Friday, March 2, 2012

Cloud Based Home Internet Filtering - yes, it's free

I have 3 kids at home and one of the most challenging things I have ever had to do is find a way to control internet usage. Trying to block the bad stuff 100% of the time and the time-wasters part of the time, without having to install a bunch of crap on the desktops (that someone would inevitably find a way around) was quite the quandary.

After digging around some, I found the godsend, and there is a fully functioning free version. Some premium features are available for a price of around 20 bucks a year.

OpenDNS lets you control what gets in and what gets blocked by making a simple change to the static DNS settings on your router. Once the change is in place, you can log into your free account on the OpenDNS site and select what categories you want to block.

As long as you keep good password protection on your home router and don't share your OpenDNS password with your kids, you have rock solid control over what they get access to, or should I say, who gets access to your kids.

There's a section that explains how it all works on the home page, so I'll spare you the technical details here. I'll only say that it works, and it works well.

So well, in fact, that the kids have increased their "cursing dad's name" by a factor of 10 over the past few weeks.