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Internet content filtering for your home

Published on Dec 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm in Tips & Tricks.

We’ve previously written about the benefits of setting up internet content filters for your office, and we wanted to take a moment to expand upon this idea to discuss content filtering options for your home.

Just as unfiltered and unchecked access to the Web may not be the best business practice, it might not be the best practice for your home and family. As a father of three—including a technology-consumed 12-year-old—I can attest that the thought of my kids stumbling upon inappropriate websites is something that keeps me up at night.

There are three ways that your family can filter its home internet…

1. Install software like NetNanny on your computer.

  • Pros: Reasonably priced and effective for basic home computer users.
  • Cons: Your more savvy preteens and teenagers may think to perform a Google search for, “How to get around NetNanny,” and will find step-by-step instructions to bypass the filter.


2. Set up a filter at the gateway (router). This includes products like Dell SonicWALL and DansGuardian.

  • Pros: Difficult to hack. Effective solution.
  • Cons: Requires an investment of a few hundred dollars and a fair amount of IT knowhow.


3. Use a filtered Domain Name System (DNS) provider like OpenDNS FamilyShield. Set up FamilyShield on your home router by saving the OpenDNS server addresses as your DNS server settings instead of using the ones given by your Internet Service Provider.

  • Pros: Free service.
  • Cons: As with NetNanny, motivated kids can figure out what’s going on and switch their DNS servers.


In general, it’s near impossible to keep an intelligent and determined teenager confined behind a filter, but you can prevent young children from accidentally stumbling on something online that they shouldn’t (and don’t want to) see.