OpenDNS

I have wanted some kind of filter on my network for a long time.  I wanted one because my children are eventually going to grow up and to protect myself.  I looked at commercial products, but I'm cheap and none of them seemed to work that well.  They all had to be installed on a per computer basis and could easily be worked around.  What I really wanted was something that would sit at the gateway of my network and act as a proxy/cache/filter.  I looked at open source options such as dansgardian and IPCop.  I never spent to much time on them, but they required a computer all for themselves.  I eventually got one, but the configuration was not very simple.

A couple days ago, I ran across OpenDNS which I think has solved my problems.  For my non-technical readers, computers do not have alpha-numeric addresses like yahoo.com.  They have numeric addresses such as 208.157.24.487.  A Domain Name Server (DNS) automatically translates between the word and the number version of the address.  Usually, your ISP provides a DNS that works just fine.  OpenDNS provides an alternative DNS that among other things includes content filtering. 

Setup is quite easy.  I simply replaced the DNS fields on my router with their address.  I had some issues flushing the cached DNS lookups but an ipconfig /flushdns fixed that. 

I know this is not a perfect solution.  The afore mentioned IPCop would be a much stronger option, but this is easy.  This will keep curiousity and mistakes from ending up in bad parts of the internet.

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