Internet Web Filters and Parenting Controls

08.08.2008 10:36 PM Comment(s) By Jeff

As a parent and a computer professional, I'm always looking for ways to protect my family from the darker side of the Internet while not preventing them from doing what they really need to do and not sucking up all the bandwidth of our Internet connection.  Over the years I have looked at many different reviews of Internet filtering software for the home and tried various Parental Control software packages.  No matter if it is Net Nanny, CyberPatrol, Parental Filter (free software), Microsoft Live OneCare Family Safety software, or the built-in Vista Parental Control software; they all suffer from the same shortcomings
  • They block what you don't want blocked and they don't block what you want blocked
  • They vary on the amount of tracking and control available
  • You have to install them on each PC.
  • Most solutions support Windows but not Mac OS X or LINUX.
  • You have to pay a subscription fee to get the better quality filtering systems.

Recently, I started using a new service called OpenDNS. OpenDNS is primarily a Domain Naming System service.  (DNS is how your computer knows how to find something like On top of this service, they provide Internet filtering that you can configure from their web site. The service is free and is supported by adds that appear when you use their search engine or a website is blocked.

Some of their main features are as follows:

Content Filtering
Adult Site Blocking
Domain Blocking
Domain Whitelist
Phishing Protection
OpenDNS Guide
Large Cache
Ultra-Reliable Network


I've been using it for about 1 month and like the service so far.  It covers my entire home network just by configuring my DHCP router to use the OpenDNS servers instead of my ISP's.  I encourage you to check it out.  If you have questions or want assistance setting it up, please feel free to contact me at


Jeff Copeland



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