Is there a way to save my custom filtered categories?

Comments

18 comments

  • Avatar
    Kristy Patullo

    Each time you change your filtering settings the dashboard saves the changes you've made.  Your settings do get saved but when you disable filtering you remove them.  If your custom filtering settings are close to the Low, Medium, or High settings you can always choose one of those settings and then uncheck any of the categories you don't want to block which may be faster than re-checking all of the categories you wish to block.

    The other option is to remove our DNS settings from your network when you want to remove filtering and re-adding them when you want filtering again.  That way, you wouldn't have to change the filtering settings in your dashboard.

  • Avatar
    chuck88

    It would make our lives so much easier if OpenDNS can save our customized filtering settings. The technique that Kristy has proposed works fine but we then lost the ability to change the filtering settings from outside of our home.

    Does OpenDNS accept suggestion for such improvement?

    Thanks!

  • Avatar
    rotblitz

    "The technique that Kristy has proposed works fine but we then lost the ability to change the filtering settings from outside of our home."

    What of the techniques are you talking about, and why can't you change it from outside?

  • Avatar
    chuck88

    She has proposed to change the DNS in the router level by removing OpenDNS DNS'. Not entirely true for not being able to change it from outside once router's remote management is enable, I know.

    So the suggestion would be, when we're away from home, it would be good to be able to log into OpenDNS.com and restore the previously saved Customized Filtering Settings.

  • Avatar
    rotblitz

    There is no way to "restore the previously saved Customized Filtering Settings" at the dashboard, because previous settings are not stored, just current settings are.  But you can do it by setting it manually to what you want it to be from everywhere, as Kristy described.

    And yes, you could enable remote management for your router if your router supports this.  If not, you can login (RDP) to a computer from remote to change the router settings this way.  You had to utilize Dynamic DNS then.

  • Avatar
    chuck88

    I'm aware of what you were adding to the discussion. The suggestion states that it would be really helpful to have the customized filtering settings be saved under the user profile, and not to have to reselect all over again each time we switch, for obvious reasons related to parental control and flexibility.

    Just a suggestion for improvement. I don't think this is difficult to implement on OpenDNS' side.

  • Avatar
    rotblitz

    Agreed.

  • Avatar
    loraquest

    "The suggestion states that it would be really helpful to have the customized filtering settings be saved under the user profile, and not to have to reselect all over again each time we switch, for obvious reasons related to parental control and flexibility. Just a suggestion for improvement. I don't think this is difficult to implement on OpenDNS' side."

    This is precisely why I started this discussion. It's would be an easy thing for OpenDNS to implement, and it would really make it much more convenient for users. At the very least, they should offer it as an upgraded feature on the VIP plan.

  • Avatar
    mattwilson9090

    It's an easy concept, but many of the easiest concepts are the hardest things to implement.

    Do you have access to all of OpenDNS source code, and the programming expertise to know how to manipulate it, that enables you to say that this would be an easy thing to implement?

    I do agree that it would be more convenient for some users, but I suspect that it would be very few users. This functionality already exists in one form in the Umbrella line of products, with different kinds of "profiles" that can be applied to various networks, users, or machines, depending on how things are configured. I don't think it was intended to be used that way, but rather as a way to make it easier for administrators to add and manage users within an organization, or if they have multiple organizations to manage.

  • Avatar
    chuck88

    Wow ... What a response and the insight!

    I was thinking beside saving a bullet for HIGH/MODERATE/LOW/NONE/CUSTOM, just save a bunch more for sub-options shouldn't be a big deal. Sorry for my simple mind, looks like 24 years experience into aeronautical engineering and programming didn't help me a bit, I design everything too simple I guess.

    Loraquest, for a simple solution rather than depend on other people, download and install RoboForm password manager or any other plugin that is FORM-SAVING capable. When you come back to the OpenDNS Web Filtering Settings, make sure that CUSTOM option is selected so you can see all the sub-option, select all you want then name and save the form; repeat as many "profiles" as you wish. To restore, open the same OpenDNS page and just select the right form on the RoboForm toolbar to fill or unfill, then click on APPLY. Hope that this helps.

    OpenDNS is a great concept but just missing some useful features for our average mortals. I think that RoboForm provides the ability to save up 25 forms without paying for a license. Just combine them. :)

    Good luck!

  • Avatar
    mattwilson9090

    Again, the concept is simple, but I have no idea how things are arranged on the back-end, and neither do you or any of the other non-employees who are saying how easy this should be. Anyone deciding that this is simple to do for them has no idea what they are talking about. I have no idea what engineering or programming work you do either, but it's completely irrelevant if you don't even know how OpenDNS is doing things.

