With the number of pages and vast content that’s available on the internet, sometimes it is hard to stay protected from not seeing content you don’t plan on seeing.
But with the best internet filter software, you get to protect your family with a piece of tool that can help you adjust the content you’d like to avoid, but also the content you’d like to allow your family to consume.
There is a huge number of software that can help you with this, and some of them can even help you set personalized filters for each family member.
And in this article, you’ll find out 10 of the best filter software reviewed in 4 categories, so you’ll most definitely find one option that fits your family’s internet use, but also personal or business use as well. These tools not only block websites, apps, or content but also enhance productivity, helping you reclaim valuable free time.
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Internet Filters for Children/Kids
Qustodio is advertised as a digital well-being software since it can help put parents’ minds at ease by providing useful features that can keep their kids out of trouble and on the right side of the internet.
With Qustodio, parents get full control of how thoroughly they want to supervise their kids’ activities on the internet with one goal in mind which is to keep children safe on the internet and far away from wrong content.
What Qustodio also does is improves healthy habits when it comes to the internet and computer use by giving the parents features to set time limits, apply various filters, filter content and apps, and improve the overall online privacy of the children.
Therefore, this software is an all-in-one solution to keep kids safe on the internet from social media predators, harmful content, from inappropriate content, but also helps them reduce internet addiction, sleep problems, cyberbullying, gaming addiction, and overall online/offline balance.
NetNanny is a simple parental control software that helps in 3 ways. It allows parents to monitor, limit, and protect their children at all times when using the computer or smartphone.
This software is one of the most thorough software on the market so as a parent, you can get detailed reports of most recent searches, manage time to limit the internet or computer use, monitor harmful content, or even receive real-time alerts on porn, suicide, weapons, drugs, and similar type of content.
What’s all good is that NetNanny can help you block certain apps, add certain internet filters, block certain websites, and have instant visibility into the apps used by your children.
Also, NetNanny has internet filtering integrated into the tool which automatically filters content to provide only suitable content for the children and parents.
Of course, this software is also ideal for personal use if you’ve had enough of coming across unwanted content or not being able to browse the internet the way you would like to.
If you are looking for the most advanced yet simplest software to help keep your kids safe while they’re using their mobile devices, KidsGuard is the best choice for this purpose.
KidsGuard is an app that can install on any Android or iPhone smartphone and it can even be hidden on the phone without any tracks so you can keep an eye on the kid’s social media activity and profiles, and messages, listen to phone surroundings utilizing the device’s microphone or even record the phone screen.
Now, all these features might seem super advanced, but they’re definitely something that can be handy (if not necessary) to keep your kids safe, out of trouble, and away from doing the wrong type of things with their smartphones.
KidsGuard can help save kids from predators lurking on social media platforms, can help you filter web and app, can know the location of your kids’ smartphone at all times, can track phone calls and messages, and can even help you learn how your kids are using the smartphone.
Internet Filters for Family
Letting your family members use the computer and connect to the internet all by themselves can be a scary thought, but FamilyTime is one of the leading software that can put your mind at ease as a parent and allow you to take control of the internet content your family members will browse, even when you’re not present.
First of all, you get to set time limits in case you don’t want your kids to be spending a lot of time on the internet. This also includes an option to set the bedtime time so the internet connection shuts off at the exact time you set it to.
There’s even a homework time feature that you can use to lock the computer screen to make sure the kid’s focus stays on homework.
When it comes down to internet use, FamilyTime cuts out and entirely blocks pornography, and it includes two features that help improve the quality of search results. These features are called Web Filter and SafeSearch and they ensure that your family, especially the little ones, doesn’t come across the wrong kind of content or find inappropriate content. Web content filtering software can often block access to unwanted content even before you see it. While there are free web filters, they might not always be the most efficient way to protect your family.
FamilyTime is also available as a smartphone app that helps keep your family safe even outside of the home and for computer use. You get to use a Family Locator feature to know where each member of your family is currently while the Location Tracking feature helps you keep an eye on all the places your family members have visited.
You also get to block certain apps individually such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, or even certain games so you have full control of what your family is doing on the internet or on their phones.
If you’re a home user who is struggling with productivity and just staying right on top of the tasks, Cold Turkey Blocker is the ideal software for you.
Cold Turkey Blocker is all about bringing back the discipline many of us might be lacking. All it takes is one click and you could be spending hours being distracted and not getting any work or studying done.
However, with Cold Turkey Blocker’s powerful features, you can lock and block certain apps or websites for a time period of your choice. Once you set the lock in place, you won’t be able to unlock or cheat it, yet you’ll only be able to get down to the work you’re supposed to do.
With this approach, this software can help you procrastinate, fully eliminate distractions, boost your productivity, and help you reclaim the free time you can spend after you’re done with all the work or studying you have for the day.
If you’re using a Mac and you need software that works as a native app, you’ll love how Intego ContentBarrier can help you reclaim the parental controls over the computer and the internet so your family is safe whenever they’re online.
What’s best about Intego ContentBarrier is that it allows you to set different profiles, one for each family member which is easy to switch between and yet customizable so each family member gets just the right freedom on the internet not to be led to the wrong side of it.
There are also various filters you can set for each user profile so you get to have control of accessible websites and applications. You also get the chance to keep an eye on chats (anti-predator monitoring purpose) and even record screenshots during use so you know how your family members use the internet and get reassurance that Intego ContentBarrier is helping them stay safe.
