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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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4 Answers 4

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
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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 http://foo.bar.com/dirty_pictures/blah/blah. It will simply show the request for foo.bar.com

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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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