Internet is increasingly becoming a part of our life with all the information, education, social networking, shopping and everything else conceivable now available online.
With the host of good things that the web has to offer, there is an equally big collection of sites and contents that parents would never want to expose their children to.
With a slew of gadgets including computers, smartphones, and gaming consoles all connected to the internet, parental control has become very important to keep kids out of harm’s way.
OpenDNS brings you the OpenDNS Basic and OpenDNS Family Shield to block phishing sites, sites with adult content and any other avenues on the web that you would not want your kids to explore.
To install the OpenDNS Basic on your network, you just have to follow the simple instructions to configure its IPs on your router. The IP addresses are 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.
Once the OpenDNS is enabled, you have to set up a free account and download the OpenDNS updater. Once the account is set up, you can go to the dashboard where you set up your rules and preferences, add or remove networks from your account and also get help from the free support center service.
The Settings tab on the dashboard allows you to setup the level of controls that you want on your network. For example, NONE means absolutely no control while HIGH is for aggressive protection against all adult contents, illegal activities, social networking sites and general time wasters. There are intermediate settings too which will give you intermittent levels of protection as well as a CUSTOM tab that allows you to specify the categories you want to block.
OpenDNS Family Shield
The OpenDNS Family Shield is another powerful option specifically designed for parental controls. This one is also free to use and promises to make your home internet faster. Unlike OpenDNS Basic, you do not need to create any account or download any software. Just update your router to configure the Family Shield IPs (220.127.116.11,18.104.22.168) and choose the settings that you want.
The beauty of the software is that it not only blocks unwanted contents on the computer but also on your kids Wi-Fi enabled devices like iPod, smartphones and gaming consoles like Wii,XBox and Nintendo DS. It even works on their friends computer that they bring to your house and which access your network.
The proxies and anonymizers that can be used to get around blocked contents are also detected and blocked by the Family Shield. The system works on the OpenDNS content filtering system which constantly updates the list of harmful sites and spares you the trouble of manually updating them.
OpenDNS has categorized the problematic contents into 57 categories like adult, academic-fraud, games, social media, etc which enables you to choose any specifically troublesome categories or block the entire range.
It lets you create a custom page which shows up when your kid tries to access a blocked website. This page can be used to tell your kids the reason behind restricting access to the page.