Our home environment is all Mac. I wish to have more control over net access than I can manage using 10.6 or 10.5 Parental Controls. I don't want to install poor quality or unreliable software. I'm familiar with OpenDNS and it doesn't work for my purposes. I need to restrict only one user.

I believe there are options for the Windows world -- for one thing, I think Win 7 Parental Controls have to be better than their Mac equivalents. I don't want to buy a Win 7 machine just to do this however.

I'm thinking I may need to buy a low end firewall/access control device that I can configure, and setup OS X Location for my target users to point to that.

Are there any better options? Any recommendations for a device to buy?


PS. I realize some may object to this goal on philosophical grounds. All I can say is that if you knew the circumstances, you would agree with my ambitions.

  • It might help you get some more answers if you were a bit more specific about what sort of things you're trying to block. Is it particular sites? Contact with particular people or organisations? Exposure to particular ideas? What do you feel Mac OS X's Parental Controls lack? What makes them insufficient for your circumstances? – Scott Apr 28 '11 at 8:28

Change the password for the user you want to monitor to something they don't know, then insist they only browse the web while under your supervision.


Supervision is by far the most powerful and flexible web filtering system out there - false positives are almost non-existent, and there's no need to worry about false negatives slipping through the net. It's much harder to circumvent than any technical means, too.

Yes, it does require a fairly large investment of your time, but what price is helping the person you want to restrict (your child, I presume, but goes for anyone you're this concerned about)? Consider moving the computer into a public area - your living room, for instance - rather than hidden away in a bedroom or study; that way you can supervise with half your attention while you do something else. Alternatively - especially if your ward is particularly young - make web browsing a joint activity; more interaction with them and awareness/shaping of what they're interested in can only be a good thing, particularly if what you're trying to keep them away from is as awful as you hint.

  • Thanks for the well intentioned note Scott, but please trust I've evaluated that option and it is used. – John Faughnan Apr 28 '11 at 4:03
  • If you were using it thoroughly enough, you wouldn't need any web blocking software. – Scott Apr 28 '11 at 8:25

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