HND provides three main security functions: Safe Web Surfing; Parental Controls; and Network Activity Reporting.
Safe Web Surfing uses a website database maintained by TrendMicro for real-time blocking of potentially dangerous sites. This feature's controls allow settings of Maximum, Medium and Minimum security (Figure 4) and apply to all devices connected to the router, such as networked game consoles, in addition to computers. There is no ability to tweak any of levels, however; what you see is what you get.
Figure 4: Safe Web Surfing settings
The second HND function is Parental Controls, which include content filtering and scheduled access. There are four pre-defined rules for content filtering that can be applied to the entire network or to individual users. Those rules are labeled as Kids (<13), Young Teen (13-15), Mature Teen (16-17), and Adults (18+).
Each of these rules will block sites based on 32 categories (Table 1). In addition to the four preset rules above, you can create custom rules with selected categories. You can also apply Internet access timers to each rule.
|Abortion||Pay to Surf|
|Alternate Journals||Personal Network Storage Services|
|Mature Content||Software Downloads|
|News Groups||Web Advertisements|
Table 1: Parental Control Categories
As a test, I set up a custom rule to allow Internet use from 6 AM - 9 PM, seven days a week, and block website categories of Alcohol/Tobacco, Crime, Gambling, Pornography, and Weapons. I applied this rule to my laptop and started surfing to see how well the restrictions worked.
The general Internet access timer feature was very effective. Once I hit the 9 PM "off" time I had set, I was presented with the message in Figure 5 for any website I was trying to reach.
Figure 5: Access timer message
The access timer feature applies to all Internet access, not just web browsing. With access blocked, I couldn't even ping yahoo.com. I also applied a timed access rule to our PS3 to see if it would work on a gaming console. Indeed, with the schedule in place, our PS3 could not connect to multiplayer online games after specified hours. I liked this schedule feature. It means a "lights out" rule can be applied and you can be sure the specified devices in the house aren't getting on the Internet.