You also get to set alerts, limit the time on the internet, or entirely block connections to certain websites, applications, and even games.
This is a versatile app that can work both for personal use but also for keeping an eye on your other family members at the same time.
Internet Filters for Schools
Bark is an ideal internet content filter software for schools and educational organizations because it helps schools and administrators monitor content, manage screen time, filter websites, and set location alerts.
In a school setting, these features can help kids stick to the educational program, reduce distractions, eliminate harmful content, and keep the lessons and class in check at all times while managing all computers from one device.
You can add unlimited kids so each kid can have their own profile even in classrooms full of kids so you can gain insights on every kid that uses the computer.
With the award-winning dashboard, you’ll have clean and minimalistic access to the most important information to keep kids safe and productive even in the classroom.
WebTitan is one of few web-based filter software that is suitable for schools and yet it doesn’t require individual installation on all computers within the school (5-minute setup).
All it takes is to set up the filter which is simple and from there, WebTitan helps a school of any size to add their policies, set filters, and take advantage of integrated technology that can block malware, phishing content (including emails), virus-infected content, and unsuitable content for children.
What’s also great about this software is that it can give a full insight into the school’s browsing activity which can also be a useful tool to see how children can be more productive.
Schools will also get real-time updates on identified threats while keeping the school’s computers and data safe, secure, and untouchable from third-party sources or threats.
Internet Filters for Business
Businesses aren’t only responsible for protecting their employees from harmful internet content, but it’s also super important that companies protect themselves from scams, malicious and virus-infected content, as well as other types of content that can harm the employees or the company.
BrowseControl is one of the most serious software that takes into consideration the needs of businesses and is on a mission to protect them from phishing, pornography, politics, shady portals, illegal content, and virus-infected content.
Of course, with this software, you can also limit social platform use, deny access to various portals, improve privacy and safety, raise the security bar, and have your employees focus on work which can lead to better productivity.
Also, with BrowseControl, you can enforce company policies, reduce the bandwidth used across the company, prevent any data leaks, and improve liability and compliance.
Protecting your business in the modern age is a lot simpler with the newer technology, which implements artificial intelligence. This way, DNSFilter can protect against threats 7 days sooner than standard services.
Whether you’re trying to stop your employees from coming across inappropriate websites or opening malicious content on the web, DNSFilter makes a good choice. Besides this, DNSFilter can be deployed in minutes and it’s backed by the largest DNS networks online, so the service is top-notch.
While it’s an enterprise-level security that keeps a high standard, it’s still an affordable solution, making it ideal for anyone from a small start-up to a large enterprise. With continuous machine learning, DNSFilter keeps on improving in real-time and you can always keep an insight on how DNSFilter helped your business through automatically generated reports. The good news is that it’s compatible with most standard operating systems and it’s even ideal for businesses who often work outside of their business network, as the security will remain high.
Why is internet filtering important?
Internet filters help prevent users from accessing certain websites or coming across certain types of content (which is often unwanted), or such software is used to control the way someone uses the computer and browses the internet with the purpose to ensure safety and security at all times, whether it’s a personal or business use.
Is internet filtering software worth the price?
Yes, some internet filtering software might not come free or if they come with a trial version, you’ll still be offered to upgrade to the paid version and it’s a good decision because such software has been built for a specific purpose and is proven to be helpful and useful. Also, they’re not very expensive so almost anyone can afford them. But of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out some free versions of such software either.
Can internet filtering software block websites with no SSL certificate?
Yes, most phishing websites come without an SSL certificate and such websites can easily track the information you input so they can steal your information, data, passwords, credit card information, and more. Internet filtering software allows you to block all website URLs that rely on HTTP instead of HTTPS protocol so you always stay on the safe side of the internet without having to think twice about it.
What is the difference between web filtering and content filtering?
Web filtering and content filtering serve distinct purposes in managing online activities. Web filtering primarily focuses on controlling access to websites based on predefined categories or URLs, regulating which sites users can visit. It acts as a gatekeeper for internet access, ensuring compliance with usage policies. On the other hand, content filtering goes beyond websites, examining the actual content exchanged online, including emails, documents, and multimedia. It employs advanced techniques like keyword analysis and contextual examination to filter specific content types, providing a more comprehensive approach to managing digital information.
What’s the best free internet filter?
While several free internet filters are available, one notable option is OpenDNS, specifically its family-friendly service called OpenDNS Family Shield. OpenDNS Family Shield offers basic filtering capabilities, allowing users to block access to adult content and other inappropriate websites. It operates at the DNS level, providing a quick and effective way to filter content across all devices connected to a network. While it may not offer the extensive features of some paid solutions above, OpenDNS Family Shield is a straightforward and free option for basic content filtering needs, particularly for families seeking to create a safer online environment for children.
What is the best internet filter?
The determination of the best internet filter depends on your specific needs and preferences. However, based on our information, Qustodio and NetNanny stand out for their comprehensive features in keeping children safe online. For families, FamilyTime offers a range of controls, while Cold Turkey Blocker addresses productivity concerns for home users. Intego ContentBarrier caters to Mac users, while Bark and WebTitan serve well in school settings. For businesses, BrowseControl and DNSFilter are recommended for their focus on protecting against various online threats. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your specific requirements and the context in which the content filter will be used.