How do you protect your family from undesirable sites or phishing sites etc., for PCs and for iPod, tablets – but don’t want to a bloated slow firewall, and want to keep it free (or cheap).

Since Microsoft added support for the Microsoft Live Family Safety features into later versions of Windows, you might think all your problems are solved. You can slowly introduce children into more and more responsibility and not be afraid they will accidentally (or purposefully) come across something they should not.

That’s fine until iPods turn up, or Android tablets and other non-windows devices. Sure there are tools out there, but so far I have found none that are free.

But unprotected devices all changes with one simple fix, Open DNS. Open DNS provide a free family feature that is so easy to set up, and so effective. All you do is sign up (free), get the Primary and Secondary DNS IP addresses, put these into your ADSL router instead of the ISP supplied ones, and voila. Well mostly .. you might need to flush the DNS cache, but that’s pretty much it.

Caveats: you can turn on varying levels of enforced blocking / complete protection, but in the free version at least, you would not know who went to a particular site with Open DNS alone. (They have other packages that might help there). Still, if you have a number of Windows PCs to protect, you can keep using the free Microsoft Windows Family Safety software on those.

links:

Microsoft Family Safety: http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/security/family-safety/default.aspx

Open DNS: http://opendns.com/

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