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Here's the deal. There's a great internet content filter available, but it only runs on Windows and Mac, and my entire network is run on Linux, from my Android phones to my Ubuntu laptops and desktops, to my Google TV unit. I'd like to filter all of these devices' internet access via this software, but can't natively install it on each device. Thus, I figured I do it on a network-level.

Here's the theory of the internet flow:

Modem -> Windows XP (Proxy) -> Router -> Computers

As far as I know, the software literally filters all incoming and outgoing internet activity over HTTP. My theory is that if I use this computer as a sort of internet-proxy machine sitting between my modem and router, I will effectively be able to filter everything on my network.

Is there a way to do this from a software perspective? How would I accomplish this?

What would I need hardware-wise to make this happen? I'd need an ethernet in and and ethernet out, but is there anything else I'm overlooking?

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Name of the software would be helpful. – emgee Apr 9 '11 at 1:50
Name is "Safe Eyes." – Naftuli Tzvi Kay Apr 9 '11 at 1:52
I don't see enough technical details on the site to see if this is doable. – emgee Apr 9 '11 at 2:39
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Not a direct answer, but if you want to stay in the *nix world you might install Untangle on that hardware you're thinking about putting XP on. The free version is a pretty solid UTM.

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Thanks, looks excellent. This is really helpful. I've been looking for network-level solutions and the only other solution I've found is Safe Eyes' network-adapter, which costs $200 a year plus $1500 for the filtering interface device. Running my own server with software like this makes a lot more sense. Looks like I'm now looking at two home servers, one for media/web/backup and another for network firewall/filtering/etc. :) – Naftuli Tzvi Kay Apr 10 '11 at 4:21

I'd also suggest looking at Endian. In my experience the configuration is easier and the web gui is lighter than Untangle. Having said that Untangle works very well. What do you currently have for a router on your network? Some routers can be setup to forward web traffic to a proxy server.

Another suggestion... Do you need actual content filtering or would site based filtering be enough? I find that in a lot of scenarios OpenDNS works well. If you have a static IP address it's trivial to setup and requires very little maintenance.

share|improve this answer
I'm already using OpenDNS, it's great, but isn't nearly as good as Safe Eyes. I'll take a look at Endian, thanks. I'm currently using a Netgear WNDR3700 as my router. It's not commercial-grade, but it works fairly well. Only problem I've really had with it is that it 1) doesn't use computer hostnames to identify devices on the network (ie: ssh work-laptop doesn't work whereas on other networks, it does) and 2) it doesn't support allowing non-MAC-filtered access to the guest network whilst requiring MAC-filtering on the main network. It works for what I need, though. – Naftuli Tzvi Kay Apr 10 '11 at 4:40
You could install DD-WRT on that router. That would allow you to have it redirect all web traffic to a proxy server. Have a look at this site if you're interested in flashing your router. – dkwiebe Apr 10 '11 at 4:46

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