Family Friendly DNS (free)

Serendipitous Waffle

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With small ones getting online at a younger and younger age, it's important to safeguard them from the more vile side of the internet. From malware to adult content. I personally use a free DNS provider that filters out most, if not all, adult sites and malware sites.

I do not work for, or are sponsored by Cloudflare, this is a personal recommendation. The set up works on any device, from phones / tablets (Android to iPhones, iPad's), OS X and Windows PC'S. And it is free, as in completely free.

It's not as difficult to do and would be more than willing to provide a step by step guide if need be to those who need a more visual aid. (Only for Windows 7 and up) as I no longer have a Mac OS machine handy nor iPhones / iPads. Except for a Powerbook from 1998 running OS 9 which isn't helpful to anyone.

Check out the link: Set up 1.1.1.1 on Windows · Cloudflare 1.1.1.1 docs

Let me know if anyone needs help with setting this up!
 

jas3

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A better option is probably freefiltering.org. Cloudflare's family-friendly filtering service originally blocked "LGBT" content, but they reversed course when they were met with backlash.
 
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Serendipitous Waffle

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Looks pretty good, I still prefer my method as you can set it up on the computers in the house without having to mess with router settings or having another account to register. But both are good it appears. Thanks for sharing!
 
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jas3

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any opensource software for this?
I've actually been looking into this myself - I was going to use freefiltering, but they require a phone number for you to sign up, which feels unnecessary for a free account, and their pricing model is a little insane if you want any features that need a paid account.

The FOSS way to do this is to run a DNS filter on your router. As far as I know this is not a feature most consumer-grade routers offer, but there are a few options, in order from cheapest to most expensive:
  • Get a router that can run OpenWRT, LibreCMC, DD-WRT, etc. and flash it with your distro of choice. This is the route I have chosen to go because you can get a modem+router+ethernet switch+wireless access point in a single package for ~$40, even less if you don't need gigabit speeds.
  • Get a single-board router/system designed to run one of these distros or other, more general-purpose Linux/BSD installations. These would be things like the Espressobin, Banana Pi, DFRobot board, ThinkPenguin router, etc. The only problem with these is that they tend to lack a wireless access point and many have only 2 ethernet ports, so you'll need to buy an access point and ethernet switch if you want to use either of those. The upside is that there are some x86 SBC's out there that can run pfSense, which some people might like as a more polished firewall option.
  • Run a home server either on an existing computer you have or a purpose-built one. This is going to be hundreds of dollars at minimum but would be the fastest option.
All of these allow you to do DNS filtering, logging, and much more on your home network. It obviously doesn't do anything for your cell connection or any other network (e.g. coffee shop public wifi) but there's zero ongoing cost, aside from the power bill which is only significant if you go for the full-blown home server option.

For remote filtering, you could theoretically set up a VPS like you would for hosting a website, except instead of hosting a website you could run a DNS server that does the filtering. It would be a lot of work to set up, but probably still cheaper than most paid DNS filtering services.
 
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AlexB23

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I've actually been looking into this myself - I was going to use freefiltering, but they require a phone number for you to sign up, which feels unnecessary for a free account, and their pricing model is a little insane if you want any features that need a paid account.

The FOSS way to do this is to run a DNS filter on your router. As far as I know this is not a feature most consumer-grade routers offer, but there are a few options, in order from cheapest to most expensive:
  • Get a router that can run OpenWRT, LibreCMC, DD-WRT, etc. and flash it with your distro of choice. This is the route I have chosen to go because you can get a modem+router+ethernet switch+wireless access point in a single package for ~$40, even less if you don't need gigabit speeds.
  • Get a single-board router/system designed to run one of these distros or other, more general-purpose Linux/BSD installations. These would be things like the Espressobin, Banana Pi, DFRobot board, ThinkPenguin router, etc. The only problem with these is that they tend to lack a wireless access point and many have only 2 ethernet ports, so you'll need to buy an access point and ethernet switch if you want to use either of those. The upside is that there are some x86 SBC's out there that can run pfSense, which some people might like as a more polished firewall option.
  • Run a home server either on an existing computer you have or a purpose-built one. This is going to be hundreds of dollars at minimum but would be the fastest option.
All of these allow you to do DNS filtering, logging, and much more on your home network. It obviously doesn't do anything for your cell connection or any other network (e.g. coffee shop public wifi) but there's zero ongoing cost, aside from the power bill which is only significant if you go for the full-blown home server option.

For remote filtering, you could theoretically set up a VPS like you would for hosting a website, except instead of hosting a website you could run a DNS server that does the filtering. It would be a lot of work to set up, but probably still cheaper than most paid DNS filtering services.
Alright, for those who do not have tech experience, I summarized this for everyone else. Even, I had a hard time following, so I had to ask AI the meaning of one of these terms which was VPS.

Summary: If you want to filter internet content at home without paying monthly fees, there are three main options using free and open source software. First, you can purchase a compatible router for around $40 and install OpenWRT, LibreCMC, or DD-WRT. Second, consider getting a single-board system that supports one of these distributions or another Linux/BSD installation. However, note that additional equipment may be required such as a separate wireless access point and ethernet switch. Lastly, setting up a home server allows for advanced customization; however, this will likely be the most expensive option starting at several hundred dollars. All methods enable DNS (domain name system) filtering, logging, and provide freedom from ongoing costs beyond electricity usage (unless your home is solar powered, then electricity is free). For remote devices outside of your home network, a virtual private server (VPS) can host a filtered DNS service though setup requires technical expertise.
 
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nhaas11

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Another choice, if you have a spare PC and can install a second network Card. Install OPNSense (aka OPEN Sense) firewall. There are possible options here. But that is a bit to detailed.
 
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