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FAQ 151: DNS Redirector cloud server details

Category: Everything else | Updated: 04/05/2015 12:35 PM

Note: This article is for DNS Redirector cloud servers (Internet filtering or whitelist only), alternatively DNS Redirector software supports captive portal and/or Internet filtering.

Cloud servers include...
 - Fully customizable blocked page, can be 100% your HTML, or we'll help you design
 - Blacklist any domains you choose + pick from multiple blocking categories + whitelist any domains you choose
    or choose the Whitelist only server for a block everything + whitelist only solution
 - Pick from Google, Norton, your ISP, or your internal DNS server as the upstream DNS provider
 - 24/7/365 email and phone support contact

See sample screenshots of the control panel site (works with all browsers/mobile device friendly)

A cloud server can provide filtered DNS service to both...
 - Devices, such as individual end-user laptops, desktop PCs, phones, tablets, etc.
      ...so long as you can set the cloud server's IP as the default DNS server on that device*
 - Locations, such as multiple end-user devices that are behind a NAT device (router/firewall)
      ...in this case devices can obtain the DNS server automatically via DHCP, or you can set it directly on the device*
      ...in a typical corporate network you will usually keep devices pointing to your internal DNS server
         and then set your internal DNS server to forward to your cloud server IP, thus all devices are filtered.

Normally, all of your devices/locations static IPs are 'registered' in the online control panel of the cloud server, in order to provide DNS service. DNS traffic from a referring IP that is not registered will be shown an error message (which can be customized). This is useful to discourage non-paying or anonymous users from using your cloud server as if it was a public DNS sever. IP registration can be removed upon request, which would allow any devices/locations with a dynamic IP to use your cloud server.

A cloud server will enforce the same filtering policy for all devices/locations that are set to use it. Meaning if you have 'Doctors Office A' and 'Doctors Office B' and 'Retail Store A' all set to use the same cloud server, the same allowed/blocked list selections will apply to all 3 locations. Yes, you can resell or bundle your cloud server DNS service to your clients/customers. If you need to have different filtering at different locations you should purchase separate cloud servers or run DNS Redirector software locally on a server within each network.

Google SafeSearch and Bing explicit filter can be enforced for all devices/locations using your cloud server. Our support team will be happy to enable this function.

The look of the blocked page and/or error page can be customized with whatever HTML or graphics you want, but may NOT include advertisements served by a 3rd party. Our support team will be happy to verify and integrate your custom files.

If each location has a static IP, our support team can customize a different look for the blocked page seen at each location (such as the company's logo or who to contact) but the allowed/blocked list selections will always be the same regardless of location.

When multiple end-user devices are behind a NAT device (router/firewall), all those devices are seen as one IP (the outside/WAN interface) therefore not all DNS Redirector software features are supported. For example...
 - If downloading logs is enabled on your cloud server, only the public IP of the NAT device is seen, not any private IP addresses of the end-user devices.
 - If temporarily bypassing the block is enabled on your cloud server, any one user who bypasses the block (password protected) would have the bypass applied to all other end-user devices behind the same NAT device.
...so if you need to see logging detail per end-user device and/or allow only some users to temporarily bypass the block, consider running DNS Redirector software locally on a server within the network.
 - Captive portal functions cannot be implemented, cloud servers are for Internet filtering only. To implement a captive portal you need to run DNS Redirector software locally on a server within the network.

Concurrent clients...
Concurrent client/user/device is interchangeable and defined as:
The total number of IP addresses which at any given time are resolving DNS through the DNS Redirector server.
Simply put, this means the total number of devices that are online at the same time.

Your cloud server can be housed in either US datacenter you select; Colorado or Florida.
If you prefer a server within your own country please contact us, or consider running DNS Redirector software locally on your own server. All cloud servers are fault-tolerant within a datacenter and have at least two redundant Internet links out of a datacenter. If you require a truly redundant solution you should purchase two cloud servers, one in each datacenter.

* Note that setting a cloud server IP directly on a device could cause connectivity issues, if that device travels to another network that restricts 3rd party DNS. For example: a company owned laptop that also travels to a user's home, another company network, or a public wireless hotspot, may not be able to achieve Internet access in some circumstances. Please contact support to better understand these limitations.

Related articles
FAQ 37  Use when clients are behind a NAT device
FAQ 142  Valid DNS resolution paths

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