Top positive review
Powerful, customizable internet filtering for all devices
on April 6, 2016
The iBoss is a terrific product for safeguarding home internet use. With the iBoss, I can create effectively up to four different "groups" for monitoring traffic - one group with no filtering, for parents' computers, a "default" group with keyword, category, and other filters (and a sleep schedule) for other devices, and up to two separate filtering groups for devices my kids use (again, with keyword, category, and other filters and a sleep schedule). For an example of where this has come in handy, I have 1 older child who is responsible with internet usage, and 1 younger child who is not. I can set all of the devices my younger child accesses to the strictest possible settings, and allow more freedom & responsibility for my older child (and more yet for Mom & Dad). For houses with shared devices, you can also create user accounts with passwords and separate filters/schedules - we haven't needed to do that, since we don't share devices, but it's good to know we could if we had to.
We love that the iBoss is not device dependent (try finding a software-based internet filter that works on all devices, including smartphones, tablets, etc.). We don't have to worry about what kind of new device is brought into the house. If it's on the network, it's filtered.
CAVEAT - the WiFi capabilities on the iBoss are a weakness. We experienced weaker signal and longer connect times. We worked around this bu buying a $45 wiFi router and using it in WAP mode (so not as a *router*), then we turned WiFi off on the iBoss. WAP mode is important, as it allows the iBoss to still be in charge of assigning/remembering MAC addresses on your network (which is crucial when you're adding devices to groups). Also, you need a $55 yearly subscription for the iBoss to filter. For us, it's worth it. This is a powerful tool.
Improvements I'd like to see:
-better WiFi, but this can be worked around
-more NAT/NAPT/Port Forwarding options. The ones the iBoss has are fairly simple. But many households won't care about this
-recognize more than 15 devices. Note that you do NOT need to recognize every device in your house - unrecognized devices get put in the "Default" group. But to put a device in any other group it must be "recognized". In this internet of things, 15 can be reached pretty rapidly
-support for filtering in whitelist groups apart from just keyword filtering. You can set a "whitelist" and even allow a group to access ONLY whitelist domains, and you can even subject whitelist domains to keyword filtering...but it doesn't appear you can subject a whitelist to category filtering. If a site your child wants to visit has mostly OK content, but might have some adult content, you'd have to enter every adult word you can think of in the keyword filter list. The iBoss's plain-jane category filter can filter out "adult", etc. content - it would be great if we could use that same function on a whitelist domain.
-better logging. The iBoss tracks "access denied" instances, which is great. How about sucess entries as well, so we can see what the iBoss might be missing (maybe that's there, but I couldn't find it).
In short, we're really happy with this product. It took a bit of work to get it to do what we needed it to do, but not all that much, and the result is more than worth it.