Parental Controls on your Internet connection

OpenDNS offers an excellent feature which allows you to control the categories of websites that the devices on your network can access. For example, you might want to block access to the Gambling category, or perhaps Tasteless, or Pornography. The great thing about this approach is that you make one change on your main internet router, and then all devices which use that router will benefit from the blocking feature.

This is just one of the many features that OpenDNS offer. You can see more on their website: https://www.opendns.com

To use it, first sign up for an account. In your account, you’ll create a new “Network”, for which you’ll enter the public IP address that your internet provider has allocated to you. If you don’t know this, connect a device to the router/WIFI in question and visit Google.com and type “What is my ip?” – Google will show you the address as the first hit. This link is a handy shortcut.

One last step. You’ll need to access your main router’s configuration page and change the outbound DNS servers to 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220. Depending on your router, this will either be trivially easy, or dauntingly difficult. OpenDNS have a router help page which might come in handy.

And that’s it! Now, any device which uses that router for internet access will be blocked, or allowed depending on the categories you specify:

Showing the categories available in OpenDNS.

The only caveat is that if you use an internet connection which changes your public IP address frequently, you will have to update your “Network” setting accordingly. If you don’t, you’ll still benefit from the anti-phishing and anti-malware features of OpenDNS, but the internet categories you blocked won’t apply any more. If this sounds like a deal-breaker, you can always use their OpenDNS Dynamic IP Updater tool to continually keep the IP on point.

 

Scaine has written 15 articles

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