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Where should I configure CleanBrowsing?

A common problem we see with users of the service is confusion between deploying CleanBrowsing on a device (e.g., Windows, Mac) or on the network router. What is the right deployment?

We recommend router deployments to cover the whole network. You can deploy on devices individually, and that can complement your router configuration.

We’ll explore both configuration options in this article. The best way to think both configurations is as complimentary to each other.

Device vs Router Deployments

Where you deploy CleanBrowsing is completely dependent on what your intentions are. Below we will provide a few examples.

Type of UserDeviceRouter
ParentIf a child has a mobile device that leaves the home network, configuring locally will help ensure they have a safe browsing experience regardless of network they join.Will ensure every device at home is protected while they are on the network. This applies to all Internet of Things (IoT) devices like game consoles (e.g., XBox, Playstation, etc..), TV’s and laptops.
SchoolIf you are issuing school computers, and tablets.When students are at school every device will be picked up by the edge configuration.
BusinessConfigure on devices if they are issued, or via your company VPN so that you ensure that while they are on your network they are provided a safe-browsing experience.Configure at the edge of your network so that when they are on the network they are provide safe browsing experiences.
Religious InstitutionsNot applicable, unless you’re providing devices to your congregation.Configure at the edge of your network so that parishioners are provided a safe-browsing experience while on your Wi-Fi.
MunicipalityConfigure on devices if you are issuing your employees government devices and they switch between cellular and Wi-Fi connections.Configure at the edge of the network. This is applicable if you’re deploying this to your pool of employees, or if you’re deploying a city-wide public Wi-Fi hotspot.

Example instances of when and how
CleanBrowsing can be deployed on devices and routers.

Devices Require More Attention

Although we provide comprehensive guides for iOS and Android devices, their deployments can be tricky for some users. The issue might come in the device owner being able to disable, or uninstall the service.

This is why it’s important that parents, specifically, take a proactive approach to managing their devices. Conglomerates like Google and Apple build their technologies in such a way that they assume every user is a responsible Adult. They assume everyone is mature enough and entitled to their privacy, which results in devices that provide an all or nothing like experiences for users.

Most device owners have full control of their devices. This means that regardless of the service, tool, app you deploy, a device owner is able to undo whatever configuration is implemented. This is a bit different for organizations like schools, libraries, and government institutions. In many instances they have the ability to harden their devices.

Parent, however, do not often have that luxury. So when deploying CleanBrowsing locally on your device, be sure pay special attention to how to stop device owners from stopping or uninstalling the service.

Complementary Solutions

The net net of this article is that you can deploy it on both, devices and the router. Both deployments will complement each other.

The router will cover the entire network, while the device will cover the device only.

If you have a home, it’s advised to configure it on the router by default to cover the entire home. If you have children with devices, you can configure them on their devices so that when they leave the home they are protected.

Updated on November 18, 2022
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