    As for missing useful features, OpenDNS provides a very solid product for free to home users, but even that is beyond the technical ability or comfort level of most people to implement. Being a company that wants to both pay their employees and make a profit they've decided that not all features and options beyond the basic product (primarily recursive DNS, domain filtering, and stats) will be available for free. They've decided that people should actually pay for those non-basic features.

    And as you've just demonstrated there are ways for people using the FREE product to get at least some of the additional features that they don't want to pay for.

  • Avatar
    chuck88

    Thanks for coming. In a marketing point of view, I believe that makes lot of senses.

    I do think that lot of parents are looking desperately solution for Parental Control and many people that I know just don't want or don't know how to deal with the VERY LIMITED functionality of a router for timed based control. I read a bit in your forum and looks like many parents have echoed in this direction.

    Although I'm not a marketing geek, I think that if OpenDNS can combine what was asked in this thread plus the timed base control feature, many of us would be interested in paying or subscripting with a fee to your service. A web-based control panel like OpenDNS is so much easier than a router or even router+DD-WRT (hacking), which is in most of the time discouraging to many.

    Regards.

  • Avatar
    rotblitz

    "how to deal with the VERY LIMITED functionality of a router for timed based control...   if OpenDNS can combine what was asked in this thread plus the timed base control feature"

    Ah, this is what you're looking after!  Well, neither does make sense, for the same reasons: you forgot your local caching, the DNS cache and the browser cache.  And you forgot that the settings work based on your DNS queries.

    Changes do not just take effect because you changed the settings or you reached another time window with different settings.  OpenDNS does not have a way to flush your caches remotely, and these scheduling and settings changes would take effect much delayed, if at all, during a time window.

    Users of Netgear LPC already came here to complain why a running game isn't interrupted when another scheduling window has been reached.  (Because no new DNS lookup is required, so existing connections remain until disconnected.)  Imagine how many users would complain because of the two features you're requesting not working as expected...  Because they naturally cannot work as expected due to their technical limitations.

    I can very well understand that OpenDNS avoids such unnecessary and fruitless support efforts coming with these features...

  • Avatar
    chuck88

    Well understood. Thank you.

    But there is a workaround I guess: the parents would have to schedule a local PC job to flush the local cache using "ipconfig /flushdns" every couple of minutes to make sure that new DNS requests are routed again to OpenDNS, which will then be blocked.

    If OpenDNS Dynamic IP Updater is being used (by majority of users since the lack of static IP), this flushing operation could be part of it. But again, I don't pretend to understand your implementation but just a suggestion. :)

  • Avatar
    rotblitz

    "the parents would have to schedule a local PC job to flush the local cache using "ipconfig /flushdns" every couple of minutes to make sure that new DNS requests are routed again to OpenDNS"

    Ah yes, I see, you are going to even more overcharge the everyday user and OpenDNS's Support.  And this would flush the local resolver cache only, not the browser cache.

    "If OpenDNS Dynamic IP Updater is being used (by majority of users since the lack of static IP), this flushing operation could be part of it."

    Yes, a meaningful approach.  But would people really like to have their caches flushed?  In most cases these caches make the surfing life easier and quicker.  Not using caches also means slowing down surfing in almost all cases.  The caches are not just there for nothing.

    All together, these features are no good for everyday users.  And the advanced users can help themselves, e.g. by running "a local PC job to flush the local cache using "ipconfig /flushdns" every couple of minutes" and flushing also the browser cache, and by using tools like RoboForm or own scripts to change the settings manually or per schedule.

  • Avatar
    chuck88

    Yeah, there is no easy way and the end-users would really need to have some moderate knowledge to deal with that.

    I'm however hoping that somebody somewhere will come up with an all-integrated solution for lot of parents in need of such thing. In my personal point of view, even though flush caches will slowing down in some degrees the Internet access during a short period of time, parents in need of filtering couldn't care less about that.

  • Avatar
    mattwilson9090

    All of this is already allowed for in some form with the existing paid products, although not in the exact way it was asked I'm. I'm more concerned with the functionality and need to be solved than in the particular way it is solved.

     

    There is much less of a need for "timed access" or changing settings with the pay products such as Enterprise and Umbrella because they allow for use of a bypass code. There are different ways it can be used, with multiple codes and settings for each, but basically with one standard set of rules people can bypass what they are allowed to bypass. Also, depending on how things are configured the Umbrella products can also give different settings to specific users, meaning no need to change settings or provisions for "timed access" or "timed settings".

  • Avatar
    loraquest

    Thanks for the RoboForm recommendation! It provides exactly the functionality I was looking for. It's also a really neat program with a lot of other useful features.

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