Kids get into all sorts of things they shouldn’t get into online. And we know parents want to protect their kids from what’s out there. They want to know that what they’ve set up is effective, up-to-date and always working.

Today we’re introducing a new service called FamilyShield and it’s the absolute simplest and most straightforward way for parents to protect kids from the bad stuff online. There is no complicated set up and no software to install on your computers.

FamilyShield by OpenDNS

FamilyShield is different from — and better than — the majority of parental controls software choices parents are faced with. For starters, ours is free to use. And when set up on your wireless router, FamilyShield does more than block adult content on computers; it blocks it on Wi-Fi devices like the iPod Touch or the Nintendo DS and on video game consoles like Xbox and Wii. In addition to blocking adult content, FamilyShield also blocks proxies and anonymizers, which are how enterprising/tech-savvy kids often get around parental blocks.

In addition, because FamilyShield leverages the OpenDNS content filtering system, the list of sites being blocked is constantly updated, 24/7. These updates happen automatically, without requiring any changes on the user’s end.

Last but not least, because it runs on the global OpenDNS network, it will make your household Internet faster and overall more reliable. With the OpenDNS perfect 100 percent uptime record, you won’t have to tolerate annoying, intermittent Internet outages anymore. This, of course, is in stark contrast to parental controls software that is often known for slowing down your Internet experience.

Why did we launch FamilyShield? For about as long as OpenDNS has been around, we’ve heard demand from you, our users, to provide a pre-configured version of the service that automatically blocks adult content. The idea has been submitted to IdeaBank, the part of our community where anyone can suggest new OpenDNS features and functionality, a few different times. (For example, here and here.) We aim to give you what you want and FamilyShield is just that.

How does FamilyShield work? Much like how OpenDNS Basic works, you just follow our simple two-step instructions to configure our special FamilyShield IPs on your router. Unlike OpenDNS Basic, there’s no account to configure, no complicated settings to customize, and no downloads or software to install. Even if you have a dynamic IP address.

FamilyShield’s IPs are:

208.67.222.123
208.67.220.123

What does FamilyShield Block? The service blocks pornographic content, including our “Pornography,” “Tasteless,” and “Sexuality” categories, in addition to proxies and anonymizers (which can render filtering useless). It also blocks phishing and some malware.

If you’re using OpenDNS Basic today without any filtering and think FamilyShield looks just simple and straightforward enough for you, just follow the simple instructions to point to the new IPs. But, if you use OpenDNS, love OpenDNS and know of a family who could use a parental controls service that also makes their home network faster, let them know about FamilyShield.