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What is an Internet Filter?

Net Nanny's parental control software for Mac lets you filter the Internet and block pornography before it's viewed on websites. Net Nanny ® is designed to give parents peace of mind and to provide them with visibility into their family’s online activity in order to keep them safe while browsing the Internet. In a wireless environment (WLAN), the most common security measure to prevent unwanted network access is MAC address filtering. Here, the router is configured to only accept traffic from the specific MAC addresses, and allow listed devices are assigned new IP addresses through DHCP.

Internet filter is a software that can sort online content depending on the age and needs of a user. For children and adolescents, filters can sift through websites that may negatively impact the psyche or behavior of a young. Each parent decides individually which web resources to restrict, but in general, pornographic sites, gambling, forums, and websites promoting violence, drugs, alcohol, and cults, must all fall under a ban.

10 Best Internet Filters of 2020

Parents should always talk with their children about online security and the impermissibility of viewing certain types of content. However, children tend to ignore the voice of reason and they often neglect the danger. Therefore, parents ought to monitor how well kids understood the instructions and whether they follow. As they say, trust but verify. Internet filters and content monitoring apps provide an excellent opportunity to find out which sites your children visit and block those that you consider suspicious and unsafe. If you are not sure what apps may be handy, we have prepared these internet filter reviews for you.

Let's look at the 10 best internet filter for parents.

1. FamiSafe - Internet Filters & Explicit Content Detection
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FamiSafe is a relatively new product on the market but it has gained a reputation as one of the best monitoring solutions for caring parents. The app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play with 3 free days trial.

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  • Location Tracking & Geo-fencing
  • App Blocker
  • Web Filtering
  • Screen Time Control
  • Smart Parental Control Setting

FamiSafe comes with a great web filtering feature allowing parents to easily block any inappropriate content. Also, they can see deleted or private browse history on kids' Android devices. Don't have a clue of what sites to block? Just use a built-in filter and mark any category that you deem as potentially harmful. On top of that, you can add URLs of sites that slip through filtering or if they don't fit into any category. Alternatively, you can create a whitelist, add sites that you approve, and block everything else. If your kid tries to access any blacklisted site, you will get notifications on your device. Besides the content blocking function, you can examine a web history and find out what sites your kids tend to visit and at what time.

What's more, Explicit Content & Suspicious Photos Detection helps parents detect dangerous information of kids' SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger, Messenger Lite, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, KiK, Gmail on Android devices and detect Youtube suspicious content on iOS devices. Parents can also add inappropriate or offensive words to the word list, getting real-time automatic alerts.

FamiSafe boasts other useful functions as well. You will definitely appreciate the app blocker, location tracker, geo-fencing, and screen limits features. If that's not enough, the app comes with a 3-day free trial period, you can run a test before you decide whether to purchase or not. All in all, FamiSafe is a versatile tracking and controlling tool for modern families.

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2. Norton Family parental control

You have probably heard of Norton Security, a popular antivirus brand. The same developer strives to make your kids' lives more secure by offering their Norton Family parental control software. The app is available on Google Play and App Store for Android and iOS devices respectively.

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Norton Family parental control automatically installs a secure Norton browser and blocks all other browsers found on a child's device before. The app supplies a search supervision feature allowing parents to monitor the search queries. Web filtering makes it possible to set up rules of access to web resources. Blacklisted sites won't be seen in the Norton browsers search lists. Whenever a child wants to open banned sites, the app will send a notification. Norton Family also comes with activity monitors and instant lock function to control app usage. The paid version additionally allows geo-tracking and video supervision. Please note that the app requires an account with Norton Family portal.

3. ESET Parental Control

The app is available for Android-powered devices and can be found on Google Play. ESET Parental Control strives to teach kids Internet security in a friendly way. The app is convenient and user-friendly for parents as well. It comes with multiple settings and features but the developers offer some pre-set configurations to make your life even easier. For instance, you can specify a child's age and the Web Guard function will block all the age-inappropriate sites. Web monitoring feature also includes lists of the most frequently visited sites. A kid can send requests to unblock particular websites, which a parent can approve or reject. All the notifications will be instantly accessible on a parent's device.

In addition to the internet filtering, ESET Parental Control can monitor app usage, block specific apps, and indicate the current location of your child.

4. Qustodio Parental Control

The app is available on both Google Play and App Store, however, its functionality is much more robust on Android devices. Moreover, Qustodio can help to secure PCs and laptops running Mac and Windows.

The app offers free and paid versions. With a free subscription, you can monitor only 1 child's device while Premium plans allow using Qustodio on up to 15 devices at once.

Internet filtering feature will help you to blacklist adult content and other websites you disapprove of. You can also check search queries and browser history. Among other useful functions, you will find the ability to record a child's activity, monitor his/her calls and text messages, track a device's location, and apply limits for app usage.

5. Net Nanny

UNet Nanny is a dedicated web filtering app meaning it is focused on Internet protection, yet it also provided features like app blocker to help parents monitor their children's device usage.

The app boasts ample and flexible web filtering features. It enables parents to ban unsuitable websites or set up warnings when a child tries to access the content you frown upon. Pre-defined settings that use a child's age as a base significantly facilitate setting up of configurations. You are able to apply your own custom settings if you prefer.

Net Nanny installs its browser on a child's device that will be used by default. It offers 18 filtering categories to sift out content not intended for children's eyes. Custom categories are allowed as well. Any particular site can be blacklisted, whitelisted, or overridden on a device.

