WHS as web proxy for parental control duties RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm currently researching ways (software) to filter web content for my children. Since my kids use multiple PCs in my home (3), I didn't want to have to install and manage 3 applications.

    Is there an app for WHS that I could setup centralized (ALLOW DENY) websites per user account? If I could proxy through the WHS and manage filtering contrally, that would be ideal....
    Saturday, January 5, 2008 2:22 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    As of now, no there isn't. I would also think that it's unlikely, certainly in the short term. Mainly because, it really isn't a good idea, having your home server which holds all your important data, being directly accessable from the internet, never mind the fact that most of the current crop of servers don't have the power to do multiple operations.

    The best way, at present, would be a replacement router, many of which now, have just such facilities. This has the advantage of keeping your server behind a NAT, (which is better than nothing,) plus, having specialised hardware to do the job.



    Saturday, January 5, 2008 5:55 PM
  • Hmmm. good point. How 'bout being able to control Vista's user accounts (filters, parental controls) from the WHS then? Since Vista (unfortunately, only some versions) support Parental Controls, you could set the policy centrally at the WHS...which the client would look to (sync).

    Does anyone know of a way to filter Internet content centrally? Having to do so specifically by account on every PC seems very archaic.

    Sunday, January 6, 2008 2:12 PM
  • I haven't used it, and I know it doesn't play well with WHS, but does OneCare from M/s do what you want?




    Sunday, January 6, 2008 5:58 PM
  • Or, replace your router with a Smoothwall.

    Smoothwall + DansGuardian + SquidGuard Advanced Proxy will do exactly what you're looking to do.

    Sunday, January 6, 2008 6:47 PM
  •  cuppie wrote:

    Or, replace your router with a Smoothwall.

    Smoothwall + DansGuardian + SquidGuard Advanced Proxy will do exactly what you're looking to do.

    I agree,

      but not really a plug and play solutions.

    IPCop should do the trick in a easyer way, easy install from an iso image.



    Tuesday, January 8, 2008 8:54 PM
  • I would love to have a on stop shop for my home network also.  I currently run Clark connect of web proxy and firewall.  I also have a home server...means 2 machines.  I would love to have the ability to run all of this through my home server since I am not a Linux guy.  I know you say not to have your server connected directly to the internet but for me it would mean saving money power and space.  I do not have anything other than pictures, music and movies on my home server at this point...There are very smart people out there if they want to get to my stuff they can regardless of what i have protecting network.  Oh ya the other thing I would love to have on this server is an instant massager’s filter/manager.  I have teenagers and i need to limit the 200 hours a day they are on the computer and also now adays make sure there is nothing "bad" going on...

    Just another though...for the people making these dam routers I can not believe they have not made ones that are affordable for the home user to be in control of all this.  The routers are there already and with a little more work they could have all this included...of course not the storage but a better firewall with a nice manageable webpoxy..

    Monday, June 8, 2009 8:12 PM
  • For the most part, the functionality you're asking for will have to come from independent software vendors. Microsoft has provided a framework for other to extend in Windows Home Server, and in addition they've tried to solve certain high-priority problems that home users find extremely difficult: protecting the data on their home PCs (their digital "stuff"), providing easily and arbitrarily extendable storage, and making their digital "stuff" available to them from afar.

    As for parental controls/a proxy server, I firmly believe the best way to protect one's children from the dangers of the internet is to directly and interactively monitor their internet use. Using software that you check from time to time to perform this function is ineffective; you will eventually stop looking at any logs.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, June 9, 2009 3:19 AM
  • An excellent and free solution is to use Windows Live Family Safety: http://download.live.com/familysafety - not a very well know solution in my experience, but it certainly does the job if your family have windows live ID's


    Sunday, June 21, 2009 10:16 AM
  • Here's what I did at my house. 
    I installed a second NIC into my WHS box and assigned it a bogus internal IP address not on my internal network (so as to not cause traffic issues when plugged in to another port on my network).  
    I installed the free vmware server on my WHS box. 
    Downloaded a virtualized version of untangle. (http://www.untangle.com) which also has a free version. 
    I setup the original NIC to a static IP address in the untangle vm session; so I now have two static IP addresses assigned: one physical to the WHS and one virtual to the untangle session.
    The additional NIC card I plugged into another port on my router.  BTW I have a 16 port switch so plenty of ports to use.
    I setup the second nic only in the untangle vm session as a DHCP internet connection.
    I then pointed all the gateway addresses to the static untangle IP address. 

    It works great!  I get the filtering I need plus I can shut down individual sites that the kids aren't allowed to visit.  I can run reports through the untangle interface and see where the kids have been going, etc.

    I have had the occasional lockup, which when my wife calls about issues with the internet, I walk her through changing the IP gateway on her pc to the original router IP address to put her back on the internet. 

    The kids haven't figured out yet how to bypass the untangle software so I am good for a couple of years with this setup.
    Wednesday, June 24, 2009 5:32 PM
  • I guess I could do that...I am currently using clarkconnect and I love it.  I am just running it on an old notebook so i guess I could setup another nic and get a VM going to at lease consoldate hardware...
    Wednesday, June 24, 2009 5:45 PM
  • ...
    The kids haven't figured out yet how to bypass the untangle software so I am good for a couple of years with this setup.
    You're an optimist, aren't you? If any of your kids is more than about 8-10 years old, they will be able to defeat this if they really want to. (Possibly younger, though my younger nieces and nephews probably wouldn't.) You'll know about it eventually unless they do an unusually thorough job (for a 10 year old), but not for a week or so.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, June 24, 2009 6:20 PM