I have two teenagers that both have laptops plus a couple of I-touches and a Wii in the house. We have a desk top computer and a network printer both attached to a Netgear router.
My question is as a parent how can I manage, the use of the wifi devices? Is there any way to set time limits, connection speed, and or web site access for individual devices? If so, what hardware and or software do I need to get and how do I configure it?
I would be greatly appreciate any advice anyone can give me.
This is a pretty complex set of requests. You may be able to turn off the wifi router if it has that capability, but it is not a given. The best solution would be to set up a home server and then require all users to login to access the Web. Once logged in, then you can set-up time schedules, parental controls, block URLs, define what software applications can be used, etc.
You could try setting up a Linux media server, go with Mircrosoft Home Server, or try a Mac OS X server. I was sent to a Mac OS X server seminar a week ago and they covered the exact things you are talking about and more.
You can do the MacMini server one of two ways. Buy a MacMini Server, or buy a MacMini for half the price and request an evaluation copy of OS X Server for free. The evaluation version is the full blown version, but it cannot be upgraded. My copy is in the mail as I write. Here is the link for the free evaluation copy...it is at the bottom of the page: http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/performance.html
So, for about $550 you have a server OS and the server. This is roughly what it will cost for any "new" platform with the biggest draw for the MacMini being it's small compact size, and the full blown server OS that you will be able to play with.