Apr 01, 2019
If your family is using Comcast’s Xfinity Internet, then you may want to consider taking advantage of the parental controls offered. It’s likely that your kids are going to be online quite a bit, and setting Xfinity parental controls can help set boundaries and keep your kids safe while surfing the web.
Keeping your kids safe online can seem like an impossible job at times with new content generated every minute and kids only seeming to get more tech savvy. That being said, there are tools that parents can use that allow your children to enjoy the Internet while filtering out the stuff you don’t want them to see. Native parental controls through Internet providers, like Comcast’s Xfinity, are a great place to start when it comes to Internet filtering for your family but unlike dedicated parental control software, they often lack in their capabilities and customizable options.
Net Nanny's powerful Internet filter has been trusted by millions of families since 1996 and is top rated by industry experts. In addition to having the best Internet filter, Net Nanny also offers additional parental controls that can help parents manage their children's screen time and block websites and pornography. Providing a wide range of customizable parental control features, Net Nanny is the complete solution for keeping families safe online.
How Do Xfinity Parental Controls Work?
Comcast’s Xfinity Internet not only allows users to browse the web, but it also gives them access to Xfinity’s media library so they can stream TV and movies online. It’s likely that your children will often put these features to use and they might not be able to make perfect judgements without testing boundaries, and that’s where parental controls come in.
Many websites, TV shows, and movies will be inappropriate for children and feature mature, sexual content, violence, and more. Websites, in particular, can potentially put children in dangerous situations when they are able to share too much information or be in contact with strangers who won’t always have good intentions. Xfinity parental controls offers different layers of protection and limits that allow you to make the right decisions for your family.
How to Set Up Xfinity Parental Controls for the Internet
Xfinity offers two sets of parental controls: Xfi and the Wireless Gateway Admin tool. Xfi allows you to set limits and schedules while the Wireless Gateway Admin tools allows users to create a blacklist of websites they do not want their children visiting.
Xfinity Xfi is a personalized Wi-Fi experience and digital dashboard for customers to set-up and manage their at-home Wi-Fi. Introduced in 2017, Xfi allows users to access their Wi-Fi password, connected devices, troubleshoot, and manage user experience. In terms of parental controls, Xfi allows parents to enable a parental control setting, set schedules and bedtimes, as well as the ability to pause all devices.
To access and edit parental controls, users can create a profile or group of profiles in the People section. From there, users are able to assign or pause devices on certain profile(s) as well as edit parental control settings and schedules. Parents can also set up Active Alerts that will notify them when certain users reach the specified amount of time and can then decide to pause the device’s Internet access.
Wireless Gateway Admin Tool
More advanced users might want to take advantage of using Xfinity’s Wireless Gateway Admin Tool to access their Wi-Fi and edit a few settings that differ from the Xfi app and hub. Here, users can block URLs with certain keywords or blacklist sites that they do not want a computer or device to visit.
To access the Wireless Gateway Admin Tool, users will need to be using a device or computer connected to the home network, they will then use any browser to navigate to the Admin Tool at http://10.0.0.1.
There are three menus that those concerned with parental controls will be looking at Managed Sites, Managed Services, and Managed Devices. The Managed Sites menu lets users dictate which sites are blocked. Under the Manage Services menu, users can add apps and services they would like to block and assign to which devices and computers this setting should be applied to. To select which devices are exempt to parental controls rules or view attempted violations of already set rules, users should access the Managed Devices menu.
How to Block Websites on Xfinity
Parents may be interested in blocking specific websites they feel are inappropriate for their children or don’t want them accessing for any reason. As previously mentioned, users who are looking to block websites while using Xfinity parental controls will need to access the Wireless Gateway Admin Tool.
- Login to Xfinity’s Wireless Gateway Admin tool at http://10.0.0.1.
- Select Parental Controls from the left-hand menu and then Managed Sites from the expanded menu.
- Enable Managed Sites. Once enabled, you will be able to block certain URLs by clicking Add.
How to Set Up Xfinity TV Online Parental Controls
Xfinity TV Online parental controls can help you limit which partnered network websites and apps that your children have access to as well. Xfinity users have the ability to sign into many network websites and apps with their Xfinity login to access viewable content; which includes NBC, ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN, and more.
Enabling parental controls will prevent your family from accessing content that you deem inappropriate on these websites or apps, but parents should know that these restrictions apply to the entire account, not just specific devices.
To set up Xfinity TV Online Parental Controls:
- Login to xfinity.com/stream and select the My Account tab from the upper-left hand tabs.
- Select Settings and then under the Usernames, Passwords & PINs section, select Parental Controls.
- In the Parental Controls section, select Edit.
- Select Manage Settings in the Network Sites & Apps section.
- Select Turn On to enable parental controls for Network Sites and Apps.
Your parental controls page will look like this when enabled:
- Select Edit in the Lock Specific Channels section to restrict access to channels you do not want your children to access.
