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Got kids? Use OpenDNS

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    Got kids? Use OpenDNS

    Home users who'd like to keep their internet clean at home - follow these steps. This will block people on your network (wired or wireless) from going to websites you don't want them to visit. I recommend this to every household that wants to keep their network free from porn and other nasty material so their kids don't accidentally discover it.

    Most internet service providers have their own DNS servers, and in general they filter nothing. If you want to keep your home internet safe for your kids and anyone else using your network you have to "head them off at the pass". That "pass" is DNS!

    DNS is not a catch-all to keeping your network clean, but it's a start.

    1. First, set up a free account at www.opendns.com
    Make sure you fill out all the blanks or you won't be able to enable filtering.

    2. Next, go to the Settings tab on the OpenDNS website.
    You need to add a network to let OpenDNS filter the web content on your home network. Under the "Add a network" heading, click the ADD THIS NETWORK button. You'll be asked to give this network a name, like "Home". Do so and hit OK.

    3. Setup filtering options for your network
    Once the network has been added and named, you'll see a drop-down just above "Add a network". Choose the network you just named and you'll be taken to a page where you can edit Web Content Filtering. I chose Custom, and picked the categories I want blocked. You can also choose High, Moderate or Low depending on your preferences.

    4. The hard part: getting your router set up!
    Most routers made today can login to OpenDNS to enable filtering on that network. Dig up your router's user manual and find out where you can change the DNS settings for your router. It's not enough just to let your router use OpenDNS's servers - you have to get your router to log in using the username and password and network name you set up in Step 2. Once you've done that, though, your router will then filter all web page requests on your home network per the filtering settings you set up in step 3.

    See http://www.opendns.com/support/category/2 to see if your router can do this.

    If your router can't do OpenDNS per the above, many routers can have alternate firmware from the factory firmware, such as DD-WRT or Tomato. I have an ancient WRT54G router than runs Tomato, and it has functionality for DNS built in (and it's way more stable than the factory firmware that came with it, plus Tomato continues to be updated, whereas the Linksys firmware for this model is not)

    So there you are! Give this a go, and tell me how it's working for you :-) Until recently, I had to use OpenDNS' servers to get to RFO...
    Last edited by Wes Macaulay; February 6, 2011, 03:38 PM.
    Wes Macaulay LEED AP
    University of the Fraser Valley | www.ufv.ca

    #2
    Thanks Wes. I'll try it.

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      #3
      I use the same service. Kids are still a bit young, so it has only saved me a few times after clicking on a bad link :-). It does not protect against bad content. There are still many sites that are OK that have questionable content for kids, i.e. YouTube.
      Erik Snell, P.E.
      Factory Worker (Principal User Experience Designer)
      I am an Autodesk employee and the opinions or commentary I provide are my own and not necessarily that of Autodesk, Inc.

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