DNS Filtering at a glance
What is DNS
To explain what DNS (Domain Name System) is, let’s resort to a very widely used metaphor – DNS is a phone book for the internet. To access a domain/site, we habitually type in the browser the necessary domain name, like nyt.com. However, to load this site on your web connected device, your internet browser uses this site’s IP (Internet Protocol) address, a numerical combination of digits and dots, like, 126.96.36.199 for The New York Times site.
The DNS protocol is used to translate a domain name into the numerical combination the internet browsers operate with. For us, humans, it is much easier to memorize the name of a site, like nyt.com, rather than a numerical combination of 8 digits or longer. Imagine how many numerical combinations you should have memorized to reach your favorite domains if there were no DNS! The DNS protocol is at the very heart of the internet as DNS is indispensable for accessing domains.
Why is there a necessity for DNS filtering
Now we’ve found out what DNS is, it is time to better understand what DNS filtering is and what it is needed for. DNS filtering is a technique of blocking access to certain websites or entire groups of websites with the similar content. This is all about user online safety, not about internet censorship.
Experienced web surfers know, one can find anything on the internet – literally, the content users consider useful, work-related, entertaining, of educational value as well as the most gross, heinous stuff no sane person would ever like to see – like, adult and child sexual abuse, terrorism-related content, etc.
And the thing is, internet users often stumble upon the unwanted stuff even without actively looking for it. For example, adult and even porn images can appear in online ads, found all over the internet, whether site visitors want to see such ads or not. Just think of harm children can come to when accessing age-inappropriate and dangerous internet resources.