The internet is amazing resource. A simple search engine search can provide a wealth of up-to-date information on an unimaginable number of subjects. In my fields of interest, internet access allows me to quickly verify statistics, track down sources, quotations, and other truth claims—but of course, as many people also knows the internet is a cracked open door to the most objectionable and vile material.
There are two ways objectionable and vile material are accessed. The most common way is a user(s) in the household is purposefully seeking it out. I have heard a number of stories of teenagers or a spouse being caught watching pornography—for many, the ease at which the internet makes succumbing to temptation is too great to overcome. The other way objectionable material may find an audience from your household is through a malicious link on a (hacked) website. Years ago, I remember reading an about section on a parachurch ministry website and I noticed a dozen random hyperlinks through a paragraph—I am not sure where they went as when I clicked one of the links my DNS provider blocked the website. I notified the ministry and they were alarmed and embarrassed by the links.
Access to family friendly internet ought to be the standard for all Christian families, churches, and organizations. The easiest way to secure family friendly internet access is by utilizing a family friendly DNS server on your internet service provider modem. Let me quickly define a couple items here.
ISP (Internet Service Provider) Modem
Your ISP is your internet provider—you’re either using satellite, cable, or DSL—and when your internet was installed they gave you a modem which connects to the wall via a cable or phone line. These days many modems also double as your wifi router. This device is the common point all of your internet connected devices run through—as such, this is the best place to block objectionable and vile material—and running a family friendly DNS server will help keep internet content fast and family friendly.
DNS (Doman Name System) Server
A DNS is like a roadmap of the internet. When you type in a website domain name (richardiddings.com) that name corresponds to a server (IP) address—well, it’s the DNS that translates the name to the server that delivers you to the website content. Each time you click a link or type in a website address it is FIRST routed through a DNS. Since the DNS functions like a roadmap of the internet it becomes easier to understand why DNS is so important for fast and reliable internet—and an effective control point for maintaining family friendly internet.
My recommended solution—the solution I use at home, in our church, and anytime anyone gives me access to their modem (or router) is to change the ISP provided DNS to a faster family friendly DNS. Access your modem (or router), the IP Address is usually on the device along with the username and password. You will be changing the Domain Name Server (DNS) Address from Get Automatically from ISP to Use These DNS Servers. You will be adding a PRIMARY and a SECONDARY.
The Family Friendly DNS providers I am sharing are free as of this writing—you may want to experiment with different providers to see which one will work best for your situation. You should evaluate your DNS experience by internet responsiveness and browsing experience.
I personally use OpenDNS Family Shield: Primary (184.108.40.206) and Secondary (220.127.116.11). I have found OpenDNS Family Shield fast and effective.
More Information: https://www.opendns.com/setupguide/#familyshield
I also used CloudFlare for Families. I cannot remember why I switched to OpenDNS. To utilize their DNS which will block Malware and Adult Content: Primary DNS: 18.104.22.168, Secondary DNS: 22.214.171.124
More Information: https://blog.cloudflare.com/introducing-1-1-1-1-for-families/
Other Family Friendly DNS:
CleanBrowsing: Primary, 126.96.36.199 Secondary, 188.8.131.52
More Information: https://cleanbrowsing.org/filters/
DNS For Family: Primary, 184.108.40.206 Secondary, 220.127.116.11
More Information: https://dnsforfamily.com/
Vercara UltraDNS Public: Primary, 18.104.22.168 Secondary, 22.214.171.124
More Information: https://vercara.com/ultra-dns-public