What is in-home filtering?

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In-Home Filtering

Ever wish there were a way to block apps and sites on all internet-connected devices in your home from one place? 

When you activate the Bark Home™ or a router with Bark firmware built-in, Bark allows you to manage screen time and filter content on all of the internet-connected devices in your home (like Smart TVs, computers, gaming consoles, phones, tablets, and more). This allows you to enforce screen time on more than just mobile devices.

If you have not yet decided which piece of hardware to use for in-home filtering, learn about your two options below:

  • The Bark Home™ is a little white box that you connect to your router, which allows you to take advantage of our in-home filtering features. 
  • Some routers have embedded our Bark software directly into their router firmware, which allows you to take advantage of our in-home filtering features as well.

Do I need both the Bark Home and a router with Bark firmware built-in?

You do not need both, just one of the above options to take advantage of our in-home filtering features.

What features does in-home filtering include?

When you activate one of these pieces of hardware, Bark then uses the rules you set on your Bark dashboard to block or allow access to particular apps or sites.

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.

How does the Bark Home work?

Once activated, Bark Home 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.”

With Bark Home, you can...

  • Take advantage of our in-home filtering features
  • Keep in-home filtering even if you get a new compatible router from your ISP 
  • Support high speeds with a 1Gbps ethernet port
⚡ If you couple the Bark Home device with the Bark Premium subscription plan, you also get monitoring of iOS devices, Android devices, Chromebook devices, computers, and 30+ of the most popular apps and social media platforms.

Am I required to buy a Bark Home or a Bark router to use Bark?

No. While the hardware options discussed above can help you filter any devices on your home Wi-Fi network, they are not a requirement for a Bark subscription. In fact, once you activate a Bark Home or a Bark router with your account, 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! 

Don't worry, if the Bark Home is incompatible with your router, consider a router that has Bark firmware built-in.

How do I purchase the Bark Home?

Buy the Bark Home

How do I activate the Bark Home?

Set Up a Bark Home for the First Time

How do I purchase a router with Bark firmware built-in?

List of routers with built-in Bark firmware

How do I activate a router with Bark firmware built-in?

Set Up a Router with Bark Firmware for the First Time

How do I manage the screen time & filtering rules?

Once you've activated your hardware, 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. The 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 in-home filtering block cellular phone calls?

No. When you take advantage of our in-home filtering features, Bark just filters web activity. Because phone calls, texts, iMessages, and FaceTime take place over cellular networks, they are not able to be affected by the in-home filtering 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.

If you're looking for a smartphone that allows you to block calls and texts from unapproved contacts, consider ordering a Bark Phone™.

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?

If you are on the Bark Premium subscription plan, then yes, you can use your Bark Home device to monitor your children's iPhones, iPads, or iPods! Learn more here:

Monitor iOS Devices with Bark Home


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.

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