The app comes with a very useful profanity masking feature that replaces swear words with symbols on web pages. Net Nanny supplies web activity reports and a time control function to set up hours allowed and forbidden for web surfing. Currently, it supports Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, Mac, and Windows.

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6. Kaspersky SafeKids

Internet filter reviews wouldn't be complete without this parental control app. You can protect not only mobile devices (both Android and iOS ones) but also desktop computers. To start working with the app, you need to create an account at My Kaspersky platform. You can configure the app right from the web console. Alternatively, you are able to install a Parent-end app on a parent's device.

Website monitoring is one of the main functions of Kaspersky SafeKids. The app distinguishes 14 categories of content. Depending on the child's age, the app applies the recommended settings.

The software displays warnings for sites related to other potentially unwanted categories. When a child tries to access such a web resource, SafeKids displays an alert and tells parents if an appropriate site was visited after all.

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Among other useful features, you can find an app access blocker, time usage limits, and geo-location.

7. Boomerang - Parental and Screen Time Controls

The app is suitable for Android and iOS devices. This monitoring software can support up to 10 child's devices at one time. After installation, Boomerang will replace all other browsers with its own trademark safeguard SPIN browser. The app generates reports on the search history and provides information about all the videos viewed on a kid's phone or tablet. Boomerang makes videos safer thanks to the Restricted Mode feature for YouTube. SPIN is complemented with Google SafeSearch to help you filter out inappropriate content.

Besides web filtering instruments, Boomerang allows setting up screen times to control the device usage and block distractive apps.

8. Locategy

Locategy is similar to other parental controlling apps. As it is clear from its name, the app emphasizes the location function (it tracks current and past locations and enables parents to create safe geo-fenced zones). However, it offers other helpful features as well – app blocking, call reports, time control, and even remote wipe. As for web monitoring features, Locategy blocks 9 categories with harsh content by default (pornography, drugs, gambling, filter get-around, and others). Additionally, you can enable filtering on 30 more categories. If there is a site that wasn't banned somehow, you can manually blacklist its URL. Please note that web filtering works only with the Chrome browser, therefore you need to disable all other browsers with its app blocking function.

The app is available through Google Play and the App Store.

9. Bitdefender Parental Control

This app can be installed on PCs and Android-powered devices. Its interface is a bit complicated yet very functional. A free version provides only monitoring functions (device usage tracking, reports on incoming and outcoming calls and SMS, web history). All the restrictive functions are concentrated in the Premium subscription plan, including web filters and app blockers. Like many similar programs, Bitdefender Parental Control has the ability to block content by specific categories. You can also blacklist certain keywords and the app will exclude them from the search. If you want to restrict Internet access when a child is at school you are able to set up time limits.

10. SafeKiddo Parental Control

The app thrives on its internet filtering functions but the developers tried to make everything as simple as possible. The easiest way to employ the app is by choosing a child's age and letting SafeKiddo adjust web content appropriately. You can customize these settings if you wish. The Safe Search feature is designed to protect your little ones from harmful content while they are using popular browsers. If any potentially dangerous site skirts around its filtering, you are able to manually block it by adding the offending URL to a blacklist.

There is also an option to create whitelists thereby blocking every resource except the ones on that list. SafeKiddo supplies informative reports on your children's online activity (what sites were used, search words, surf times, etc.). Besides this, the app offers several functions to monitor and control app usage.

SafeKiddo is available on Google Play and App Store.

This article explains how you can block or allow pop-up window ads on your Mac. Generally, pop-ups are forms of advertising. The good news is that you can easily configure your Safari browser to allow or block pop-up windows.

How to block pop-ups in Safari

Pop-ups are annoying. They are unwanted. Sometimes they may slow down your computer. Some pop-ups may use phishing methods. Some may attempt to trick you into downloading and installing dangerous software on your Mac. Some pop-ups are just annoying because they may interrupt what you are doing.

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Here is how to block them

  1. Open Safari
  2. From the Safari menu, choose Preferences
  3. Click the Websites tab
  4. Click Pop-up Windows on the left sidebar. In here you can see the “currently open websites”. You can adjust your settings for these individual websites.
  5. If you want to block popups, find the “When visiting other websites” option (bottom of the window). There are two options to block: Block and Block and Notify.
  6. If you select Block and Notify, then you will be notified an a popup is blocked. When a pop-up is blocked in Safari, Safari will briefly say: “Pop-up Window Blocked” in the search field. Also, the address bar will indicate this. You can also decide to allow pop-ups, if you click the small window icon. If you select the Block option, then Safari will block popups without letting you know.

Please note that if you still get pop-ups after blocking them, then your computer could have malware.

It is a good idea to turn on Fraudulent Website Warning in Safari security settings by going to Safari > Preferences > Security.

How to allow pop-ups in Safari

You may want to allow pop-ups for variety of reasons. Sometimes, certain websites may require you to disable pop-up blockers in order for them to work correctly. It is obvious that some legitimate websites may have web content in pop-up windows. Not all pop-up windows are malicious, dangerous or invasive. Please note that you can allow pop-ups from a specific site. In fact, we recommend this. To do this, open the website where a pop-up is blocked. In the search field (address bar) click the window icon (see the image above).


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Here is how turn off pop-ups completely for all sites:

  1. Open Safari
  2. Click Safari > Preferences
  3. Select the Websites tab
  4. Click “Pop-Up Windows” from the left side menu
  5. And then select Allow

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Please note that by default, Safari disables pop-ups automatically in the browser, unless you configure differently.

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See also: Safari Says: Not Secure. What Does It Mean?