It is no brainer that the Internet is full of content which is not suitable for kids and young family members. While I don’t support kids to use mobile devices, and computer a lot, but restricting them won’t help either. It’s best to educate them, and also put some restrictions so the content can be filtered automatically.
There are various free parental control software available for this type of situation, but then there is a lot of effort one needs to take to make it effective. In this post, we are talking about a service, Clean Browsing, which offers DNS-based parental control and SafeMode enforcement which can be useful for kids to prevent them from visiting adult content.
Clean Browsing DNS-based parental control
On a very basic level, it helps you to filter improper domains and help optimize your network. Instead of using a software, it restricts and filters those type of content on DNS level. It becomes a gateway and is specially designed to be used on devices for kids under 13. We will talk about changing DNS settings in a bit.
I find this solution better mostly because you can restrict it on an individual device instead of the complete network. Quite a few people use it on their whole home network, but the goal is to prevent kids from visiting adult content websites.
It offers Content Filtering which will automatically block adult content – and for sites like Google, YouTube, Bing, and more it will use Strict Mode to filter out content which were not suitable for kids. Particularly for YouTube, it will enable Kids Mode to make sure all explicit content is filtered out. It is suitable for kids under 13.
I would always recommend you to monitor what they regularly watch. There are many contents on YouTube which could be morally wrong even if they are not adult contents. They affect the way kids think, and if you find them not suitable, it will be your responsibility to block them.
There are two types of filter this service is offering
Family Filter: It blocks access to all adult, pornographic and explicit sites. It will block proxies and VPN domains which usually bypasses filters. Apart from that Mixed content sites (like Reddit) are also blocked. Google, Bing, and YouTube are set to the Safe Mode.
- IPv4 address: 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124
- IPv6 address: 2a0d:2a00:1:: and 2a0d:2a00:2::
Adult Filter: Blocks access to all adult, pornographic and explicit sites. It does not block proxy or VPNs, nor mixed-content sites. Sites like Reddit are allowed. Google and Bing are set to the Safe Mode.
- IPv4 address: 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52
- IPv6 address: 2a0d:2a00:1::1 and 2a0d:2a00:2::1
How to set up Clean Browsing
On Windows 10 PC:
- Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Ethernet / WIFI > Change Adapter Settings > Select Ethernet again > Right click and select properties.
- In this list, look for IPV 4 or IPV 6, select, and click on properties.
- In the next screen, choose to Use the following DNS server address
- Enter the IP mentioned above address in it.
- Save, and exit.
On a Router:
- Every router has a different interface for DNS settings. You will need to locate it.
- When found, enter the IP mentioned above address in it.
- Save, and restarts your router.
I will suggest you use this on the router, only if you have a dedicated router for your Kids.
Similar steps apply for Mac, Android, and iPhone. Look at the network settings where you need to choose Static DNS settings, and update it accordingly. It’s going to be tough to manage on phones because the owner has all the control, and if your kid is smart enough, he or she will figure out how to change it.
DNS Gateway and Resolvers
As DNS is a gateway, a concern would be there if it works well. The company claims that their DNS Anycast network is highly optimized with a presence on all major parts of the globe which includes USA, South America, Asia and Europe. That gives you a resilient, fast and secure DNS provider that won’t go down and will help make all your sites that you visit a bit faster.
Apart from this, the DNS Resolvers are built on top of the powerful open source Bind project. It uses some custom patches and modifications to allow them to dynamically filter improper domains without affecting our performance or security. You can check out Clean Browsing here.