There are various ways to try and stop inappropriate online content like pornographic material being accessible to children, one is to install parental control software. The software can be effective at blocking this type of material up to a point but can be messed with or bypassed. Another option which doesn’t need any software installed on your computer is filtering content through the Domain Name System (DNS).
DNS is a set of online servers that translate standard website names into their corresponding IP address which the browser needs to show the website (for raymond.cc it’s 18.104.22.168). It’s like a huge Windows HOSTS file with billions of entries. ISPs generally use their own DNS servers which will be the default for all devices using your internet connection. However, they are not always that fast, private or secure.
There are many third party DNS services that can filter out specific website addresses, like ad hosting, malicious content, illegal content and of course, adult or pornographic content. Here we show you eight free DNS services that offer adult or pornographic content blocking as standard. All you have to do is add the DNS addresses to your Windows network properties. Instructions are supplied on the specific websites if you don’t know how to do it. IPv6 addresses are also included for more advanced users.
1. OpenDNS Family Shield
OpenDNS was one of the first to offer free DNS servers with adult content filtering back in 2010. It is possible to create a free account and customize the DNS service with extra filters (such as blocking social networks, P2P or gambling), domain blocking and even creating a custom block page. However, it’s not a requirement and you can just set and forget using the addresses provided.
OpenDNS has two free DNS services, Family Shield and Home. Family Shield is pre configured to filter out adult content by default and will be enough if that’s all you want. To block even more, such as illegal activity, social networking or custom domains, create an account and set up custom filtering. This works with both Home and Family Shield. The process looks complicated but there are many guides on the internet to help.
OpenDNS Family Shield
Preferred DNS Server: 22.214.171.124
Alternate DNS Server: 126.96.36.199
OpenDNS Home (create a free account to set up adult content blocking)
Preferred DNS Server: 188.8.131.52
Alternate DNS Server: 184.108.40.206
2. CleanBrowsing DNS
CleanBrowsing has quickly established itself as one of the most popular and effective adult content filtering DNS services around. In some effectiveness tests for blocking pornographic content, we’ve seen it score higher than any other DNS service. The basic Security Filter blocks malicious content while the Adult Filter also blocks pornographic and explicit websites.
The full Family Filter adds more protection with blocking of proxy and VPN domains and also mixed content sites like Reddit. Google, Youtube and Bing browser searches are set to safe mode. A blocked page simply shows up as a standard page not found error. Extra information is listed on the website for more secure privacy options like DNSCrypt, DNS over HTTPS and DNS over TLS.
CleanBrowsing DNS Adult Filter
Primary DNS server: 220.127.116.11
Secondary DNS Server: 18.104.22.168
Primary IPv6 DNS server: 2a0d:2a00:1::1
Secondary IPv6 DNS Server:2a0d:2a00:2::1
CleanBrowsing DNS Family Filter
Primary DNS server: 22.214.171.124
Secondary DNS Server: 126.96.36.199
Primary IPv6 DNS server: 2a0d:2a00:1::
Secondary IPv6 DNS Server: 2a0d:2a00:2::
3. Neustar Public DNS
Any users that are for some reason still using the now discontinued Norton Connectsafe DNS addresses will these days have their DNS requests routed through Neustar. Neustar has five levels of DNS, the first two are unfiltered while the third is called Threat Protection and blocks malware, phishing sites and etc.
The fourth DNS is Family Secure which uses Threat Protection plus it also blocks pornography, some gambling sites, violence and hate. The most filtered DNS is listed as Business Secure but can be used as a family version as well. It additionally blocks gaming, adult (presumably different to just pornography), drugs, alcohol and anonymous Proxies.
Neustar Family Secure
Primary DNS server: 188.8.131.52
Secondary DNS Server: 184.108.40.206
Primary IPv6 DNS server: 2610:a1:1018::3
Secondary IPv6 DNS Server: 2610:a1:1019::3
Neustar Business Secure
Primary DNS server: 220.127.116.11
Secondary DNS Server: 18.104.22.168
Primary IPv6 DNS server: 2610:a1:1018::4
Secondary IPv6 DNS Server: 2610:a1:1019::4
4. Adguard Family Protection DNS
Adguard is a Russian company well know for it’s popular and highly rated ad blocking browser extensions, mobile apps and Windows/Mac desktop software. In addition to those products, Adguard also runs a free DNS service which offers ad blocking, security and family protection. DNS servers are available in the US, Europe, Japan, Australia and Singapore
The Family Protection DNS offers all the ad blocking and privacy features of the default Adguard DNS plus adult website blocking and setting the search mode in the web browser to safe search. Instructions are on the website to install the DNS on Windows, macOS, mobile, Linux and for DNSCrypt, DNS over TLS and DNS over HTTPS.
Primary DNS server: 22.214.171.124
Secondary DNS Server: 126.96.36.199
Primary IPv6 DNS server: 2a00:5a60::bad1:0ff
Secondary IPv6 DNS Server: 2a00:5a60::bad2:0ff
On the next page, there are another 4 family friendly DNS services and a utility you can use to try out some of these services with a couple of mouse clicks.