Review: Free Android app K9 Web Protection Browser filters explicit Web content

Filter explicit Web content with this free Android app.

For parents, the Internet is an unlocked Pandora's box of every possible threat to their children. What could be worse? How about the Internet wherever they go, out of your reach, on their smartphones? Fortunately, you have options. Blue Coat's Web Protection is a popular desktop parental control and Internet filter program. K9 Web Protection Browser extends its robust filtering and security capabilities to Android devices. It can block inappropriate and adult-themed content, gambling sites, spyware-infected Web sites, or any site you want to block. It relies on the same filtering technology used by Blue Coat's enterprise solutions.

Setting up K9 Web Protection Browser involves entering and re-entering a password. We recommend enabling the optional Administration mode, which prevents unauthorized users from uninstalling the app to circumvent its protection. The browser window, itself, is a rudimentary affair with a Web search/address bar and the app's canine mascot. But the K9 app also handles tabs, images, news, and all the duties you'd expect from an Android browser. Any Internet filter can catch obvious violators, but it takes better filters to catch those embarrassing double meanings. We started with something fairly tame that might be taken the wrong way by simple-minded filters. K9 returned Web pages we could open safely, but filtered out the naughty bits. We tapped Images, but an onscreen message warned us that our search was likely to return inappropriate content and did we care to rephrase our search? We did, only with something much, much worse. We're professionals, so don't try this at home, or anywhere else, for that matter, without K9: It blocked all the results of our search. K9's settings not only let us configure its filters but also enabled an anti-tracking feature that tells Web sites not to track you. It can even import and export settings.

We were impressed with K9 Web Protection Browser's ability to discriminate between online threats and safe sites. It's easy to set up and hard to defeat. If you give your kids (or employees) smartphones, equipping them with K9 Web Protection Browser is a smart move.

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