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How To Configure CleanBrowsing

This article is for non-technical users. Whether you’re looking to work with our Free or Paid filters (learn the difference), how you configure CleanBrowsing is almost always identical. 

The various options, can seem overwhelming but they are provided because there are just as many ways this can be configured. What you choose is wholly reliant on your network and what you are trying to achieve.

Know the Desired End State

Focus on your desired end state. Are you doing this for a home? Are you doing this to protect all the devices you own? Are you doing this for yourself? Understanding the desired end state will help guide you in making the right deployment decision.

This matters because it helps you think through your deployment strategy. For instance, if you want to cover your entire home we always recommend starting at your router (we have a number of guides to help with this). But if you’re concerned with mobile devices (like phones) moving around you might want to augment that set up with local configurations as well.

We prepared an article to help you think through this process – Where Should I Configure CleanBrowsing?.

CleanBrowsing is a Networking Solution

First, CleanBrowsing is a networking option and depends on something known as the Domain Name System (DNS) to function. This means that any device (e.g., mobile phone, computer, TV, refrigerator, server, etc…) that connects to the internet can be configured to use this service as it almost always uses DNS.

All configurations can always be done manually as long as whatever device you’re working on has a network settings option. Where this is located is going to be highly dependent on the device you are using.

Second, not all devices are created equal. Just because a device shows you a network settings option doesn’t mean that the software that powers that device respects the changes.

Third, in most instances it can take as little as 5 minutes to configure. It typically does not require an app to be configured, but we do offer a few for the more common platforms. It can, however, take a bit longer depending on what is going on with your device and network.

The more common issues arise when you have multiple content filtering services running, your ISP has a network restrictions that prevents changes, or incorrect configurations (adding the DNS in the wrong sections).

Getting Started

We’ve prepared guides to help configuring the Free and Paid service. As a quick reference, below are quick links to guides for things like mobile devices, operating systems and routers:

If you have any questions, you can reach us on this community forum or via email at support@cleanbrowsing.org

Updated on December 4, 2023

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