Why Every Church and Every Christian with Internet Access Needs to Install Open DNS

open-dns-logoAlright, the title to this post may be a bit of an overstatement but I’m sure that you can agree that all Christians and especially all churches should give serious thought to how they are filtering their internet connections. The internet can be a helpful place for checking the weather, catching up on the news, or social networking but it is also a very dangerous place filled with pornography, violence and smut. That’s where Open DNS comes in as a tool for cleaning up your internet connection and helping to protect your family / congregation (if you have a WiFi network at church…or any employees) from some of the worst parts of the internet.

I’ve resisted internet filtering software for a long time, because frankly most of it STINKS! It requires you to install cumbersome programs on your PC that slow things down and require constant attention with updates, passwords, etc. For the most part internet filtering software has been an awful pain for a long time. The beauty of Open DNS is that you don’t have to install any software at all, except for a very small piece that runs completely in the background and doesn’t slow things down at all. For churches and families, this is a godsend because it allows us to offer internet connectivity without having to constantly monitor things. Open DNS just filters everything out for you, without you even having to think about it.

The best way to learn about Open DNS is by going to their website, but here’s the basic idea: Every time you go somewhere on the internet, you use a service called DNS to get there. When you signup for Open DNS (which is only $20/year!!!!), you tell your router to use Open DNS to get to the internet which allows them to filter your content in whatever way you want them to. The great thing is that because all of this happens on your router, every single device that connects to your network is automatically filtered. You only have to set this up once and your completely done with it!!!

I will admit that setting up Open DNS can be a little bit scary, because it requires you to log into your router and change the DNS settings on it. But the great thing is that Open DNS provides step by step directions for exactly how to do that. They also have a very good forums section, FAQ’s and if all else fails buy me dinner and I’ll swing by to see if I can get it going for you Smile.

I don’t know of any better technological investment for a church or a family than the $20/year that Open DNS costs. Like everything, it isn’t perfect but it goes a long way to protecting your kids and your family. Be sure to at least check it out at www.opendns.com.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

July 16 2012 04:00 am | Digital Pastor

5 Responses to “Why Every Church and Every Christian with Internet Access Needs to Install Open DNS”

  1. Heidi Bylsma on 16 Jul 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    So glad we installed it!

  2. Tim on 19 Jul 2012 at 10:12 am #

    …unless you’re a Uverse customer. 🙁 They don’t allow the necessary access to the router to make changes. We still installed it and it just requires modifying DNS settings on all computers and devices, but the router level filtering is fantastic (if your ISP allows it)!

  3. Drew on 19 Jul 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Good point Tim. I have noticed several of the AT&T routers don’t let you change the DNS settings, which is a total pain. Glad you worked things out with the computer settings.

  4. Kevin Anderson on 02 Feb 2016 at 11:49 am #

    I have been looking at OpenDNS for some time now. Here is a tip that you might find helpful. No doubt you have some nerd kid that will figure out that he can set his own DNS without using that provided by the router/DHCPserver. Well most business class routers can be configured to block port 53 so that the little wizenhiemers can’t get around OpenDNS. Theoretically if they know the ip of the “no-no” site they can get to it, but most websites have links that use the URL of the site so, once your outlaw clicks on a link, they are blocked!

  5. Kevin Anderson on 02 Feb 2016 at 11:54 am #

    Oh, one more thing, yes you can install your own router, either in your home of church. Then you have a great deal more control. If anyone needs more info, just let me know.