Take Back Control of Your Home Internet from Your Children and Your Internet Service Provider. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on September 12, 2014.
About this project
What is WebCurfew?
WebCurfew is the most intuitive and easy-to-use parental control solution available on the market. The service has four main functions or "tools" designed to help parents regain control over when and how their children access the Internet from any connected device.
Inspired by the simplicity of the universal remote control you have in your living room, WebCurfew gives parents a personalized, secure Control Panel displaying all the devices on their home network and an intuitive power button to turn them off the internet as easily as your living room light switch.
How Does WebCurfew Work?
WebCurfew works by controlling the WiFi router that you have at home from our cloud platform. And since we control the router, we can manage any of your kids' devices that use the router to access the Internet, including those that might come in the future like Google Glass.
We do this without the need to download software to any individual device. That is the key to WebCurfew's simplicity and what sets us apart from all other parental control solutions available today.
WebCurfew currently supports hundreds of WiFi routers from various manufacturers [for a list of supported routers click here]... and we continue to add routers on an on-going basis.
So... What is the Issue? Your ISP!
Unfortunately, if your home broadband is delivered by one of these Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
... and you are using an ISP-provided router, then today you cannot use WebCurfew because you are being methodically locked down by your service provider.
The truth is ISPs will do whatever they can to "lock you in" to using only the services they provide. Unfortunately, when it comes to internet parental controls... their offerings are horribly outdated and ineffective, if they exist at all.
Delivering consistently poor customer service is one thing, but it is simply irresponsible for ISPs to stand in the way of your ability to control your children's internet usage.
We don't know why they do this...since it's your house and you should be able to control what happens in your home. There are even some ISPs like Comcast that want you to turn your home router into a public WiFi hotspot so that complete strangers could also use it! [read here].
Today, despite our success, over 50% of potential WebCurfew customers that come to our site and want to sign up are not able to do so because they have an ISP router that is locked. Which is why we are reaching out to the Kickstarter community...
Good News... We Have a Solution!
We are building a "small device with a big purpose", to free parents being held hostage by their ISPs so they can decide for themselves how and when their home network is to be used.
The WebCurfew Device is a simple hardware box that plugs into your ISP-provided router and is programmed to automatically connect with WebCurfew's cloud service. We then safely and securely reverse the connection and can now talk to your router from the cloud. That's it! Just plug it once and start enjoying WebCurfew... and rest assured that it won't slow down your Internet one bit.
The short of it is that with the WebCurfew Device you can now enjoy all the benefits of WebCurfew parental control service!
What Do I Get?
Your WebCurfew Device comes with an Ethernet cable that plugs into the back of your router, and a UBS cable for power supply, that can be plugged directly into your router (if USB is supported) or alternatively to the AC outlet with the provided adapter. We’ll also include simple instructions on how to set it up.
Sets Up In Seconds
The WebCurfew Device is very simple to set-up, as demonstrated in this video
The WebCurfew Device will automatically start up -- you will see a green light turn on and start flashing. You are now ready to go!
WebCurfew Device in 3D!
We wanted to share this animated experience so you can play with the WebCurfew Device before you make your pledge.
Parents Around The World
Tech addiction is a global problem and WebCurfew is well suited to help. Since our service is cloud-based we can operate anywhere there is an Internet connection. In fact, since going live WebCurfew's website has been visited by people in over 140 countries, and 40% of our registered users are based outside of North America.
What People Are Saying
Researchers & Academia
Children and screen time are areas receiving a lot of attention from researchers these days. "Screen time" is a term used for activities done in front of a screen, such as watching TV, working on a computer, or playing video games. Screen time is sedentary activity, meaning you are being physically inactive while sitting down. Very little energy is used during screen time.
A recent study by Iowa State University found that children get more sleep, do better in school, behave better and see other health benefits when parents limit content and the amount of time their children spend on the computer, in front of the TV or other connected devices.
WebCurfew is a graduate of the prestigious TechStars accelerator program, having been selected as one of ten companies out of more than 900 applicants for the Chicago Class of 2013.
