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I've noticed that at schools and such, their networks are somehow able to block certain sites from anyone who connects to it.

I would like to set up a similar system at home for my family and all their devices that connect to our wireless network.

Can someone recommend a good site that can walk me through the process?

We basically use Linux , Ubuntu and opensuse as well as android and iOS tablets.

I would like to make my mini pc a kind of hub that controls the whole network including Internet off and on times and which sites can or cannot connect to.

Which Linux distro or package would be best to use for this?


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migrated from Mar 10 '12 at 5:07

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

Home use is off topic here, but have a look into Dan's Guardian. – jscott Mar 10 '12 at 4:32
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Log into your router's interface. In the DNS1 and DNS2 put in

This is from OpenDNS and will be basic protection for your family. Anyone connected through the router would then by default be protected by OpenDNS Family Shield.

FamilyShield is the single easiest way to protect your kids online, block adult websites, and protect your family from phishing and malware.

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My router's interface has like 6 places to put DNS1 and DNS2... maybe because it is DSL? I put those numbers in every place I could but still am able to connect to any dirty site. – Joshua Robison Mar 11 '12 at 0:00

A very easy-to-implement solution for home is to change your DNS resolvers to OpenDNS. They have various levels of filtering you can implement for your home, along with reporting, etc.

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If my parents did this, I would have been savvy enough to get around it in a matter of days. I remember getting around similar measures at the age of 12 – Ben DeMott Mar 10 '12 at 4:33
Well, if it's well-implemented, you force users to use your gateway's recursive DNS resolver and then firewall off all access to external DNS sites except for the gateway itself. That, in combination with a restrictive egress policy goes a long way to making things difficult. – EEAA Mar 10 '12 at 4:36
Not perfect since it blocks the same for all users. – Damian Oct 6 '12 at 20:44

Look into Untangle. They have a free version, but to really manage things you need to at least pay for the full web filter add on app. You'll need to have two network adapters in the mini pc, and set it up "inline", so that your internet connection goes in one nic and back out the other.

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You can also setup timed availability restrictions to specific MAC addresses connecting to the network. This will allow you to maintain an internet 'curfew' if this is also something you desire.

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The problem is, my ISP service is only usable through their router which does not have the function to set the times. I have my router hooked up to that but then anyone with an ethernet cable can just plug it in to the unconfigured router. – Joshua Robison Mar 11 '12 at 0:02

You can also use captive portal software built into pfSense to do this limitation as well as be your firewall/router/DHCP, and combine it with openDNS to limit sites or redirect traffic.

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I have heard a lot about pfSense and really want to try it but ... which computer on the network would I install it on? – Joshua Robison Mar 11 '12 at 0:03
It would be used as a router/ gateway. Ideally, it would sit between the internet and all of your users. We use an old Pentium 2 with 2 ethernet cards (one in, one out) and an old router as an access point. – G Koe Mar 11 '12 at 6:12

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