What is DNS Filtering for Schools?

DNS filtering for schools uses the most effective method of Internet filtering to provide a safe online environment. It not only protects students, teachers, and administrators from web-borne threats such as malware, ransomware and phishing, but also provides granular control over Acceptable Use Policies so they can be applied by grade to ensure students access age-appropriate educational material.

A Brief Explanation of DNS Filtering for Schools

DNS filtering for schools uses the Domain Name System (DNS) of allocating IP addresses to domain names (i.e. www.spamtitan.com) in order to accelerate the speed at which devices communicate with each other. Rather than block access to websites harboring malware – or that violate Acceptable Use Policies – by their names, DNS filtering for schools blocks access by IP address.

How DNS Filtering WorksThis process is the most effective way of providing a safe online environment because, as well as blocking domains that may harbor malware or violate Acceptable Use Policies, DNS filtering for schools also blocks sub-domains sharing the same IP address that cybercriminals (or students) may use to circumnavigate filtering parameters.

DNS filtering is also fast. There are currently more than 1.5 billion websites in existence, and to check each request to visit a website against alphanumeric blacklists and policies would slow the user experience significantly. By comparison, checking requests against numeric blacklists and policies takes a fraction of a second and often the user is not aware their Internet access is being controlled.

Granular Controls Further Improve the User Experience

The speed at which DNS filtering for schools is able to check IP addresses against Acceptable Use Policies enables system administrators to apply more granular policies. Therefore, rather than having a district-wide policy applied universally to students of all ages, individual policies can be applied for each grade, or for students studying specific subjects.

The policies themselves are easy to create via a centralized management portal through which categories of website content can be blocked with the click of a mouse. As well as being able to apply the policies by grade or subject, administrators can control when specific websites can be accessed by time (for after school studies) or by bandwidth.

The level of granularity extends to how policy exclusions can be applied at local level. On some systems, policy exclusions have to be applied for to a district administrator. This can be time-consuming and increases the administrative load. With DNS filtering for schools, role-based access controls allow teachers to create exclusions when required.

DNS Filtering for Schools from WebTitan

There are a number of ways in which DNS filtering for schools can be deployed. Few school districts continue to use hardware-based filters because of their high maintenance overheads, and more popular solutions include software installations and cloud-based filters, as these are updated automatically by the solution provider to ensure school networks are protected against the latest malware threats.

WebTitan offers school districts the choice of software or cloud-based solutions depending on the districts´ requirements. Both solutions can be implemented and configured within minutes, and both integrate seamlessly with existing management tools to accelerate the application of Acceptable Use Policies. Furthermore, we offer school districts the opportunity to try our solutions for free.

To find out more about our free trial offer, do not hesitate to contact us. Our Sales Technicians will be happy to explain more about DNS filtering for schools and answer any questions you have about protecting your network from web-borne threats, or about applying granular age-appropriate policies to enhance the user experience for students, teachers, and administrators alike.