How to block certain websites from router’s DNS settings

workingAs a supervisor of a team, do you sometime realize that some of your staff looks very busy but when you request for deliverables, there’s just none. photo credit: jcestnik

When you ask them why do they look so busy then. Their usual reply would be: “I’m doing some extra research on the Internet”.

If you’re worried that some of your workers may be spending way too much time using the Internet for their personal stuffs, then you might want to consider implementing an Internet usage policy within the office environment.

The problem with a policy, it’s just a set of rules for workers. Some may be obedient and never use the office Internet for any of their personal browsing while some might just choose to ignore the policy and just surf their favorite non work related sites even during office hours.

Either way, all organizations that offer Internet usage for their staffs should try their best to block users from accessing sites which are related to:

  • Adult
  • Games
  • Dating
  • Gambling
  • Hate / Discrimination

Basically any time spent on any of the above sites is equivalent loss in productivity for the organization.

From the viewpoint of an office worker using the Internet, most would prefer that their Internet usage is not filtered in any way. Meaning, having access to every single site there is on the Internet.

But from the perspective of a supervisor or director of the company, if there are reasons to believe that the office Internet should only be used for business and company related purposes, then you might want to consider blocking certain websites from being viewed.

An easy way to block certain websites would be via the Router, by changing the DNS settings to point to the DNS provided by OpenDNS.com

OpenDNS is an Internet navigation and security provider used by millions around the world.

In general, what OpenDNS does for you is it provides you an alternative to using your ISP’s DNS servers. Once you’ve switched over to using OpenDNS’s DNS from the router, you can begin to block certain websites from being accessed.

Blocking a website such as Facebook.com is as simple as adding the domain name into your OpenDNS web content filtering page.

You can also apply a web content filtering level based on how much you want to filter.

block certain websites

For example, by selecting the High Filtering Level, staffs will be blocked (protected) against all adult related sites, illegal activity, social networking sites, video sharing sites, and general time wasters.

Other notable benefits includes:

  • Stats / reporting capability which tells me which domains get accessed the most. If for example, you see that Facebook.com gets accessed the most especially during working hours, then that may be the indication for you to begin blocking the site and provided you believe it’s not for work related purposes.
  • Anti-Phishing protects your Internet users from fraudulent phishing scams giving better security.
  • Faster browsing experience thanks to its SmartCache and Anycast routing technology.

I have been using OpenDNS Basic free for more than a week and so far have not experienced any problems. For the protection that it’s giving to my Internet users, I’m sure I’ll be using OpenDNS as well as recommending it to people whenever necessary.

If you’re a parent with kids who just began to use the Internet, OpenDNS will be a great tool for you to ensure that they don’t end up surfing the bad sites.

For more details on how to set up OpenDNS, do check out this video tutorial on How to create a free OpenDNS Basic Account to manage your DNS.

In case you’re wondering if your router has already been configured to OpenDNS’s DNS settings, see the image below.

Use OpenDNS

If you see a message which says Use OpenDNS! Get Started. This means that you’re not on OpenDNS yet. Otherwise, it should show: You’re using OpenDNS! SWEET! Either way, check out OpenDNS.com today.

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