How Do I Block Websites on My Wireless Modem?

By Todd Bowerman

A wireless modem gives you the ability to browse the Web from almost anywhere in your home. But there’s more to wireless modems than meets the eye; most wireless modems also include a host of simple security features that can help you control the sites that are accessible via your network. Whether you’re trying to block inappropriate sites for children or non-work sites for employees, your wireless modem will be happy to oblige.

Accessing the Router’s Admin Panel

To block websites through your wireless modem, first access its admin panel. Open your favorite Web browser and enter the modem’s default IP address. When prompted, enter the admin username and password for your modem. Check out the “Resources” section of this article for a list of common router IP addresses and default admin usernames and passwords. Once you’re in the control panel, you’ll be ready to start blocking sites.

Making Sites Inaccessible

Locate the “Security,” “Content Filtering,” or “Access Restrictions” section of your router’s admin panel. Routers from different manufacturers have slightly different setups, as do routers with different firmware editions. Paste the URL or IP address of the site you’d like to ban into the “Website Blocking” or “URL” section of the blacklist page. Save your changes to apply. Any site blocked on the modem/router will then be inaccessible on your network. For more specific instructions, consult your router/modem’s user guide.

Downsides to Modem Blocking

Two major downsides exist to blocking sites from your modem/router’s control panel. First, blocking sites at the routing level means that no one using your network will be able to access those sites, including yourself. If you want to block content for kids or employees but still want full access to the Web, a network-level block isn’t the most efficient solution. Second, when using your modem/router to block sites, you have to enter each site individually. With so many sites on the Web, it’s almost impossible to block every single, inappropriate website from view.

Blocking Alternatives

You don’t need to rely on your modem’s website blocking potential if you need a more flexible solution. Parental control programs installed directly on computers give you a wider range of controls that include time controls and screen mirroring to your computer. You can also set specific website access controls right in your browser -- Internet Explorer supports this by default, while Chrome and Firefox have add-ons that enable such control. If you’re not looking to block one or two key sites, router/modem blocking might not be the most efficient path.