What is DNS filtering? First, DNS stands for Domain Name System. Whenever you type in a web address or a domain, such as filteryourinternet.com, your device connects to a DNS to find the IP address of the website you’re trying to access. The DNS then directs your browser to that IP address and your browser populates the web page. You could call it the phone book for the internet. By default the DNS is handled by your ISP, but can be set to a custom DNS of your choice.
A Few Things To Keep In Mind
- Requires the use of a DNS with filtering capabilities, such as Adguard DNS Family Protection or CleanBrowsing (links below).
- You do not have control of which sites are block or not blocked.
- Requires basic knowledge on how the DNS settings are changed on each device.
- We strongly recommend using an accountability program along side this option.
- Does not have administrative rights to the device which means it can be easily turned off.
DNS filtering is done many different ways, depending on the type of device you have. For that reason we will not go into full detail for each device and we assume if you are choosing to go this route, you have some technical experience and are able to figure it out by researching it online. Below are some of the ways to use DNS settings.
Your Home Internet Router
This option will force all devices connected to your router, wired or wireless, to use your choice of DNS and is the easiest way to apply that DNS to all your household devices. Keep it it mind that any devices that have a 4G connection as well as Wi-Fi will not be filtered once they disconnect from your router. To use this, you will need to know the local IP address of your router and also the username and password to access the admin settings on your router. If you know the IP address and the login info of your router (normally this info can be found in the owners manual that came with your router), type the IP address in a browser and hit enter. At this point you should be prompted for the login info. Once you’ve logged in, find the area that contains the DNS settings and enter the DNS settings provided by the custom DNS of your choice. If you are not sure where to find these settings, type the model of your router followed by “DNS settings” on a Google search. You should be able to find help on the manufacturers website.
Changing your DNS settings on Android devices will work on a 4G connection as well as any Wi-Fi connection you are connected to. For phones running Android 8 and below, it requires the use of a third party DNS changer app, such as the free fitly named DNS Changer and DNS Changer by Blokada apps. For Pixel and OnePlus devices that are running Android 9 or above there is native support for custom DNS settings. This can be found labeled “Private DNS” under your internet settings. One thing to note, the Private DNS on Android 9 uses the more secure DNS-over-TLS protocol which requires a hostname for the DNS service instead of an IP address.
To use custom DNS on an iPhone or iPad while on a 4G connection, requires the purchase of an app called DNS Override. It has native support for custom DNS on Wi-Fi but we recommend using the DNS Override app, which does both the 4G and Wi-Fi connections, for better protection. The DNS Override app provides built in support for various DNS services including CleanBrowsing and the ability to manually add one that is not built in such as Adguard DNS.
Changing the DNS settings on a Windows desktop or laptop is done by each connection type available, Ethernet (wired) or Wi-Fi (wireless). If your PC has both, you want to apply the same settings to both connections. To do this, click the start menu and type “Control Panel”. Click on “Network and Internet”. Now click on “Network and Sharing Center”. Locate “Change Adapter Setting” on the left pane and click on it. You should now see your available network interfaces, Wi-Fi and/or Ethernet. Right click on the one you are changing and choose “Properties” from the drop down menu. Locate and click on “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” then click the Properties button. By default the “Obtain DNS server address automatically” option is selected. Click the dot beside “Use the following DNS server addresses” and then put in your preferred DNS address in the boxes and click OK.