As Featured In The Media
The Next Web - "TechStars reveals the 10 startups for its inaugural Summer 2013 accelerator program class"
Chicago Tribune - "Web service keeps kids offline -- and in line"
All Things Digital - "With parents in mind, WebCurfew blocks Wi-Fi from router to kids’ devices"
Crain's Chicago Business - "Motorola vet joins TechStars' grad WebCurfew"
Techli - "Chicago startup WebCurfew helps parents take control of the Internet"
BlueSky Innovation - "Paradigms, parental control and the challenge of the send button"
ChicagoInno - "WebCurfew adds a new feature to give parents more control over the Internet"
Built In Chicago - "WebCurfew comes out of beta and launches WebSafeguards"
The Mercury News - "Parents out of control: don't know how to limit their kids' screen time"
Detailed WebCurfew Overview
At its core, WebCurfew allows parents to do 4 things:
1 - Filter Content
This is done with the WebSafeguards tool, which allows parents to block websites based on age-appropriate content filtering categories. For example, here is a WebSafeguard created for a high school kid
There are over 60 categories of content to chose from, as well as the ability to set-up white and black lists of websites to allow or block based on your specific criteria.
This video gives a brief overview of the WebSafeguards tool:
2 - Control Devices
This is what we call WebAccess, the ability to turn devices on/off from the Internet with the touch of a button. We feel it's important to humanize technology in the home, and therefore we built a user interface that is very simple and intuitive, replicating the paradigm of the "universal remote control" that with few buttons can control multiple devices.
The image below shows a control panel with several devices that are being managed by WebCurfew. The first one is a tablet device shown as blocked (red button) whereas the other two devices are on (green button).
This video gives a brief overview of the WebAccess tool:
3 - Automate The Experience
Both WebSafeguards and WebAccess are FREE to use as long as users want to operate WebCurfew in manual mode. We felt that it was important to allow parents to have a perpetually free solution that was a good value proposition to parent effectively in the digital age.
However, we also offer parents the ability to automate the WebCurfew experience with our WebTimers tool, by upgrading to the premium version. For a small monthly fee parents can set up policies to control WebAccess and WebSafeguards automatically based on the parameters that they select.
Here is an example of a Primary School Student policy that comes as default with WebCurfew:
This video gives a brief overview of the WebTimers tool:
4 - Monitor Activity
You never need to wonder again what websites your children are visiting online. Our premium WebReports tool provides you with a comprehensive view by date, website, website category and frequency of visit of the places your family visits on the net. Nobody in your household will be able to access a website without you knowing when, where, and how often.
Simplicity is at WebCurfew's Core
The entire WebCurfew experience is managed from an intuitive dashboard that lives on the web and therefore can be accessed from any connected device such as your mobile phone, tablet or laptop/PC.
When new devices appear in the dashboard, they show up as blue bubbles with a question mark. We allow some minimal customization to keep the experience very simple. As you can see from the image below, parents can name each of their kids' devices, add an image and that's about it.
If it's one the parent's devices, then they can elect to mark it as such and also hide it from the dashboard. Period. WebCurfew does all the rest.
Where We Are At?
The team is furiously working to finish (10) prototypes of the WebCurfew Device to give out to our Beta testers, that will be helping us to on-board some strategic routers from key ISPs.
The first step is for us to build a driver to unlock each router, for example, the ATT 2Wire. Once we do that for one device, then all users that have the same device are also unlocked.
We prioritize those routers that have the most potential users waiting to unlock them. Hence, it's important that, if you have not done it yet, you sign-up for WebCurfew at www.webcurfew.com and tell us what is the make and model of your router. This way the more people like you with a similar router make and model, the higher the chance that we will address yours soon.
The chart below provides an illustration of the project milestones in the coming months until delivery of the WebCurfew Device.
We Need Your Help!
To ship the Webcurfew Device into your home, the last required step for us is to be able to raise at least $25,000 to design and manufacture a custom "reduced" circuit board that is less complex, smaller and more cost effective to produce at scale. The current Beta units use expensive, general purpose circuit boards that work great for small runs, but are too costly to use in large numbers.
And that’s why we need your help.
By being one of the first to get a WebCurfew Device, you can really help us make this project a reality. Every person backing us makes the difference. We’ll make perfectly sure you get that love back.
Don't Need Parental Controls?
Whether you’re a parent yourself or not, please consider making a pledge to our project. You will feel good contributing to a socially redeeming cause that helps parents everywhere bring a more balanced lifestyle to this generation of internet children.
