Advantages of OpenDNS

I’ve recently been asked for a solution to prevent access to inappropriate material in a business. An article that was recently aired on Category5.tv that discuses the use of OpenDNS for this exact use!

As I use Bind9 (DNS server) as a caching DNS on my home network, I had it set to use my ISP’s DNS servers, but just recently altered this to use OpenDNS.

To use OpenDNS you will need to sign-up (registration is free) before you can use this service, all the details on how to use OpenDNS are of course on their website. So what do you get by using this? Well depending on the service you opt for this gives various options, but the default free plan will cover most home networks needs with the following options…

High

Protects against all adult-related sites, illegal activity, social networking sites, video sharing sites, and general time-wasters. 27 categories in this group – View – Customize

  • Adware

Sites that distribute applications which display advertisements without user’s knowledge or choice. Does NOT include sites which serve advertising.

  • Alcohol

Sites about alcohol use, commercial and otherwise.

  • Chat

Sites where you can chat in real-time with groups of people. Includes IRC.

  • Classifieds

Sites for buying and selling (or bartering) goods and services.

  • Dating

Sites for meeting other people.

  • Drugs

Sites about illegal or recreational drug use.

  • File storage

Sites that offer space for hosting, sharing and backup of digital files.

  • Gambling

Sites that offer gambling or information about gambling.

  • Games

Sites that offer game play and information about games (news, tips, cheat codes).

  • Hate/Discrimination

Sites that promote intolerance based on gender, age, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or other group identities.

  • Instant messaging

Sites that offer access or software to communicate in real-time with other individuals.

  • P2P/File sharing

Sites that facilitate the sharing of digital files between individuals, especially via peer-to-peer software, including torrent sites.

  • Social networking

Sites that promote interaction and networking between people.

  • Video sharing

Sites for sharing video content.

  • Visual search engines

Sites for searching for images based on keywords.

  • Weapons

Sites about weapons, commercial and otherwise.

  • Webmail

Sites that offer the ability to send or receive email.

  • Photo sharing

Sites for sharing photographs, as individual images, galleries and albums.

  • Adult Themes

Sites that are adult in nature and are not defined in other rating categories. Note: This category should only be turned on if you want to be very restrictive on your network.

  • Tasteless

Sites that contain information on such subjects as mutilation, torture, horror, or the grotesque.

  • Lingerie/Bikini

Sites displaying or dedicated to lingerie/bikini that could be considered adult-only.

  • Proxy/Anonymizer

Sites providing proxy bypass information or services. Also, sites that allow the user to surf the net anonymously, including sites that allow the user to send anonymous emails.

  • Sexuality

Sites that provide information, images or implications of bondage, sadism, masochism, fetish, beating, body piercing or self-mutilation.

  • Nudity

Sites that provide images or representations of nudity.

  • Pornography

Anything relating to pornography, including mild depiction, soft pornography or hard-core pornography.

  • Forums/Message boards

Sites with discussions, including bulletin boards, message boards and forums.

  • Phishing Protection

By enabling phishing protection, you’ll protect everyone on your network from known phishing sites using the best data available.

Moderate

Protects against all adult-related sites and illegal activity.

14 categories in this group – View – Customize

  • Adware

Sites that distribute applications which display advertisements without user’s knowledge or choice. Does NOT include sites which serve advertising.

  • Alcohol

Sites about alcohol use, commercial and otherwise.

  • Dating

Sites for meeting other people.

  • Drugs

Sites about illegal or recreational drug use.

  • Gambling

Sites that offer gambling or information about gambling.

  • Hate/Discrimination

Sites that promote intolerance based on gender, age, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or other group identities.

  • Weapons

Sites about weapons, commercial and otherwise.

  • Tasteless

Sites that contain information on such subjects as mutilation, torture, horror, or the grotesque.

  • Lingerie/Bikini

Sites displaying or dedicated to lingerie/bikini that could be considered adult-only.

  • Proxy/Anonymizer

Sites providing proxy bypass information or services. Also, sites that allow the user to surf the net anonymously, including sites that allow the user to send anonymous emails.

  • Sexuality

Sites that provide information, images or implications of bondage, sadism, masochism, fetish, beating, body piercing or self-mutilation.

  • Nudity

Sites that provide images or representations of nudity.

  • Pornography

Anything relating to pornography, including mild depiction, soft pornography or hard-core pornography.

  • Phishing Protection

By enabling phishing protection, you’ll protect everyone on your network from known phishing sites using the best data available.

Low

Protects against pornography and phishing.

5 categories in this group – View – Customize

  • Tasteless

Sites that contain information on such subjects as mutilation, torture, horror, or the grotesque.

  • Proxy/Anonymizer

Sites providing proxy bypass information or services. Also, sites that allow the user to surf the net anonymously, including sites that allow the user to send anonymous emails.

  • Sexuality

Sites that provide information, images or implications of bondage, sadism, masochism, fetish, beating, body piercing or self-mutilation.

  • Pornography

Anything relating to pornography, including mild depiction, soft pornography or hard-core pornography.

  • Phishing Protection

By enabling phishing protection, you’ll protect everyone on your network from known phishing sites using the best data available.

Minimal

Protects against phishing attacks.

1 category in this group – View – Customize

  • Phishing Protection

By enabling phishing protection, you’ll protect everyone on your network from known phishing sites using the best data available.

None

Nothing blocked.

Custom

Choose the categories you want to block.

So as you can see, there is plenty of scope to cover what you want or don’t want on your network and you can also add domains for review from OpenDNS should you find a site that you feel offensive …  😀