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Torch is a smart, wifi router that offers parents digital peace of mind as their kids explore the internet.
Torch is a smart, wifi router that offers parents digital peace of mind as their kids explore the internet.
Torch is a smart, wifi router that offers parents digital peace of mind as their kids explore the internet.
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1,030 backers pledged $162,401 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Torch. A simple router for digital parenting.

$162,401

1,030

Why Torch?

If you are raising children today, you know they are on screens ALL the time--at school, with friends, in the car, socializing, playing games, doing homework. And if you’re like most parents you’re unwilling to accept this reality. We don’t know what they are doing and we don’t know how to manage it. Torch exists to solve this. We give parents the oversight they need and children the boundaries they crave. Because if we parents don't do our job, the internet will raise our children for us.

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Show the internet who’s boss.

We are nerds and parents who struggle ourselves with balancing the creative disruption of the internet with the family disruption of screen time addiction. Torch was born out of Jack and Wayne’s desire to help Shelley solve this problem. As they began to help Shelley, they realized the best solution would be the router. Simple, effective and powerful. But then they realized existing routers suck: they’re hard to setup and difficult to manage. And it shouldn’t require a network engineering degree to parent your children on the internet.

Make technology work for your family.

Simple & Powerful. The Torch router is both. Torch comes with a pause button for the internet. This feature is profile-specific, so parents are able to access their devices even when the kids' have shut off for the evening. And because of how a router works, Torch reports your children’s actual browsing history (no incognito mode or erasing history on the router). And when you find things in their history that you don’t like, you can banish sites from your home.

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Simple and Easy Interface

Most people have never logged into their router to understand just how convoluted it is. And trying to configure parental controls on top of that adds another level of confusion. When we thought about designing our user interface for families, we knew it had to be simple and intuitive. The way parents navigate Torch is almost effortless, so that moms and dads everywhere can easily take control of their internet.  And it’s easily controlled from our mobile app, so parents can pause the internet with two clicks on their phone.

 State-of-the-Art Technology

Shot of our Pre-Production Production sample System board
Shot of our Pre-Production Production sample System board

This is the team behind Torch!

Our CEO Shelley is a psychologist, nationally syndicated columnist, TEDx speaker, and mother of three digital natives. The idea of Torch was born from her very real struggle with digital parenting. The struggle reached its tipping point one night when she became so frustrated with trying to manage screen time that she threw her son’s iPad out the back door. After speaking with other parents she began to realize that this was the new norm.

Jack and Wayne jumped in to help Shelley solve her digital parenting problem. Jack, a Princeton-educated businessman, had experience working with tech companies on Wall Street. As a parent of two daughters, he immediately empathized with Shelley’s plan to eliminate the tech battles for families. Wayne, a customer service innovator and tech support specialist, brought a unique perspective that managing tech in your home should be simple, especially for busy parents. The three of them grew the idea behind Torch: that technology should be a tool for learning and growth; that it should be enhancing families not diminishing them; and that using it should be simple and painless.

Join the Torch Nation Movement

If you work hard to be the best parent you can be, and you’re fed up that the Internet gets in the way of that, then you are a Torch parent. And we want you in our movement to help parents reclaim safety and balance in their homes, making sure the time kids do spend on the Internet is time well spent. If you’re ready to get in the game, we need you to join us. Become part of the solution. #LetItShine

                                                 

Risks and challenges

Creating a finely tuned hardware product that we feel great about sending into the world is not easy. There’s a lot of brainstorming, executing, brainstorming again, executing again, scrapping ideas, middle-of-the-night Eureka moments, tears, collaboration, obsessing over tiny details, yelling, group hugs, coffee, and finally, high fives. Torch has been over a year in the making, and now that we have overcome all of those hurdles and created a product we are proud of, the next step is to get it into the hands of the parents who need it. That is where Kickstarter comes in. The money we raise through our campaign will go towards the inventory, tooling, manufacturer’s engineering fees, and all of the shipping logistics. Basically we need your help so that we can get our baby into the homes of digital families everywhere!