Thank you for your support!
Risks and challenges
There is always a risk when producing a product that combines both electronic hardware and software. So we've worked hard to test and make sure the WebCurfew Device is ready before launching this Kickstarter campaign.
The hardware used by the current version of WebCurfew Device is based on a proven, tested circuit board. The main risks concerning hardware are thus reduced to logistics. Unplanned delays in the manufacturing process can still occur, but problems related to the hardware design of the device are very unlikely.
On the software side, we’re tested the functionality of the WebCurfew Device extensively and we are very confident that it works according to specifications. The WebCurfew Device is not a complicated device from a software perspective, and most of the processing and complicated software intelligence happens on the WebCurfew cloud platform.
Thank you to all Kickstarter enthusiasts for your time, support, and dedication.
No. The internet traffic of the home does not flow through the WebCurfew Device. The only traffic that flows through the device are the commands the WebCurfew service sends to manage the home router according to your wishes.
Yes. The device has been designed to only allow outbound calls, and only to the WebCurfew service. The device will not permit any inbound communications other than those coming from the WebCurfew service.
No. The WebCurfew device is just another device in your home network with internet connectivity through your router.
For ISP routers that are locked down, the WebCurfew Device is critical to maintaining communications with your router in order to be able to manage it on your behalf. If your child unplugs the WebCurfew device it won’t interfere with your home internet in any way, but we will no longer be able to talk to it and therefore manage your router for the purposes of parental controls.
However, if this happens WebCurfew will notify you (the WebCurfew account holder) promptly via email that we have lost communications with your router. It is our experience that when parents tell their children that they will be managing the home internet usage from now on with WebCurfew, and that they will be notified by the WebCurfew service if they tamper with the device in anyway, children will not try it for fear of being found out.
When using the WebCurfew Device, WebCurfew automatically manages IP Address changes with no interruption in service.
Only if you are using a “locked down” ISP router. Technically, this is a router that does NOT support “remote management”.
No. WebCurfew supports WebSafeguards on almost all of the routers you will find listed on our website. Note there are a handful of routers that are not supported – namely from larger ISPs who have begun recently removing the ability to change the DNS Server IP Address in their routers which is a capability needed to support WebCurfew’s WebSafeguards feature.
My ISP provided router does not allow me to change the DNS Server IP Address so I can’t use WebCurfew’s WebSafeguard feature. Will the WebCurfew Device solve this issue?
No. The WebCurfew Device is designed to enable WebAccess (only) on locked down ISP routers. There is currently nothing we can do to support you with WebSafeguards if your ISP has removed the ability to set the DNS Server IP Address in the router.
I live outside of North America but I have an ISP-provided router. Will The WebCurfew Device work for me?
Yes. The WebCurfew Device is not based on any ISP-specific standard. As long as you have a spare Ethernet port on the back of your router you can use the device to unlock your ISP-provided router. Note, the WebCurfew Engineering Team may still need to write a software driver to support your router if you do not find it in our list of routers supporting WebAccess. However, we will work with you to develop the driver so that you too can use WebCurfew’s simple yet effective parental controls.
We are working hard to prepare our operations team to make sure you get your WebCurfew Box as soon as possible, starting in November. Each Pledge tier description includes a projected delivery date.
The WebCurfew Device comes with a USB cable that can connect to most of today’s routers that have a USB port on the back. If your router does not have an USB slot, then you can use the USB-to-AC adapter to connect the WebCurfew Device directly to any power outlet.
We are very excited to have international backers and have planned for your support. In fact, since the launch of our service we had visitors to our site from over 140 countries, and 40% of our current customers are from outside North America. If you can register for a PayPal Account, then you’ll be able to back us through Kickstarter.
We have not set a post-Kickstarter retail price yet. Our Kickstarter supporters are definitely getting special treatment for supporting us! Not only are you getting the WebCurfew Box, but also a FREE subscription to our premium offering based on the Pledge selection that you make.
Payment is not collected immediately. During the campaign, backers commit to fund their reward tiers at the end of the campaign. At the end of 30 days, if the campaign is successful, PayPal will collect the funds through your PayPal Account.
We’d love to help answer all of your questions. Please contact Alberto Moriondo at firstname.lastname@example.org
- (30 days)