Protect your family from porn – for free

Technology has a way to to infiltrate our lives in ways we can’t even imagine.  Kids have devices with wifi and access to the internet, and without even realizing, our children have access to all sorts of unsavory things on the internet.

There are a bunch of software available that you can use to lock down the various devices in your house.  I’ve used some of them.  I found them to be difficult to use, and tend to slow things down.  Then you get a new device, configure it on your wifi, and it has no protection.

There is a way how you can protect your family, and all the devices on your network from the nasty stuff on the net.  I have just switched to OpenDNS’s Family Shield.  You can view the link for the details.  Let me explain to you how this works, and how you can set it up.

What is DNS?

DNS (domain name service) is the system on the internet that would lookup the domain name (like www.google.com) to it’s actual IP address on the internet.  Without DNS, you will have to remember all those hard-to-remember IP addresses.  DNS is really the glue of the internet – without it, nothing works.  Every time you open a web page, or check your Facebook page, your device will do a lookup against DNS to find the server it needs to connect to.

OpenDNS maintains their own DNS servers that are configured not to respond to any website that contains pornography.  We will configure your router to use OpenDNS’ DNS servers instead of the ones provided by your Internet Service Provider.  What this will do, is that any device on your network will redirect your DNS traffic to OpenDNS for review, and they will respond with either the correct IP address, or, block the traffic if is a porn site.

The actual configuration differs from router to router, but they all follow a similar approach.

  1. First, you need to log onto your router.  Typically your router’s configuration page will be on http://192.168.0.1, http://10.0.0.1 or http://192.168.1.1.
  2. Within your router’s menus, navigate to something that says “Advanced settings”. You could find it also under LAN settings, or something to that effect.
  3. Look for a field that says “DNS Server”.  Typically there are 2 fields to configure.
  4. Enter the two IP addresses 208.67.222.123 and 208.67.220.123 exactly as I’ve shown here.
  5. Click Save.  Your router may reboot for the new settings to take effect.
  6. That’s it!  You’re done.

 

If things go wrong, and it doesn’t work the way you expect, then simply change the settings back, and reboot your router again.

This is an effective way to block the bad stuff, but like most things in life, it is not immune to be circumvented.  Kids are clever, and they can find ways around it.  By setting this directly on your router, it will make it just a little bit more difficult to bypass.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve had any success with it.

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