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Is there a simple way to have multiple computers on a network access the Internet and the history, files accessed or domains tracked in a global log?

Obviously it's a privacy issue on a larger network, but mostly for now a concern for home computer use with children and monitoring/blocking/directing their use safely and monitoring where bandwidth is being used.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

If your children are not going to bypass your DNS setup,
I would recommend setting up OpenDNS access.

Here is a HowToGeek reference for the purpose: Protect Your Kids Online Using Open DNS.

Handling covert redirection -- when that is a concern.
Login to OpenDNS, click through

  • Dashboard,
    • Settings,
      • Advanced Settings, and,
        • Uncheck Enable typo correction.
        • Apply
        • [while you are here, checkout other controls available too]
  • I have typically left this settings ON
  • It is more important to check what your browser does on lookup failures
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I'm already using OpenDNS which is great but doesn't allow for access to "restricted" content without pretty much disabling the service entirely temporarily. I simply want to see some kind of live graph of use or list of latest requested domains or something. – Peter Aug 17 '09 at 1:09
@peter, Oh, then you either need to try probing your DNS Cache or just setup a local DNS that will give you logs (think, Squid and company) and, probably also allow specific content-filtering (supported with public domain blacklists). – nik Aug 17 '09 at 4:39

You could try opendns to block based no dns queries, but it has other privacy concerns...

As a better solution I will try a proxy (like squid) and blacklists/whitelists or applicatons like dansguardian.

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if you run your own local bind DNS server, you can turn on query logging. However, this will not tell you that someone went to It will simply show the request for

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If you want more than just URL filtering (OpenDNS is a good choice here as a couple of others have already mentioned), then running a local proxy server may fit your needs. This is a little more technically challenging, but should allow you to combine OpenDNS while allowing you to do additional filtering and full logging or URL's accessed.

Squid is a popular, open source, option but there are others as well. If you modify your firewall to only allow the proxy server outbound http/https access, then it will be more difficult to circumvent the proxy.

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