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How to block porn websites without any software?

There could be many reasons for blocking access to porn websites. Home users with kids definitely need to block access to adult websites. I won’t discuss how watching porn can impact children, instead you can read this article to know more. So, how do we actually block porn?

Method 1: Block porn websites through a computer software (not recommended).

There are many computer programs available which can help in blocking porn websites. Many expensive antivirus programs also include parental controls to prevent children from going to adult sites on the computer. Such programs are required on each device at home as children may use other devices too. apart from their computer. Speaking of other devices, computers are not the only devices which give internet access at home. Tablets, handheld/ TV video game consoles, mobile phones & upcoming smart watches can also give internet access. I do not know of any parental control software which can work on these devices. So, I would personally prefer a solution which works on every device and is free of cost.

Keep children away from porn. Image Courtesy - BBC News

Keep children away from porn. Image Courtesy – BBC News

Method 2: Block porn websites through hosts file (not recommended).

Hosts file contains a list of websites/domains and their server IP address. In simple language – it is a local version of DNS (will talk about that later) which was designed during early days of computer when DNS did not exist. Hosts file is still found in latest operating systems. You can mislead the computer to connect to a wrong address by modifying the host file. Example – you can instruct the computer to take the user nowhere if they try to open xxx.com. Hosts file are not intelligent, you have to note down the names of each website which you want to block for it to work. Ready made hosts files with the updated lists of porn websites are hard to find and again they cannot be installed on smartphones, tablets and game consoles. So I won’t recommend this method to block porn websites.

Method 3: Block porn websites through DNS (recommended).

What is DNS? DNS stands for Domain Name Server. Every website operates off a server which has a unique identity in the form of an IP address. We just need to remember the website address and the job of connecting to the nearest server for that particular website is done by the DNS. We enter the name of the website, DNS finds the IP address of the server and makes the connection. Normally we would prefer the DNS to be as fast as possible and I have written a guide on finding the fastest DNS server for your connection. You can read it here: Fastest DNS Servers – How to find? . Using fastest DNS server may not be the priority if you want to prevent your kids from watching porn. But we will still prefer choosing a DNS provider which can not only block porn but also is considerably fast.

Which DNS server to choose?

There are 3 free porn filtering DNS providers that I could find as of me writing this guide – Norton ConnectSafe, OpenDNS FamilyShield & YandexDNS.

OpenDNS has more servers overall, specially in Europe. OpenDNS also has a server in Australia unlike Norton ConnectSafe. So I would strongly recommend OpenDNS for Australian users. YandexDNS only has servers in Russia, former Soviet countries and Western Europe. Overall, OpenDNS is present in more locations throughout the world but you can still experiment with all three of these DNS service providers and find which one is the fastest for you.

Make a note of DNS Servers for these 3 providers for reference:

Norton ConnectSafe: Preferred DNS: 199.85.126.30, Alternate DNS: 199.85.127.30

OpenDNS: Preferred DNS: 208.67.222.123, Alternate DNS: 208.67.220.123

YandexDNS: Preferred DNS: 77.88.8.7, Alternate DNS: 77.88.8.3

Now choose a scenario that suits your needs:

1) You get internet through a wireless router/modem but want to block only 1 computer from accessing porn websites.

2) You get internet through a wireless router/modem & want to block all the devices (phones/tablets/video-game consoles) which connect to it from accessing porn websites.

3) You get internet directly on your computer through 3G/4G dongle and want to block only 1 computer from accessing porn websites.

If  option 1) or 3) best suits you then read this guide, but under Step 8 – put the DNS numbers from the above listed DNS addresses. But, wait… there is a software which can allow you to change the DNS servers with a click of a button on Windows computers. Only if for some reason the software way of changing DNS server fails then try the manual method and do not forget to change the numbers in Step 8 in that guide.

DNS Angel (Optional software method of manually changing DNS) – The easiest way to switch between porn blocking DNS providers:

Download DNS Angel from here. And follow the steps on the Page 2:

 

 

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