moof
Level 2: Rookie

Hopeless parental controls

After 15 years of using Telstra Cable internet I'm being forced to "upgrade" to NBN. 

I've taken this opportunity to subscribe to a new provider, because I am having an extremely disappointing time with Telstra's parental controls. They are worse than useless. First, the parental controls on the netgear cable modem are very blunt - turn URLs either on or off, or have all internet access on or off on a schedule. And because the modem's admin interface seems to fall offline after an hour of inactivity you need to re-boot the modem every time you want to turn the URL filters on or off.  Because of the difficulty using the netgear modem's parental controls, Telstra suggested I pay for the parental control feature accessible via this website. So I did that, and it is even worse. The "age group settings" tell you nothing about what is actually being blocked and although you can add 50  URLs (not IP addresses) to a black/white list you can't edit the pre-sets, so you are always left wondering  what "Personal Websites" means and what is actually being blocked. Even after blocking games as a category and blacklisting roblox and minecraft explicitly I still find the kids playing that during school hours, and it's not via any other access point. So it doesn't actually work.

All of this hassle would have been avoided if Telstra had  allowed me to continue using OpenDNS, a third party DNS filter that blocks unwelcome IP addresses. But the netgear modem they thrust on me a few years ago does not have editable DNS addresses, and if you edit the DNS address on your computer it still gets forced to use the Telstra DNS. This means the only DNS in the world you are allowed to use is Telstra's. The easiest way for me to control which websites are accessible from my home is to abandon Telstra. I've subscribed to a new service provider, got some nice hardware that makes IP filtering really easy and solid, allows me to use any third party DNS filter, and I'm now looking forward to School holidays when I can make the switch without any risk of interrupting home schooling. 

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cf4
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Hopeless parental controls

The new Telstra Gen 2 modems allow you to select your own DNS service. There is a drop down list and one of the providers on the list is OpenDNS.

 

Even if using the Netgear you could use a different DNS on a device, but due to the fact that most device now use IPv4 and IPv6 you need to specify both an IPv4 and IPv6 custom DNS on the device to prevent the device using the Telstra DNS.

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