Domain blocking at certain times of the day only

Not planned

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65 comments

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    rotblitz

    You may need to be far more specific about what exactly should be blocked during certain times of the day. Everything? What's defined in the dashboard, or what?

    Also, what should not be blocked or should be blocked during the rest of the time? Nothing? Or what?

    You see, your idea raises more question than it answers...

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    zero_0nee

    Thanks for your reply and sorry for not being specific enough. I will edit my post to be more specific. 

    I want to be able to configure time-based settings in the exact same way as I can with "Live Parental Controls" on my netgear router (you can read more about it here http://countries.netgear.com/lpc#05).  I don't think it is possible to be any more specific then pointing at something that already exists and say "I want that!".

    "NETGEAR Live Parental Controls powered by OpenDNS allows you to filter specific Web content at only certain times of the day, such as applying more restrictive filtering during homework hours." 

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    cervezafria
    So you're saying you want to visit porn sites after your kids go to bed... is that what this is about. OK. Just change your DNS settings back to your ISP defaults.
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    rotblitz

    "I want to be able to configure time-based settings in the exact same way as I can with "Live Parental Controls" on my netgear router (you can read more about it here http://countries.netgear.com/lpc#05)."

    Yeah, but this is almost a pure router function. Also the non-LPC Netgear firmware and other routers support such features. You do need a special router for this, OpenDNS alone won't do it.

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    zero_0nee

    cervezafria: Thanks for the hilarious comment! :P But no, I don't have kids, and I don't care about blocking porn sites. I want to block distracting sites, like youtube facebook, during the working hours. In other words: I want to use openDNS to combat "akrasia" (weakness of will). 

    rotblitz: I know it is a pure router function, but it doesn't have to be. If I can already change my filter level manually by logging in to my openDNS account, surely it could be done automatically according to a schedule specified by the user. 

     

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    cervezafria

    @Kristian... This is the "idea bank" ...  so your request is in the right place. As rotblitz mentioned, I've done this through the router by blocking keywords (youtube, facebook) on a predefined schedule, but I found the standard router scheduling.tool unsatisfying

    Since your objective is to impose self-restrictions, you might find these applications helpful now...

    http://keepmeout.com/en/

    http://getcoldturkey.com/

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    rotblitz

    "If I can already change my filter level manually by logging in to my openDNS account, surely it could be done automatically according to a schedule specified by the user. "

    Yes, but it would have no effect due to local caching. The same mechanism would have to run a routine flushing both, your local resolver cache and your browser cache. Too much efforts, at OpenDNS and at the user end, and most people would do it wrong anyway due to lack of understanding. They would regularly come back to complain that the scheduling doesn't work, and so forth. All of this does not really make sense.

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    david54321

    I think Kristian's suggestion is excellent. I too would like to be able to block or unblock certain categories at certain times of the day or on certain days. For example: "Games" = unblocked from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Fridays and from 8:00 am to 11:00 am on Saturdays.

    Yes, it's not a 100% perfect solution on account of DNS caching by the operating system or browser. But it's what I do manually now, via the OpenDNS dashboard, and it generally works well.

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    rotblitz

    I bet it won't happen as LPC is out.

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    Brian Hartvigsen

    OpenDNS has partnered with Netgear to offer Live Parental Controls powered by OpenDNS on most current Netgear routers.  One of the features that this offers is time based control over category filtering.

    We are investigating offering additional filtering features to all OpenDNS users, but at this time there is no concrete timeframe for implementing time-based filtering controls.

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    grr1252

    RE "at this time there is no concrete timeframe for implementing time-based filtering controls."

    It would have been nice to see this specified on the OpenDNS feature page, as this wass the only reason I purchased this service, which unfortunately I now find to be unavailabble.

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    cervezafria

    "as this wass the only reason I purchased this service"

    You purchased the service for time-based filtering controls... Really?

    Whatever gave you the idea that was a premium feature?

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    rotblitz

    "this wass the only reason I purchased this service"

    You got the wrong service then and didn't read the details before you bought. This feature is available, with a Netgear router and OpenDNS' LPC, as outlined above. Therefore it will not come up with the other OpenDNS for home variations yet. Why should it, as it is there already?

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    edoc7

    Why is such a simple add-on feature such a challenge?

    How hard can it be to make this happen - with disclaimers as mentioned above?

    Most of the code is already in OpenDNS where one chooses to Whitelist or Blacklist - just add time-range & weekday selection fields to each item.

    Add an optional extra dollar to the Premium price if covering the cost to hire someone to modify the code is the limiting factor - it shouldn't take more than an hour to code and another couple for testing and tweaking.  If-then testing for field values was easy to script 25 years ago.

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    cervezafria

    How is it that a site is "bad" only certain hours of the day/days of the week?

