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?

Basically, your router acts as a gateway “where two or more networks connect.” Using this connection, you’ll be able to upload and download little packets of information and surf the web.

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:

  1. You’ll have the ability to set up a different profile for each child in your home.
  2. Any changes you make to your settings are implemented in seconds.
  3. 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
  • Ethernet
  • 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.

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.

Read 8 Torch Router Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Customer Rating: 2.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 3 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 0 1 star:  5
Bottom Line: 38% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-8 of 8
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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Torch has SHUTDOWN, and they didn't help the customers use the hardware they effectively bricked.

    • California,
    • May 22, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Unreal. Torch shut down AND they didn't open source or help the victims of the shutdown! The router is basically a really, really crappy/useless WiFi router now with a totally inferior and no-options GUI.

    They were selling subscription updates on Groupon, advertising, offering used units on eBay, having sales, marketing, all up until the LAST DAY they operated!

    I have pictures of the unit with visible serial numbers if anyone doubts that I'm a real customer!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Great idea, good intentions, poorly executed. Now another failed cottage industry.

    • Sydney, Australia,
    • May 17, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had such high hopes for this product. I really did.

    I had been a SkyDog customer for a couple of years prior, but sadly they succumbed to corporate pressure and sold out to a bigger player who promptly shut them down.

    So, on to Torch. After being hammered (nay, SMASHED) by a constant stream of self-promotion advertising from Torch (for months after paying them to receive the device), it finally arrived in the post. Phew!

    Setting it up was easy. Far too easy for a device that was going to filter and block everything that my four children were likely to encounter online.

    And my suspicions were correct. The settings are quite generalized in the interests of simplification. But that also allowed for too many loopholes and gaps in the protection.

    Fast forward only a few frustrating months, and the Torch STILL doesn't support any time zones outside of the basic four USA zones. I emailed them about it, and all I got was an automated response about how they are shutting down the whole enterprise in May this year. What the actual?

    So now I have a rather expensive, useless wireless router with no technical support and not much in the way of residual features. Their main feature was a cloud based filtering and management backend, so now that's being shut down, the rest of the Torch is unlikely to do a lot of good. I've already discovered that the manual blocking of YouTube is totally defunct.

    Thanks Torch. Yet another piece of landfill. I hope you at least bought a nice island with the money.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Highly disappointed!

    • Broken Arrow, OK,
    • May 10, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    The product has never worked at 100% of its claimed abilities and now five months after my purchase, they are going out of business with no offer of a refund. I work hard for my money!

    I have been in constant email contact with Torch customer service and they have always responded promptly, but with empty solutions to the unit continually locking up and having to be power cycled. There were several firmware updates over the last five months and requests for patience, and now I'm left high and dry for my patience and understanding. The concept is awesome, but the product never fully delivered. Here is the useless email I received today 5/09/2017 with a lot of advanced notice:

    When we started Torch 2 ½ years ago, we knew it would be a fun and unpredictable journey, as starting something new always is. We’ve experienced a tremendous amount of success, a lot of heartburn, massive amounts of work, and lots of patience and support from you -- our amazing customers.

    It is with a great deal of sadness and disappointment that I’m writing to let you know that as of May 9, 2017 Torch has ceased operations. Your Torch Router, however, will continue to be functional until May 31, but customer support will not be available.

    I, personally, am beyond grateful for your choice to purchase a Torch and for your trust in us. Many of you know this was a labor of love for me -- Torch was born from my own need as a parent to help my son with his growing addiction to video games. Your participation in our mission has both humbled and exhilarated me. I have not, and will not, be deterred from my mission of helping families protect their kids online. This is a constant challenge for parents and my hope is that each of you find ways to join the cause in your local communities.

    With much appreciation,

    Shelley Prevost

    CEO, Torch

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Worked for one month, then nothing, and no customer service

    I had high hopes for this router, and it worked wonderfully for a few weeks, but then stopped for some reason. I sent three emails and tried calling their helpline many times during business hours, but no one ever answered, or it connected to nothing. It was a lot of money to throw into this, and I thought I had done sufficient research, but I am very disappointed and feel that it was a total waste of money.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful
    Updated review

    Torch customer service was helpful

    • Buffalo, NY,
    • Feb 24, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received a call from Josh, a customer service representative from Torch, a few hours after I posted this review. He apologized for the Groupon problem and lack of reachability, resolved the Groupon issue, gave me an extra month of service for my troubles, and was generally very helpful and pleasant. He mentioned that there are updates coming out to fix some of the glitches which will roll out automatically so there is no need to upload or install anything.

    I will say that if you use a VPN, it will render the filtering useless, but I assume that unlike some parents' devices, most kids' devices do not use a VPN, so the need for filtering is negligible.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Previous review
    • Feb 23, 2017

    Terrible customer service, product is glitchy

    You simply cannot reach anyone at the company. They have customer service "hours, " but when you call, you are asked to leave a message. I have done so twice and had no return call.

    There was some weird interface with Google Chrome that I tried to resolve unsuccessfully with them, so I eventually had to switch to Microsoft Edge. I also bought a Groupon deal to pay for dynamic filtering, but their website did not allow me to use the entire voucher. Groupon couldn't help so gave me Torch's number, and of course, no one answered.

    It is a product I really want to work well, but they have many kinks and basic customer service problems to work out. There are tons of coupons out there for a reduced purchase price, so don't pay full price if you decide to go ahead. The filtering and time-outs do work well. It's just a headache dealing with them.

    (read moreread less...)

  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Best router for parental control!

    • Chattanooga, TN,
    • Feb 23, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've been using this router for the last couple of months. It has an amazingly easy to use interface. Setting it up is quite easy. There are several controls for restricting internet access without losing speed.

    It does a great job of filtering content not suitable for kids. I highly recommend this for letting the kids be free on the internet without worrying a bit.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    A necessary tool in this digital age

    • Georgia,
    • Feb 20, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    As a digital immigrant (anyone born before 1980) and a non-IT professional, I know my limitations when it comes to securing my home network from nefarious content. For a while, I had been looking around for a product that will give me the ability to control the content coming into my home and jumped on the opportunity to purchase Torch while it was still under development. I am so glad I did.

    I wouldn't allow newspapers, magazines or books with hate speech, pornography or other immoral content into my home, why would I not filter the content of the digital information freely streaming in with the click of a button or swipe of a finger? I want to be able to control what my children see, and I don't want to leave that up to some algorithm someone in Silicon Valley wrote. While I watch my boy's digital consumption as well as I can, I can't be looking over their shoulder all the time. I believe it is necessary to have a backup, something to help you out when you can't be there to watch. That's where Torch comes in.

    To get the web filtering, along with the security of controlling access to my network, along with the device control, along with the top notch customer service Torch provides all in one package, it's a no-brainer. I recommended Torch to anyone who will listen.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 8 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Not a scam, just a disappointment

    • USA,
    • Feb 2, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    The product is real, and the company is legit. However, the feature set will disappoint in every way.

    First off, the company has twice bricked my routers with automated firmware updates that do not complete. You have to call in and get a return authorization and replacement. I've had to do it twice already.

    The time limits for children can't be set for an "X" amount of hours per day. You can only set the start time to end time for the day. And, this time period is shared for every day of the week. Thre is no ability to set different times for weekends versus school days.

    Wait a couple of years (it is 2017 now) and give the developer time to get the concept right.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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