select a European region, two additional communication channels become available. But if you try to use these channels in the US, you'll run afoul of FCC regulations, as a pop-up menu will warn you. A VoIP menu under setup showed static information about the state of the VoIP service.

Moving on, under a menu entitled "Content Filtering", parental control type features were available that allowed blocking of sites based on domain name or keywords, and email alerts when the filters were triggered. In order to set up a test, I added "kitty" as a restricted keyword in order to block all access to "Hello Kitty" web pages. Attempting to visit hellokitty.com resulted in a denial, as shown in Figure 4, which was then followed by an alert email.

What happens when you try to hit a blocked website

Figure 4: What happens when you try to hit a blocked website

Since the filter was only based on URL keywords, I was not prevented from visiting a web page that didn't have "kitty" in the URL but still had Hello Kitty coloring sheets and text. If I wanted to block sites like this, I would have to explicitly add their domains. I also found that I could use an IP address instead of a named URL to access other Hello Kitty sites that should have been blocked; it was a losing cause. Parents shouldn't rely on a feature like this to keep their kids away from the dangers of the saccharine-sweet Hello Kitty. (There was an additional menu available where I could have set up trusted IP addresses for older children who would perhaps be better able to handle the addictive Hello Kitty product line.)

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