OpenDNS FamilyShield

by Neil
(Hull, UK)

OpenDNS FamilyShield Google Plus Logo

OpenDNS FamilyShield Google Plus Logo

I have used the parental controls for Internet Explorer 9 to prevent access to Nudity, Sexual material and Violence.

Now, moving the setting to None does work. However, in our experience, it is too invasive for our web surfing habits.

Almost every page we go to, however innocent, is blocked and prompted for the Supervisor password. This is far too disruptive for us.

After looking online for alternatives, I come across OpenDNS. It is a 'free Parental Control Solution'. Just what we needed.

There are a few options available on the website, but we decided to give the OpenDNS FamilyShield option a go.

I know a bit about setting up Wireless Broadband at home, we decided to go for the Router setup.

This saves us having to set up the security on my Laptop, my wife's iPad and the kids' computers (or their friends when they come over!).

The setup is straightforward. All you need to do is get on to your Router and change the DNS Server settings to the IP Addresses given on the OpenDNS website.

It is that simple. The only other thing it suggests you do is flush the cache on your operating system and your web browser.

This sounds complicated, but is easy to do. The instructions are clear and simple to follow. For those that are interested:

For Windows: Go to the command prompt and type:
ipconfig /flushdns

For your web browser, simply delete all of your browsing history.

My verdict is this solution is much more pragmatic. It is not as intrusive into your web browsing experience as Internet Explorer, and blocks what it says it blocks.

Thank you, Neil, for your contribution. OpenDNS FamilyShield is an option I wasn't aware of. I assume it is a recent OpenDNS offering.

It looks like a managed Service, which means the Company does all the updating for you - blocking new unsuitable and fraudulent websites.

And the best of all it is free, and it is also reliable.

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DNS Angel
by: Anonymous

Or you can use DNS Angel (Portable freeware).

It protects your family from inappropriate websites and will Block Adult Sites Automatically (without Installing any Software).

Steve Response

Thank you for suggesting DNS Angel as a viable alternative to OpenDNS.

I downloaded v1.1 from the link you provided and gave it a test drive. The interface is very intuitive. The Status shows a skull and cross bones when a family friendly DNS filter is not set up.

Simply click on which DNS you want to use, and it makes the necessary changes to your computer. The status changes to a green heart.

When you close down and re-open your web browser, the secure DNS is in place. I tested the Norton Con. Safe 2.

If you try and access an inappropriate website, you go to a page that says, "Warning! Accessing this Website is NOT allowed. This is a known Website which is blocked by your web content filtering policy.

The other web filter options include: Norton Con. Safe 1, Open DNS Family and MetaCert DNS.

You also have the Default DNS option, which resets your DNS back to its original setting, and Restore DNS, which restores your current DNS should any issues arise.

Quick, simple and effective. As you say, no installation is required. You can carry it around on a USB stick and apply to the machines you need it on - assuming you have the right permissions to make the changes.

Home machines OK. Business machines will likely be locked down, so you cannot make such changes. It will probably go against Company policy, so don't do it. Your company should already have web filtering in place. If it doesn't, speak to your boss about it!

Once it is applied, it will stay in place until you run DNS Angel again and change the settings.

The only other thing to mention is you have no configuration options with DNS Angel. This means you cannot set the type or the severity to which a certain type of website if filtered.

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