More Control with OpenDNS

If you want more control over what is and isn’t considered acceptable content than the broad level of filtering provided by FamilyShield, perhaps the free version of the standard OpenDNS will do the trick. Using this is much the same as using Family Shield expect that the IP addresses for the DNS server that you configure in your wireless router should be and instead of and

Once you’re using OpenDNS you can choose one of the standard filtering settings (High, Moderate Low or None) or, if you pick Custom, you can fine-tune the filtering yourself to accept or block sites in no fewer than 26 categories.

You’ll also have to tell it your IP address so that it is able to recognise you and apply these settings to your network on subsequent occasions. This is fine if you have a static IP address but won’t work if you have a dynamic IP address.

In this latter case, which applies to most people, you’re allocated an IP address from a pool each time your wireless router is turned on. The solution is to employ the OpenDNS Updater which is software you can download from the OpenDNS site that reports your current IP address to OpenDNS.

Unfortunately, though, this takes away much of the inherent simplicity of the solution provided by Family Shield. Because the Updater software must always be running, for filtering to take effect, it must either by installed on all your PCs or it could be installed on just one if you keep it turned on 24/7.