By using DNS filtering, you can ensure kids are protected from browsing dangerous online sites.
With the fast-paced technology today, there is still one thing that is not sorted and possibly never will. It’s the security concerns with the Internet. No matter how advanced we are, the Internet has always been a breeding ground for malicious attacks and cyber threats.
It is not the greatest advice to stop using the Internet. Doing so will stunt your lifestyle opportunities, given that it is such a useful thing we have.
One brilliant solution would be to use DNS or Content filtering that’ll protect your family from cyber-attacks. And that’s what you’re going to discover in this article.
But first, let’s learn a little about the term “DNS filtering.”
What is DNS filtering?
DNS filtering stands for Domain Name System filtering and is a technique of preventing you from accessing certain web pages or IP addresses that seem suspicious. Once you have a DNS filter enabled, you can browse the Internet knowing that the filter will prevent you from visiting malicious websites by showing you a “block page” that’ll explain the cause of prevention.
You can also block specific URLs manually if you’re sure these are not to be visited in the future.
Benefits of using DNS filtering
There are a ton of benefits behind using DNS filtering for you and your family. You’ve probably got a taste of it already by now but here are some more you need to know:
Ensures safe Internet browsing
Using a DNS filtering means putting a roadblock to malicious websites that can potentially steal your personal information. Some other threats include:
You can avoid all the above risks by just applying the DNS filter.
Protects your data
We all have important data on your devices, and most of the time, we’re ignorant when it comes to backing it up. If that is the case with you, you’re at risk of losing all of it if you visit dangerous online sources. Thankfully, the following software takes care of that for you.
Protects your device
No matter if you’re browsing from your phone, tablet, or computer, visiting malicious websites will potentially harm your device. Some websites can install viruses on your device remotely, which can spoil the functionalities and make it partially useless.
Let’s explore the following tools.
Allowing you to browse the internet without any “surprises,” CleanBrowsing is one great DNS-based filtering tool that will keep your kids and the entire family free from malicious attacks. Since it is DNS-based, you won’t need to download any additional software to use it. All you do is change the DNS from your internet service provider. It’s that simple.
The free plan itself offers some great features like:
- Security filter that blocks phishing, ransomware and malicious sources
- Blocks inappropriate adult content
- Specially designed family filter for proper usage as per age groups
If you’d like to access more advanced features, you can sign up for one of their paid plans, starting at less than one Starbucks coffee cost per month.
Cloudflare Gateway is a fantastic solution to use for home or office network. Cloudflare helps to secure Internet experience by keeping malicious content away from your network.
It works by routing all traffic through their DNS servers and creating a policy where you configure what to allow or block. All the configuration is done through the beautiful dashboard where you can configure everything like the following.
- Enable SafeSearch
- Block sites that are considered as suspicious, malware, phishing, spam, spyware, crypto mining, botnet
- Block traffic by categories like drugs, child abuse, safe for kids, deceptive ads and more
You can also explicitly allow or block a site. The great thing is you can get it started in FREE, which is sufficient for home use. Once the setup is done, Cloudflare will start filtering the traffic and show you the “Access restricted” page if it is meant to be blocked.
Cloudflare DNS can be configured on Windows, macOS, Linux, or network router. If you have multiple devices, then implementing on a router will ensure every connected device is protected.
ESET Parental Control
Another very impressive DNS-filtering service, ESET Parental Control, works seamlessly on desktop and mobile devices. In a nutshell, here’s what this service does:
- Blocks inappropriate adult content
- Limits screen time
- Prevents downloading suspicious software
- Tracks browsing behavior
- Tracks your child’s phone location
With all these impressive features, you get a 30-day free trial as well. After that, you can pick their paid plans starting at $49.95/year.
With an advanced web security shield that puts you in full control of your kids’ browsing behaviors, SafeDNS stands for its name. It is an award-winning tool that protects your family from various cyber threats.
Some great features include:
- Ensures appropriate browsing by blocking adult, abusive and malicious sources
- Ability to create three different filters for different age groups in your family
- Limit your screen usage by keeping a timer
- Blocks spammy and annoying ads
- Ability to filter specific or the entire network
- Comes with an Android app
With all these great features, SafeDNS is offering a 15-day free trial. After that, premium plans start at $19.95/year.
Praised by companies like IGN and Mac World, Sophos Home is another excellent DNS filter that comes with artificial intelligence blocking of viruses, malware, and other harmful threats with ease. It is available for both Mac and PC and offers a wide range of protection including:
- Parental control
- Banking security
- Identity protection
- Browsing protection
- Privacy protection
It is made to keep up with the real-time threats that occur on a day-to-day basis via your browsing habits. You can download and use this for free with limited features or pick one of their paid plans, starting at just $45/year.
OpenDNS is one of the leading DNS service providers we have today. In fact, as per research, 1 in 3 US schools use OpenDNS to protect their network. An impressive feature of this service is that after you’ve enabled the DNS filter, any device that you connect from then on will be protected from various threats.
You can connect any kind of device, be it a laptop, smartphone, or tablet. This service offers two different free plans and another two paid plans starting at $19.95/year.
Another DNS service that uses artificial intelligence to block malicious sources online with ease. As per Tom’s Guide, Net Nanny has been listed number 1 among other parental control apps. That itself tells you how good of a service this is.
It offers a ton of great features including:
- Ability to monitor your child’s browsing habits
- Limit kids’ screen time with a finger touch
- Blocks suspicious websites
- Manage what kids can browse on the internet
- Blocks adult content
- Ability to disallow specific URLs
You can use Net Nanny on Mac OS, Android, IOS, and Kindle. It has different plans for different devices, so it’s worth having a look at their pricing table for a better idea.
A phenomenal device that comes with an interactive app, Circle has got to be one of the best options in this list. It is praised by brands like Forbes, TechCrunch, and USA Today. It provides a variety of protection to your kids’ browsing habits such as:
- Setting limitations on using their phone
- Review what your child has been browsing throughout the day
- Ability to turn the internet off during bedtime or when studying
- Ability to reward your kids with additional screen time whenever needed
- Pause/resume internet whenever you like
I believe the biggest selling point of this service is the app that comes along with it. It is super fun and intuitive that you’ll want to keep using it. The app works on both IOS and Android.
Unlike some of the other DNS filters in this list, Circle is a physical device that will be shipped to you once you purchase it. It costs $129 with a 1-year subscription to all features included.
I hope the above DNS filtering tools help you avoid becoming a victim of cyber threats again. Along with filtering tools, you may also want to use VPN services to protect your identity.