Review of Best Free Internet Filters Against Adult Content
We recommend using 1 through 5 at the same time.
Cons: not compatible with some anti-virus programs, but it is compatible with Microsoft Security Essentials (also free).
Cons: It doesn't work on Administrator logins, only "standard" user accounts. In addition, I have seen that sometimes it just stops working for no apparent reason... perhaps Microsoft's servers get overwhelmed? Use this in combination with the other tools listed. (Note: to remove the chat program 'Messenger', just uninstall Windows Essentials, and it will prompt you for which programs specifically desired for removal--so you can leave Family Safety).
3. AdBlock Plus
4. Anti-Porn Content Filter $30
Unlike the competition which checks URLs against a "bad site" blacklist, this checks text and content of the page for keywords that might be porn-related. Therefore, it even blocks sites that get around the blacklists above. How it works: it will block only some wikipedia articles, such as with the word "porn", but not all wikipedia or news articles. It isn't free, but it also provides timed screenshots, which is probably the best way to monitor activity.
Cons: to make a change only one person can be logged in (you have to log out of all other users to update the settings).
Also worth considering: wisechoice.net
For Linux: dansguardian.org (free)
Worth Considering, more technical:
Pros: It works differently than typical filters by routing requests to bad sites to a "no page found" site -- this prevents the HTTPS problem that gets around some other blacklists (like K-9 sometimes), and it works to block porn for anyone connected to your wireless internet--even if they have no other filter software set up on their computer.
Cons: It is harder to set up because you have to configure your wireless router, but they have instructions. To know the URL to access your router, do this: go to the "Network and Sharing Center" or right click on your internet connection and choose "details" or "properties". In Windows 7, for example, I had to click on the "access type connections" link for my internet connection, then clicked "details" in that pop-up, then looked for "default gateway" for the IP number. For example, it might be http://192.168.0.1 to access your router, but there are many examples in their instructions for specific information on how to set it up.
6. Untangle Firewall
DEFINITELY NOT RECOMMENDED: actionalert.com
Actionalert was a disappointment. I paid for the 19.95 version and received a refund the next day. It offered a "safe-search" web page that had advertising on it. It had instructions on how to prevent using google for searching in the top-right search field (because that would circumvent the safe searching). To view the "home page" which it set for me --and which I still cannot remove, even though I have updated Firefox and removed addons that look related-- see this URL:
Would you want that for a home page with the advertisements?