Option to force Google Safe Search



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    rotblitz (Edited )

    "I've been enforcing SafeSearch on my home network for months by following this article from Google with no such issue. Forcing SafeSearch works perfectly for all of the other Google ccTLD country subdomains."

    Glad to hear!  This is how it should be!

    "Or are you saying that DNSFilter.com is not enforcing SafeSearch for all of the other subdomains?"

    My message followed the DNSFilter message immediately, even referencing its author, so this is more than clear that it can relate only to this.  And yes, at the time when I tested DNSfilter, SafeSearch worked only for www.google.com.  And I found out some more disadvantages and issues (also with safety and security relevance) during my testing cycle.  I have reported all to them, so I may check after some time if they solved them then.  Whatever, the service is targeted at businesses anway, not at home users, and for home users it can be pretty expensive.

    Btw, I also tested SafeDNS, some two or three years ago.  The free service is not useful, most features are cut off, so I decided to not use it any longer.  There may have been more issues, I do not recall.

    Your message part "@OpenDNS" may never be read by staff.  Not sure if this thread is still monitored.

    Whatever, unlike everything else they do, supporting SafeSearch would mean to point at a non-OpenDNS domain, and as I have heard, their policy of their recursive DNS service is to never ever point at a 3rd party domain, only at the original domain or at their own domains, the latter in case of blocking.

    "How can this be true if competitors are able to offer this feature such as SafeDNS and DNSFilter.com?"

    Because these services don't care about this important safety policy for recursive DNS services?

    "I thought OpenDNS existed to help make the internet safer?"

    Definitly!  And exactly this is the reason why they never ever point at a 3rd party domain, no matter who the owner is.  Because they do not have any control over a 3rd party.  Therefore exactly this implementation of SafeSearch would be an important step in direction of less safety, out of their control!  OpenDNS' policy shows the evidence of their efforts in regards to a safer internet, even regarding this point.

    "Especially now that they offer the Family Shield product shouldn't this product enforce SafeSearch and YouTube Restricted Mode right out of the box?"

    No, this comes with too many risks, as I have explained.  It opens the door for vulnerabilities which is OpenDNS trying to protect against.

    "How is OpenDNS "shielding" anyone's family if all Google/Bing searches (including image/video searches) come back with adult content?"

    Do they?  No problem, simply block the Search Engines category, or just Google and Bing individually with OpenDNS!

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    Kibosh.net offers a few products that work at the router level and enforce safesearch. One of them you can use with your own router.

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    They unfortunately offer nothing for me.  Their services are not available in most parts of the world.  I even cannot try it out. :(
    So, simply forget it!

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    Yandex DNS offer Google Safe Search and more.



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    I don't understand why this couldn't have been answered more simply. Yes, many people may have been asking for a feature based on a lack of understanding of how the technology works, but that happens with many subjects and services that people have little understanding of, so they begin asking the wrong questions and making many uneducated guesses is just part of the process of trying to make sense of it all. Also, many have already admitted that their technical skills are lacking to the point that it is over their heads to implement Google's instructions. They are just looking for a solution to a problem that can potentially be very harmful to their family.

    So in the spirit of being helpful, and trying to steer people in the right direction, here is the simple answer in laymans terms that everyone can understand and do something useful with:

    OpenDNS does offer the ability to Enforce Google Safe Search with the click of a button (at least very close to it).

    But it's part of their Paid service thru Cisco Umbrella for $20/user/year (3 computers per user, max 5 users) - https://store.opendns.com/umbrella/prosumer#login

    Yes this is a different service than just basic recursive DNS filtering. But it is the closest answer to what many are asking for.

    You install the Umbrella Roaming Client on the Computer or laptop you want to protect and link it to your Umbrella account, which has options very similar to OpenDNS Home. While you do have to install the software per computer, you have the added benefit of this service protecting the computer no matter what wifi or hard wired network you are connected to, home or away.

    One drawback is that mobile devices are not currently supported. They did offer support for mobile in the past, but for some reason or another they decided to disable mobile support for new subscriptions. This would be the ultimate service because your family would be protect not only on your home network, but on any network they connected to, whether on wifi or cellular. This would be the service to push for and build demand for and try to get them to reenable.

    Keep in mind that while this service is not as difficult to setup as a DNS Server, it is a lot more involved than basic OpenDNS Home. If customer service was getting a larger number of calls from consumers struggling to get it working, this could be a reason they disabled it for new accounts.

    Now I'm no professional when it comes to DNS configuration, but I have been successful in setting up my own DNS Server, and I can tell you that depeneding on your level of tech savvy, and what features you are trying to get working, it can be a real pain to get things up and running even with a good knowledge of Networking and Computers. And it may be a little irresponsible to encourage someone with minimal knowledge to run a local DNS Server because misconfiguration could potentially open up your network to other serious security issues. I think the suggestion of using a router with that functionality built in is the best bet for your local home network.

    Or you could use something like Circle with Disney on your home network and subscribe to Circle go. Circle gives you DNS Filtering on your home network similar to OpenDNS and enforces different levels of Safe Search depending on the age group selected for a specific device. Circle Go protects devices when they are away from the home network or when the are on a cellular connection.

    Hopefully this provides some help that is useful and easy to understand and helps to steer someone in the right direction. I'm still doing research myself on other mobile options. If I can find a good solution, I will try to remember to come back and share it with everyone.

    PS: sorry for rambling.

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