|« Dreams of an alternative education: Assessment||Dreams of an alternative education: Curriculum »|
Free network-based content filteringTechnology 3731 views
My children are starting, occasionally, to explore websites wider than CBBC and TVOKids... I've been wondering about some sort of filtering which would protect them from the worst excesses of the internet, would be easy to administer, and would allow us to add other computers to the network without having to set up filtering on every machine individually.
I came across OpenDNS today which appears to do all of this and more:
- They keep a central list of blocked sites;
- I can add to that list for all or some of the networks I control;
- I can whitelist sites that I want to override;
- I can set the types of materials (including phishing sites) I want blocked;
- I can create shortcut addresses to specific URLs;
- It will automatically correct common typing errors (and I can add to that list);
- There's also a nice, graphical stats display, showing what's been blocked.
I can even partially customise the pages that come up when a page is blocked - with text & a logo.
And it's free... They get their income from the sponsored links that come up if someone types in a URL that doesn't resolve to a known address.
All it took was to reset the DNS servers on my router, and to renew the DHCP lease on the machines on my home network (not as hard as it sounds!)
I can now rest a little bit easier... although I'll still be working with my kids to help them become internet-savvy. A filter is only part of the solution.