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Web Content Filtering with OpenDNS

Mar 03, 2009, 13:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mike Diehl)

"I week or so ago, I volunteered to do some networking for a small local church that runs a coffee shop as a community outreach program. In addition to having the best coffee in town, the church wanted to provide free Wi-Fi. But, because this is primarily a church outreach, the project leaders obviously were concerned about being able to filter inappropriate Web activity. My plan was to install a WRT54 router and flash it with DD-WRT or OpenWRT, so that I could install a content filter such as DansGuardian. I wasn't very excited about having to maintain the content blocking mechanism though. Content blocking is a difficult, sometimes ugly job, and the church didn't have a budget to pay for even an inexpensive filtering service.

"While researching the final configuration, I came upon a link to OpenDNS. I like "Open" and I like "DNS," so I clicked on the link out of curiosity, never expecting that this service would be a simple and complete solution to my content filtering problem. OpenDNS is a free service that enables you to block content you deem inappropriate at the DNS level. There's no need for any proxy configuration on either the client or the server. All you have to do is arrange for your servers and clients to use the OpenDNS DNS servers instead of the DNS servers provided by your Internet provider. Once that is done, if users try to access a Web site that provides inappropriate content, they are redirected to an OpenDNS Web site that tells them the site has been blocked and why."

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