The internet is full of content, but not all of it is useful for general consumption. Fortunately, you can block certain websites to prevent anyone from accessing them on your home network, especially children.
Restricting Internet use at home may seem unfair, but it also protects your network from malicious content and viruses from certain websites, while also speeding up your overall connection.
We’ll show you how to block websites on your router or using DNS, among other solutions.
Note. This is a general guideline; some routers may or may not have functionality to block specific websites. However, most router firmware allows you to add such sites to the whitelist or blacklist and edit the lists to effectively control access to them.
How to block websites on your router
You can block websites in different ways depending on the router you have at home, as long as it supports website blocking. We’ll show you how to block websites from your router.
- First of all, you need to determine the IP address of your router. To do this, go to the search bar on your computer and type CMD. Click Command Prompt.
- In the command line box, enter ipconfig and press Enter. Next to the default gateway, you will see the IP address of your router.
- If you’re using a Mac computer, click the Apple icon to open the menu, choose System Preferences> Network, and choose Ethernet. You will see the IP address under the router.
- Then enter the IP address of the router in your browser and login. Check the login information on the back of the router chassis. or, if you know the details, please log in to access the back end.
- If you have access to the back end of the router, go to the Security section and click on the content filter or blacklist section, which may differ depending on the router you are using.
- Most routers have this section under the ground rules, firewall, or content section where you can find the URL content filter.
- Add the URL of the website you want to block to the blacklist or content filter on your router and it will block it at source.
How to block websites with DNS
Not all routers allow you to block websites from the back end, which means you need a different way to block such sites. You can do this with a DNS service like OpenDNS, which is free to use and can filter or block specific sites.
Without an IP address, your computer won’t be able to connect to any website, so a DNS server is needed to translate a URL like free-online-converters.com to an IP address.
You usually use the DNS service provided by your ISP, but you can change this at any time OpenDNS is a third-party DNS server that offers several features such as content filtering and increased speed, as well as parental controls.
- To use OpenDNS Family Shield, create your own free account and use the 220.127.116.11 or 18.104.22.168 nameserver addresses to block websites that you do not want others to access. your network.
- For your router, enter the IP address, login, go to DNS settings and use either of the two IP addresses instead of the default one provided by your ISP. On your Netgear router, log in and select General> Internet.
- Click Internet in the right pane, find the option for DNS addresses and select Use these DNS servers. Enter the addresses of the OpenDNS name servers in them.
- On your devices, this can be changed in the network settings. If it’s an Android device, tap Settings> Connections> Wi-Fi.
- Tap your home WiFi network and then tap More.
- Then click “IP Settings” and select “Static”.
- On iPhone: Tap Settings> Wi-Fi, tap the i next to WiFi, then scroll down and tap Configure DNS> Manual. Here you can remove the DNS addresses you don’t need and add the ones you want to block.
- When finished, click Save.
Note. This method does not block social networking sites that may contain objectionable content. In this case, you will need the more advanced OpenDNS Home Internet Security, which blocks entire categories of content. Although it only works on your network, it is great if you need more granular control.
- To use OpenDNS Home Internet Security, create an account with a strong and secure password and you will be directed to the back end.
- Click Add Network. You will see your external IP address, so click on it to get started. The service tracks your changing address, so it’s best to install it on one computer and it will work on the others.
- Click a network and select one of four filtering levels: High, Medium, Low, or None. Each level protects against specific types of content or sites. For example, Low only protects against porn, while High protects against adult sites related to social networking sites, illegal activity, video sharing, and more. Li> UL>
- Click on “Settings” and configure everything to your liking, including the sites you want to block. Remember, you are either blocking the entire site or you are not blocking it at all.
- Finally, configure your home router or devices to use OpenDNS Home Internet Security with IP addresses 22.214.171.124 or 126.96.36.199 by following the same steps as above for your router or device (Android or iPhone)
Block websites with parental controls
The parental control feature can block unintended access or filter the Internet for unwanted sites. You can block sites on your router with built-in parental controls or third party software.
If your router comes with built-in parental controls, you can go to the configuration pages on the Internet and configure it for your network.
If not, just use OpenDNS to configure the feature on your router by changing your DNS server settings to use OpenDNS and then select the websites to block. Every time someone visits a blocked site, they receive a “This site is blocked” message.
Windows computers running the Windows 10 operating system come with built-in parental controls that integrate Family Safety web filtering, time limits, and program access, among other new features.
How to block websites with antivirus software or firewall settings
You can also block websites with antivirus software or firewall by setting a complete ban on certain sites. This blocks everything and from there you can whitelist the websites you want to allow on your home network. Most firewall default settings also allow you to block anything that is not safe to read or view.
A good antivirus package should have website filtering as one of the features that makes it easy to block multiple websites.
Some internet security suites also offer their own parental controls, like Norton Family’s free parental control app from Norton, or you can pay for a dedicated tool like Net Nanny They’re imperfect, but they provide some peace of mind, at least at home on your home network.