Frequently Asked Questions | Safe Surfer

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use Safe Surfer via router or download the app?

Either, or both! While using Safe Surfer on a router, all devices on the network are protected without having to touch the devices themselves. If a new device joins, it's automatically protected. However, once a device leaves the network it's no longer protected. With the app, the device is protected wherever it goes.

Use Safe Surfer on:

Can I use Safe Surfer on any ISP?

Yep! Safe Surfer is not affected by your ISP.

We may not work in combination with another internet filter or parental control, or in countries which censor content such as in the middle east.

FYI: Safe Surfer has a solution for ISPs. If you'd be interested in parental control direct through your ISP, please let them know about us!

Can you ‘switch off’ SafeSurfer?

Once you set up Safe Surfer it stays activated 24/7. Preventing uninstallation is different depending on how you've installed:

  • For the Android App, just follow the instructions under "enable always-on" after installing the app.
  • For the iOS/iPadOS App, check out our helpdesk article on preventing uninstallation.
  • For Windows and macOS, just make sure the protected person is using a non-administrator account.
  • If installing on your existing router, pick a good router admin password.
  • If using our Lifeguard router, there's nothing you need to do. The device will watch for evasion attempts.

Even if protection can be uninstalled, you'll soon get an alert email when we notice protection is no longer active.

Do I risk my family’s online privacy by using Safe Surfer?

Absolutely not. We take strides to collect the least amount of data possible and we will never sell your data. You can read our Privacy Policy here.

If you like, you can also use Safe Surfer with no logging.

Does Safe Surfer protect my devices from viruses and other malware?

Safe Surfer by default will block a large list of known malware websites where you might risk downloading a virus, but we do not provide antivirus functionality. Safe Surfer cannot scan your device or remove pre-existing malware. We recommend keeping your device up-to-date and using an antivirus solution if appropriate.

How much work is it?

Hardly any! Getting protected is as easy as installing the app. Then just pick what you want to be blocked, and check your emails for alerts. We'll make sure blocklists stay up to date.

Will Safe Surfer slow my internet connection? Or block stuff it’s not supposed to?

No. Safe Surfer only does a small pre-lookup for each site that you visit, and all other internet traffic is unaffected. We also host our services globally for good speeds worldwide.

Because content blocking is based on domain names, Safe Surfer is unlikely to block content unnecessarily. For example Safe Surfer would not block an article about the dangers of pornography from a newspaper site like some keyword based protection services would. We block based on information in the domain name. This ensures we stop the mainstream sites where kids surf most.

How does Safe Surfer actually work?

Safe Surfer is a DNS content filtering platform with easy installation options like apps or the Lifeguard router that mean you don't have to touch the grimy details.

DNS stands for “domain name system.” DNS servers match domain names like to their associated IP addresses — for This happens for each and every website that you visit, or behind the scenes inside apps that you may use. By changing your DNS to Safe Surfer, you can decide to block particular categories of websites. If a website is blocked, you'll receive the IP address of our block page instead of the website itself. You can also configure Safe Surfer to pretend blocked sites don't exist (NXDOMAIN) to make protection more invisible.

Sometimes, such as for Google, YouTube, and other search engines, we'll redirect to a safer version of the website instead of blocking it completely. This is how we enforce Safe Search on Google and other search engines when connected.

When you install Safe Surfer on your router (or plug our Safe Surfer Lifeguard router into it), devices on the network are automatically configured to connect to Safe Surfer. Downloading the Safe Surfer app (or profile) changes an individual device's DNS settings.

The Safe Surfer Lifeguard router also implements a smart firewall to enhance blocking. When a site becomes blocked, existing connections to the site are severed. This noticably improves instant-blocking of social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, etc. Our own router also allows managing/monitoring individual devices on your network, whereas an existing router only allows managing the whole network.

Safe Surfer apps provide extra monitoring at the application level, such as screencasts and social media monitoring. Everything is controlled from the Safe Surfer Dashboard.