Filtering Categories

Article author
Josh Lamb
  • Updated

DNSFilter offers a comprehensive ability to block domains based on content as well as any security threats that they pose. We also support SafeSearch options so that only appropriate content is displayed in search results.

Content Categories

Content Categories are the fastest way to block large swaths of undesirable domains. For example, blocking the "Social Networking" category will block Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. When you block a particular category, it will be indicated by the button changing to the color Red, and showing a 🚫 icon.


Select from a wide variety of Filtering Categories to block or allow at your discretion. Unsure which domains fall into which category? Use our Domain Lookup Tool to confirm.

Abortion: Sites which provide views either in favor or against abortion, provide details on procedures, offer help or discuss outcomes or consequences of abortion.

Blogs & Personal Sites: Includes sites that make use of common blogging software including WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal, amongst others, which generate dynamic content.

Drugs: Sites that contain content whose main focus is on controlled substances, including the sale, discussion, or glorification of such substances. Does not include alcohol and tobacco.

Entertainment: Sites that focus on art and entertainment, including topics like TV/Hollywood, tattoos, cartoons and anime.

Games: Sites that provide games and information and services related to games, including online games or through an application.

Health: Sites focused on physical, mental, and social well-being, including fitness information, medical conditions, diagnosis, and medical services.

Jobs & Careers: Sites that provide assistance in finding employment, career guidance or improvement.

News & Media: Sites whose content is mostly focused on current events and topics. Includes various news outlets, radio, TV stations, and magazines.

Religion: Sites that provide information on one or more religious beliefs, practices, or are affiliated with a religious institution such as a church or synagogue.

Social Networking: Sites that provide a community portal whereby members join and contribute posts or media and forge connections with other members.

Terrorism & Hate: Sites that are primarily focused on promoting terrorism or hate.

Virtual Reality: Sites that host files specific to virtual reality or run communities related to the technology.

Adult Content: Sites which may contain sexually explicit content, images, or that are portrayed through visually expressive language.

Business: Sites which exhibit business-like attributes such as selling of services, products, or consulting.

Economy & Finance: Includes sites that are mainly focused on stocks and current market information or provide financial services such as banks or lenders.

Food & Recipes: Sites that contain food related information or recipes, food preparation, or restaurant services.

Government: Sites that use official government top-level domain names or are run by government entities such as the military, army, or air force.

Humor: Sites that contain content with a focus on jokes or comedy, including satire.

Media Sharing: Sites that allow visitors to upload content and share media such as photos and videos.

P2P & Illegal: P2P & Torrent sites, and those giving access pirated movies, software, application keys and cracks.

Search Engines & Portals: Sites that enable their visitors to search the Internet or whose main focus is to provide links to other Internet sites.

Sports: Sites that contain information about various sports and sporting activities, including sports scores or team information.

Travel: Sites that focus on travel planning services, travel reservations, and tourist information.

Weapons: Sites that primarily discuss, review, or sell items such as hunting knives, guns, rifles, or BB guns.

Alcohol & Tobacco: Sites that sell, discuss, or glorify the consumption of various alcoholic and tobacco products - including beer, wine, and liquor.

Dating & Personals: Sites whose main focus is on connecting individuals for the purposes of dating.

Education & Self Help: Sites whose main purpose is to offer educational information, community information, or how-tos. Also includes educational facilities and related organizations.

Gambling: Sites that allow a visitor to play games using wagers/placing bets, lottery pools, or provides information on such activities.

Hacking & Cracking: Sites that disseminate information, hold discussions, or provide a means to gain unauthorized or illegal access to computers and networks.

Information Technology: Site whose main focus is on computers or distributing computer related information, including computer networking, Internet telephony, operating systems, or programming.

Message Boards & Forums: Sites which provide some type of a messaging or bulletin board system whose content is largely community generated.

Real Estate: Sites that provide information or services for renting, selling, or buying property.

Shopping: Sites that sell products or services, normally with an online purchasing interface.

Streaming Media: Sites that are mainly dedicated to the serving of video or audio streams and downloads.

Vehicles: Sites that mainly hold discussions or share information about vehicles, including cars, trucks, boats, and aircraft.

Webmail & Chat: Sites which provide chat or text messaging services or such abilities through a download or application. DNSFilter is able to offer Google, Bing, and YouTube SafeSearch options. DNSFilter simply offers the features already provided by these services, but makes it easy to enforce. SafeSearch cannot be overridden by the endusers if the SafeSearch options are enabled in your Filtering Policy (and you ensure that users are using our service for DNS).


DNSFilter is able to offer Google, Bing, and YouTube SafeSearch options. DNSFilter simply offers the features already provided by these services, but makes it easy to enforce. SafeSearch cannot be overridden by the endusers if the SafeSearch options are enabled in your Filtering Policy (and you ensure that users are using our service for DNS).

SafeSearch Precedence

Enabling the SafeSearch options for a policy will override any blocking for the affected sites that would normally be blocked by the "Search Engines & Portals" category.

If you truly wish to ensure that Google, Bing, etc are blocked, you must disable the SafeSearch toggle(s) on the policy.

The same warning applies to YouTube (normally blocked by the "Entertainment" category)


Read more about each SafeSearch offering below:

Threat Categories

Threats are domains which host potentially malicious resources that may result in:

  • Circumventing DNSFilter’s protection (VPNs, Proxies)
  • Outbound attacks from your network
  • Compromise of usernames, passwords, or other sensitive data
  • Excess system resource utilization
  • Malware and/or Ransomware Compromise

Just as with content categories, clicking on a particular classification will turn the color Red, and show a 🚫 icon. This indicates that blocking is active.


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