Monday, January 21, 2008

BSNL broadband - Parental control (prevent visits to unwanted sites)

As a father of two kids, it is always a conflict in mind: whether to encourage them to freely surf the web and learn new things and technologies, or to sit with them whenever they want to go online. I have heard there are parental control software that lets one setup his/her internet connection to help in such scenarios. But I figured out that the modems used in the broadband service have such features that will easily implement such controls at our home.

There are different modes of controlling the internet access. The most suitable one to me is 'Domain Blocking'. This way one could list freely allowed domains and anyone using the internet using this connection cannot go to any website beyond the listed ones. I listed sites like google.com, wikipedia.org, disney.co.uk, etc. With this setup there is no policing required. Of course there are ways to by-pass such controls, anything is possible in technology. Here we are talking about average school kids, not the hacker breeds:-)

Here is how it is setup in my BSNL broadband connection that uses a modem HUAWEI MT880 modem. The menus and settings may vary according to the model and brand of the modem.

Step 1: Log into modem:
Entering http://192.168.1.1 in the url field of the browser and clicking 'go' or the green arrow will open up a login/password window. The default setting in our case is admin/admin ,you may try your luck or call BSNL support. (this password needs to be changed later, needless to say!)

Step 2: Summary Screen:
Once successfully logged in, summary screen will be shown like shown below.

Step 3: Filters:
Go to 'Filters' under the 'Advanced' group in the left frame. This opens up the filters menu.

Step 4: Domain Blocking:
Select 'Domain Blocking' radio button and then select 'Deny users to access all domains except "Permitted Domains" ' option.

Step 5: Allowed domains:
Enter the allowed domain names, one by one in the box provided there and build 'Permitted Domains' list.

Step 6: Saving the settings:
Till all the domains are added, don't save and reboot, once done, save and reboot, so that your changes will be permanent. Even by switching off /on this will not change.


Remember to change the admin password and save it somewhere. Also, remember that intelligent people may find means to overcome this control, how, I don't want to touch here:-)

And, when I am there at the computer and want to get unrestricted access?
I login using the password, and select 'Disable domain blocking' option and make sure NOT TO SAVE THE SETTING.

There could be better ways to achieve this control, but this comes handy for me, so I decided to share with the world.

2 comments:

swami said...

A simple engineer trying to improve the world around me....idhu migavum magizhchi alikkiradhu ...aanal engineergal idhu pol valai padhivugalil ezhuthalavil mattum world improve seyya ezhudhi kondirundhaal enna seivadhu ?idhu indha madiri xposures illadhavrgalukku sendradaya nam pondra priviliged people in pangalippu enna ?thangalai thaakuvadharkaaga idhai ezhudhavillai ...similar karuthudaiyavaraga irundhal ungal f/b kirku indha karuthai mun vaikindren

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