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Sam asked: “Wondering if there is a way to block a VPN. My 14-year-old daughter is using a VPN to get around some of my security settings. My router is a little bit older, so maybe that’s an issue. I have been using the Circle by Disney, I love it, but her VPN seems to get around things.”
Sam, welcome to your household’s own arms race, your digital native teen will have the upper hand.
We have some good news for you, the Netgear’s Circle with Disney Router actually has a setting to block VPNs and Proxy sites. There’s a good chance that doing that won’t work, but even their own website says that it may not if they’re not recognized as VPNs or proxies. Having said that, it’s an on/off setting on the router, so you might as well try.
You can also block the port your daughter is using the access the VPN, your Circle router lets you examine the data traffic on the network, so you may be able to spot the port that’s being used, then you can block that specific port.
You can also schedule off hours so that she cannot use her devices to access the internet at times when you’re not there to monitor her.
That’s no guarantee of anything, if your teen is savvy enough, she may be able to use a different VPN that uses a different port and keep on going.
Since you’re talking about a 14-year-old, there’s a decent chance that she also has access to a phone that can provide clean internet access, independently from your router.
From a technical perspective, you can restrict her access, but she’ll probably be better at getting around your roadblocks than you’ll be at building them, so if you can you will probably be better off trying to teach her why she shouldn’t go to certain sites, or take away access to the device. If she has a smartphone, you’re going to have an extra hard time keeping her offline if she doesn’t want to be.