Don’t you hate when adult sites pop up all of a sudden? If you have a family, small business or just want to not see that stuff, there’s a way to block these sites for free without installing software or subscribing to a service. I’ve done this to my computers at home and work and also for some friends. It’s pretty simple to set up and you really just have to do it once and you’re done. It’s not 100% accurate (come on, it’s free), but it’s good enough – especially if you set your blocking level pretty high.
This will also help protect you against phishing scams as well (where you get strange emails from banks or PayPal asking for your account information – don’t ever trust those).
Here are the steps and suggestions:
- This works best if you’re using a broadband internet connection and a router (like Linksys). If you don’t have a router, you can still set it up just on your single computer but if you are using a router for several computers or for wi-fi access, then you just need to configure your router.
- Sign up for a free account at OpenDNS.org. It’s free.
- Follow the directions here to set up your computer or router (companies will have an internal DNS server).
- Basically, what you’re doing is instead of using the name servers that your Internet Service Provider gives you, you’re using the servers at OpenDNS instead. By doing that, they recognize your IP address and, according to your settings, filter web content for you.
- After setting up the account and your router or computer, you’ll also need a way to notify OpenDNS about what your IP is since most broadband users get a dynamic IP address instead of a static IP, like at most businesses. This means when you hop onto the Internet, your IP address (machine number) will often change each time. This is common. So make sure under your settings in the Dashboard that it shows you’re using a Dynamic IP. See this page about some general information about your dynamic IP. Or here is technical information about dynamic DNS.
- If you’re using a computer instead of a router, then you need to get some software that reports your IP address to OpenDNS, which can be found here. If you’re using a router, then you can use DNS-O-Matic along with a free account at DynDNS. Once you complete this part, you’re all set.
- It gives you stats on what domain names are being accessed.
- It runs silently – that is, until a site is blocked.
- You can customize the message on the site blocked page – including adding your own logo, which helps people know that they’re seeing this page on purpose and it looks cooler.
- You can white list domains that are being blocked if you want.
- There’s a whole list of categories of sites that you can block as well, so it can get pretty restrictive if you want.
- You can monitor and control this service remotely – from any web browser.
- You can set up multiple networks with different or the same settings. It’s very versatile.
In this day and age, these kinds of tools are needed unfortunately. The nice thing is, this is free. It’s better that the people are able to control these things instead of handing that freedom that we enjoy over to the government (like China). So if adult web sites are a concern to you, protect yourself and your loved ones today.
Two more resources:
- a FireFox add-in called Glubble. I haven’t tried it myself, but it sounds good.