Can I control what websites users on my network can get to... FOR FREE? ~ Ask The Admin

Friday, January 18, 2008

Can I control what websites users on my network can get to... FOR FREE?

I love finding a free solution to an expensive problem!

We normally talk about how to circumvent web filters but today we are talking about locking down your network - home, office or anywhere. As long as you control network settings you can be the internet god. Say where people can go and what they can do. .. As long as they dont know how to or cant change their dns settings. More on this in a coming article.

We are talking about the old content filtering racket. Companies sell their product and rake in the dough off of subscription fees. Without the subscription fee you dont get updates.

There are open source solutions but they were difficult to set up. And Do not work as well as the big named products in web filtering. Sigh...

I have installed hundreds of appliances to lock down the internet in lots of different locations. And they all cost a lot of moolah. One of AtA's readers put us on to This service is actually pretty simple. You can sign up for their service and point your machines to THEIR DNS server. Then you have access to control what users can get to, see where there going and do the whole geeky statistics thing.

The best part is if you see that the torrent search sites are number one on the visit list block em with one click! Are your users hitting eBay a little too much? Or maybe your a sadist and you think your employees are getting their geek on at AtA to much? Be the oppressive boss, teacher or parent today!

Oh and did we mention that OpenDNS uses PhishTank to block fraudulent phishing sites and misspelled domain mistakes - wait theres more it will also give you bandwidth reporting and probably a whole bunch more we havent found yet... FREE! They areWResolving 37,450 requests per second...

Whoa OpenDNS accounts are free. Your account is what lets you manage Web content filtering, stats, and a whole suite of other features. You could use OpenDNS without an account, but it'd be like having a Porsche stuck in first gear. Wow white listing, different levels of filtering and you can brand this thing. Wheres the catch?

Check out this info from their website:

OpenDNS protects millions of people a day across hundreds of thousands of schools, businesses and homes as they navigate the Internet. We block phishing sites and give you the power to block adult sites, proxies and individual domains.

Free yourself of DNS-related Internet outages with our zero-downtime global network. Eliminate DNS as a problem source on your network. Using OpenDNS means fewer support calls and headaches, letting you focus on more important issues.

We provide you with the tools to see what's happening on your network, coupled with the tools to take action. For example, discover that is the most frequently visited site on your network, and then block it with a single click.

You run anti-virus software on your mail servers and use various other network security tools to keep your users safe. It's time to do the same with your DNS. All OpenDNS features are free. No hardware to buy, no software to install.

Block the bad sites and whitelist the good.

Phishing Protection

We operate, the world's most trusted source of phishing data. We integrate that data into an intelligence feed on our DNS servers to keep everyone on your network safe from phony sites trying to steal personal information.

Domain Blocking

You want to secure your network and have control over what resolves. We give you that control by providing the tools to block any website or DNS zone on the Internet, all through an easy-to-use interface.

Adult Site Blocking

Safeguard your kids, protect your students, or limit your corporate liability by blocking adult websites. Our adult site blocking solution can be deployed in minutes and provides granular levels of blocking. Hundreds of school districts are already using OpenDNS to achieve CIPA compliance. Did we mention it's completely free?

Web Proxy Blocking

Prevent people on your network from bypassing the access restrictions you put in place. Blocking Web proxies helps ensure your network remains secure.

Domain Whitelisting

We provide a (growing) list of Web content filtering categories to block, but sometimes there is a domain you want to make sure is never blocked, even if it's listed in a feed. Have the final say with our Domain Whitelisting feature.

Got stats?


Understand your Web traffic with intutive stats about your network's DNS. This is your data, and now you can view it like never before. And of course, if you don't want stats, we won't collect any DNS data from you, at all.

We're here to help.

Free technical support

If you have a complicated DNS setup and have questions not answered in our instructions, feel free to send us an email, IM or even give us a call. We've got DNS experts ready to help you start using OpenDNS today. We don't outsource this, so expect to talk to some engineering-types when you call. :-)

Make life easier for you and your users.

OpenDNS Guide

The OpenDNS Guide is the page your users see when they go to a website that doesn't exist or isn't resolving. We provide search results and offer suggestions to help your users get back on their way. This includes the use of our industry-leading domain spellchecking service to save them time and make them more productive.


We want what you want: happy users who feel comfortable using OpenDNS. Customize and brand our OpenDNS Guide and blocked pages, replacing our logo with your own. Show the users on your network that what they are seeing is trusted and safe.

Typo Correction

We don't think you should be punished with an annoying error message if you make a small typo, like typing google.cmo instead of That's why we correct that typo, and thousands more like it every day.


Shortcuts are like AOL keywords that you control. Set up a simple shortcut like "help" that people on your network can use to find your company IT helpdesk, or "HR" that takes them to your company HR Web site. You can set up network shortcuts and still let all the users on your network create their own.

Make DNS outages a thing of the past.

Large Cache

OpenDNS operates the largest and most intelligent DNS caches in the world. As a result, when you ask us a question, we almost always have the answer. This results in an overall faster way to navigate the Internet.

Ultra-Reliable Network

Our architecture was designed to withstand even the worst of network failures and still serve your DNS reliably. Feel free to dive in and learn more about our architecture and how we run a zero-downtime network.

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