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The Best K9 Web Protection Alternatives with Effective Blocking and Bypass Prevention

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Tech Lockdown Team
Updated October 1, 2023

K9 Web Protection Overview

K9 Web Protection was a software solution for blocking adult content while online. While not the only option when it came to filtering content online, it provided very powerful features for the average user and family. Most other filtering and blocking services where focused on businesses and corporate networks, whereas K9 was focused on user-friendly content blocking.

Unfortunately, back in 2019, support for the software was officially pulled, and K9 is no longer available for purchase or download. 

While K9 web protection is no longer in use, let's look at some features this software provided that you can now find in other software alternatives to K9 Web Protection.

Bypass Prevention

One of the reason people trusted K9 was because of its notoriously difficult-to-bypass software. Once installed on a system, users and their families could be confident that K9 would not be able to be removed or bypassed, not without the Administrator password.

During installation process, the user would set an Administrator password that would be required to uninstall the application. The only official way to remove K9 would be to enter the correct password. This was a very powerful solution to prevent someone on the device to disable or bypass the software. 

Another valuable feature that K9 used to make it easier to block incorrectly categorized websites was that it allowed users to add websites to the blacklist, even without the Administrator password. 

This is a very useful feature, because if you were to find a website that wasn't being properly blocked, you could very easily add the website to your blocklist.

Monitor Websites Visited

K9 Web Protection provided you with a summary of websites, both blocked and allowed, so you could view all websites visited. This was a very powerful feature, especially since K9 had such a strong emphasis on bypass prevention. You could very easily see what websites were being visited, and the reason for them being blocked. 

In most situations, it is possible to monitor what websites were visited on your Wi-Fi , however, K9 made it very easy to understand and view.

Custom Categories

K9 had very robust system for enabling content categories. Websites would be labeled and sorted by their categories, and these categories could be customized to whatever kinds of content you wanted to be restricted (or allowed). 

Whenever a user would try to visit a website that matched a blocked content category, K9 would step in and block the website. this block would then be mentioned in the monitoring logs.

Custom Website Allow and Blocklist

Sometimes, if you're blocking a bunch of different categories, you encounter a website that wasn't properly filtered, or need to access a website that was marked as blocked. 

If you needed to specifically allow a certain website that was improperly labeled, you could add it to the allowlist to make it available. However, if you had a website that you believed to be incorrectly categorized, and you wanted it blocked, you could add it to the blocklist.

Limitations of K9 Web Protection

K9 Web protection was made in the early 2000's in a completely different technical landscape compared to today. For example, it was less common for the average person to have a smartphone that had the capability to access the internet in a problematic way.

Furthermore, families typically had a shared family computer and parents might have a separate computer for a home office. Windows computers were the most common computer used at that time. 

K9 web protection was a great solution for this common scenario, but it's not effective in the modern world of smartphones, multiple types of computers, and the cybersecurity needs of the modern world.

Device Support

One of the reasons K9 web protection was discontinued is that it doesn't work well with modern devices.

K9 web protection was originally created for Windows computers. However, most people have multiple devices now where they can access content. In fact, more people use smartphones compared to computers. With this in mind, having a solution for Windows (and Mac computers in some cases), isn't comprehensive enough.

Custom Filtering Rules

The filter lacked the ability to create custom filtering rules for individual family members. In the modern world of the internet, Adults also want to filter content for themselves and family members have different filtering requirements depending on their age and maturity. This means that custom filter settings per user are an important feature to consider when picking an alternative to K9 Web Protection.

Modern Operating System Compatiblity

Furthermore, K9 web protection had compatibility issues with modern Windows operating systems. This is due to how new operating systems focus on cybersecurity features that would conflict with K9 web protection.

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Alternatives to K9 Web Protection

When choosing a comporable alternative to K9 Web protection, you need to take two consider two key areas:

  1. Content blocking
  2. Bypass prevention

Honestly, it's not possible to find an all-in-one software solution that hits both of these points comprehensively. 

However, you can combine multiple solutions together to find the ultimate blocking and bypass prevention setup. Here's what we recommend.

DNS Filtering as an Alternative

Since K9 has been discontinued, there are other solutions out there that can provide comprehensive content filtering. DNS filtering is one such option. 

DNS Filtering works on the network level, and prevents a device (computer, smartphone, or other device) from being able to communicate with any blocked websites.

Because DNS Filtering happens at the network level, it's possible to set up filtering on your home Wi-Fi, and block content on your home Wi-fi .   

Choosing a DNS Filtering Service

The first step is to choose the proper DNS filtering service. There are many different types of DNS filtering services, each with its own priorities. For example, Tech Lockdown offers a DNS filter as a part of it's membership.

When considering which service to use for securing your devices or network, it's important to keep in mind the DNS filtering service's capabilities.

Content Categories

Most, if not all, DNS Filtering applications have content categories. Tech Lockdown's DNS Filter allows you to enable filtering for all kinds of categories, including: 

  • Adult Content
  • Phishing and Deception
  • Social Networking
  • SafeSearch browsing only
  • YouTube Restriction level
  • and many more!

Custom Block and Allow Lists

Tech Lockdown also enables you to specify which websites will always be blocked or allowed. 

DNS Logging

Most DNS Filters keep logs of all websites visited, and can sorted by websites allowed or blocked. This can be very useful if you are trying to ensure that filtering is working properly.

Bypass Prevention

Because most DNS Filters work at the network level, bypassing filtering becomes almost impossible. If you have filtering set up on a router, then it filters the connections of all devices connected to that network.

Tech Lockdown offers guides on setting up devices that enforce filtering. These devices are called "managed devices" and are configured to be impossible for the user to bypass (it goes far beyond an administrator password). 

Since Tech Lockdown's focus on content filtering is done for the purpose of self-control, the guides offered focus on preventing you from bypassing your own devices and filters. This is done by providing multiple layers of protection and filtering, which will make very difficult (or impossible) to bypass your own protections.

Go Beyond Beyond Basic Blocking

Elevate your content blocking and bypass prevention.

Closing Thoughts

Tech Lockdown provides a great solution when it comes to finding a solid approach to take control of your digital life. With our premium guides, we go deep into various filtering and bypass prevention techniques, however, there is a wide availability of information available to search for free on our website: