Filter internet on iPads ANYWHERE they go! Even offsite!

Here is my sanity helper as of late. While the students are at school they are under our umbrella of web filtering but what about when they leave school… Here’s what you can do.

 

Weblock is an app in the App Store that currently retails for $1.99. It is meant for a one to one device senerio but it has so much more potential.

The app is designed to block ads which is great, you never know what’s going to pop up on a site. But With the app you can also block any URL or range. With this you can add something like *chat* to the list and any URL that contains the word “chat” in any form would be blocked.

So how do you get this on all the devices? It’s actually pretty simple and ill show you two…

Install the app on your ios device, don’t worry, it won’t block you too. Unless you add the URL to your device it will not affect you.

Go straight in to settings and grab your personal URL. Just write it down. We’ll need it in a sec. The app does not need to be installed on your student iPads for this to work.

 

Open up your MDM, mine is Meraki so your setup may be different but it’s in there somewhere. Look for global proxy. For Meraki Dashboard go to MDM – Settings – scroll to the bottom of the profile you want to filter and check the box for Global HTTP Proxy. Set it to auto and input the URL we copied from the app.

 

BONUS! While there go ahead and check the box to Enable web content filter and select Auto-Filter. This is Apples own porn filter. You can read the explanation in the image above.

The MDM makes it that simple but there’s still another way built in to Configurator. The only downside to this is that you won’t be able to change the address on the fly, you would need to resync all the devices to change the URL but in any case here it is.

Open Configurator and add or adjust an existing profile.

I think you can figure out what to do here.

And right under that is adult content…

I’ve had some strange results from the web filtering so don’t forget about the whitelist. If something gets blocked because it’s sex ed or something you can add that domain to the white list and your good to go. Of course if you find one that should be blocked, add it to the blacklist… Remember, you would need to resync to apply the white and black list.

Meraki is a free service and you can read my other blog entries on it for more info.

Please comment if you have more info on this or have a question.

Your students are now safe on any internet connection they connect to and it only cost $1.99!

 

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5 thoughts on “Filter internet on iPads ANYWHERE they go! Even offsite!

  1. Pingback: MAJOR ISSUE: Potential App Store Alternative | SchooliPads

  2. So we only need to buy this app one time and then add to Meraki? Thank you for sharing all your information!
    Ana

    • Yes, I have one copy on my iPad where I manage all the settings. With Global Proxoy enabled on any device set with the URL from the app, it will apply the settings without the app installed on that device.

  3. what if your school uses it’s own proxy? Is there a way where you can use your own proxy during school hours, and revert to the weblock proxy after hours? (without having to manually change Meraki each day) There are also proxy settings in the WIFI (in meraki) , do you think this overrides the global proxy?

    • I don’t think any system can use 2 proxies. Flipping the switch is not a great option. I have seen it take 24 hours to filter out the change and usually requires the iPad to be rebooted to accept the proxy change. I have been able to download the javascript file WebLock creates so essentially I could take the .js settings and apply them in with other .js settings but I would lose the ability to flip switches, remove and add sites to white list or blacklist from the app.

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