SafeSurfer is a DNS service from New Zealand which appears to be partly run with voluntary donations. In addition to the standard IP addresses you can use below, there are also desktop applications for Windows, Mac and Linux as well as mobile applications for Android and iOS.
The SafeSurfer website and DNS servers are not in New Zealand though and are entirely hosted in the United States. The DNS itself uses a mixture of Google Cloud and Open DNS servers. While it may not be the fastest DNS resolver outside of the US, using those servers should make it pretty reliable.
Primary DNS server: 126.96.36.199
Secondary DNS Server: 188.8.131.52
6. DNS For Family
This service is from Germany, the website is based there as are the Cloudflare servers it uses. The DNS speed will obviously be reduced the further you live away from Europe. According to the website, the current list of blocked domains stands at over 2 million and that list is updated daily.
In addition to adult or pornographic websites, DNS For Family also blocks adverts by default as it believes they could help link to adult content. DNSCrypt stamps are available on the website for the more advanced or security conscious user as well as a custom Raspbian image for Raspberry Pi users.
Primary DNS server: 184.108.40.206
Secondary DNS Server: 220.127.116.11
Primary IPv6 DNS server: 2a01:4f8:1c0c:40db::1
Secondary IPv6 DNS Server: 2a01:4f8:1c17:4df8::1
7 and 8. DNS Nawala and Yandex Family DNS
There are a few more DNS services we found that are based in a single country that we’ll mention briefly. DNS Nawala is based in Indonesia and Yandex Family DNS is from Russia. They work fine but along with the server hosting restriction, they both display a block page in the country’s native language.
While there is no inherent problem with this, many users might prefer to have the block page in English so youngsters can see clearly the websites they are trying to access are being blocked. Of course, if you come from one of those countries or speak the language, they could make a good choice.
Primary DNS server: 18.104.22.168
Secondary DNS Server: 22.214.171.124
Yandex Family DNS
Primary DNS server: 126.96.36.199
Secondary DNS Server: 188.8.131.52
Try Out all of the Above DNS Services Using a Simple Program
We have given you several choices for a family safe DNS service but you may want to test a few out or just add a DNS to your system as easily as possible. While it’s not particularly difficult changing the default DNS in Windows to test these services, it is a bit annoying typing in addresses and closing/opening the network properties windows.
A simple program we have mentioned before is called DNS Jumper. With it, you can try out different DNS services with just a few mouse clicks. There is a family friendly list of presets already built in but we have created a custom configuration file so you can easily try out all of the options we’ve listed.
The program is free and portable, just download the zip file and extract to a location of your choice. Run DNSJumper.exe and select from the “Choose a DNS Server” drop down menu. Then click Apply DNS. Once you have settled on a choice of DNS, close the program as DNS Jumper doesn’t need to stay running.
Note: An important thing you should know is the DNS settings in Windows will override the settings in your router. For example, if the router is set up to use CleanBrowsing but the computer is using Cloudflare, the computer will use the unfiltered Cloudflare. To prevent the DNS method being bypassed, you will need to create a standard user account for your children so that they cannot change the DNS settings.
Note 2: Something that is slowly being adopted by ISP’s is the use of the transparent DNS proxy. This forces all DNS requests through the ISP’s own DNS servers and ignores any custom settings in the router or on individual devices. If no custom DNS services have any effect when trying them, this may be the cause. Unfortunately, there is very little you can do other than contacting your ISP to find out.
However, there is a workaround if you still want a custom DNS on your PC, and that is using DNS encryption. This method encrypts DNS requests meaning they are not processed by your ISP and a program called Simple DNSCrypt can help you do that. You can only use the DNS services in the predefined lists but the good news is Adguard, CleanBrowsing, OpenDNS, DNS For Family and Nawala are currently included.