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 Google Workspace 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.
- Log in to your dashboard with a Bark super admin account.
- Click the top right drop-down menu and select Web Filtering Settings.
- Under the Network category, select Create new Network filter.
- Enter the name of the network you wish to apply web filtering policies on and click Next.
- 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.
Please 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.
- Log in to your router management page.
- To log in and configure your router, you navigate to your gateway's IP address in a web browser. If you don't know the IP address for your router, you can find it by looking at the connection settings on a device connected to the network.
- Find the Custom DNS settings.
Look for "DNS" next to a field which allows two or three sets of numbers (these fields may be empty).
- Enter the DNS addresses displayed in your Bark DNS Filter page into the router configuration and click Save or Apply.
When you are done, your router DNS configuration may look like this:
The Exceptions section allows for the input of any domain (ie. site) you would like to blacklist or whitelist. These sites will be on a report within the dashboard for ease of visibility. You can update these settings at any time.
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.
How to add an exception to your list
- Enter the name of the domain/site into the exception box
- Toggle the drop down to allowed or blocked depending on your needs
- Click Add
The Categories section will allow the whitelisting / blacklisting of whole categories. This is pulled from our database that houses countless sites that are associated to these categories and is updated regularly.
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?
How to remove the DNS Filter
- 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, 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."
Look for "Primary DNS" and "Secondary DNS" in the router's DNS server settings. It might look like this:
- Remove the DNS server addresses displayed in your Bark DNS Filter page from the router configuration and click Save or Apply.
Removing the Filter Policy/Rules (optional)
If applicable, you can remove the filtering rules/policies on your dashboard by following the instructions below. However, if you'd like to keep your rules saved for whenever you re-install the web filter in the future, then skip this section.
- Click the top right drop-down menu and select Web Filtering Settings from your Super Admin account.
- On this screen, you'll see all filters that had been previously set up.
Within each window, you'll see an option to Delete this filter. This will delete that particular ruleset from the account.