DNS filtering is a great alternative to more traditional hardware and software-based solutions for filtering the internet in schools.
Our DNS filter works by redirecting traffic, based on the information associated with your schools router and the service supplier, permitting the Bark account super admin to filter student web browsing by parameters on their Bark dashboard.
Being at the network-level, the DNS filter is compatible with G Suite and Microsoft 365. The DNS filter is not tied to your Organizational Units or Active Directory, so you can freely use your Bark for Schools DNS filter in place of a current solution.
Once in place, the Bark super admin can review reports on web browsing activity on the network.
Before you start, please also check out our FAQ: Web Filtering.
STEP 1: Log in to your dashboard with a Bark super admin account.
STEP 2: Click the top right drop-down menu and select Web Filters.
NOTE: Don't see Web Filters in your Bark account's drop-down menu? This means you are not a Bark super admin. Ask your Bark super admin for help. The super admin can also reach out to our support team to get your account elevated to super admin status in Bark.
STEP 3: Under the Network category, select Create new Network filter.
STEP 4: Enter the name of the network you wish to apply web filtering policies on and click Next.
STEP 5: Add Public IP Addresses.
To find your public IP address(es), you can visit whatismyip.com on a client on your network.
There is no limit to the number of public IP addresses you can filter with the Bark for Schools DNS filter.
NOTE: By separating staff and student networks, you can apply appropriate and separate policies to each, but every school and district varies in how their network is set up, so it may not always be possible.
STEP 6: Log in to your router configuration.
To log in and configure your router, you open it up in your web browser. If you don't know the IP address for your router, don't worry, it is typically one of the following:
NOTE: If you have forgotten your router's username and/or password, the most common username is "admin" and the password is either blank, "admin", or "password".
STEP 7: Find the DNS server settings.
Look for "DNS" next to a field which allows two or three sets of numbers (these fields may be empty). It might look like this:
STEP 8: Enter the DNS server addresses displayed in your Bark DNS Filter page into the router configuration and click Save or Apply.
NOTE: Please write down your current settings before entering the Bark DNS addresses, just in case.
When you are done, your router DNS configuration may look like this:
Last step: Set the filter policies
A. Allow/Block Websites
This section allows for the input of any website you would like to blacklist or whitelist. These sites will be reported on within the dashboard for ease of visibility.
Bark also supports the use of wildcards at the front (*.youtube.com), middle (sites.google.com/*game*), or end (*.youtube.com/playlist=1234*) of a domain to fit your use-case.
The exceptions entered here are prioritized over the category settings in the section below.
B. Allow/Block Categories
This section will allow the whitelisting / blacklisting of whole categories. This is pulled from the our database that houses over half of a million sites that are associated to these categories and is updated every 15 minutes. There are sites that may not fall into these categories that need to be blacklisted using instructions in the section above.
Bark groups websites into the categories shown below. Toggle each category to the appropriate setting for your use-case.
How do I know it's working?
Need additional help?
We have an incredible team behind the scenes here at Bark. For technical questions, we can be reached here. Our team is happy to help!