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How To Configure Google Safe Search

Block adult and explicit sites using Google Safe Search at your School or home. Learn more about Google VIP.

Google Safe Search VIP

Google provides a way for parents and schools to enforce safe search on all browsers and devices using your network. That’s done by leveraging the SafeSearch Virtual IP address to all Google domains – that can’t be undone at the browser level.

Note that Safe Search only applies to Google. Your kids can still go to other search engines or straight to adult sites without searching for it.

If you are using CleanBrowsing, we enforce Google Safe Search automatically and you do not have to take any of these steps.

Configuring Google Safe Search VIP

SafeSearch VIP works by re-mapping Google’s IP address to the CNAME forcesafesearch.google.com. Instead of visiting Google at the normal Google IP addresses, you will re-route the traffic to this load balancer provided by Google that will always enforce a clean browsing.

Re-mapping via /etc/hosts

The first way to do that is via the /etc/hosts file on your Mac or Linux (or \WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts on Windows). That file overwrites the IP address of any domain added to that file. For the SafeSearch, you have to open this file and map all the google.com domains to www.google.com www.google.ca plus.google.com

If you add these 3 entries above, you will force SafeSearch on google.com, google.ca and plus.google.com. To verify it is working, save the file and go to Google.com to confirm Safesearch can’t be disabled.

Re-mapping at your router

Re-mapping at your router can be a bit more difficult. You have to login to your router, and find the DNS and Domain mapping option (It might be under DHCP or Settings on some router versions). Once you find the place to map domain names, you will have to add the IP address as the map for www.google.com, www.google.ca, etc. Note that Google has multiple domains, so you will have to add one entry for each one here.

Safe Searching

Safe Searching is a critical step to keep your kids safe online. There are multiple search engines that do not provide such level as security as Google, so we recommend blocking them if you want to prevent your kids from seeing explicit content. You can do that by setting the IP address of search.yahoo.com, www.yandex.com and others to Another option is to use CleanBrowsing, as we deal with it automatically.

Updated on November 17, 2022
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