DNS internet site filtering

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4nursebee
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DNS internet site filtering

Post by 4nursebee » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:16 pm

I've just learned a very little about internet content filtering using something I read as DNS filtering. The best I understand, a router or computer has a preset "site" that is used to look up internet addresses and sends you there. A specific "site" can be used which can block unfriendly traffic. Several levels of protection are possible. This seems easy, but I have never changed any settings on the computer. Do I understand this correctly?

Do you use similar filtering for web sites? How does it work for you? Safe?

What do you do for content filtering if not the DNS stuff?
4nursebee

Blake7
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Re: DNS internet site filtering

Post by Blake7 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:40 pm

It is not a site, but rather a server (Domain Name System "DNS" server). A DNS server simply translates a domain name, like bogleheads.org, to an IP address, which is what computers use. Unless your router and/or network devices are configured to use a third-party DNS service, your DNS is provided by your ISP, which usually doesn't offer any filtering protection. DNS providers like Cisco OpenDNS offer free basic exploit filtering and more restricted "Family Shield" filtering if you have children. OpenDNS has how-to's on their site for configuring routers and devices. I have used them for years on our home network, but also use other providers elsewhere. Your router is usually the best place to configure DNS settings as it will allow all of your devices on your network to use the third-party DNS without having to configure each device individually. DNS filtering is very powerful and requires no software installation, and I think is preferable than installing filtering software on many different devices and platforms.

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JoMoney
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Re: DNS internet site filtering

Post by JoMoney » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:48 pm

I don't currently do any filtering. ... But several years back I used to do some DNS filtering by editing the "HOSTS" file on my computer, and setting the computers name lookup order to first look to the file for domain-name to IP lookup before doing a DNS query.
I could simply type in whatever domain names I didn't want to go to in the hosts file, and set the IP address to be my local computer.

https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/windo ... osts-file/
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123
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Re: DNS internet site filtering

Post by 123 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:24 pm

Usually there are provisions for both a primary and secondary DNS site in the settings. If you're fiddling with settinga you may want to make note of what they are before you change them in case something doesn't work. Also you need to remain aware that you have changed the DNS service in situations where internet problems crop us. If the DNS service you configure stops working it will look like your internet service had died.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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rhinopylon
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Re: DNS internet site filtering

Post by rhinopylon » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:16 pm

You're looking for Pi-Hole. Follow their instructions and you'll have a local DNS with advertisements basically eliminated from your home network.

jebmke
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Re: DNS internet site filtering

Post by jebmke » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:22 pm

I use this portable app for making quick changes to the DNS server settings

https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/quick_set_dns.html

sometimes when it appears that "the internet is down" at some location, it is actually the case that the default DNS server (usually the one provided by the ISP) is offline. In that case, I can quickly switch to another DNS server without diving into the network settings dialog.

At home I have been using Google's DNS server but I am thinking of switching to Quad1 or Quad9.
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ccieemeritus
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Re: DNS internet site filtering

Post by ccieemeritus » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:11 pm

+1 for opendns.com for dns site filtering. They let you block categories of websites and have instructions on their website. You can set up your home router to use opendns, but mobile phones would not be affected by default when using cell service rather than your home Wifi.

Last time I used opendns they had a free tier for home users.

mrmass
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Re: DNS internet site filtering

Post by mrmass » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:00 pm

I run a pihole on a raspberry pi to block ads. I also use a custom hosts file. It's likely overkill but I like tinkering.

My PiHole dashboard shows it's blocking a crapload of domains something over 1,315,000.

retiringwhen
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Re: DNS internet site filtering

Post by retiringwhen » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:35 pm

ccieemeritus wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:11 pm
+1 for opendns.com for dns site filtering. They let you block categories of websites and have instructions on their website. You can set up your home router to use opendns, but mobile phones would not be affected by default when using cell service rather than your home Wifi.

Last time I used opendns they had a free tier for home users.
another vote for opendns.com it just works, is easy to setup and manage and filters as per your requirements and is a good stopper of malware sites too....

I use it at home and on a semi-public network at our church and it is very good.

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