Best Open-Source Web Content Filtering Solutions

Best Open Source Web Content Filtering Solutions
Published By - Kelsey Taylor

Content is Key! But content can also be sensitive and needs to be protected.

Web content filtering is the technique to block access to website content. It filters out offensive, inappropriate, or even unethical content.

Businesses need to portray their best on the websites that represent them. It creates a hassle when there is unrelated or dangerous content on the website that can drive major traffic.

Content filtering is done by hardware or software-based solutions. It is essential to set rules and process the kind of site that may be visited. 

Exuding the suitable sites that hold risk to the content decreases distractions and increases productivity. Here we will discuss the open-source web content filtering solutions suitable for your business needs.

The Best Open-source Web Content Filtering Solutions:

The Benefits of Web Content Filtering Software

  • The best web content filtering software protects children and minors from inappropriate content. Parents may not always be present to witness and protect children from pornographic or violent content.
    A good web content filtering software helps achieve complete control and monitoring. When the software is a part of the firewall it automatically monitors what is accessible according to the filters set by the user or admin.
  • An open-source web content filtering software protects the system from malware. It blocks the websites that are identified as high-risk malware infection carriers.
  • Open-source web content filtering solutions offer higher workplace productivity. One of the primary reasons businesses use filtering solutions is to improve workplace productivity.
    Employees may distract themselves by surfing unnecessary websites during work hours. It creates a major issue and hampers productivity.
    Hence to limit online distractions organizations use some or the other form of web content filtering. It blocks access to social media, entertainment sites, dating websites, inappropriate content, etc.
  • Using web content filtering solutions increases network security. Cybersecurity is a major concern for a lot of companies.
    It is not always possible for IT to keep track of every site that may exploit vulnerabilities. Hence, web content filters are appointed that actively identify and block any access to use kits.
  • As discovered, web content filtering software reduces the viewing on non-work-related websites. This frees up the network bandwidth and makes it more efficient for work-related tasks.

Features of Web Content Filtering Software

  • Automatic Updates:

It is important to have an update on the blocklists and URIBL/SURBL (Uniform Resource Identifier or Spam URI RBL) filters. Website content filtering software is constantly revised with these updates.
The mechanisms are updated in real-time and not periodically. It protects the networks and users from web-based threats and vulnerability exploits. 

  • Web-based Management Panel:

A good web-based management console allows admins to apply filtering parameters. It reduces a lot of time and effort in updating and maintaining individual devices or systems.

  • Filtering via Categories and Keywords:

A lot of website filtering software offers categorization of web pages and web-based content. It may include sites with adult entertainment, shopping, news, etc.
The keywords filtering feature helps admins to limit access to websites and pages with specific keywords.

  • Time-based web filter controls:

Website content filtering software allows admins to implement specific time parameters for users. It is essential at the workplace where these filters could be unlocked during breaks and after hours.
It ensures that productivity is not hampered and that the staff is not distracted during production hours. This also helps create a healthy balance between employee’s work-life balance.

  • SSL inspection:

SSL stands for secure socket layer. It is a process that allows web content filtering software to deep dive into a site’s content.
SSL deems whether a website is compliant with the filter policies. It decrypts, reads, and re-encrypts entire sites to prevent malware that may infect networks.

The Best Open Source Web Content Filtering Solutions

Open-Source Filter

Open-source Filter is also known as Content Filter. It uses blacklists and word association algorithms to determine genuine and suitable websites.

It is regularly used to enforce company policies or meet compliance regulations like CIPA. (Children’s Internet Protection Act)

It is offered for free to run with the Clear OS system. Its latest version comes with a standard GPL license and added features.


OpenDNS is an open-source web filtering solution that provides Domain Name System resolution services. It works with DNS servers and cloud computing security features to protect companies from unwanted bottlenecks in the website.

In 2015, Cisco acquired OpenDNS. It was renamed Cisco Umbrella, but the products retained the name OpenDNS to maintain brand value and trust among users.

Recently Cisco announced a technical collaboration with FireEye. It has added OpenDNS features and now provides protection to remote employees and branch offices.


SquidGuard is a URL redirector that uses proxysoftware Squid with blacklists. The open-source web content filtering solution is now registered under GNU Public License.

It is a fast and free web content filtering software. It provides configurable logging to progress bars when compiling the blacklists.

It is available for rewrite statements for compliances and can block URLs and specific hostnames. It also provides authentication against MySQL databases and fixes any bugs in the system.


DansGuardian is a cross-platform website content-control software. It was written by SmoothWall ltd and released in June of 2013.

The open-source web content filtering software controls the access of the users. It provides virus filtering along with usage monitoring filters.

DansGuardian works with Unix, Linux, Windows, and Macintosh computers. It is highly recommended for schools, businesses, internet service providers, etc.

Comodo Dome Shield

Comodo Dome Shield is an efficient open-source web content filtering software. It provides high security for homes, businesses, and managed service providers.

It provides completely free services regardless of the number of users. It allows organizations to create guidelines to block threats, build black and white lists, and categorically block sites.

It helps organizations educate employees regarding the threats to random web surfing. It provides intel to keep the data safe and maintain professional integrity.


Open-source Web Content Filtering solutions block any access to sites that hold a threat to the system. Advanced open-source web content filtering solutions are capable of sealing data that is deemed confidential.

Organizations indulge in open-source web content filtering solutions to control and maintain the flow of delicate information.

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Kelsey manages Marketing and Operations at HiTechNectar since 2010. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and Management. A tech fanatic and an author at HiTechNectar, Kelsey covers a wide array of topics including the latest IT trends, events and more. Cloud computing, marketing, data analytics and IoT are some of the subjects that she likes to write about.

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