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Charter Internet and Open DNS (Porn-Free Home)

There is A LOT of garbage on the internet. Pornography being probably the most prolific. Like a lot of men, I’m attracted to it and now I have kids in the house (one of them a son who will also likely be attracted to it) and frankly, just don’t want that s#$@ in my house.

Tim Challies has a great post here about a porn-free home. So read it. I won’t rehash it here but specifically look at using OpenDNS filtering (at the router level) with Charter. I’ve been using OpenDNS since Molly and I first set up our internet here at the house. It doesn’t block things like non-specifically adult audio and video hosting websites (500px, Tumblr, Google, Dailymotion, and a host of others have adult content) unless you want it to, it’s a great first defense against the majors.

Billings has gone through three or four cable company changes since I’ve been here. I was on a plan from Bresnan which was probably two companies ago I think…maybe three. Anyway, I just upgraded to the Charter 30 (Mb/s down) plan and I’ve been told that 60 is coming by the end of this year. For any internet loving family like us, that’s good news. However…

….the moment they switched me over from the old Bresnan plan to the new Charter plan, my router, which was configured to route through the OpenDNS web filtering servers first, failed to connect to the internet. I did some digging and come to find out that for whatever reason Charter doesn’t let you do this.

So I did some more digging and found this write up on Charter’s website about two Gateways (modem/router combo) and a router with built-in filtering utilizing OpenDNS. So I went and ordered the Netgear 6300 off Amazon figuring, hey, this a Charter-endorsed option

Well, yes and no. First of all, they don’t claim to do any DNS blocking whatsoever so manually entering the OpenDNS addresses in your router should work and they won’t help you if this fails. But, I went through all the router settings and got it all set up according to the write-up and it worked…at first. (It certainly is convenient having the feature built-in. And I did just upgrade our 5 year old router to the latest technology.) 

Anyway, it worked for a second and then like last time, didn’t work again. At this point, I had to go to sporting clay league, so I left, shot, came home and my laptop and phone were connected. Nothing else. 

So I tried updating the firmware (failed the first time) and that worked, then the router rebooted and everything could connect up, filtered and all. 

So I dunno. It’s working now. I had to get a new router, but that’s the price to pay for wanting some protection in the house. 

So if you’re like me and want to use OpenDNS filtering services, pick up either one of the two Gateways or the router for your house and get yourself set up according to the instructions here (AFTER making sure your firmware is updated of course): Charter WiFi Netgear Parental Controls Setup

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