Restrict access to adult and inappropriate sites, with ‘Dns Angel’ for Windows

3
219

Do you have small children in your household using the internet? Are you concerned about inappropriate access to adult and other problematic sites? If so, this program may be exactly what you need.

‘Dns Angel’ is a portable freeware for Windows that can switch your computer’s default DNS provided by your ISP to replace it with one of a handful ‘safe’ DNS that scrubs inappropriate or malicious sites, Phishing sites, as well as malware websites.

DNS stands for (Domain Name System), which is a database that translates domain names to IP addresses. Your computer is using one right now to access this site, which is likely provided by your ISP. But DNS services are actually interchangeable; for example, you can opt to use the Google public DNS if your ISP blocks certain sites that you want to access. Conversely, there are many free, public DNS services that block adult, pornographic, and other ‘malicious’ or suspicious sites. ‘Dns Angel’ simply provides a quick and easy way to switch from your default DNS to these DNS services and back again if you want, at the click of a single button.

Dns Angel Screenshot2
How to use ‘Dns Angel’:

Download and extract into an appropriate place on your hard drive (preferably somewhere out of sight and not the desktop). Run the executable and then click on one of the buttons to switch DNS. The ‘heart’ icon in the top right should turn green, signifying that you are protected. To switch back, run it again and click on the ‘Default DNS’ button.

If you are not sure which DNS to switch to, pick any single. You could simply Google the different options to find out more, if you need to.

Note, however, that the DNS configuration for some reason seems to be network specific for where you are getting internet connectivity. For example, if you use a laptop at the office and set a safe DNS, you may find that the safe DNS is not set when you are using your home WIFI.

Note that this solution is machine-specific. You will need to change the DNS on each PC in your household (and if you are worried about your iPad, Mac or other devices you will need to find a different solution for those).

Visiting an inappropriate site will result in the following notification (which will vary depending on the safe DNS service you choose).

Blocked URL notification

PROS:

  • Simple, extremely easy to use, and portable
  • Doesn’t need to run in the background; use it once and you’re done.
  • DNS can be switched back to default at the click of a button
  • Will protect against a range of malicious sites, not just adult content (depending on the DNS service you decide to use)

CONS:

  • Switching to a different WIFI or internet connection seems to somehow revert back to the default DNS, which is somewhat strange.
  • It will filter some sites which you might not want blocked, such as perfectly clean file sharing sites
  • A user with some technical skill can manually switch to an unrestricted DNS, but that is unlikely to happen, and even less likely if it is small children you are trying to protect.

The Verdict:

An excellent, simple solution to a problem that many of us with children might be worrying about. The fact that it can be so quickly turned on or off, and that nothing needs to be running in the background at any time make ‘Dns Angel’ a winner.

Go here to download ‘Dns Angel’ (Windows).