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In my home:

  • There's a Windows 8 laptop, which I use often.
  • And there's a Samsung Galaxy S Relay cellphone, running Android 4.1.2, which I use sometimes.

I want to help prevent myself from viewing pornography. (I've already joined a twelve-step program for sex addicts, but I still want a second layer of protection.)

I've installed some Web filtering software called Qustodio on the laptop. I chose Qustodio because it allows me to filter one Windows user account (mine) and leave the other account unfiltered (someone else's).

I want to install some filtering software on my cellphone too. The free version of Qustodio has some limitations built in, so as to encourage users to upgrade to the paid version. It looks like the free version originally used to work on a maximum of two devices per household, but that the limit has since been reduced to one device per household. I've done a bit of experimentation. I've found that this limit means that I can't install the free version of Qustodio on the cellphone unless I first either:

  • upgrade to the paid version, or
  • remove the software from the laptop.

I would rather not pay for filtering software.

Perhaps there exists some good multi-user alternative to Qustodio for Windows. Or perhaps there exists a good alternative to Qustodio for Android.

(Dansguardian is no longer maintained, but a fork, called e2guardian, is maintained. If e2guardian works on Android, I could root my phone and install it — either atop Android, or atop GNURoot Debian atop Android. But I'd rather not bother. Plus, a few years ago, I looked into the matter. At the time, I read that it wasn't a good choice on Android at the time. It's really designed to be run on servers, not on cellphones, and it hasn't yet been packaged to be easily installable on cellphones.)

Do you have any suggestions, tips, ideas, or random thoughts?

[Edit: TopAttack isn't a fancy website, and the English skills of the author(s) aren't perfect, but their comparison of parental control software is useful because it includes information about freeware options. Judging from the screenshots at the bottom of each full review, it looks like they use the Windows version of each product. Fine. Anyway, I learned from their comparison chart that the free option which they liked second-best was Norton Family. I did a Google search and it looks like Norton Family includes multi-user support for Windows. Because WebChaver point out that mobile-device filtering is harder to do reliably than desktop-PC filtering, I think I'm going to try running Qustodio (the best free product) on Android, and Norton Family (the second-best free product) on Windows. TopAttack do point out that Norton Family can't hide its UI, but maybe the Windows "Notification Area Icons" control panel will help me. If I end up not liking the Android version of Qustodio, maybe I'll instead try Mobile Fence, which has good Google Play store reviews.]

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In the end, I switched the Windows machine to Norton Family in order so that I could install Qustodio on the smartphone.

Qustodio is more bug-free. But Norton Family has a public support forum, tirelessly monitored by a company employee, where even non-paying users can post bug reports (and I have posted one).

Qustodio, like most Web filters on Android 4.0+, includes a loophole which makes it useless for me. There are two ways to close the loophole.

  • You can install a special browser. But these browsers probably all use the system WebView component. And, on my aging Android OS, the system WebView component probably includes security holes which hackers can exploit.

  • Or there's another way, which I plan to do. Spoiler alert: If you follow this link, you can read both how to exploit the loophole (it takes only seconds to do so) and how (on a rooted phone) you can close the loophole.

I don't have a data plan; so, for now, I've mostly been using MAC filtering on my local router in order to prevent myself from connecting to the Internet using the cellphone at all.

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Consider a DNS filter for your home and or using a cloud service

  • Either you use a (free / freemium) service like OpenDNS. They have categories for all kinds of content, and you can add some domain names of your own like, even in the free version. It works with either a DynDns client that sends your IP to OpenDNS or you configure your browser to automatically log in when started (by calling a specific web URL).

  • You run your own filtering DNS server at home, for example with nxFilter (free for home use). This is a little more involved, but gives you total control over your filters.

A DNS filter has the advantage over a proxy solution like DansGuardian, in that it does not tamper with HTTPS. Every (whitelisted/not blacklisted) domain will be available with the original certificate.

Please make a comment if you like to know more.

  • Good point. Although I didn't mention it in my question, I have been using OpenDNS as my usual DNS provider for years. It is true that OpenDNS alone is a poor choice to stop me from viewing pornography. This is because quite a few non-pornographic websites include pornographic content, and I don't want to block all those websites completely. Still, OpenDNS is a good adjunct to filtering software such as Qustodio or Norton Family. If that software fails, is defeated, or if I've temporarily disabled it for any reason, OpenDNS will still be present as a second layer of protection. – tealhill Aug 31 '15 at 18:42

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