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I'm using OpenDNS to filter some of the content my kids can get to on our home network. Is there any way to access a site that's being blocked without whitelisting it? For example, there are some humor sites I don't want my kids to go to but I enjoy - but with OpenDNS it seems to be all or nothing. Is there any way around this, like a password to access the site or something?

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6 Answers 6

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I don't think you can do it using strictly OpenDNS. Others have requested a similar feature, e.g. http://ideabank.opendns.com/story.php?title=Password_Overwride.

But if you are using OpenDNS on your router and you use a separate computer from your kids, you can circumvent OpenDNS by setting your computer's DNS server to the one given by your ISP or 4.2.2.2.

Oh, and restrict access to the DNS settings on your kids computers in case they read SuperUser.

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No ban them from superuser.com! it's adangerous site for kids. They'll probrably take over your computer after asking a question here. LOL –  GeneQ Jul 26 '09 at 18:38

DNS and therefore OpenDNS simply resolves the name of the site to an IP address e.g., superuser.com resolves to 69.59.196.219 Simply find out the IP address of the sites you want to visit and keep a record of them. You can do this from another computer or change your OpenDNS settings until you're finished.

  1. Open command prompt/terminal
  2. Type ping sitename.com
  3. Record the IP address

Now when you want to visit the site type in the IP address instead of the site name.

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That is: if there's only one site running on that IP address. Shared hosting typically shares an IP address among many host names (and the default site may not be the one you expected). And even if there's only a single site running on a machine, it may still require the host name to be specified -- did you try 69.59.196.219 ? But indeed: it might work for other sites. If not, then adding the IP addresses and host names to a hosts file will do the trick of avoiding OpenDNS as well. –  Arjan Jul 26 '09 at 20:10
    
You are of course correct. –  YHVH Jul 26 '09 at 22:33
    
I just got(by ping) the IP of a site I know OpenDNS was blocking, then tried accessing it through a browser. It did not work. –  lamcro Jul 28 '09 at 5:00

If you and your kids are using different computers, you can use your ISP's DNS server on your PC and OpenDNS on the PCs which are used by your kids.

@YHVH: The »solution« you posted won't work. ping will use the default system's DNS server to resolve the ip address. You will have to use nslookup and tell the program to use another DNS server.

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thats why I said "You can do this from another computer or change your OpenDNS settings until you're finished." –  YHVH Jul 26 '09 at 22:30
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This is a comment, not an answer. –  theotherreceive Jul 27 '09 at 1:21
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Yes it's a comment but he doesn't have enough rep to post one. –  Larry Jul 27 '09 at 2:59

Extending on YHVH's answer, you can get the site's IP address (using something like NetworkTools for example), then put it in your "hosts file".

On Windows, this should be something like C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts (may be different on 64bit), and on Linux its in /etc/hosts

Both files have the same format:

IPAddress www.example.com example.com

Where "IP Address" is the IP, and the variations of "example.com" are the domain name. With that in mind, YHVH's example would be:

69.59.196.219 superuser.com

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Hmm, you could try adding .nyud.net to the domain you want to visit, for example:

www.superuser.com.nyud.net

Perhaps this trick can circumvent the OpenDNS blocking system...?

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Simply typing in the IP address won't work very well for two reasons.

First, the reason mentioned already - many hosts send back the web page you are requesting based on the domain name you requested, not just because you happened upon the server by IP address.

Second, even if you do get the site to respond, chances are that the links inside the site (pictures, buttons, page links, etc) will request using the domain name, and not the IP address. So even if you get the page framework, you might only see the text, with pictures, script, and other elements missing or malfunctioning.

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