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DNS filtering vs URL filtering: What are the differences?


Our DNS filtering vs URL filtering comparison looks closely at the differences between these internet access restriction methods.
In a security conscious world, it’s often necessary to block access to certain websites or categories of websites. This can be achieved using a couple of methods, including via DNS filtering or by using the best URL filtering software (opens in new tab). In this article, we take a closer look at DNS filtering vs URL filtering, and how they can be used by schools, workplaces, and other organizations. Each method of restricting internet access has its pros and cons, but they both perform the same essential function. Let’s see how they stack up against each other. On the most basic level, URL filtering blocks access to specific websites depending on predetermined URL restrictions. On the other hand, DNS filtering restricts access based on IP addresses, which makes it a more powerful but less flexible option. Both techniques share several features that make them useful to businesses and other organizations. One of the key features of DNS and URL filtering is their ability to restrict access to certain parts of the internet. In a school setting, for example, you could restrict violent or pornographic content. In the workplace, you could restrict access to social media websites to boost employee productivity. One of the key differences between URL filtering and DNS filtering lies in how flexible they are. Since URL filtering can be applied at page level, it enables you to block access to certain parts of a website while leaving the rest of the site open. On the other hand, DNS filtering is restricted at website level, so you can only use it to block entire sites. Advanced AI and machine learning powers many DNS and URL filtering programs. This eliminates the need for you to manually blacklist websites. Your program will automatically detect restricted content based on any number of filtering rules imposed by you and your admin team.

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