DNS-Based Content Filtering vs Other Forms of Filtering

There are many different types of content filtering technologies. CleanBrowsing is a DNS-based content filter, but how does it differ from other technologies like browser based, application or service based filters?

This article will explore the benefits of DNS-based filtering and why we use it as the foundation of our service offering.

Benefits of DNS-based Content Filtering

There are different types of content filtering because each is designed to serve different purposes. The choice between them depends wholly on an organizations specific requirements and preferences.

We chose DNS, and believe it to be superior for our purposes, because of the following reasons:

  1. Network-Wide Filtering: DNS-based filters operate at the network level (think your router), allowing you to filter content for all devices connected to the network. This can be particularly useful in a household or corporate environment where you want consistent filtering across multiple devices without having to install individual software apps on each device.
  2. Device Independence: Since DNS filtering is applied at the network level, it doesn’t rely on specific apps installed on devices. This makes it independent of device types and platforms, providing a more uniform filtering experience regardless of whether the user is on a computer, smartphone, or any other connected device.
  3. Ease of Management: DNS-based filters are typically easier to manage and configure centrally. Changes to filtering settings can be implemented at the DNS server level, making it more convenient for administrators to control and update content filtering policies. They can also integrate seamlessly with Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions.
  4. Reduced Resource Usage: DNS-based filtering doesn’t require as much processing power and resources on individual devices compared to software apps. This can result in improved overall system performance, especially on older or less powerful devices.
  5. Scalability: DNS-based filtering can be more scalable, especially in large networks, as it can be implemented at the DNS server level without the need to install and manage software on each individual device.
  6. Faster Deployment: Implementing DNS-based content filtering can be quicker and more straightforward than deploying and configuring content filtering apps on each device. This can be advantageous in situations where rapid deployment is necessary.
  7. Affordability: Many other types of filtering technologies can be cost prohibitive, typically tailoring their service for larger enterprises that can afford hefty licenses and subscriptions. Network-based services can dramatically reduce the cost for individuals and organizations alike.

One of the biggest challenges, however, is that DNS-based filtering may not provide the same level of granularity and control as software apps that are specifically designed for content filtering. DNS filtering is wholly focused on Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDN) to work.

Regardless, we believe it to be the superior technology to use for the masses. It allows municipalities to protect their populace via Public Wifi hotspots, allows transportation hubs to protect their commuters while moving from point A to point B, and can simultaneously help parents protect their myriad of devices on a home network.