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I want to block sites on clients computers. I have a Mac OS X Server 10.6 and my clients are using Mac OS and Windows. I have used parental control in the Mac OS X Server before, but it only works for Mac clients. What can I use to block sites in all my clients?

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3 Answers 3

Actually, OS X Server does have a built-in proxy. Run Server Admin, select the Web service in the sidebar, then Settings in the top bar and Proxy under that. Check the box to Enable Forward Proxy and edit the Blocked Hosts list to taste. Start the web service, and point clients at it...

Edit: if Web doesn't appear in the sidebar, enable it by selecting the server name in the sidebar, then Settings -> Services.

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If you have a bit of budget for the project, I suggest using a separate web filter appliance - that frees you from the need to shoe-horn filtering onto the mac server, or run windows in order to get the "sits on ISA" type filter systems.

(Bias disclaimer: I work for Smoothwall - a web filtering vendor - so I may be slightly biased, but my advice is good, trust me ;))

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As far as I know OS X Server has no built in proxy and hence filter for websites. Parental controls are a bit amateur as well for blocking website you really need to use a proxy.

Squid combined with a blocklist should do the trick nicely. Darwin ports has an OS X friendly version for easy installation.

You can also block sites at a DNS level either with a DNS block list or with Open DNS or similar services - this is not as good as a proxy as users can still visit sites by IP address.

As @Gordon points out you can of course use the enable the standard OS X Apache web server installation and use that as a forwarding proxy - I would probably recommended that you don't do this as Squid is more capable choice.

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