You will be able to lock the specific channels you do not want your children watching from the list provided.
- Set limitations on what movies and TV shows you want your family can view based on ratings.
How to Set Up Xfinity Stream Portal Parental Controls
The Xfinity Stream Portal is the site that users will visit through an Internet browser to stream the thousands titles that Xfinity offers through their On Demand service.
To set up an Xfinity Stream Parental Controls users will need to log back into their account from xfinity.com/stream. From there they will need to select My Account in the upper-left hand corner, select Settings, then Parental Controls from under the Usernames, Passwords & PINs section, and then select Edit from the Parental Controls section.
Select Manage Settings in the Xfinity TV Online Portal section.
Here you will need to enable parental controls and then you can choose which settings will work for your family. If you are enabling parental controls for the first time, Xfinity will prompt you to create a PIN, otherwise you will need to enter your previously created PIN.
From this same page, users are able to turn on Safe Browse, restrict TV shows and movies by rating, as well as block specific network, channels, and titles. Parents should know that these parental controls are not shared between devices, so you will need to set these parental controls on each device you wish to protect.
Hide Adult Programs with Xfinity Safe Browse
Xfinity’s Safe Browse feature, when enabled, will hide all adult titles and descriptions that would normally populate when browsing the Xfinity Stream Portal. Parents should know that enabling Safe Browse does not prevent viewers and children from watching adult content, they just do not appear when browsing titles.
Safe Browse has three levels of settings to choose from:
- Hide None: Safe Browse setting is not enabled and all titles and descriptions will be displayed.
- Hide NR and Adult: Hides not rated and adult rated titles only.
- Hide NC-17, TV-MA. NR, and Adult: Hides titles rated as no child under 17, mature, not rated, and adult.
Setting Movie Ratings
Xfinity’s parental controls allow families to manage which movies their kids are able to watch by ratings.
Xfinity also provides a breakdown of the ratings used and examples of titles within that rating.
Setting TV Ratings
In addition to movies, parents can also select which rating of TV shows they want their children to have access to.
Parents can lock any shows above a certain rating or they can lock titles with that rating only if they contain a certain kind of content. For example, a parent may want to allow most content rated TV-14 but still want to restrict intense violence or sexual situations.
Locking Specific Channels & Networks
If parents are interested in preventing their child from watching any program on a specific network or channel, Xfinity’s parental controls give you the option of specifying which to lock. For example, you may not want your children to have access to content from HBO or Starz because this content is often too mature for younger viewers.
Xfinity also offers the ability to lock all networks at once so that parents can unlock only the ones they want their children to have access too.
Locking Specific Programs
In order to lock specific programs parents will have to search for the individual title when browsing all titles and select the three dots in the upper right-hand corner and select Set Parental Lock.
In the parental controls menu, you will be able to review and manage any titles you have locked. Here you can unlock or relock titles by clicking on the lock image.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What should I do if I forget my PIN for Xfinity parental controls?
If a user forgets the PIN that they had created for accessing Xfinity Parental Controls, they are able to call Xfinity customer support to reset it.
Can I access Xfinity Stream Portal parental controls on my phone?
Yes, Xfinity users can access Xfinity Stream Portal parental controls via the Xfinity Stream app available in the App Store and Google Play Store. Users should remember that Xfinity Stream parental controls are not shared between devices so you will need to complete this process on each device you would like to limit.
To do so, users will need to swipe left from anywhere in-app to open the side menu. Select the settings cog from bottom of the screen and then select Parental Controls. From there, users will be able to access the same parental controls available from a desktop browser.
What is the difference between Xfinity parental controls and Comcast parental controls?
Xfinity parental controls and Comcast parental controls are the same product. Comcast is the parent company to Xfinity and Xfinity acts as the consumer services brand for Comcast; in other words: TV, Internet access and phone. These two brand names are often used together or interchangeably.
How Net Nanny’s Family Internet Filter Protects Kids
Many Internet filters and built-in parental controls come up short in terms of the complete protection and flexibility that you will be looking for in a family Internet filter. The best parental control software, like Net Nanny, allows you family to pick and choose limitations that work for you, make your job as parents easier, and keeps your kids safe with less worry.
With Net Nanny, parents can monitor their children’s Internet use and set filters for each user that blocks inappropriate content in real-time. Net Nanny parental controls will apply to the devices that you specify, meaning that you will not need to complete the process on each individual device. Net Nanny also allows users to keep an eye on how much time their kids are spending online with screen time management tools and more.
If you’re concerned about what your children are consuming online, utilizing Xfinity parental controls is one additional step you can take towards making your family’s Internet and streaming experiences safer. That being said, Xfinity doesn’t provide total coverage for your family and can be very confusing so parents looking for a more complete solution may want to consider checking out Net Nanny’s Family Protection Pass.
Katherine Cromleigh is currently a Social Media and Editorial Contractor and is studying communications at Purdue University. She hopes to add to the conversation surrounding technology and today's youth.