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Protecting your kids (and you) from ads, phishing, spam, malware, mature / adult content, and other sites on Android (5+) smartphones with dns66 and OpenVPN Family shield for FREE

While it's easy to control access to certain websites on your home Wifi network, doing so on a mobile broadband network for mobile phones is much more difficult.

There are apps to monitor block website access to harmful websites (NetSanity, and others) and most I've seen charge you a monthly rate to do so.  Keep reading to see how to block ads, adult content, and other harmful websites using free and open technologies.

Lets get started


1. Download and install F-Droid  (can be removed later if not wanted)

2. Next download dns66.

3. Open F-Droid and search for "dns66".

(If no results are found, hit the menu button and click "Update Repos")

 


















5. Click install, then Run.

6. Next we have to setup OpenVPN's family shield filter



7. Go through the intro and select the "DNS Servers tab"



8. Select enable custom DNS servers. Swipe to remove all existing servers as we only want to use OpenDNS's servers (you can leave the blocked servers if you want).




9. Now, add a new server with the following

  

10. And a second. 




Note: These servers are coming from here: https://www.opendns.com/setupguide/?url=familyshield . There's several other options they provide as well. Feel free to use those.


11. It should now look like this





12. Finally, click the Start/Stop tab.




















13. From the menu uncheck the "Show notification" (if desired).
14. Now touch and hold on the Screen to turn it on and click Ok to the request.





















Testing it out

1. Disable wifi (if it was on), open the browser and go to https://www.opendns.com/setupguide/?url=familyshield

 


















2. Find the link that says "click here to test your settings" and click it to test the configuration





 3. Real life example... now if you go to a bad website (such as the OpenDNS test site internetbadguys.com) you'll see this




 Showing the domain was blocked! And a headache saved!


 How it works


The app creates a VPN server then tells android to connect to it's own server (code is open source so feel free to dig through it yourself to verify).  The VPN changes the default DNS settings (ie your service providers DNS) with the ones configured.  OpenDNS's servers then block requests to sites that are undesired.

Some side notes here

  • There are ways to get around DNS blocking if you understand how DNS works (look on wikipedia), I will not say how here.  This method will NOT protect from those cases. However I've found this to work very well!
  • Also, you may have to disable this when accessing your home network on Wifi (or add your router's dns to the list).


It is also suggested to follow the tutorials https://www.opendns.com/home-internet-security/ for setting it up on your wifi / home network router as well.


I hope you find this as helpful as I did!







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