Domain blocking at certain times of the day only

Not planned

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65 comments

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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    sjnairn

    cervezafria, you post dated June 07, 2013 12:40 is disappointing to say the least. A legitimate request in my eyes - you allow your children xMinutes per day (a set interval eg: 19:00-19:30), to visit youtube, supervised. This would unquestionably be an excellent addition.

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    maniktala

    The impression that I get from reading this whole thread is that Kristian's initial request is pointless (especially from cervezafria's comments). I think this is a great request idea (it seems there may be caching issues to work out). It seems perfectly logical that you would block streaming sites (as not to use up bandwidth) during business hours, but allow them after hours for end users working late on a project. It also seems employee friendly to allow facebook only over the lunch hour. I can go on with many ways to customize a time based filter for both the home and work environment that have practical purposes. I think OpenDNS should continue efforts to make this a feature.

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    johnsmith99

    I get that it wouldn't work perfectly, although I don't understand why because I am able to implement domain restriction changes rather quickly and have them work on the computer most of the time, but why not just release this as a half-working beta function?? Most users are talking about blocking casual Facebook browsing, not illicit porn, so it seems like a harmless improvement that can only aid productivity even if not in full. I for one would like the option from the DNS end. It's not like DNS is foolproof content blocking anyways. Please reconsider adding this feature set. 

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    johnsmith99

    Can you tell me how to access this feature? I'm talking about time restrictions DNS side, not the local client, not the roaming concept? Maybe I don't know the OpenDNS dashboard well enough. If it is via a local client automating DNS side changes, where can I download this client?  

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    johnsmith99

    Thanks for helping. I did not intend to make you feel exasperated.

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    threehappypenguins

    I have an idea? Anybody good with programming? Why not create a forum spambot to do what many of us are doing manually? Since OpenDNS does not want to implement a time restriction feature on the OpenDNS cache because they are afraid of complaints of inconsistency to do the need for DNSflush and caching, etc, then why not have a robot to the manual job?

    I'm guessing the best way would be to make it server side so a program is not need to run on a local computer to get the job done. The robot program can be uploaded to a webhost. Accounts can be made, and the user can enter which categories they want the robot to block and at what time. As well as whitelist and blacklist exceptions that are time based as well.

    I brought up the idea here, and I am still waiting for a response: http://superuser.com/questions/691963/forum-spambot-for-changing-opendns-settings-on-a-timer

    I'm willing to learn code to do it myself if I have to (I have a little bit of experience in website building...). If anybody can point me in the right direction, that would be great!

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    tmckee0601

    I am amazed at the snide openDNS staff comments on a legitimate request that many have indicated would be useful. If it's a caching problem, so what.. let us as the end users deal with that minor problem. We have everything blocked and whitelisted Pinterest, but it still links to user pages that are hosted on questionable sites that are 80% of the time blocked. My wife wants everything unblocked during the day while kids are in school so she can use Pinterest without any glitches and the time based option seemed like a good solution, but unfortunately this seems like a dead end so I'll have to go to the router. Disappointing!

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    mistervapor

    WOW...I came across this thread while looking for a way to use OpenDNS to block my kid from accessing certain website at specific times of the day after being told the OpenDNS could do that.  It was never suggested that I would need to buy a new router to do this.  

    Since I have a little bit of IT experience, I think I could handle getting a router setup on the home network side of my FIOS router but I would bet the average parent would have no clue how to setup a second router to handle these rules.  Before some gets smirky with me and says "hey idiot, use the parent controls in you FIOS router..." that router is too easy to circumvent.

    I'm not seeking advice from anyone here, I just wanted to chime in as well as say I am surprised how snide people are when someone makes a relatively innocuous request...one I would be more than wiling to pay a monthly fee to use.  I dunno, seems like an opportunity more than an obstacle.

    Take care

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    davidlev

    My Actiontec modem, under advanced setup, provides service blocking (ie, instant messaging), access scheduler (time of day by IP or the whole LAN side), and website blocking (can add more sites than the 50 'always blocked' offered by OpenDNS). It does not offer content filtering by category, which is why I went with OpenDNS.  Neither my modem or OpenDNS does keyword filtering, however, so like many of you, I'm looking into other options to augment the tech I own. I'd really like to learn more about Umbrella from a human, but my support/sales email has been unanswered for a few days.

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    r2spongebob

    I agree that this would a great feature.  Maybe I would like to block MineCraft domains to stop the kids from playing games.  And limiting the number of applications I used to just one system/site.  (Like using OpenDNS)

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    proteanthread

    why not keep the weekends separate from the weekdays, for obvious reasons?

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    funksobruva

    Believe me, the minute my kids can spell "mac spoofing", I'll worry.

    I've used D-links, Netgears, and now I have an Asus RT-N66U, and every single parental control panel screen has deficiencies. I had the Asus as my primary router, but I refuse to buy more devices in this endeavor (using the RT in AP mode, have another Asus device as repeater-only, plus a Ubiquiti long-range AP. Oh, and a couple switches). Therefore, I have actually turned on the SSID and am using the Verizon (newer N model).

    All I need is to be able to setup time-based rules for my kids multiple devices (xbox, laptops, iPods tablets), different rules for weekday/weekends/solitary confinement mode. In AT LEAST 30-minute increments. Batch processing (i.e., add xbox/wii/blu-ray player in a group, and label it: "Basement" to avoid having to change a time for 3 different devices on the fly).

    Is that too much to ask??? 8-)

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    stevefal

    No , you said that "time-based rules" and "specify devices by mac address" are local things, of which only the latter is true. I don't see why you're so intent on asserting the impossibility of a solution. What's your stake in shutting down the conversation?

    OpenDNS rules are applied to selected machines through a combination of statically configured DNS addresses on the target machines and DNS server detection of originating IP address. The server could maintain a DNS address pool to provide a selection of rule groups, and the service could implement rule sets that are swapped on a user set schedule, adjusted for time zone.

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    stevefal

    Before sticking your neck out too far, briefly consider the remote possibility that you're missing something.

    I suggest that anyone able to consider all the facts and wishes dispassionately continue toward a viable suggestion for OpenDNS. It is OpenDNS, of course, who will decide whether to pursue any of this.

    My proposal is straightforward. I admit that it may have flaws I haven’t considered:

    Background:

    - OpenDNS applies rule sets based on client IP address

    - OpenDNS is already imperfect for critical scenarios due to DNS caching and workarounds

    - However, OpenDNS is “good enough” for many users, as evidenced by its use

    - Some customers would like the rule sets to be scheduled, in order to avoid manual work, e.g. kids’ weekend use

    Minimal Solution:

    - for a single household with one governed subset of clients, each governed client is configured statically with OpenDNS DNS address. (This is how I use OpenDNS, not in my router)

    - OpenDNS implements a schedule, based on the user’s time zone, that switches the rule set on and off. This schedule replaces the Saturday morning, “Daddy, can you turn the Internet back on?”

    Alternate Rules Solution:

    - Instead of turning the rule set ON/OFF, OpenDNS allows switching between two rule sets, e.g. set #1: (-gaming, -social, -porn), #2: (-porn).

    Multiple Groups Solution:

    - OpenDNS supports multiple DNS addresses that can be configured into multiple household client groups, for unique rule sets and schedules, per above.

    Of course all this is subject to actual design details, engineering constraints and OpenDNS' desire to address the market need. I personally would consider paying for even the minimal solution above.

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    stevefal

    it would also be cutting the net off for mom & dad

    Incorrect. Read the post. I set OpenDNS addresses only in the clients I want to protect. I do not use OpenDNS in my router.

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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

    @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

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

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