Bark Home, sometimes referred to as "in-home filtering," is a little white box that you connect to your router. Once activated, it works by telling all the devices connected to your Wi-Fi network that it’s actually your router. It basically says to the devices (phones, TVs, Xboxes): “Hey, I’m the router, check in with me before you allow or block anything.”
It then uses the rules you set on your Bark dashboard to block or allow access to a particular app or site. You can apply different rules for different devices, for different times of the day, and for school nights versus weekends. You can even ignore devices that you'd prefer not be filtered.
What can Bark Home do?
- Turn off the internet when needed on all internet-connected devices in the home (including Smart TVs, gaming consoles, cell phones, tablets, and more)
- Set a schedule of different daily rules for school nights and weekends
- Block specific apps and websites
- Block categories of apps and websites (such as social media, streaming, gaming, and sexual content) -- each category represents hundreds of thousands of sites and apps!
- Customize each family member's rules and limits
- Supports high speeds with a 1Gbps ethernet port
Am I required to buy a Bark Home to use Bark?
No. While Bark Home is a piece of hardware that can help you filter any devices on your home Wi-Fi network, it is not a requirement for a Bark subscription. In fact, once you purchase the Bark Home and activate it, you can filter your in-home devices free for life.
For additional coverage, you can set up monitoring of texts, photos, videos, as well as on-the-go web filtering on your children's iOS and Android devices with our Bark Premium subscription plan.
Does the Bark Home device work on any router?
The Bark Home device will most likely be compatible with your router. Because Bark Home works very closely with the router's decision-making settings, some routers are not compatible with Bark Home or may need settings slightly adjusted so that the two products can work well together. Click here to check to see if your router is compatible. If your router is not listed, it will most likely be compatible! Reach out to us if you need additional assistance with activating your Bark Home.
Don't worry, if the Bark Home is incompatible with your router, you can still filter your children's iOS and Android devices with our available mobile apps on the Bark Premium and Bark Jr subscription plans.
How do I purchase the Bark Home?
How do I activate the Bark Home?
How do I manage the screen time & filtering rules?
Once you've activated the Bark Home, you're ready to apply custom rules to your family's devices. Learn more: Manage Screen Time Rules
Will the Bark Home device affect our internet speeds?
This is a great question. Bark Home may impact your upload speeds somewhat but it will not impact your download speeds. When configured correctly, those impacts on upload speeds are imperceptible. It's only when there's a problem with the configuration that you'd see otherwise, and we'd be happy to help troubleshoot!
For a detailed breakdown of what to expect regarding the Bark Home's impact on your internet speeds, read this letter from our CTO.
Can I use the Bark Home with other parental controls?
Parental controls vary in how they are implemented, so while many parental controls will work in conjunction with Bark Home (like Apple Screen Time, Google Family Link, Microsoft Parental Controls, and more), there's the possibility that you're using another device or service that may prevent Bark Home from taking over the network and enforcing your rules. Reach out to us if you need additional assistance.
Does the Bark Home block cellular phone calls?
No. The Bark Home filters web activity. Because phone calls, texts, iMessages, and FaceTime take place over cellular networks, they cannot be blocked by Bark Home's technology. Plus, you likely want access to those means of communication in an emergency!
That being said, if you've paused the internet for a child's devices, that will stop all internet access on their devices, which would include things like Skype calls, Wi-Fi calling, etc.
Does the Bark Home power off a gaming console or a TV?
While you can pause the internet or set times that devices can access particular apps, games, and sites, the Bark Home technology has no way of powering off devices. You may wish to look into the device's official documentation to see if they have a Downtime or auto-turn off feature.
How do I troubleshoot issues with web filtering?
If you are running into an unexpected block, or if you are getting access to an app or site that should be blocked, check out this guide for tips on addressing the issue: Troubleshooting Screen Time & Web Filtering
Does the Bark Home support iOS monitoring?
Need help or have additional questions?
We are happy to assist! Reach out to Bark Support, and we'll help every step of the way.