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FAQ

  • The torch firmware can do content filtering for SSL Connections. This is not done as a MiTM, but we have developed proprietary software components that are integrated with our firmware and use a custom protocol for this.

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  • You can set up Torch as the primary router for your FiOS connection by putting your FiOS modem into "bridge mode" or "modem only mode". If you do not know how someone from our customer service team will walk you through the process. This will allow you to use all the features and functionality of your Torch.

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  • Torch and OpenDNS have similarities.

    Multiple Profiles: If you use OpenDNS those rules apply to everyone in the home. Torch allows you to have a different profile for each child giving you more flexibility in what is and is not allowed into your home.

    Speed of change: Using OpenDNS. When you make a change to your settings you are dependent on how fast your DNS cache propagates before those changes will be live. With Torch, it's a matter of seconds before that change is live.

    Peace of mind: It is much easier for your child to change the DNS setting on his or her device thereby bypassing OpenDNS all together. That is not possible with Torch.

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  • Yes, you will be able to monitor data usage.

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  • We live in a gigabit fiber town, speed is of the upmost importance to us (http://wrd.cm/1RLk96H) and we have developed it for our own needs. We will offer 802.11ac wireless and we are built on gigabit hardware. You should not see any any difference in performance with Torch.

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  • Absolutely, As long as Torch is at the head of your network (Connected to your Modem) your rules will be enforced on your access points.

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  • Yes you absolutely can use Torch. In most cases you are renting a router from your ISP so you can swap them out and return your rented router (it will probably save you money on that rental fee every month).

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  • Yes you can. It may be the case where after you get your Torch you need to call our support staff and they will walk you through each step of the process for your specific service provider.

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  • We are built on gigabit hardware both LAN and WAN and through all of our stress testing we have never dropped below 100Mbps you should expect to see 300-400Mpbs if you have a gigabit connection even with extensive rules on your children profiles.

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  • Torch is available in the United States, Canada, European Union and Australia.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    HIGH FIVE: Get an air high five and our eternal gratitude.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    HUG: Get a limited edition Torch t-shirt: A super soft Torch-hug every time you wear it.

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    64 backers
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    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    EARLY EARLY EARLY BIRD: Get an early early early bird Torch router. And get your household sanity back before anyone else!

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    Reward no longer available 300 backers
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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    EARLY EARLY BIRD: Get an early early bird Torch router. You’re one step closer to taking back family time.

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    Reward no longer available 200 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $145 or more About $145

    EARLY EARLY BIRD: Get an early early bird Torch router. You’re one step closer to taking back family time.

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    Limited 336 backers
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    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    TORCHBEARER: Didn’t make it in time for the early bird specials? Don’t worry, we’ve got you! We know you’re tired of playing IT manager in your home. Get a Torch router and get back to parenting.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    NAVIGATOR: Be the first to get a Torch router AND join our beta team to provide valuable feedback, helping us further shape our design and functionality. Do you have techie kids? We NEED you and your input!

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    Limited 28 backers
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    Pledge $320 or more About $320

    GRANDPARENT PACK: Get a Torch router for your house and one for the grandkids’ house. Or if you have a big house, get 2 Torch routers for all your wifi needs. *We can ship to multiple addresses!

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    PARTY PACK: 3 houses? Big family? Gifts for your techie friends? Get 3 Torch routers and spread the love.

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    Pledge $1,250 or more About $1,250

    FANCY PANTS: We know you’re special; stand out from the crowd! Get a custom Torch router in either Torch Grey or Torch Orange.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    SUPER STAR: Hollywood is calling! Along with the 2 Torch routers you’ll take home, we’ll also make your kids or grandkids stars in our how-to video tutorials. And our talented graphic designer will create an illustration of your kids as robots in a beautiful framed piece.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    TECH BUTLER: Get 2 Torch routers AND a personal tech guru for the weekend. He’ll visit your home for set-up and will provide tech support and installation assistance for all of the digital assets in your home - your smart TV, Grandma’s computer - you name it! He’ll even mow the grass and fold the laundry if you ask. And you’ll also receive a special gift from the Torch team.

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Funding period

- (30 days)