About Torch Router
Torch Router is a simple, powerful, and intuitive Wi-Fi router that helps you regain balance and control over your digital parenting problems. How?
By making it easy to ensure your kids are safe online, and that they’re not spending too much time there. Through Torch’s simple online interface or mobile app, you’ll be able to:
- Pause online activity with a push of a button. This can be done manually, or pre-programmed to last for a certain amount of time, whether for one user or the entire household.
- Use a similar “bedtime” feature to turn the internet off at night, which can be customized for each kid.
- Access detailed reporting features, including recent activity, how long each child has spent on different sites, data usage, estimated screentime, and more. Results are even broken down by category.
- Block anything you don’t want your kids to see by preventing access to certain sites.
And best of all, the Torch Router makes this as easy as changing your thermostat’s settings!
Look, you’re just as concerned about your kids’ online safety as anyone else. But if you’re being honest, trying to access the parental controls on your existing router almost requires a degree in computer engineering.
But can the Torch Router make digital parenting as easy as a couple clicks? Let’s answer all your important questions by taking a look at what exactly a router does.
What is a Router? How Does it Work?
In layman’s terms, your router connects your home computers (i.e. your network) to your internet provider’s network, giving you access to the internet.
In the past, users were generally required to remain attached directly to their router through an Ethernet cable. Today, however, just about every router sold can transmit your internet signal wirelessly, allowing you to enjoy it on any mobile device, anywhere in your home.
Given the fact that most wireless routers work pretty much the same, is there anything unique or groundbreaking about Torch?
How is Torch Router Different than the Competition?
If you type the phrase “parental control routers” into your favorite search engine, you’ll quickly find that you have a lot of options to choose from. Compared to these, is there anything special about Torch?
According to the company, Torch makes it easier than ever to flex your “digital parenting muscles” by deciding when internet access is available (and to whom), blocking access to certain sites, and reviewing detailed information about each user’s online habits.
In fact, much of Torch Router’s parental controls can be accessed and implemented in just a few clicks.
On the other hand, Torch claims that other companies—although they might also have simple interfaces—can’t match their simplicity and ease of use. Torch Router is also basically plug-and-play, allowing you to quickly and easily get up and running before implementing your parental controls.
Also, compared to products using OpenDNS (a popular type of security software featured in many other parental control routers), Torch claims to provide three distinct advantages:
- You’ll have the ability to set up a different profile for each child in your home.
- Any changes you make to your settings are implemented in seconds.
- If your child is even slightly tech-savvy, they can easily bypass OpenDNS altogether. This simply isn’t possible with Torch.
Given these advantages, is the Torch Router expensive?
Torch Router’s Availability, Specs, & Pricing
At the time of our research, Torch had a week remaining in their Kickstarter campaign, which had raised about $130K of their $150K goal.
And although some Routers were available for as little as $99, the lowest-priced option still available was $145 (only for United States, Canada, European Union and Australia residents). Expected delivery was March 2016.
After shipping, an iOS app will be available, although any other smartphone users will have to log in through Torch’s web portal.
Here are the specs that Torch will ship with:
- 700MHz Qualcomm 9558 processor
- 256MD NAND storage, 32MB NOR reliability failover
- 256MB DDR2 RAM
- 5.3” W x 5.3” L x 1.3” H
- 2 gigabit Ethernet ports
- USB 2.0 port
- 12V 2A DC power input
- 802.11 b/g/n 2.4ghz – 3 stream
- 802.11 a/ac/n 5ghz – 3 stream
- 6 antennas
So, is Torch Router right for you?
Torch Router: Peering Into the Crystal Ball
Since the Torch Router wasn’t available yet at the time of our research, it’s all but impossible to gauge how well it works compared to the manufacturer’s claims. Or, how well it really stacks up against the competition.
But given the fact that 1) many routers (even parental control models) provide limited functionality and frustrating setup, and 2) that Torch claims to solve all of this, we can’t help but think that it will be a big hit if it works as advertised.
But keep in mind that backing a Kickstarter project isn’t the same as making a pre-order through an online retailer. Instead, companies like Torch are startups, which means that a lot can go wrong between the time you hand over your money and the time you actually have the product in your hand.
This could include multiple delays, shipping problems, products that perform poorly (or at least worse than a company advertises), and more.
Don’t believe us? Check out dozens of HighYa reader reviews for other products like Coin Credit Card (some customers waited 2+ years to receive theirs!), StoneTether, and TrackR, all of which got their start on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter.
In short, Torch Router seems like a great concept that could change how our kids access the internet, but you’ll have to be patient and keep in mind that delays could occur.