“I am using OpenDNS right now. It is free. Why should I switch to using the Clean Router?” We get this question pretty frequently. And don’t get us wrong – using OpenDNS is way better than leaving your network wide-open. However, there are a lot of benefits to using the Clean Router. Here are a few that we came up with:
1) OpenDNS is extremely easy to bypass! Even if you set the DNS settings on your router, all you have to do is set your device’s DNS settings (possible on pretty much every device I have ever touched) and you are past it. Truly – 20 second bypass. These are their setup directions: https://store.opendns.com/setup/#/familyshield but unfortunately also show how easy it is to bypass. And if you don’t think your kids are that tech savvy … don’t worry. Google will help them.
2) Only White & Black lists – OpenDNS is a DNS server – it means that it has a series of white and blacklists. They do good work to maintain those lists. However, the internet is a constantly changing place. On the other hand, we are filtering at 5 different levels – DNS being one of those levels. So, basically, their filtering is 1/5 as good as ours.
3) Dynamic Filtering – Kinda an extension to #2 – we dynamically filtering all content that is coming thru. That means checking the content of the page. With how dynamic web content is static white and blacklists aren’t enough anymore. That type of filtering is “so 1999.” Plus, what do you do with a site like FoxNews or MSN? It will have good and bad content. Is this a white or a black listed site? This is where dynamic filtering comes into play and is so important.
4) Bypass – If you hit a page and need to bypass, you have to sign into the controls on OpenDNS, tell it to allow that site, then wait approx 60 to 120 minutes (yes, 1 to 2 hours) to be able to get that page to clear the cache. And then, you have to remember to go and turn it back off! Our very simple to use Bypass pages makes it so easy to use, but still be safe.
A great example of this is Victoria’s Secrets – is this the place where my wife goes and buys bras, or is this the place where I don’t want my 12-year old browsing? When my wife needs to go there, she will hit a page like this:
My wife can enter the admin or bypass password, choose 15, 30, or 60 minutes, and hit the Temporary Bypass page. She is allowed into the site, can do her shopping, and then can leave without having to worry about remembering to turn it back off. This simply isn’t possible from OpenDNS.
5) Time Restrictions – the ability to control from the router the times that each device has access to the internet. My 15-year old’s tablet turns off at 9 PM at night. The Xbox can only get internet from 6PM to 8PM when I know homework has been done. Etc. This goes beyond filtering and into helping parents control screen time.
6) Emailed Reports – a PDF report that gets delivered to your email nightly telling you the internet activity from the prior day by device. We are continuing to improve these reports but these are a very valuable tool.
7) Remote login – the ability to log into your router from anywhere with an internet connection (phone, tablet, pc, etc) and see and control all of the above features. And now, on the very first page you are given the Internet Kill Switch button (detailed next) which will allow you from any remote location to turn off the internet at home!
8) Internet Kill Switch – Want to make everyone finish the chores before they get Netflix? Hit this button and voila! The internet is gone without having to jump through a bunch of hoops. All done – flip it back on!
8) Exclude 1 machine – with OpenDNS it is all or nothing. With Clean Router it is easy to exclude 1 device from filtering. Having a problem with the Tivo? Exclude just it. No way to do that with OpenDNS.
9) Keywords – Tired of your kid going to every Minecraft site? Enter “minecraft” into the keywords list and you can block any site containing those words. OpenDNS – you are hunting for hundreds of different domains, etc.
10) Fully customize-able – The Clean Router lets you adjust the level of filtering. OpenDNS lets you adjust white and blacklists, and categories.
11) Support – Need help with any of the above features? We have the best support that you will find! Call 520.445.4673 or email email@example.com and our support guys will help you tweak the settings just to your liking!
So … you can see the choice is pretty clear. And there are more and more services that are on their way which will continue to make the Clean Router the best choice to keep your family safe online!