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Network devices with parental control features

7 April 2015, by — admin ()

We all want to keep ourselves, our children and our computers safe from Internet threats. And people often pay quite a lot of money for professional antiviruses, firewalls and other intricate information security software. This is of course a proper approach than just ignoring threats or using free or unauthorized software of dubious efficiency.

But neither should you overlook some absolutely free ways to protect your computer from already known dangerous sites, viruses, phishing and adult content.

router

In this article we will take a look at both modern routers’ features and free DNS-filters.

Nowadays a single room usually contains numerous devices with Internet access. Therefore presence of a router is rather a rule than an exception.

Modern routers have their own information security and parental control settings. These will help setting up Internet access time restrictions (e.g. when online access is allowed until 9pm) and a list of banned web-sites (this particular restriction can be easily bypassed therefore there’s no big point in using it).

For example, DLINK and TP-Link flat routers with similar features will not allow you anything else, just the simplest access time filter and a possibility to block several dozens of web-sites.

tplink

More advanced models are capable of independent filtering of user queries as well as of comparing and checking web-sites presence in black lists. Various manufacturers’ routers often allow using such a popular service as OpenDNS (free base plan with paid upgrade options).

Many antivirus software manufacturers have their own DNS-filters. For instance, free access to such services is offered by Norton and Comodo.

Even the simplest and the cheapest router, such as DLINK DIR-300, for example, can be easily set up to work with these services.

DNS-DIR-300

To do that in Connection Settings you have to replace DNS-server addresses of your provider with the addresses you have received on the web-site of the selected service. These addresses can found by following the links below:

Norton ConnectSafe offers three free operational modes: A, B and C.

norton

OpenDNS allows even more flexible web-site filtering splitting them into 26 categories, which should be more than enough. Another interesting feature of OpenDNS is its ability to gather statistics of visited web-sites. That means you can see which web-sites your child has visited in your absence.

If you don’t have a router the same settings can be applied to practically any other device with Internet access. To do that, you simply have to change DNS-server address in Connection Settings. The only disadvantage of this option is that any advanced user can reset the settings or enter any other DNS-server address thus lifting restrictions.

In fact, these settings can be applied by your Internet provider if such a service is offered. Normally providers charge some additional money for this, but in that case you don’t have to do anything at all. Everything will be done by your Internet provider.

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