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    rotblitz

    "Why is such a simple add-on feature such a challenge?"

    I see, you didn't read the above, and you have no idea. I say it again, it is not simple due to local caching. It is not sufficient to automatically change the settings at OpenDNS according to a schedule. Your local caches would simply ignore that, even for days or weeks in some cases. Is that too hard to understand?

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    jeffl012

    How does "NETGEAR Live Parental Controls" do it (ie: handle the local cache issue)?

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    rotblitz

    Not really sure, but LPC uses a quite different technology. You can define bypass and other accounts based on Windows or OSX user accounts on computers. And you have to login for this through the local User Utility program coming with this. Could well be that the User Utility has a built-in cache clearing function.

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    jeffl012

    Seems like OpenNAS could employ an OS specific agent to handle it - maybe add on to their "OpenDNS Updater" utility

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    jeffl012

    OpenDNS

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    im_a_odns_user

    "How is it that a site is "bad" only certain hours of the day/days of the week?"

    Wow.  Sorry, but this is such a naive comment. 

    Many people like myself need to provide a level of oversight for our teenage kids who use the Internet.   That means limiting their access to sites like Facebook and Youtube when they are supposed to be doing their homework without blocking them other times.  Time-based settings with OpenDNS would make sense for a lot of parents.

     

     

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    rotblitz

    "Time-based settings with OpenDNS would make sense for a lot of parents."

    Yes, this is the reason why it's there. And because it is required to be done locally, OpenDNS LPC with a Netgear (or other) router was the only viable solution. So, use this instead of requesting an existing feature again. Nobody needs to reinvent the wheel if it's there already.

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    cervezafria

    " limiting their access to sites like Facebook and Youtube when they are supposed to be doing their homework"

    That's called obedience. If parenting you use is powerplay with the DNS settings, then they will surely find a simple way to circumvent OpenDNS (there are many, and they are free). If my kid's access those sites without seeking permission first, their access to everything electronic would be jeopardized.

    That said, you can do what you want using Windows built-in parenta controls. If you have a fruit computer, you have my sympathy.

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    jeffl012

    It's not about re-inventing the wheel. It's about making it simple and complete. If it's not simple people wont use it. Dealing with routers at any level is over most peoples heads. Also router control is network specific instead of device specific. This just won't fly for today's mobile world where devices are taken away from the home network or are connected via cellular networks. OpenDNS needs platform specific, client-side, password protected agents that synchronizes the OpenDNS configurations with the device. All the user would need to do is install the agent on the device and associate it with the OpenDNS account. After that, all configuration would be done on the OpenDNS website. Clearly this a a major development project for OpenDNS, but it's the only way I see to truly shield the kids in a user-friendly way parents can handle.

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    cervezafria

    If you can't "deal with a router" then you probably have misconfigured OpenDNS—unless you think it's more user-friendly to set DNS within the network adaptor configuration ... and of course all these "bells and whistles" should come as a "free" service.

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    im_a_odns_user

    @cervezafria

    "If you have a fruit computer, you have my sympathy."

    No "fruit"computer (apple?) or Windows  - i gave my son a linux machine locked down with an admin password. So I doubt he would find OpenDNS simple to circumvent. 

    "That's called obedience."

    I don't think you have teenagers. 

    In any case there are others besides parents - grandparents and schools etc, - who need a flexible, user-friendly way to protect kids on-line. 

     

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    rotblitz

    "This just won't fly for today's mobile world where devices are taken away from the home network or are connected via cellular networks. OpenDNS needs platform specific, client-side, password protected agents that synchronizes the OpenDNS configurations with the device. All the user would need to do is install the agent on the device and associate it with the OpenDNS account. After that, all configuration would be done on the OpenDNS website. Clearly this a a major development project for OpenDNS"

    It's still reinventing the wheel. OpenDNS already left this "major development project" behind them.
    Here it is, exactly what you're looking for:
    http://www.umbrella.com/products/roaming/http://www.umbrella.com/products/mobility/

    Based on devices, not networks, can be used everywhere, "platform specific, client-side, password protected agents that synchronizes the OpenDNS configurations with the device. All the user would need to do is install the agent on the device and associate it with the OpenDNS account".

    So what? Costs too much? And who should pay for the still ongoing "major development project" if not the user?

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    rotblitz

    Repeating the links, they were corrupted:

    http://www.umbrella.com/products/roaming/

    http://www.umbrella.com/products/mobility/

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    jeffl012

    They would need to gear that service for the parental control community. Currently it's for business only. (..."Listed price is for 100 users"...)

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    cttpit

    "They would need to gear that service for the parental control community. Currently it's for business only."

    Let me add my two cents here.  I have the categories Games, Radio and Video Sharing blocked on our company's network, but would like to open them up during lunch (before I get lynched). So scheduling is of great interest to me.

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