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DNS Filtering

The Nebraska Library Commission (NLC) is pleased to announce it is now offering a DNS filtering solution, DNSFilter, to Nebraska's public libraries. This solution will provide the CIPA compliant Internet filtering technology required for E-Rate and other federal grant funding. Even if your library is not utilizing federal funding, this versatile solution can also provide cybersecurity protection for your library's computers and customers. The NLC will cover the expense of this service and assist with its implementation.

DNS filtering utilizes the Domain Name System (DNS) protocol, referred to popularly as the "phonebook of the internet". When applications make domain-name requests, these requests are sent to DNSFilter's DNS servers, where they are matched against threat feeds and policy settings. If a request is to a malicious/blocked domain, the access is blocked. This ensures that unwanted activity is cutoff at the root because the request never makes it to the blocked/infected domain. For example, a user tries to access the website in a browser and the domain has been added the block list. The DNSFilter block screen will appear on the browser instead of the website.

To utilize DNSFilter, it is preferred that the library attain a static IP address from their ISP. If a static IP address can not be provided by the ISP, the library's router will need to support Dynamic DNS. Libraries that have a firewall in place are likely using the DNS filtering it provides.

To ensure the DNSFilter "block" screen works properly, the DNSFilter SSL Cetificate will need to be installed on the library's computers. This informs the user the domain has been blocked and allows the password protected "bypass button" to be available to library staff.

Participating libraries must also complete this Services Agreement.

To request support from the NLC for DNSFilter, please submit this form. Remember, DNSFilter can be disabled by entering the provided Bypass Block password on the Block screen. This will disable DNSFilter for the duration of the active browser session.

This link provides an overview of DNS filtering and how it works. NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech: Internet Filtering For E-Rate CIPA Compliance And Cybersecurity

For questions about this solution and implementing it at your library, please contact:

Andrew "Sherm" Sherman
Library Technology Support Specialist
Nebraska Library Commission

For more information, contact Andrew Sherman.