Being the father of five children under the age of 13 years old, and having 4 computers in our home, I’ve been experimenting with software over the past few years to try make my children’s’ experience on the internet wholesome… or at the very least porn free. After trying some commercial software for content filtering, that ended up slowing down our 4 year old computer, I have finally found something that doesn’t kill our computer, and as an added bonus is FREE. The software is called, K9 Web Protection. As I mentioned, it works well on the old windows computer in our kitchen, but K9 will not run on Mac OSX or Linux (both of which we have in our house).
I had given up hope of finding something that would run on all our computers until I heard about OpenDNS last week. OpenDNS allows you to filter web content and block adult websites on the internet by simply changing the DNS servers that your computer or router uses. It works very well. The service is free, and after you’ve setup and account you can specify the kinds of web sites you want to block or allow. You can also specifically allow web sites that may be grouped in a category you have blocked. You have all the control that you could ask for.
If you want, you can also enable logging so that you can keep track of the websites computers in your house are visiting. This all happens transparently, without having to install any software on your computer. If you have an internet router, you can manually change the DNS servers that your router uses to the two OpenDNS servers, and all the comptuers in hour home will automatically be protected from the kinds of web sites you specify, log the sites they visit (you have to turn the logging on, it is off by default). If you want to change your DNS settings now just use the following:
OpenDNS along with Mozy Backup and two services that every home should seriously consider using. OpenDNS is completely free, and Mozy Backup is free up to 2GB of data backed up, and $5 per month for unlimited backups. Enjoy!